On-line recruiting

Finding the right people these days is like searching for the Holy Grail. But there are some new tools available to aid you in your quest--thanks mostly to the Internet. One insider estimates that there are anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million World Wide Web sites that list job openings. That's pretty daunting. But here's a selection of on-line recruiting resources that will help guide you to some sites worth visiting. We've rated each item on a scale ranging from five stars (we love it) to zero stars (we hate it).

Save it.

The Internet Recruiting Edge
This book (from Lingstar, 732-563-1464, www.barbaraling.com, 1998, $149) is a terrific resource. Author Barbara Ling has produced a well-written and realistic overview of Internet recruiting. Her loose-leaf volume is good on the basics yet also contains useful specifics for Internet veterans. Ling plans to sell periodic updates for an additional $50 a year. (At press time, those were not available for review.) In an especially smart move, Ling has included a disk with "bookmarks" that connect to recruiting-related Web sites, saving the reader mucho labor. The package is pricey but on the whole worth the money. *****

This is a sort of self-proclaimed Web hub for on-line recruiting, produced by Interbiznet out of Mill Valley, Calif., and it's one of the best we've seen. Founder and CEO John Sumser has compiled an easy-to-navigate site that, in addition to rating the top job-listing sites, also provides regular newsletters about recruiting on-line. But we couldn't find a search function for the Interbiznet site--or ratings for all of the biggest sites. However, this is a great starting point as you begin to recruit on-line. ****

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler coauthored this handy tome (from MMC Group, 732-821-6652, 1998, $22.95). CareerXRoads contains useful articles as well as lists of industry-specific sites, free sites, and sites that use the new "push" technology, which basically sends E-mail notification to recruiters and job seekers when the site has found a match. The authors also say they will provide free E-mail updates. The book gives general descriptions of the sites, with some qualitative judgments woven in. A more specific rating system would make the book a lot easier to use, however. *** 1/2

Skim it.

Known as the Riley Guide, this is a no-frills primer on using the Internet for job searching. Site producer Margaret F. Dikel (formerly Riley) gears most of the information toward the job seeker but also offers a section that focuses specifically on recruiting on-line. Her work is especially good if you're looking for a free basic guide to using the Internet in your recruiting process. ***

Check out this Web site and sign up for Recruiting on the Web, a free monthly E-mail newsletter with fairly useful information about Internet recruiting trends, job boards, and related topics. The service also includes "Quick Tips" that offer simple Web recruiting techniques. ***

Skip it.

Weddle's Wildly Useful, Up-to-the-Minute Newsletter about Internet Resources for Successful Recruiting & HR Management

The content of this newsletter is OK, but at $325 a year, you can get better value elsewhere. Author Peter Weddle also reviews job-recruiting Web sites for the National Business Employment Weekly, which provides a pretty good free on-line listing of such sites. **

Recruiters' Internet Survival Guide

Should you happen to visit interbiznet.com, you might come across an offer for John Sumser's Recruiters' Internet Survival Guide (Interbiznet, 800-358-2278, 1996, $89.50). Save your money. At approximately 50¢ a page, this book not only is a bad value but is also two years out of date--an on-line eternity. So stick to the Web site. *