Should job boards and employment sites have these features? Just wondering...

As noted in previous posts, I’ve been thinking lately about what makes a job board good – or not. Below are a few questions to that effect – and yes, some employment sites have these features, but most do not. Maybe there absent features you’ve wondered about?

  • Voice input for search: Hey, if you’re like the other 40-50% of job seekers who use their mobile device for job hunting, you probably dislike thumb-typing (and its attendant typos) as much as me. So why not, in the age of Siri and Google Voice, do the mobile job sites fail to offer voice-based search? It would be great! Please, do it, yesterday.
  • Targeted job distribution: I’m not talking about simple cross-posting, folks; I mean the kind of micro-targeting pioneered by Google that puts an employer’s jobs in front of potential candidates whether they’re sitting at a desktop, playing Angry Birds on their iPhone, or watching a webinar for extra CEUs. In other words, using BigData to big advantage – because not every qualified candidate visits your job board.
  • ATS neutralizer: Yes, ATSs are remarkably good at scaring away candidates; yes, job boards get blamed for ATS failures. But some job boards have figured out how to provide employers with ALL of their candidates – even if the candidates DIDN’T make it through the ATS. You know what – all employment sites need this kind of ‘ATS neutralizer’!
  • Recommendation engine: Amazon pioneered a remarkable (and occasionally spooky) ability to gather data on your behavior when on their site, then determine what you might be interested in. Now a new generation of recommendation engines have surfaced, utilizing additional data from your social interactions. So…why aren’t we seeing this on employment sites? No, not the simplistic “I noticed you have the job title ‘owner’, so you must want trucking jobs, since they are ‘owner/operator’. I’m talking about an employment site that looks at your profile, your resume, your search behavior, the data you put into your job alerts, your social connections, and any other scrap of data it can find to serve up useful, targeted employment opportunities – whether they are companies or actual jobs.
  • More employer options: So what if you’re an employer and you don’t necessarily want to post a job or search through resumes? For the vast majority of job boards, you’re screwed, because that’s it. How about some more options, like targeted job distribution, social media management, career site management, pre-screened and vetted candidates, talent community management, or a mobile career site/app/and more?
  • Rewards programs: Why don’t job boards have ‘frequent flier’ programs for both employers and job seekers – the more you use us, the more you get? Perhaps a job seeker could apply for a particular job via an aggregator – or via your site. Wouldn’t a rewards program tilt the odds in your favor? What’s more, you can offer rewards that make sense – a resume rework, a Starbucks gift card, or an interview fashion makeover.

I’ll be the first to admit that the above aren’t particularly earth-shattering or new – and that’s the point. These all rely on existing models, tools, techniques, what have you – and you should think about whether any of them make sense for your audience. What’s your idea?

Views: 419

Comment by Karl Deitz on September 20, 2012 at 1:27am

what makes a good job board?

How about good job ads, well written, targeted and carefully crafted ads that aren't obviously just a copy and paste hack job of the job description. Although the resource (Recruit Write Now to write better job ads )will never replace writing a great job ad it can certainly help lift the existing standard of most very ordinary job ads across most major job boards.

Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 20, 2012 at 9:04am

Compelling job ads are essential to attracting candidates - and they are also an excellent first step at screening out the wrong applicants.

Comment by Brian Bowman on November 5, 2012 at 8:23pm

Good ideas Jeff.  

I can tell you that with our newly relaunched site LocalJobs, we have a few of your suggestions:

  1. We have a mobile site - FINALLY.
  2. Our mobile site DOES allow voice search (using the iPhone voice functionality....just tested it :-);
  3. We have some great new functions for employers, such as our MatchCast.  An employer can upgrade a job post with MatchCast and then our technology scans/searches all the resumes and profiles to find a very nice MATCH of potential candidates for consideration.  Then, both job seeker and employer are notified via email about the potential good match and how to make a contact.  Pretty cool stuff (though not entirely new technology). 
  4. We're getting ready to rollout social media management services....
  5. We have a new Facebook widget that allows us to now push jobs to the employer Facebook Fan Page.

So, as a job board operator - glad to see from your recommendations that we're on the right track!  Now just need to drive more traffic!!!  We need to talk (smile).  Much thanks for your article.  Good stuff.


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