Corporate Eye

Recruiting on the FTSE Websites: Still a Gap?


Talent management company Taleo summarized the results of a 2006 study in the white paper Careers Site Recruiting in the FTSE 100 Companies:  A Missed Opportunity.  The key finding:  “While almost all FTSE 100 companies (94%) have a careers section on their corporate website, only half (51%) allow candidates to apply online through a structured application form that can support a fully automated end to end recruitment process.”

Most of the other companies (43%) reviewed at that time accepted CVs via email, but six did not even have a careers section on their corporate site.  So how much has changed in the past three years?

I reviewed a number of current FTSE sites recently, and noticed several that still seem behind the curve in online recruiting–but it’s hard to assess, because many of the FTSE 100 companies are made up of smaller entities, and those may have a range of different approaches and capabilities in online recruiting.  Here’s an example scenario:

Associated British Foods (ABF) has more than two dozen components (from AB Agri to Westmill Foods), and the ABF corporate site does not provide an overview of careers or links to the individual company career sites.  On the ABF Our Companies page, I followed the link for Twinings-which took me to a map page.  Selecting the US I went to a consumer site, where there is nothing about jobs.  All the other map links lead to consumer sites, and as far as I can tell from the ones I can either read or roughly translate, still no jobs.  So I did a separate search and found a dedicated UK jobs site for Twinings, which I think can be reached from the map only if you select the UK.  The Twinings jobs site does accept CVs by email but does not have an application form.  There is no job search, but all the jobs listed are in the UK, so I’m still not sure how or if it would be possible to seek a job with Twinings in, say, China.

At two other ABF companies (British Sugar and ACH) it was easier to reach the jobs page, but in both companies, the application process is limited to emailing a resume.  GTG did not appear to have a jobs section at all.

That’s not a complete review–but in terms of a quick look, it seems likely that ABF (taking its constituent companies together) may still be in the “missed opportunity” zone as defined by Taleo.  On the other hand, BAE Systems, which is also composed of multiple businesses with worldwide locations, has a well-equipped Careers area on the corporate website and does have an online application system.  The only confusion is that some business components (e.g., Detica) seem to have their own websites with separate Careers sections.

I’ll be drilling down further on this topic over the next few weeks, to provide additional views.  Since Taleo did not specify which companies had which gaps, there can’t be an apples-to-apples update.  But it should be possible to spot some current best practices, as well as some remaining problem areas.

(Thanks to Jenny Downing for the bear’s-eye view of one day in the life of the FTSE 100.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.