Before the Internet became popular, Citigroup job recruiter Judith S. Becker used to advertise open positions in a major newspaper and get 20 to 30 responses a week.
Today she posts listings on career Web sites and gets 20 to 30 resumes a day, from candidates of the same caliber.
The Internet is "changing the look of recruiting," said Ms. Becker, vice president of staff management at Citicorp credit services in Hagerstown, Md. "It is quick, efficient, cost-effective, and just makes sense."
Because the Internet reaches so many people and appeals to an educated audience, more banks are going on-line to find workers. Institutions of all sizes are using the network to seek tellers, financial analysts-even chief financial officers.
Human resource directors say career sites let them screen numerous resumes in a jiffy and forward e-mails from appealing candidates directly to hiring managers. The only noteworthy difference between on-line respondents and others is the percentage of people who apply from foreign countries.
As finding qualified job candidates becomes harder, "using Internet- based job posting and candidate search systems is critical," said Holly Kurtz, vice president of talent management at Wells Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo uses several Web sites for on-line recruiting, including Career Mosaic, Monster Board, and E-Span.
Ms. Kurtz said posting job openings on the Internet complements traditional ways of searching for candidates, who "expect progressive companies to use this technology."
Recent college graduates take it for granted that a job hunt will include some Web surfing, Ms. Kurtz said. The Internet "will continue to grow in importance as a key source for talent," she said.
Some headhunters post sites exclusively for financial services companies, but more common are broad-based job markets with sections for different industries.
One of the broader sites, Career Mosaic, says it gets 500,000 visits a day, up from 10,000 a day when the site opened in 1994. About 2,500 companies list positions.
Bruce Skillings, executive vice president of New York-based Career Mosaic, said the "rapid explosion of Web sites with job postings" has made life easier for job seekers and employers.
Most recruiters and candidates continue to rely on traditional avenues- including newspaper advertisements and job fairs-but the Web can offer appealing enhancements. For example, Career Mosaic's alert system lets job seekers type in certain criteria-whether they are willing to relocate, whether they want on-site day care-and get e-mail notifications about openings that meet their needs.
The cost depends on how many jobs a company chooses to list, but is usually less expensive than newspaper ads. Career Mosaic charges $160 for a 30-day posting of a single job down to $20 apiece for many listings.
Unlike newspapers, Web sites do not charge extra for long ads. Human resource executives say the ability to fully describe a position cuts down on the number of unqualified applicants.
Ms. Becker of Citicorp said Web ads have saved money for her division. The unit used to spend thousands a year for want ads in local papers, but longer listings on the Internet run about $22 each.
Since the middle of last year, Ms. Becker's group has been posting open positions on-line every week. People who apply for technical jobs promptly receive a return e-mail with a questionnaire.
The medium is so fast that Ms. Becker can post a job one day and set up interviews one or two days later "without having to leave my desk."
Newspapers-including American Banker - and trade groups also put job openings on-line. The American Bankers Association began offering this service last year.
Positions listed on the ABA's site are mostly in middle and upper management. On a typical day, the site lists 30 job openings and 600 resumes, according to Van Ditthavong, project manager for the ABA's career services site.
"The quality of job candidates is much better than if the institution goes the newspaper route, because the site is specifically geared toward financial candidates," Mr. Ditthavong said.