Job boards have been around for what seems like forever.  If an internet year is the equivalent of a dog year (seven years to every one human year) then job boards are past their century mark and in some cases approaching dinosaur status.

Do people still use job boards?

Even just a quick online search reveals that yes, people do still use job boards. From brands like Monster, Jobsite and Totaljobs to aggregator sites such as Indeed or Broadbean, the job boards are alive and seemingly thriving.

The catch is that in today’s mainly stagnant or contracting job market, such sites are understandably swamped by candidates urgently seeking employment. For both job seekers and employers this may reduce their effectiveness.

So, how are job sites are used?


For Recruiters/Employers: 

Job boards are still valuable assets in the recruiter’s toolbox despite the threat of being eclipsed by social media and online referral/networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Generalist job boards don’t normally yield high numbers of suitable candidates for specialist vacancies but may prove more effective for a broader campaign. What they do, however, is raise awareness of a brand. What’s more, all it takes is just one outstanding candidate for that ‘hard to fill’ vacancy to justify a recruiter’s investment in the site.

The downside for job boards is that online networking and word of mouth referrals normally produce a better success ratio. A trusted recommendation is preferable to hours spent sifting through CVs.

Employers have similar reasons as recruiters for using job boards. The key difference is that some use them in the hope of avoiding the cost of engaging a recruitment agency’s services and you can gain a large pool of candidates at comparatively shorter notice.


For Candidates:

In a highly competitive market, some of the best candidates will still get lost amid the increasing volume of job seekers. For the most effective results, frustrated candidates should take a multi-pronged approach:- 

-          use relevant industry keywords in CVs uploaded onto jobsites to enable companies to find their CV.

-          apply recruitment agency techniques to a job search by drawing up a list of target companies and approaching them directly, highlighting the benefits they will bring to a company.

-          research the job sites relevant to their industry (see link below).


In response to the need for more streamlined job boards, there has been a growth in niche sites tailored to specific industry sectors. Niche job boards specialise in either a particular job function, (such as sales or engineering) or an actual industry sector, (such as retail, hospitality and so on). Other categories include vacancies over a certain level or within a specific geographical location. Yet more may create a subgroup of job specialisms.

For a complete guide to job sites, including the best rated and improved job boards, whatjobsite is an excellent online resource for candidates and employers. 

Although sometimes perceived as antiquated, job boards still play an essential role in the recruitment process – you bypass them to your detriment in my opinion. The most successful ones however, are those that continue to respond and adapt to changes in the online world.

Views: 3572

Comment by Dave Hitchman on May 4, 2012 at 3:29am


150k and 5 years of training?

The kid from college will have had some college lectures on something - possibly marketing but probably not - many companies take college grads with degrees not directly relevant (my first job took my applied science degree and only one very small Fortran image processing application before using me to write software for data collection and process systems).

For most companies in most fields the kid from college will need as much training as the wheel nut fitter. You possibly can argue the wheel nut fitter is not as 'clever' so might not learn as fast. However that was a deliberate extreme and the reality is that the 40 year old looking for a career change has probably got a degree, possibly post grad and years of learning and experience any of which could be valuable. He probably also has family and friend ties in an area and is more stable.

As for the 150k, I have no idea what that is supposed to refer to, the average salary in the US is not in that area as far as I remember from my time there, and certainly the difference between new kid and experienced man isn't.

As for square pegs and round holes, I agree you are not paid to do that, what you are paid (and in the UK handsomely paid) to do is to find the perfect fit. What I argue is that doing a quick keyword match on a CV that any 16 year old part time school kid could do for you with a cheap bit of VB is NOT what you are paid to do. You are paid to look deaper and find the person who wants the job, has knowledge and experience that are valuable, has enthusiasm, drive, ambition, who will stay for more than a couple of years.

My more realistic examples hold true - an engineer writing applications in C++ for consumer products is automatically disqualified from ever writing a bank application. This pushes up the price of banking staff without improving their quality.

Comment by Emily Stevenson on May 4, 2012 at 3:37am

Any recruiter who posts a phony add or an add for a job that they do have a listing for needs to be nibbled to death by the baby ducks, called out as a flake, stoned in the village square and any other thing anybody can think of to point them out as crooks and thieves.

Thanks Sandra, I couldn't have put it better myself. Baby ducks can be brutal as well..

Comment by Alasdair Murray on May 4, 2012 at 3:42am

I've never been a recruiter but if I was I think I would make sure that whenever I advertised the copy was of such quality and allure that it a) screened out unqualified candidates b) attracted good quality ones and c) even if I couldn't place ninbe of my top ten I would keep their details for a possible future placement or even try and find them a role other than the one they responded to, but hey, what do I know?

Comment by Ian Harvey on May 4, 2012 at 4:26am

A couple of points on the above.

Whether you are out of work and looking, or in work and looking to move, you want to see a lot of relevant jobs in one place. Those job boards which have evolved to service a niche are extremely popular with candidates, who will all share a common interest in that niche sector/function.  Recruiters can't ignore this.

You say "Job boards are still valuable assets in the recruiter’s toolbox despite the threat of being eclipsed by social media and online referral/networking sites such as LinkedIn."   If LinkedIn is going to eclipse job boards, why does LinkedIn run a job board? Do you think LinkedIn hasn't thought long and hard about its offering in the recruitment space?

I have seen a lot of 'job boards are dead' articles in the last 2 years, when there has been a glut of candidates on the market.  If/when the market tightens up, recruiters will again be running around looking for every available source of candidates, which will include job boards.

Poorly written or irrelevant content is not the sole preserve of job boards!

Job boards survive because, even if they have evolved, by and large recruiters haven't. There is a huge amount of readily available human capital data out there which you can use to target relevant candidates.  If you think that the best way to access candidates is to write an ad and hope they come to you, then you are going to need somewhere to post the ad where relevant candidates will see it. Which takes us back to Point 1 above.

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 4, 2012 at 7:51am

Alasdair - your quest for "great copy" is admirable.  Unfortunately, in the age of 140C (or less) we don't have room for any of your old school style.  It's "Are you a good fit for...." and then a link to your job posted verbatim from the company web site.

Written jobs are now only a string of skills required followed by perhaps a few sentences mandated by the legal department.  Especially when it comes to job boards - all I see are "We need XXXXXX" - rarely do I see reasons why XXXXXXX would need or want them.

Comment by Alasdair Murray on May 4, 2012 at 8:05am

Well I've just this minute finished writing a rather nice job ad for an Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, so some people/firms are still concerned with presenting themselves and their vacancies as professionally and alluringly as possible. And it pays off!

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 4, 2012 at 8:07am

We'd love to read it Alasdair.  Is it suitable for framing?  I like Jaguar - and Land Rover....though I drive a Chevy.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 4, 2012 at 12:25pm
Think of a job ad first paragraph as a 30 second commercial. It needs to have a Hook in it. I did one not long ago the first line read. "I will bet you a quarter that if you read the requirements and have at least half the skills needed on this newly created position, you will get a call or an email within 24 hours."

The response from good candidates was great and half of them started out their cover letter by saying, "I'll take that bet". They got a call or an email within 24 hours and could not believe it.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 4, 2012 at 12:36pm
@emily that should have read "do not" have a listing for. It was late, but you got the picture. There should be truth in advertising regs for recruiters. If this happens to anyone they absolutely should raise a stink.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on May 4, 2012 at 12:37pm

I'd love to show the ad to you Jerry but it's not published yet. Working on behalf of their advertising agency.


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2022   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service