Large companies have always had the edge when it comes to recruiting-their substantial budgets allow them to find new employees near and far. But the Internet is leveling that playing field, offering new ways for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to job candidates. Today, even the smallest company can ad-vertise jobs on a Web site, go to recruiting sites such as Monster.com to post job openings or use mailing lists to get the word out. "For smaller businesses, the Net has decreased the barriers [to recruiting] and put them at the starting gate with larger employers," says Steve Pollock, 38, co-founder and president of WetFeet.com, a privately held, 5-year-old online provider of company, industry and career information in San Francisco.
Not only is the Net making it easier for small companies to promote job openings to Web-savvy job seekers, it's also speeding entrepreneurs toward the day when they can interview in real-time over the Net. The increasing power of computers, along with the growing availability of faster and cheaper high-speed Internet connections, will let entrepreneurs use live streaming video-digitally transmitted pictures that can be seen over a computer-to "meet" and weed out job applicants.
"In the very near future, phoning in for an interview over the computer will be commonplace," says Ken Ramberg, 35, co-founder of JOBTRACK.COM, an Internet-based service in Los Angeles that connects college graduates on campuses nationwide with potential employers through job listings. "[Online interviewing] will be a major benefit to small employers," he says, "who, in the past, have been limited by money and a local pool of employees."