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.

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Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 4, 2012 at 3:32pm

I agree with Peter C that those who call me without sending their resume first are annoying.  As a recruiter i need something called a resume in order to speak with them effectively.  I can visit with them hear what they have to say which about half the time leaves out the fact that they have had 19 jobs in the past 5 years.  Those conversations end quickly with me asking them to send me a resume.  Teaching people to go around a process is creating a mess that is irritating a lot of hiring managers , wasting a lot of time for both candidates and companies.

 

If someone is nice enough to leave a voice message that they saw the ad and would like to know just a key point or two about salary range or exact location before they send the resume i normally call them back.  If they use it as way to get me on the phone and go into a pitch about how their skills are transferrable blah, blah it's a short call as well as those who go into a monologue pitch when i can't begin to follow it without a resume.

 

Ian, God forbid that we spent our days talking to people who are not qualified and are not able to focus our time with candidates who will follow the process which indicates they would follow company protocol if they were hired.

It's this kind of going around the process that has contributed to many of the pitfalls of the "candidate experience".

Candidates are not supposed to have an experience.  They are looking for a job, it's not fun, it's a job.  Every job has some sort of expected protocol if you can't or won't follow it expect the experience to be less than warm and fuzzy.  If you want an experience go to a self actualization seminar or go skydiving.

Comment by Peter on May 4, 2012 at 3:47pm

I think it's funny that professional recruiters somehow infer that I would attempt to monopolize their time or that the candidate calling is some sort of time leach or inferior being.  Perhaps that's not what you or Peter C. meant, but that's certainly how it's coming across - elitist.


To clarify, Sandra - I generally do precisely what you mention - I ask specific questions.  Why should I waste MY valuable time applying through your (crappy) process if it's not even a possibility of a fit on the front end (either for you or for me)?  I think it wastes more time for recruiters to exert such energy to stay up in their ivory towers proclaiming to the peasants that they should keep in line.

I'll stipulate that candidates just calling for the sake of chatting and attempting to pitch themselves is one thing.  It's a completely other thing when a candidate wants to value their time AS MUCH as the recruiter's and simply wants to verify a couple of specific points.  Add to that the fact that my LinkedIn mirrors my resume precisely, and we eliminate a lot of chatty time and get down to it - am I qualified and should I waste MY valuable time on your process?

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 4, 2012 at 3:52pm

Well this is just great. If I don't talk to every Tom, Dick and Harry, not to mention Sally, that wants to ask questions about our company or application process then I'm a jerk that doesn't care about the candidate experience. Not to mention all the potential referrals Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally could possibly give me for jobs I need to fill even though the fab foursome isn't remotely qualified for any of them.

 

On the other hand, I sort of like qualified candidates who take the intiative and try to contact me to let me know they're interested. Especially if they've taken the time to read the job description, draft a resume and cover letter that shows a match, and - oh yes - APPLY. A quick email, linkedin message or even phone call to say "I've applied thanks hope to hear from you" will cause me to go straight to my ATS and find them.

 

The right approach is the one that gets you the desired outcome - period.

Comment by Peter on May 4, 2012 at 4:25pm

Exactly, Amy.  You're not a "jerk" if you don't talk to everyone and I'm not suggesting you should.  The key is in your 2nd paragraph and parting statement.

Sandra - to state that the candidate isn't "supposed to have an experience" is pretty incredible coming from a longtime recruitment professional.  I always advised my clients (hiring businesses) that how a candidate is treated during their hiring process shows how the candidate, if hired, will be treated as an employee.  If the hiring process is "x,y,z - do it when and as I say and shut your mouth, underling" then I can give a fairly good prediction on the culture of the company and what that candidate/employee can expect.

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 4, 2012 at 4:52pm

Will someone else admit that if the candidate is relevant, it doesn't matter how many rules s/he broke on the way in.  And if someone is not relevant, it doesn't matter how well they followed procedure.  Thank you.  

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 4, 2012 at 5:13pm

@Bill - I admit that if the candidate fills the job I don't care if Santa dropped him or her down my chimney.

 

@Peter - I know what you meant earlier and I agree, just being a little facetious. We call it Feisty Friday around here :)

Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on May 4, 2012 at 6:51pm

@Bill Shultz........they're never the good candidates who call.  They're the annoying ones....typically.  Here's the deal.  We have a process for applying and it clearly states "no phone calls".  So pay attention to that.  I run the entire HR department from A-Z......therefore the reason I have a process is in place is to be efficient with my time.  Trust me....if you're really that great and have the skills and background I'm looking for, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll get in touch with you.  My industry is specialized E-Commerce, therefore everyone else is looking for the mostly 'rare-breed" candidates that I'm looking for and I DO look at every resume that is submitted for every opening, so I'm not going to miss you.  However, if you start calling me, emailing me and try to reach my hiring manager, you go into the "annoying" pile because you don't follow the rules.  Rules are made so rules must be followed.  And if you're that great, then you should have tried connecting with me on Linked In when I don't have an opening, but a background that I'd be interested in down the road.  And it doesn't matter if you're C-level or the janitor, makes no difference to me Peter if you think rank and hierarchy count.  It doesn't.  We all have a lot on our plates and processes help us manage that. 

