Want to write your own 'job boards are dead' article? Here's a handy guide...

I’ve been consulting in the job board industry since 2009 and active with job boards for much longer. In all that time, a particular type of article / blog post / etc. has persisted and even occasionally thrived: the ‘job boards are dead‘ article. In fact, these have been so persistent and resilient (much like ‘Paul is dead‘ or ‘poinsettas are poisonous‘) that I thought it was time to catalog them. After all, perhaps you will someday be writing your own (erroneous) ‘job boards are dead’ post!

  •  Big job boards are dying: A current example of this type of article ishere. These usually focus on a couple of points: a) there are too many applicants per job posting; b) the applicants aren’t qualified. A problem with this critique: how can a job board be ‘dying’ if it is producing boatloads of applicants for its employers? That is not to say, of course, that unqualified applicants isn’t a problem – it is. But it seems that the quality of candidatesis the problem – rather than the fact that the job board is ‘dying’.
  • Job boards are old technology: When job boards came on the scene, part of their appeal was that they represented ‘new’ technology – a way of improving the results of the traditional newspaper classifieds. So it is somewhat ironic that job boards are now being criticized as ‘old’ technology. As with the previous example, there is some truth to the critique: ‘traditional’ job boards look and function much as they did in the 1990s. But there has been substantial change, too. There are job boards that are really career hubs, matching sites, social search sites, and so on. Bottom line: old technology is often in the eye of the beholder – and many sites are embracing ‘new’ technology.
  • Social recruiting will kill job boards: A very popular type of article – andsurprisingly enough, it is often used by social recruiting vendors and evangelists. A key part of this argument is LinkedIn, as in ‘Look at how well LinkedIn is doing! How can job boards possibly compete?‘. Sure, LinkedIn is doing well. But one company does not make an industry-killing trend, I think. Many job boards are actually incorporating social recruiting products into their lineups. Some companies have had success with social recruiting; some have not. I suspect this type of article will continue for as long as it is effective as a sales tool for social recruiting companies – and no longer.
  • Candidates hate job boards: These articles suggest that candidates hate job boards so much that they quit using them. Data indicates otherwise. The core candidate complaint, of course, is lack of response from employers – a problem that resides with the employer rather than the job board. This complaint also occurs in other hiring channels – even (!) on social recruiting sites.
  • Job boards are too expensive: As in, job boards have priced themselves out of reach – or they just aren’t worth the money. Sometimes this complaint is actually being directed at the big general boards. Occasionally it is derived from specific data: the employer is tracking cost of hire, and a given job board doesn’t produce. But to say that because some job boards are not cost effective, all job boards will die, is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

Of course, there are plenty of writers that are saying the exact opposite: job boards aren’t dying, they’re doing quite all right. See hereherehere, andhere. But…if you’d like to put together your own ‘job boards are dead’ article, please use the above guide – and let me know when you get published. I’ll want to include you in my next guide!

Views: 403

Comment by Derdiver on June 4, 2013 at 10:16am

haha LOVE this!!!  I just spoke about this very thing two weeks ago at a conference.  I like that people think JB are dead.  Makes it that much easier for me not to have the competition!!!

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on June 4, 2013 at 11:47am

The eternal effort to take the human brain and phone out of recruiting.  The boards are to recruiting what a supermarket is to a chef. 

Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on June 4, 2013 at 11:56am

Stephen, an excellent analogy.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 4, 2013 at 6:15pm

Love that Steve! we were just plotting a new "recruiting is dead" post so this was terrific :)

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