Job Boards Will Die a Slow, Not Quick Death

Let’s face it – if a consultant is in-between projects or a full time employee has been laid off or in a bad situation; they are not hiding under a rock wanting recruiters/employers to not find them. They’re not hiding their profile only on social media websites where only a highly complex Boolean logic string will discover them.
Now you might say something along the lines of good people are always working & have a network, you don’t want anyone unemployed and passive/referred candidates are the best candidates.
I agree in theory; and it really boils down to what you are recruiting for. If you are looking for consultants for project based work you’re going to go after them differently than someone looking for quantitative analysis people with PhDs for direct hire work.
The fact remains that the job boards are not a dinosaur; yet anyway.
Candidates might not have their resume on a job board; but they check job board postings for positions that could be of interest.
If a resume is on the boards, the candidate might not like an unscheduled call while they’re at work or home with the family; but that attitude could change quickly if you have a great opportunity for them.
The point I’m making is job boards aren’t going to go away overnight to all the new, trendy social media sites. I enjoy LinkedIn. I enjoy Facebook. I’m on Twitter. I used to have a profile on MySpace; but going to these sites as your main area of new candidate sourcing is like wanting Cadillac service at a Chevy price.
Let me put this into context; of course you use your network, of course you use referrals and of course you try to think of any creative thing you can to find the right person for the job you’re trying to fill. When those ways don’t work what do you do? You hit the job boards and LinkedIn.
Maybe you hit the job boards first before tapping your network – why pass up on low hanging fruit?
I was at a recruiting event earlier this year where a person said “LinkedIn is like being at the office, Facebook is like being at home and MySpace is like being at the bar.” This person was an employee of LinkedIn, but I completely agree. LinkedIn is the best option for free candidate searches. Facebook/Twitter are very distant seconds; and MySpace isn’t even remotely relevant anymore.
MySpace’s share of the social networking market has tumbled with the situation being so dire that MySpace recently revealed that it had failed to attract enough online traffic to meet targets set in its advertising deal with Google and as a result would lose $100m this year (I don’t see any ‘A’ list candidates waiting to be found there).
Job boards aren’t going anywhere in the near future; and if a great candidate is desperate enough they will put their resume on one and brace for the onslaught of phone calls & emails. If they’re smart they’ll just have an email address with no phone number and weed out the good from the bad that way.
LinkedIn is great; but as a technology recruiter, when the going gets tough for fresh talent I can find good to great candidates from the boards & board postings. You might not find the candidate on the job board that’s right; but if you’re savvy enough they can lead you to someone who is.

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Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on December 16, 2009 at 9:19am
Excellent points, Greg. I'm obviously biased, but the bottom line is that job boards continue to perform several useful functions for job seekers - help in researching the market, and (sometimes) a link into a good employer. Smart job boards will integrate the best parts of social media into their sites.
Comment by Chris Russell on December 16, 2009 at 10:37am
Ok I have a little problem with the title of this post, I'm tired of seeing the phrase 'job boards will die'. Job boards are NOT going away. The classified job ad will live forever and it will need a place to be found. That place IS a job board.
Comment by John Hughes on December 16, 2009 at 11:25am
We are working towards merging the traditional job board with social media on our site. Candidate response has been excellent but most corporate recruiters are still gravitating towards the traditional job boards. I was a Recruiting Director for many years and diligently measured are sources. We simply called it the "sourcing scorecard". The results continuouly pointed to job boards being highly relevant to filling roles. http://www.bigdoghub.com
Comment by Todd Kmiec on December 16, 2009 at 12:34pm
Good points Greg. I had a conversation with a neighbor yesterday that touched on this. He's a really talented guy with some very specialized skills and he is ending his current venture now. For the first time in 15 years he is looking for a new opportunity and he only wants very specific opportunities. He is reaching out to his own network of contacts like all highly skilled candidates should, but also wants to do more. He is interested in putting together a LinkedIn profile and connecting with people in the industry, but not interested in putting his resume on a job board yet. He is looking around at job board ads to see what appropriate needs may be there and is applying to select ones. He is in tech and has never heard of Dice. There is definitely still a place for job boards and the perception of them has definitely changed (they are not looked upon as favorably as they used to). However, it's still all about finding the righ person whether you are a hiring manager, corp recruiter or TPR and anything that helps get that done provides value.
Comment by Dean Davis on December 16, 2009 at 3:39pm
Here we go again...... Wow .... How many times have we seen this same post.... Job Boards will die.. This same post comes up every 10 days from someone who has not been paying attention to the other 200 people who said the same thing over the last 10 years. Let me repeat my prediction that Twitter will be long gone while job boards roll on. Facebook on the other hand is hear to stay. JobHill.com - Discount Niche Job Boards
Comment by Joe Stubblebine on December 17, 2009 at 9:14am
I agree with Rayanne. Job Boards are very 1.0 now with no peer-to-peer interaction or jobseeker-to-employer interaction; a simple and boring post-response model. Still effective, and still very low-hanging fruit for recruiters. Those job boards that evolve and integrate Social Media usability concepts into their existing product will survive. Many job boards have a huge wealth of information on candidates and gigantic database repositories that could easily be used to start connecting people together and facilitate community and conversations. The boards that are nimble and aggressive, and those that own their own development platforms, will evolve. The cookie-cutter, template-based job storefront sites will have a much harder time.

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