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  • Job Boards And Their New Role in Your “Social” Job Search

    If you’re a job seeker, or you were in the past, then you know what a job board is. It’s a database of “open” positions at companies looking to hire specific talent and they are searchable by multiple filters, such as geography and company name.  They make money per job listing and have other advertising options, such as banners.  In November, The Conference Board reported that job postings were down by 83,000 in October.  Other figures I’ve seen over the past few years have shown the decline in job postings, not just because of the economic turmoil, but due to the high costs associated with each posting.

    Price comparison

    I did some research, and I noticed that overall traditional job boards are much more expensive than alternatives, such as LinkedIn and Craigslist.  In the adjacent chart, I’ve compared prices from Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn and Craigslist.  You could argue that there are more resumes and unique visitors on the traditional sites, but they actually don’t bring in the best candidates.  A recent study was conducted that showed that on average, LinkedIn produced fewer resumes per posting — 39 versus about 45 — but produced a higher yield per posting of qualified candidates: 11 versus 3.  This is great for recruiters because they spend less and get more.

    The point of this chart comparison is to show you that the major traditional job boards haven’t adjusted their rates to take into account that recruiters can find candidates for free online, using one of thousands of social media sites and search engines.  Would you want to hire someone you saw on a job board or someone that was recommended to you by a friend or colleague?  The way in which we discover talent has changed and job boards need to adjust if they want to exist.

    The problem with job boards

    I have friends who work at major online job board sites, but I’ve never been sold on them. Years ago I received a few interviews from job listings on Monster, but the positions were filled even before my interview.  The major issue here is that hiring managers don’t trust people who submit their resume through a job board, even though they are paying for the posting!  They would much rather have a colleague forward a resume of a trusted friend, than receive someone that they have to take a bigger chance on.

    Companies are “risk adverse.”

    3 Reasons why you should NOT submit your resume on job boards:

    1. Many listed jobs have already been filled.
    2. Your resume goes into a large database and you don’t stand out.
    3. Employers look at job boards as their last hope to fill a job.

    The new job search process and how job boards fit in

    I’ve spoken a lot about the demise of job searching and the rise of “people searching” in the past. The idea behind this concept is that we get jobs through people (you get interviewed by a person, not a fax machine) and hiring managers and recruiters are freely accessible on online social networks.  It all comes back to a relationship driven system, instead of a job board driven database.  That is not to say that you should ignore job boards altogether.

    The incorrect way: Applying for jobs using job boards is a waste of time because you can be competing against thousands of people and your resume vanishes into a black hole (along with reasons mentioned above).

    The correct way: Go to a job board and review the different job postings that interest you and then use social networks to locate either the hiring manager or someone else that works at that company and build a relationship with them.

    It’s no longer about finding the latest job opening; now it’s about finding the right people who can help you.

    Your turn

    Have job boards been effective for your search?

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Job Search, Networking, Personal Branding, Recruitment, Social Media, Success Strategies
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