Online job advertisement has become a key medium for recruitment by employers and recruitment agencies as a result of advances in technology. But there are some concerns about the use of online job advertisement as a recruitment medium, especially in a developing country such as Nigeria. This study reports the findings of a survey examining the use of online job advertisement by organizations in the recruitment of their employees using two organizations (Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, and Baker Hughes Plc) in Nigeria as case studies. Data for this study were gathered through primary source (in-depth interview of human resource managers) and secondary source. Rogers‟ Diffusion of Innovations theory (2003) was used as the bed-rock of this study, for it addresses the use and spread of the Internet technology. Results of the findings of this study showed that organizations make use of online job advertisement because, it is effective for them; and that there is a high level of usage of the online job advertisement innovation by organizations. It was also revealed that there are disadvantages to the use of online job advertisement in employee recruitment, and that its use in Nigeria is facing some challenges. This study has among other things recommended that organizations should combine the use of online job advertisement with other media of job advertising when recruiting, for improved effectiveness and efficiency.



1.1 Background of the Study

The need for Human Resource Management (HRM) continues to be the main cause for concern in an organization. Recruitment as a Human Resource (HR) function of finding and engaging the people the organization needs is one of the factors required in an organization for the production of goods and services. The issue is the ability of an organization to adopt an appropriate human resource policy which would help to recruit, and select the right people with the needed talents and potentials for the growth and development of the organization.

The primary objective of establishing an organization is to accomplish some set goals. Since the degree of accomplishment of this objective depends immensely on the quality of its manpower; it therefore has to be concerned with recruiting the right candidates. The process of achieving this, is known as advertisement.
Advertisement has traditionally been the most obvious method of attracting candidates. Okoro (1998:12), points out that advertising is the printed, written, spoken or pictorial representation of a person, product, service or movement openly sponsored by the advertiser, and at his expense for the purpose of influencing sales, votes or endorsements. Thus, advertising is a paid mass communication, the main purpose of which is to impart information, develop attitude and induce action generally advantageous to the advertiser and concerned with selling of goods and services.
Ahunanya (2004:70), is of the opinion that advertising sells more than products.

It sells images, values, goals and concepts of who we are and who we should be. Job advertising is a crucial part of the recruitment process which is intended to reach out into the labour market with an attractive offer of employment aimed at producing an adequate response in terms of enquiries or requests for details, and numbers of suitable applications submitted (Cole, 2002:180). Job advertising was originally established in print media such as newspapers and television broadcast scene. However, focus has started shifting away from the print and broadcast media to the growing use of the Internet.
The Internet appears to be the latest technological explosion in the world of information. It is also called the “NET”. In full, it stands for the International Computer Networks (Dune and Oraka: 2004:58). The Internet in the view of Dominick (2002:302), is “a network of computer networks”. These networking make it possible for computers across the globe to share information and ultimately communication links from source to receiver, providing a new definition of feedback as well as a mass medium for advertising.

According to Agba (2001:55), the Internet is a global communication infrastructure, which enables any computer connected to it to communicate with any other computer connected to the Internet at electronic spreads regardless of geo-political location. A simplified view of the Internet through a pictorial description was given by The Awake magazine in its July 22, 1997 edition, that “just as a road allows travel through different areas of a country, so the Internet allows information to flow through many different inter-connected computer networks”.

As messages travel, each network that is reached contains information that assists in connecting to the adjacent network. The final destination may be in a different city or country. The Internet is a versatile phenomenon which has created and met demand, and satisfied human and corporate needs (Chete, 2003:82). The introduction of Internet has drastically transformed and redefined the meaning of information management in Nigeria, which has remained a far cry from minimum international standard.

When the Internet is discussed, people tend to be referring to machines which they use to access the international network of computers, but in actual sense they are talking about facilities, the people and information they access while online. Among the major applications of the Internet are the e-mail, newsgroups and the World Wide Web (www). The World Wide Web (www) provides the best interest to advertisers. The „web‟ is a network of information sources incorporating hypertext that allows the user to link one piece of information to another (Obukoadata, 2008:398). The approach of using the Internet to advertise is referred to as online advertising.
Online advertising involves placing commercials on various online sites for online users to patronize (Kur, 2004:32). Basically, it allows for a back and forth flow of information whereby users can participate in and modify the form and content of the information they receive in real time. According to Ducoffe (1996:44), online advertising includes many forms of commercial contents, from electronic advertisements that are similar to traditional advertizing such as bill boards, fliers, et cetera; to forms that are different from traditional advertisements such as corporate websites, et cetera. Baran (1999:426-427), writes that the increase in the number of people who were online and the introduction and rapid acceptance of the World Wide Web are among the developments which have encouraged online advertising.

