People Management: Coaching session

Q. Should I use the internet for recruitment to my organisation?

Why not? At Acevo we have recruited very successfully through the internet. One appointment came about as a direct result of advertising a job on our own website, and another came from an online recruitment agency.

Online recruitment has really taken off in the UK, and the signs are that it will continue to grow. An employment survey carried out last year showed that, in the private sector, 84 per cent of employers are making use of some form of electronic recruitment. Practically all of the large employers use their corporate websites to advertise vacancies. The private sector makes great use of the internet - we must follow its lead.

The real issue is whether you should use online advertising exclusively, or simply add it to other forms of advertising. At the moment, the best method of recruitment combines online and more traditional media.

People looking for jobs still tend to look at the job sections of newspapers, and this is especially true for more senior positions. So don't neglect them, and don't forget to make use of search companies. For really top jobs, I believe you need to use this kind of expert.

I know this is bad news for budgets - job adverts can be very expensive, particularly in national papers.

But when it comes to recruitment, it is important not to get stuck in a groove like the many public sector agencies that have inflexible processes and little imagination. You don't always need an expensive advert, and there may be some posts for which you simply want to put an advert on your website or make use of one of the online recruitment agencies, such as

And don't forget to make use of all the networks you have in the organisation: your members, your stakeholders and your volunteers. If you are doing this, do allow a reasonable time for the receipt of applications. Remember, you don't need to use application forms - asking people to send a CV and a covering letter to show how they meet the job specifications is just as effective. And it helps save the destruction of trees.

Stephen Bubb is chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo). Send questions to

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