Online Recruitment: Culture Strongly Influences Take-up of Digital Hiring Tools

By June 17, 2013
Digital recruitment

While in Australia just four hirings in ten completed by internal recruiters come from online job boards, in India job boards are now way out in front of other recruitment channels.


“Employers and recruiters are going to need some new ideas as they consider their move into global markets,” underlines a recent report on future trends in online recruitment. The report*, published by digital recruitment group Evenbase following research conducted by MBA & Company,  explains that: “Many apparently attractive traditional markets are going to be very hard places to do business over the next decade. This will force the recruitment sector to focus on new models in new places based on new metrics, not just find ways to maintain old revenue streams.” The report compares recruitment markets across the world and draws up a list of the ‘hot’ markets from this perspective.  Some countries stand out as having a greater affinity with online services than others.  Canadians for instance are among the keenest consumers of the Internet worldwide, spending almost twice the global average amount of time online and fully 13% more than people in the United States.

Wide country variations in digital recruitment adoption

Quite apart from the number of actual jobs on offer, countries differ in their overall receptiveness to digital recruitment.  While 30% of all companies in Canada, Australia and Germany use the online approach to hire staff, only 5% in Brazil currently do and a mere further 5% are planning to do so in the immediate future.  So the vast majority of Brazilian firms today make no use whatsoever of digital recruitment platforms. In fact a quarter of them make more than 30% of all their hirings on the basis of a recommendation from existing employees, something which by comparison just 20% of French companies do. Smartphone adoption is today seen as the global trend which has the greatest impact on the world of business.  It is therefore vital for recruitment professionals to understand how mobile tools are used in a country and how this usage fits in with the range of online and offline recruitment channels available.  In Australia, number two in the world behind Singapore in terms of smartphone penetration, the adoption of social media as a recruitment tool has been significantly slower than in other major markets, demonstrating that familiarity with mobile devices is not synonymous with having an overall digital culture.

A growing role for professional social networks?

In the United States, where professional networking has deep roots, close to one recruiter in three sees the social networks as  a major source of recruitment potential.  There is much less enthusiasm outside the US, even in markets where there is a rapid take-up of technologies such as mobile Internet.  This is the case in Brazil, where just 14% of all companies regard social media as a major recruitment channel, in spite of close to 100% growth in mobile Internet between 2010 and 2011. In France, while 91% of all recruiters say they use LinkedIn, only 13% of all hirings are actually completed with the aid of social platforms.  The report underlines that “national identities remain complex” and local social customs naturally play a significant role in determining which recruitment models work.  In China, for example, culture, professional online networks may well catch on.  California-based LinkedIn has been making strenuous efforts to expand its footprint in the Middle Kingdom, as also has French rival Viadeo, which has taken over the homegrown network Tianji in a bid to make its mark there.  


*The Evolution of Digital Recruitment Models; the Hottest Markets in 2020

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