Article: The deep web – should you be using it for recruiting?

As the internet continues to grow exponentially, so do its channels, abilities and various other uses. One of these places is called the deep web, a sub-current of information inaccessible through traditional search engines. In recent years, this platform has been used by some for HR purposes, despite its controversial reputation.

Here is some more information regarding the deep web, its HR uses and the controversy surrounding it.

What is the deep web?

If you’re an avid internet user, chances are you’ve heard the deep web referred to in less than positive terms, as many people assume that this portion of the internet is used solely for nefarious means. However, the surface web (sites you can access through search engines) comprises only 10 per cent of the information out there, with the deep web making up the remaining 90. The deep web itself is simply the rest of the internet ‘iceberg’, so to speak.

Although it’s used by some for illegal activity, this resource can provide businesses with a rich collection of valuable data that is otherwise impossible to access. One of the up-and-coming uses for the deep web is in recruiting and employee screening.

HR and the deep web

Also known as boolean searching, scouring the deep web for useful leads in recruiting can increase a company’s talent pool significantly. One of the greatest problems HR professionals run into is not having a large or impressive enough group of job applicants to choose from, potentially leading to a lower quality hire.

Recruiters can use various ‘boolean strings’ to filter candidates in the deep web based on their location, skills, experience, education, desired opportunity and compensation. This will allow companies to find passive candidates who might not be actively responding to job postings, cold calls or other traditional recruiting techniques.

Even if your company has already zeroed in on top talent, you still might be able to use the deep web to your advantage. The same boolean searches described above can be used to perform quasi-background checks on potential new hires. An alternative to paying an outside company to do a background check, this type of casual snooping can give you the answers you need before making the final call about a new employee.

Of course, the deep web itself comes with dangers. As well as the risk of being deceived or finding inappropriate content, it can be tricky to navigate if you don’t know what you’re doing. This means it might be best to stick with mainstream recruitment efforts.If you are hunting fresh talent for your business and need help restructuring your job descriptions or employee payscale, get in touch with a team member at Strategic Pay today.

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