Help Wanted
You may interview a lot of frogs, but Internet recruitment could land you a prince

If you go to, you’ll find nearly 300 links to employee recruitment websites around the world — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since these companies began bombarding the airwaves with top-dollar marketing campaigns, hundreds, if not thousands, of other Internet recruitment sites have cropped up. Their intent? To provide a conduit — and ideally a profitable one — between employers and prospective employees.

The initial and somewhat overzealous advertising campaigns subsided with the death of the dot-coms. Still, while “e-commerce” websites have floundered, the strongest employment websites are alive, well and proving to be excellent resources in the battle to recruit good employees.

“Internet recruiting has experienced remarkable adoption, with online recruitment advertising growing from a marginal recruiting tool in 1994, to a $411-million business in 1999, to a projected $4-billion industry by 2005,” says, a recruitment agency based in Toronto.

And it’s no wonder. The people SM spoke with for this article have been very successful in recruiting online. In fact, of the three distributors interviewed, each hired at least one person as the result of an Internet ad. One Internet-savvy distributor says he hired at least a dozen employees that way. So how does a distributor who’s never posted an online job advertisement get started?

Square One
As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of websites out there solely dedicated to matching employers with employees. A comprehensive list is out of the question — Internet searches for “recruitment websites” yield hundreds of thousands of hits. It’s a lot to sort through, so it’s worth noting that the distributors interviewed found their employees through the four-time Super Bowl advertiser — the site with a self-reported 51 percent of the hits in the Net-recruitment arena. (, Yahoo’s recruitment counterpart advertised during this year’s Super Bowl as well.)

Starting at about $300 per listing, employers can post their positions on for 60 days.

Rick Friestat, executive vice president of Laser Supply, a maintenance supply distributor in Pompano Beach, Fla., bought a bargain package — 12 ads a year at $200-$400 apiece.

“There’s at least a dozen people I’ve hired that way. I’ve hired salespeople, customer service people, a sales manager and even accounting people,” he says. The company has 62 employees.

Friestat has hired locally and nationally and uses the Internet for 75 percent of all recruitment advertising, he says.

LeRoy Supply & Distribution, a Niles, Ill., jan/san distributor, has hired two people through since January and is recruiting right now for a third, says company president Lyneir Richardson.

“We’ve recruited a salesperson and a warehouse worker, and now we’re looking for another salesperson,” he says. “This gives us a chance to see a lot of people quickly.”

The company received 30 to 50 responses the day after it posted the sales position, Richardson says. About 200 responses came during that week.

“Out of the 200 resumes we received, we probably looked seriously at maybe 40 of them. We called back 10 and interviewed five.”

Andrea Packer, vice president of marketing for Hill & Markes, a wholesale distributor with 90 employees in Amsterdam, N.Y., used Internet advertising to fill a purchasing position when recruitment agencies failed to find a suitable candidate.

“Our first requirement was some purchasing experience. That, and a four-year degree,” she says. Just-out-of-college people responded to her ad most often, but Packer wanted someone experienced. The qualifications she was looking for ruled out newspaper advertising, says Packer, who uses classifieds mainly for clerical employees. “We wanted somebody who was computer-savvy,” she says. “It seemed to reach a much wider market than a newspaper.”

Packer interviewed five people before settling on the person currently in the position, who had the qualities she was looking for. He has been with Hill & Markes nine months.

“He was searching and we were searching,” says Packer. “Considering what you spend on newspaper advertising I would definitely do it again, depending on the job.”

Richardson, too, has scaled back his reliance on newspapers as recruitment tools. “You run a weekend and you get a few responses and that’s it.”

“[] was a less expensive way of reaching a bigger audience. It’s so expensive using the newspaper and local ads. This costs less and runs for 30 or 60 days,” he explains.

Others agree that newspaper recruitment can be costly, but necessary. Certain, less-technical jobs get a better response from newspaper ads than the Internet.

There Are Drawbacks
Weeding through hundreds of resumes to find the perfect employee can be a deterrent to Internet recruitment, but those interviewed would rather spend the time and have greater access to suitable candidates than invest more money and get very few responses.

Experience levels of Net candidates vary, but there are jan/san professionals out there — or people in related fields, as evidenced by the success stories of the distributors mentioned.

For Packer, there were some hassles (including too-persistent candidates). But, the ad helped her recruit a person who was originally from the area with the qualifications she required — a plus in her book.

Help For Healthcare:
Save On Premiums, Get More Choices

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), with the help of Flexible Benefit Service Corp. (FBSC), Des Plaines, Ill., is offering the InsureLink program, available through the business services page of the association’s website. Businesses can save on premiums, and there are more doctors and hospitals from which to choose.

“The FBSC can help wholesaler-distributors gain significant savings in group health plan costs through the power of plan design and special agreements with some of America’s leading insurance companies,” says NAW president Dirk Van Dongen. Puts Your Business On the Web

Is your company still not on the Net? Check out — a site designed to help small businesses create and operate their own company website(s). There are several other helpful features as well, including website design tips, how-to guides, a business directory of users and a web marketing center. For those business owners who are still skeptical, offers free downloads, trials and samples of several programs.