Now and again, something so simple comes along that it’s hard to believe things were ever done differently. E-recruitment is just such a phenomenon – and it’s one that does far more than it suggests on the tin.

It seems an obvious candidate for computerisation: job vacancies advertised on websites, application forms as e-mails with CVs attached.

Yet while parts of the recruitment process have been electronic for some time, it is only recently that the wider range of e-recruitment’s benefits have been spotted and drawn together.

As several sourcing managers told me at a recent conference, it would be difficult not to save money by switching from a paper-based system; and they all agreed e-recruitment injected speed into the hiring process.

Less predictable, however, and much more exciting, were other benefits that have emerged – such as how it enables companies to monitor new hires, to organise their training and rostering and such matters before they have started, and keep tabs on great candidates who could not be taken on immediately. The information being amassed makes it easy and natural to manage talent inside and outside the business.

It goes further: data compiled from e-recruitment processes can even influence strategic decisions – for example, knowing where the best recruits are found might dictate where a new office or workshop is sited.

We dig deeply into this fascinating area in the current podcast (hear it now at, or download it from iTunes), and we will explore it further in the next print edition (November 7).

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of SAP’s move to buy Business Objects, the business intelligence specialist, this edition of Digital Business includes a focus on BI (see Page 4), looking at how it allows companies to make decisions based on knowledge rather than guesswork.

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