Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

What Exactly is “Online Hiring?”

What Exactly is Online Hiring?

We’ve all heard the phrases “online hiring” and “hiring automation” tossed around in Human Resources conversations.  But what exactly do they mean?  In reality, online hiring means different things to different people, and there are a wide range of activities and services that fall under the umbrella of hiring automation.  Whether your company utilizes a full suite of HR productivity software, or only occasionally accepts resumes via email, chances are you’re doing at least some part of your hiring online.  So let’s talk about what online hiring means for applicants as well as employers. 


Online recruiting and hiring have revolutionized the search process for job-seekers.  Gone are the days of “pounding pavement” to find open opportunities.  Today’s job seekers have a variety of online resources at their fingertips that give them access to countless opportunities.  Job aggregators like search through thousands of online job boards and employer websites, filtering results by keyword, location, and even salary. Many services generate email alerts to notify job seekers when a new position becomes available that might be a good fit.  Some services even allow applicants to post their resumes publically and create profiles that can be searched by employers. 

Once the candidate finds their perfect job, many employers offer them the option of applying online.  This can be as simple as uploading a copy of their resume, or as comprehensive as filling out a detailed online application for employment.  Job seekers can choose to receive notifications and updates by email (and even by text message) as their application moves through the various stages of the process.  These technologies are easy and convenient for the applicant, and increase the chances they’ll find the “best-fit” position they’re seeking.


But what happens to all those applications once they’re submitted?  Many employers utilize “applicant tracking systems” to help them sort and manage the hundreds of applications they receive for a single opening.  These systems often utilize a technology called “resume parsing” which can search the text of a resume for specific keywords that are relevant to the job opening, quickly highlighting top applicants for that position.  Some systems offer embedded questionnaires and assessments, adding an additional layer of qualification and effectively “prescreening” applicants before the hiring managers even see their resume.

Once an employer has identified their top candidates for a position, they must then walk these candidates through the various steps in the pre-hire process.  Modern online hiring systems automate many of these tasks –interview scheduling, reference checks, background checks, and more can be initiated, tracked and completed online.  Reports and analytics help measure results, giving hiring managers and executives the tools necessary to understand their hiring process.  Bottlenecks and areas for improvement can be identified, and changes can be made quickly. 

Some companies even send out their offer letters electronically, and let new hires begin the onboarding process online, allowing employees to complete their paperwork from the comfort of their keyboard.

As you can see, online hiring has become a part of daily life for employers and job seekers, and offers numerous benefits to both parties by creating a better experience for all involved.  Some might argue that automation threatens to remove or diminish the “human element” in the hiring process.  Perhaps that’s true, but few would advocate for the complete removal of human input in the decision process.  Instead, online hiring technologies are meant to supplement the process, creating efficiencies through automation and giving hiring managers more time to focus on what they do best – interacting with high quality candidates.  

To learn more about how automation can improve your hiring process, download How to Choose an Online Hiring & Recruiting System: A Buyer’s Guide!

How to Choose an Online Hiring and Recruiting System

Topics: Hiring, Applicant Tracking Success, Automation

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