This is the reason why Adams (2003:44), insisted that businesses are beginning to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of advertising online. They are beginning to recognize that through advertising online, their messages are communicated in a fast and efficient way, while not only interacting with customers, but establishing a one on one dialogue. Online job advertisement is a modern means and instrument for recruitment which uses the Internet to advertise or post vacancies, provide information about jobs and the organization and enable e-mail communication to take place between employers and candidates. The candidates can apply for jobs online, and e-mail application forms or curriculum vitae to employers or agencies, and test can also be completed online (Armstrong, 2009:523).


The recruitment website has evolved to encompass end-to-end recruitment. Website captures candidate details and then pool them in client accessed candidate management interfaces (online). Such sites have two features: job boards and a resume/CV database. Job boards allow member companies to post job vacancies. Alternatively, candidates can upload a resume to be included in searches by member companies. Fees are charged for job postings and access to search resumes.

Key players in this sector provide e-recruitment software and services to organizations of all sizes and within numerous industry sectors, who want to e-enable entirely or partly, their recruitment process in order to improve business performance. As organizations plan for growth, they seek to change and develop. This leads to the need for recruitment. The key to a successful future is having the right people, whether the person is a new recruit or a potential transfer from another area. Given the relationship between effective recruitment and organizational performance, organizations need to adopt a more strategic approach to HR planning before moving on to the actual recruitment process (Pilbeam and Corbridge 2006;Bratton and Gold 2007). HR planning involves digging job roles and the associated competencies, as well as developing and understanding of the labour market, both internal and external, in other to match the availability of potential labour to organizational needs.

The online software provided by those who specialize in online recruitment helps organizations attract, test, recruit, employ and retain quality staff with a minimal amount of administration. Online recruitment websites can be very helpful to find candidates that are very actively looking for work and post their resume online, but they will not attract the passive candidate who might respond favourably to an opportunity that is presented to them through other means. Also, some candidates who are actively looking to change jobs may be hesitant to put their resumes on the job boards, for fear that their companies or organizations, co-workers, customers or others might see their resumes.
Considering the above mentioned, it behoves us to study the effectiveness of the use of online job advertising in employee recruitment by organizations. This will be done in this study through the discussion of views of the selected organizations based on their experiences on the use of online job advertisement in recruiting their employees. The effective recruitment of employees is a fundamental Human Resource Management (HRM) activity, one that if managed well can have a significant impact on organizational performance as well as lead to a more positive organizational image (Pilbeam and Corbridge 2006).

Ineffective recruitment has a number of cost implications for organizations such as, lowering of morale in the existing workforce which can affect employee performance, lost of business opportunities as well as higher levels of labour turnover. Such people are likely to be discontented, unlikely to give of their best, and end up leaving voluntarily or involuntarily when their unsuitability becomes evident.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

As noted by Onah (2003:80), an important aspect of recruitment is to gain a thorough picture of the requirements of both the job and the individual to enable the drawing up of selection criteria which can be used to determine if there is a suitable internal candidate, identify any training needs they may have, and used for external recruitment and advertising campaigns. Rynes and Cable (2003: n.p.); Taylor and Collins (2000: n.p.), suggested that future research on recruitment must examine to what extent this innovative recruitment practice (the use of the Internet) is related to recruiting effectiveness and organizational effeciency.
Evaluating the effectiveness of a recruitment procedure such as online job advertisement is very important in terms of money and time spent by the organization.
Onah (2003:91), gives the general areas for evaluating the effectiveness of recruitment to include the following:
 Quantity of applicants;
 Gender mix, federal character and class protection;
 Quality of applicants;
 Cost per applicant hired; and
 Time required to fill openings.
Based on these, the problem of this study can be briefly summarized in the following questions:
 Why do organizations make use of online job advertisement in the recruitment of their employees?
 What is the level of usage of online job advertisement in employee recruitment in Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, and Baker Hughes Plc?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of online job advertisement as a recruitment procedure in an organization. The specific objectives are as follow:
 To find out the justification for the use of online job advertisement by organizations in the recruitment of their employees.
 To assess the level of usage of online job advertisement in employee recruitment by Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, and Baker Hughes Plc.
 To use the research findings as basis for recommending ways for effective recruitment through online job advertisement.

1.4 Significance of the Study


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