Why job boards will never replace good recruiters

I have seen many articles written about how companies are using job boards and direct hire methods to cut out the recruiter, and true there are roles that can be hired with little or no interview required (these methods really inspire employee engagement from the outset….not).   True you can get a 100 applicants from LinkedIn, or such like, and have the HR administrator or internal recruiter spend a few hours sifting through the CVs, then a few hours more arranging tests, plus a few more hours for the initial screening interviews, oh and just a few more setting up the next stage so that the candidate finally gets in front of the hiring manager….. phew!! 

Meanwhile, during the long winded admin process, the hiring manager at your competitor has picked up the phone to his trusted recruiter and has 2 CVs that hit the mark inside of 24hrs. He could interview within 48hrs, put the candidate in front of the board within a week, and make the offer. Now from a candidate perspective which would you prefer? From a hiring manager perspective which would you prefer?

Having surveyed our own candidates many of them said they would not apply to a job on a job board because they never hear anything other than the automated response or when they do hear back it’s been over 2 weeks and they have moved on or become disinterested in the advert they applied for. Many times they didn’t even know which companies they were applying to! Now granted great job adverts on solid job sites, branded by the company, will engage the audience – but how many potential candidates are you missing? So many candidates seem to be giving up on the job boards and simply asking a recruiter to make it easy by providing the introductions to their target companies. There is a lot of “them and us” between job boards, recruiters and employers. It is my belief that in order to get the very best from the talent pool a company has to have an integrated policy that cannot be set by salary level, which the market seems to think is acceptable. For example it’s OK to reach out to search firms for executive hires but not use a job board. Conversely hiring policy suggests that for more junior positions we cannot use recruiters. This just seems absurd, why not take it position by position rather than create a sweeping policy that cuts off certain areas of the available human capital to your organization.


In the title I specifically say “good recruiters” which means those that know their market, want a partnership approach and are honest about their deliverables. Often client frustration occurs when a recruiter cannot deliver within the stated timeframe often leaving the hiring manager or board in a workload crisis! Most agencies will already be using job boards as part of their research approach but they are not used in isolation. When combined with headhunting and talent mapping plus the variety of other tools at their disposal, good recruiters will know the market. Why pay an internal resource to repeat work already done by a partner consultancy? Plus we have whole teams dedicated to research, it’s our life blood, so how can an internal resource compete?

Finally, relationships matter: a job board can’t understand the personality required to “fit in”; a job board won’t call you back at 11pm when you’re still in the office swamped in work and need a solution fast; a job board can’t tell fact from fiction; a job board won’t take background references; a job board won’t give you free advice and a job board wont have done all this before you pick up the phone to the recruiter who is already dealing with candidates that you are looking for. Plus job boards cost money regardless of success – when dealing with a contingent recruiter you don’t pay them unless they deliver! Now contingent job board fees, there’s an idea…

Views: 1251

Comment by Steven J Sergi on February 24, 2012 at 11:09am

AMEN!   The key element here is your definition of "Good Recruiters".   I'm constantly reminding my team to pick up the phone and talk, it's a dying art today! 

Comment by Chris Bailey on February 24, 2012 at 11:52am

Thanks Steven I'm still smirking at my final comments re a contigent fee based job board.... But I have so many clients that are just to busy (or actually just dont get social media) to be worried about it. So they pick up the phone...

Comment by Kenneth Peck on February 24, 2012 at 11:54am

Good article on why 3rd party recruiters are an important resource.


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