A report from PeoplePerHour.com into the three principal recruitment channels - print advertising, agencies and online advertising (including job boards and classifieds) - shows placing jobs online became the most popular way for businesses to recruit staff in 2009.
The number of jobs placed by online channels grew in absolute terms by 16%, becoming the largest medium for job placements for the first time. The growth in online is partly at the expense of the more expensive traditional channels such as recruitment agencies and print advertising which shrunk by 15% and 21% respectively.
PeoplePerHour.com expects this trend to continue even after recovery. In 2009, online recruitment channels commanded a 37% share of all jobs placed in the UK. By 2011, PeoplePerHour.com expects this figure to rise to 42%.
PeoplePerHour.com's research is supported by a survey of 530 small businesses. This reveals the two main reasons for the growing popularity of online hiring are the lower cost to the client and the transition to smaller jobs under flexible contracts. Flexibility was rated as the main benefit by 38% of respondents, who indicated they are reluctant to scale up their team in the wake of the recession and are hiring contractors or freelancers instead, in most cases online.
PeoplePerHour.com estimates the online share of recruitment market spend will grow to 16% by 2010.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, CEO of PeoplePerHour.com, said: "The benefits of hiring online are clear.
"Whether the recession is over or not, employers are waking up to the realisation that they can find, hire and manage great talent online for a fraction of the cost and without the burden and red tape associated with traditional hiring. The connectivity and cost-effectiveness of the internet renders traditional models uncompetitive, and slowly - but surely - obsolete."