ExecuNet, an executive job board, surveyed search firm recruiters last month to get a handle on the effectiveness of online recruiting, when looking for executive-level candidates. The bottom line is that the whole process can work, but it's very time consuming.
For each job that is publically posted online, an average of 55 résumés are received. Unfortunately, only 8 of them are actually qualified, eating up valuable time spent scanning through the other 47 unqualified responses.
Searching for candidates and trying to reach them online is not any faster a route to success. Recruiters reported they spend an average of 2.7 hours per day searching (that's 13.5 hours per week!) and when trying to network with those harder-to-find, harder-to-reach employed executives, only 4 out of 10 respond.
Based on this survey, it seems to make sense to have a professional (whether it be a search firm or your internal recruiter) proactively call and recruit candidates rather than waiting for them to answer an online ad or spend valuable hours scouring the internet.