The same thing that's dragged job boards down will kill off social recruiting (or why recruiters fail to grasp the concept of advertising)

Honestly, if I had a penny for every time I have read about how the job boards are dying I'd have ooh, let me see now, at least one of the Queen's English pounds sterling. And you know what? they are not dying of old age, they are being poisoned into oblivion by the very people who are meant to make them work - the recruiter.

Yes siree, it doesn't take much figuring out. Social media isn't the holy grail these gurus would have you believe it is. Post the same crap as you've been putting up on the job boards for the last few years onto Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin and see what happens. You'll still get a poor response.

The fact is, candidates, the decent ones at least, have tired of job boards to a great degree because they are inhabited not with alluring advertising messages that sell the virtues of the employer and the role, but rather with poorly written, error strewn offerings that try in vain to pass themselves off as recruitment advertisements.

Just look at a typical job board and click on a few. Cut and pasted job descriptions that haven't even been spaced properly, so just one huge block of text; schoolboy (or girl) grammatical errors, even job titles with spelling mistakes in them.

Imagine for a minute if you will that advertisers in all walks of life approached their business in the same way. That they started talking to their potential customers like idiots or writing their advertisements like children. People would stop buying their products and they would soon go out of business. Well guess what? People have stopped buying into job boards to a great extent because so many recruiters are just not making the effort to talk to their potential audience in an attractive, grown up, error free and alluring way. Instead they are treating would be applicants like idiots who will apply to anything that has the word 'job' in it. In short, recruiters are killing the job board, no one else.

So, all you recruiters out there who are guilty of the above sins, if you're convinced that job boards are yesterday's news and that social networking is where it's at, carry on posting up your badly thought through excuses for advertisements and see how long it takes before the very same people that turned their noses up at you on job boards do exactly the same on social networks. I guarantee that will happen if you continue posting links to job ads that at best don't sell and at worst I wouldn't expect my seven year old to write.

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Comment by Patricio Carjuzaa on July 22, 2010 at 3:57pm
Although I agree job descriptions should tempt you to learn more about the opportunity and make you want to dig deeper into both the job and company, rather than just present an extensive list of “must haves” and “nice to haves”, I am more inclined to believe that candidates tend to NOT apply to jobs on boards/soc|buss networks since they NEVER receive a response from recruiters, unless of course, they find their skills match the search.

I find this very disrespectful and pretty frustrating for candidates. A person sits down, takes the time to work on a resume that best describes their abilities, spends countless hours surfing the internet looking for a place they feel they’d fit and eventually belong, and they never hear back from the companies/agencies. Only those who use talent management systems (software such as Taleo, Brass Ring, Kenexa, etc.) have SOMETIMES enabled said systems to shoot an automated response explaining “you will be contacted IF your qualifications match the specific search” you’ve applied to.

Recruiters: write better copy, and please GET OFF YOUR BUTTS and get back to applicants. Create relationships, even if they don’t match your current searches. Value human interaction that will weave wider contact networks, thus benefiting your clients, your candidates and yourself. Respect people’s time.

Remember how you complain “candidates aren’t replying to my e-mails and voicemail, and my deadline for submittals is this Friday”? Hmm…


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