The #1 criteria on how to spot a good job board is: It looks good. Are you kidding?

Chris Russell is a veteran of the job board industry. He owns a number of job boards under the umbrella of Chris has a following on the Internet and people trust his advice, in short he is an industry expert.


In his recent blog post How to spot a good job board Chris describes 7 criteria of job boards worth using. His #1 criteria is: It looks good.


When I read this I went: Are you kidding? Why are looks of a job board more important than user productivity features which Chris does not even mention?


The Situation:

There are 14 million unemployed Americans looking for a job. The Internet path from job postings to interviews is a major information disaster making it a dreaded experience by the participants who walk it: Job seekers and recruiters. The open flood gates of millions of job postings on one side and hundreds, sometimes thousands of job applications per single job opening on the other stifles the Internet based hiring process.


The Problem:

Neither job seekers nor recruiters are equipped with efficient information filters to sort out this unprecedented tide of job postings and job applications. This causes a huge waste of time and money in both camps.


Let me offer an alternative list of how to spot a good job board:


Priority 1 through 5: It has a good information filter:


For job seekers: Filter the job postings with requirements that match a job seeker's skills and education. Based on a job seeker’s search criteria the job board displays only postings where the job requirements match that person’s skills and education. Displaying any other postings is pointless since the job application would be rejected by employers as “unqualified”. Job seekers tell me that more than half of the job postings they look at on common job boards don’t match their interest or their background but they cannot filter them out. It’s a waste of their time.


For recruiters: Filter job applications from job seekers who match the requirements in the job posting. If job seekers read only postings about jobs they are qualified for then there is no “haystack” or “spray and pray” or other synonyms of the same phenomenon generated from that job board (like this recent outcry of an overwhelmed recruiter). As a result recruiters don’t have to wade through job applications from job seekers who don’t qualify. This saves them time. If job boards filter job seekers then there no need for artificial gatekeepers like “custom questionnaires” or “resume scanners” which all cost money, need to be configured and have a limited effect.


Priority 6: It gives feedback to job seekers.

A good job board tells job seekers in the job listing which of the requirements in the job postings they match and which ones they don’t match. 


Below is an example how such job listings can look like. Instead of the text snippet often displayed under the job title of a job listing it shows the list of the job requirements. The requirements are organized in two sections: First the requirements the job seeker matches based on the job search criteria and second those the job seeker does not match. A job seeker can quickly iterate to job postings where he/she matches more than 50% of the requirements before applying.


Priority 7: It integrates easily with any other system

A good job board passes on the matching job requirements of candidates to recruiters when they apply. This allows recruiters to pre-sort the job applications.


Priority 8: It gives job seekers direction.

Job requirements can be aggregated and made available as priority lists (i.e.Top xx needed skills) for various talent types.


Example: Last Thursday, Brian Williams had a segment on his MSNBC Nightly News show about the skills gap of the US work force. Eric Spiegel, CEO of industry giant Siemens NA came on saying he is looking for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills and cannot find them. Watch which hiring priorities Mr. Spiegel has:


A good job board can analyze the requirements in job postings and generate a list of needed skills. Below are the Top 15 Engineering skills Siemens is looking for according to the job postings on their web site:


















Here is the link to the list of the job postings that contain these requirements.


By providing direction like such a skill priority list job seekers learn which skills are in demand with employers. Such priority lists do not change much over the course of several years. This allows the work force to invest into education that has a high chance of ROI. In the case of Siemens they will be making Gas Turbines, Pumps, etc. for some time to come.


Priority 9: It reaches places where common job boards cannot go.

Skill priority lists can easily be made available on web sites where the professionals who have the needed skills congregate (i.e. LinkedIn groups). Skill priority lists tell active and passive job seekers where demand is headed. If they are interested they can click through to the underlying job postings.



Implementing efficient information filtering is easier than you may think. The only thing recruiters need is what they always had: The job posting. No change necessary.


In case you wonder which job board would implement the above priorities, it is called KRAZOOM - Job Search without Search ( It is designed as a job aggregator board currently indexing the job requirements of 200,000 job postings.


But be warned: KRAZOOM is new (defies Chris’ criteria #7), it’s not glitzy (defies Chris’ criteria #1), it does not google well because it’s new (defies Chris’ criteria #5) and it does not have a blog.


It does have contact information (complies with Chris’ criteria #2):

KRAZOOM is a product of SkillPROOF Inc. ( in Bridgeport, CT.


Recruiters, if you have an information filtering problem contact us. We can save you time and money.


SkillPROOF Inc.

Henning Seip, President & CEO

Ph: 203-275-8155 or 917-463-3941




Views: 262

Comment by Chris Russell on August 22, 2011 at 4:10pm
Henning my criteria is merely an indicator of how successful a job board is likely to be when it comes to recruiting. In my experience a good design is an indicator of this but is just one of many a recruiter should look at.
Comment by Henning Seip on August 23, 2011 at 7:48am
Chris, if visual design is an indicator for likely success of a job board and not its functionality then either the functionality of the job boards are all the same or recruiters don't care about the functionality. That's hard to believe for me. I was really surprised that productivity features did not make your list.


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