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 4, 2012 at 6:55pm

"if you're really that great and have the skills and background I'm looking for, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll get in touch with you."

Thank you.  

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 4, 2012 at 7:50pm

@ Peter, don't take yourself so gawd damned seriously.  I said i have no problem with a candidate making a quick call to find out if the salary range is workable for him or determine if there is a relo package not mentioned or something of that ilk.  But trust me your linkedin profile is not going to take the place of a resume.  If a process is crappy if all that is involved in it is you wasting your VALUABLE time to fire me an email  with your resume ,then you my friend are the elitist and much too important for my humble abode. 

 It is not all about you the individual.  there are thousands of folks out there looking for jobs.  Consider what the process would look like if they all just started calling everybody in the company, wouldn't fill out an app or send a resume.  Stomped their little foot and said, "everything is on my linkedin profile, i don't like your crappy process, i dont' want to send a resume, i want to call you on my valuable time no matter what is on your schedule, i want your attention, and i want it now, on my terms.  See i want you to hire me, pay me, make my life wonderful in a fabulous company culture where i can grow, learn ,be promoted, have work/life balance, execllent benefits and above all i want to have a kissy gem of a candidate experience if i think you can give me all that shit i need.  Fill out your application and go through whatever protocol you have set up to handle the hundreds of thousands of people who want the same thing.  No, no, no, not moi, moi is much too valuable to be treated as if i am not special.  You will accept my terms , roll out the red carpet and provide me with a wonderful day where i am treated like the little prince that i think i am.  You will get back to me before i have time to get in the limmo that you sent to the airport with glowing reports of how wonderful i am and let me know i will have an offer waiting for me by the time i get home.  Oh and by the way, we need to address the relo package, your standard package for my level is just not acceptable.

I am simply bored with all the hue and cry of the candidate "experience".  For decades people have been treated graciously by any and all companies who invited them in for an interview.  Just as they are by most recruiters.  However i will totally disagree with your statement that how people are treated during the interview process reflects how they are treated as employees or reflects the company culture.  Interviewing people is not something that people in businesses do everyday.  I hear far more stories about how the candidate went through a slick dog and pony show interview sell a thon, went to work and wondered what happened to all the hype he got during the interview process.  I have also had beaucoup people tell me that the interview process was like a goat rodeo because everybody was busy, somebody got called to a meeting , somebody else had to sit in for them etc. etc.  it was wild.  They got the job and when they went to work it was great, organized, busy, laid back people who were not frantic trying to do their job and interview candidats at the same time. 

 

It occurs to me that most of the folks bitching about the "candidate experience" are those who did not get hired, applied for a job that was not a fit, had too many job changes, didn't want to provide a resume , wanted the world to shift to their linkedin profile, or in some fashion either in the interview or after the interview drove people nuts with phone calls, sent demanding emails, tried to connect either before or after the interview with employees of the company and didn't take a reasonable business approach to the whole process. 

 You can't go to your bank and tell them you want a loan without filling out a loan application.  You can't go to your doctor and be treated without filling out an information sheet.  You can't get insurance on your vehicle without filling out an application.  You can't buy a home without filling out a loan application and providing the required information.  You can't buy an airline ticket and board a plane without showing your drivers license.  You can't get a credit card without filling out an application.

You can call a million different places and talk to them about getting a credit card, getting insurance, getting a loan, buying a home, joining a club, getting your kid into school, joining a club or for God's sake signing up for a website.  Why in the name of God people think they can get a job by calling a hiring manager on the phone and get treated like the queen is coming to tea without sending a resume ,filling out an application, making an appointment with the appropriate person is beyond me.  It's not "candidate experience" ,most of the time with most companies or recruiters it's two business people have a business discussion.  A cordial informative communication between two professionals who take a minute to be sure the other has all the information they need prior to the meeting time.  If a client calls me to ask for a proposal before i am invited to meet with them in person i am not going to tell them my time is valuable, they need to look at my website and i will call their boss to talk to the boss before i am willing to send them anything just to see if i really want to send a proposal. Nor am i going to tell them that i don't like their crappy process,  I afterall an experience recruiter, i am looking for a "service provider experience".  Bat Crap with all this silliness. 

 

@Bill if a perfect candidate calls me, most of the time they have enough sense to ask if they can make an appointment to come meet with me.  If i ask them to email me a resume they never hesitate to do so.  It has been my experience that the ones who want to beat in my ear for 30 minutes or the little shits that tell me they prefer i look them up on linkedin rather than email a resume are the ones who can go have thier candidate experience someplace else.  I work with and represent business professionals who understand that there are protocols in any business situation and they have no problem following them.

 

 

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 4, 2012 at 7:59pm

I have no idea how you assume that  contacting a hiring manager makes you a little bitch who doesn't want to send a resume and wants to get treated like a queen.  

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