Oh, to be the new kid on the block! Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of social media are experiencing that thrill – they’re new, exciting, and can do no wrong.

A while back, job boards were the new kids. No more messy newsprint, no more limits on ad length, immediate results – what was not to like? Recruiters flocked to job boards and, in the process,
made many boards very profitable.

But things have changed. Job boards are old news, like those ugly, dependable leather shoes your mother made you wear to ‘protect your feet’. Sure, job boards continue to connect millions of job seekers with
millions of employers – but they’re boring (at least, that’s what the pundits say).

And so we come to the subject of this post: Why do (some) recruiters hate job boards? I find this fascinating, because of course lots of recruiters don’t hate job boards. But a vocal sub-group does, so let’s see why:

  • Job boards are too expensive: That can translate into “too many $$ for too few candidates”, “just too damned high”, or “not free like social media”. Seems to apply primarily to the ‘big’
  • Job boards’ results aren’t what they used to be: Usually comes from recruiters who have been in the market for more than 4 years.
  • Job boards are filled with bad postings: In this case, a ‘bad posting’ can range from a ‘work at home’ scam to a duplicate posting.
  • Job boards don’t attract the right audience: The audience is too old, too young, too unskilled, too high-priced, etc. Again, depends on the recruiter.
  • There are too many job boards: In other words, too many choices, and all of them are bad.

As a mentor once told me, when a customer says you’re too expensive, he or she is usually telling you something else – and it’s your job to find out what that something is.

In this case, when recruiters tell job boards they hate (well, maybe hate is too strong – loathe?) them, the job boards in question should find out what the real problem is – and try to
fix it.

At the end of the day, I believe the vast majority of recruiters focus on results – and if job boards can produce the best results, then recruiters will use them. Even if job boards aren’t the next big thing.

Views: 389

Comment by Alasdair Murray on May 5, 2010 at 12:19pm
With slightly less respect (only kidding) I am not sure there's the great divide between people who use job boards for whatever purpose and those that use Linkedin that you say there is.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on May 5, 2010 at 12:24pm
Indeed, the market will decide. As I say, those that think they will be able to recruit for free (and still charge a fat fee incidentally) are deluding themselves.
Comment by Kevin Jenkins on May 5, 2010 at 12:29pm
Hi Jeff,

As I mentioned in my original post, it depends on the type of candidate you are recruiting for. As I said, the A-Player are NOT on job boards, and that's a fact. Furthermore, it's important to take into consideration that companies don't have a lot of choices now, they're locked into paying the steep prices because the boards can still get it. But that will change and the "flood gates" will open once the talent pipeline approach to recruiting takes root. I appreciate your position and think everybody has a valid position; mine is still that job boards as we know them today will not exist in 3-5 years.
Comment by Kevin Jenkins on May 5, 2010 at 12:31pm
There is a huge difference Alasdair, if you're talking about candidates when you refer to "people" as users of LinkedIn. The difference is between the active candidate and the passive candidate. You can find high value candidates on LinkedIn, and not so much so on job boards.
Comment by Phil Peters on May 5, 2010 at 1:18pm
Kevin, We must be reading the same book and we are absolutely on the same page.
Comment by Kevin Jenkins on May 6, 2010 at 12:34am
Those are some great points, Glenn. Recruiters are by far the major customer segment for job boards. Effective and resourceful recruiters don't pay steep prices for access to mediocre resumes when they can simply pick up the phone and do some referral networking to get warm introductions to top tier candidates for absolutely free. In fact, I am seeing many companies now insisting that 3rd party recruiters not use job boards because they don't want the type of candidates their own "administrative oriented" internal HR can easily find themselves. They want real value: recruiters with quality networks that know how to work them to find candidates they themselves can't.
Comment by Kevin Womack on May 10, 2010 at 7:52pm
Great Article. I've always viewed job boards as "One of the tools in the toolbox". They should be used in conjunction with other tools like Social Networks, ATS (Database), Postings, Referral Networks, Direct Sourcing, etc. I find that Job Boards have their place - Quick Fill Contracts/Temps, Passive Candidates that Answer Posts, etc. but I know that I can't live by Job Board alone.

Thanks for the article.
Comment by Ann Marie on May 13, 2010 at 1:01am
I completely agree with your statement about results. If job boards produced results than we’d continue using boards at the rate we did. Since more folks are using social media outlets as part of their day to day we now see more organizations investing in these kinds of tools. In turn, I see more companies redirecting dollars from job boards to social media outlets. So they’re visible to pools of applicants they’re targeting in the areas where applicants are spending their time, which even for job seekers aren’t just the job boards anymore. Since lots of people and potential candidates are spending a fair amount of time participating in online communities organizations are making sure they’re visible to these pools of folks in the spaces they’re gathering.


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

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

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