Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Low Down on Job Boards

The Superbowl is just around the corner, which means that we'll probably see a ton of creative job board advertisements during half-time. The ads are great, but really, do job boards work? Why do they feel like a black hole?

1. Job boards work. About 13% of the time, according a popular survey of major employers, who report that 13% of their external hires come from job boards. A break down of the sources of hires:
2. Companies pay a lot of money to advertise their jobs on job boards. About $60B dollars a year is spent on recruitment advertising. Companies want to find you on job boards, so as not to waste their investment.

3. For the most part, the problem lies with job descriptions, not job boards. Job descriptions are notoriously inaccurate. They get re-used. They're outdated. They don't describe the nuance of the position. Some stuff -- like the company is looking for a young person, or someone more mature, or the manager hates people from Company X -- can't be put in writing. So every time you apply for a position, there is a huge chance that you're not right for the job, despite what the job description says. This is not likely to improve much. No one gets accolades for writing accurate job descriptions. In fact no one really claims responsibility for this task. Sometimes recruiters will take the time to make the description sexy ("bleeding edge technology" "kick-a$$ analyst wanted"), but you won't find out the real requirements of the job until you talk to someone.

4. The best approach includes applying online via a job board or the company career site AND doing everything you can to network with someone in the company to get referred. Speed counts. The faster you apply for a job online, the greater chance your resume will get reviewed.

Lastly, we can't think of a single job board that is worth your hard-earned money. Job boards, at their best, are free for jobseekers. Job boards, including this one, should get their money from employers, not jobseekers. Period.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tweetajob Joins the IAEWS

We're thrilled to announce that we have joined the International Association of Employment Websites, an organization that supports the global online employmentservices industry. Yep, we're playing with the big boys and girls!

The IAEWS has more than 40,000 members! There are more than 40,000 websites where jobseekers get employment information online. Kind of blows your mind, doesn't it? Tweetajob's goal is to member websites use Twitter more effectively to post jobs and find talent.

We can't wait to network with other job boards to talk about improving the social recruiting experience for jobseekers and recruiters. Onward 2011!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year - Own it!

Quite by accident, I rang in the new year with the inaugural minutes of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). In my pajamas, I watched as this remarkable lady launched her own television network, and was reminded of a time, some years ago, when I actually met her.

It was the mid-90s, her nationally televised talk show was getting its sea legs. At that point, she could not command presidents and heads of state as guests. She was still
Oprah Winfrey, with a first name and a last name. I wa
s living in Chicago, and my mom was visiting from Detroit. She was a big Oprah fan, so I managed to get tickets to a taping.

The taping itself was not memorable. In fact, it was an awful show that featured the relatives of the victims of a famous serial killer. I could tell my mother was a bit disappointed after the show. But then, something magical happened. The producers asked the audience to line up to meet Oprah. My mother and I found ourselves near the end of the line, but no matter. Oprah stood there and personally greeted every single audience member -- I would say 200 or so folks -- with a smile, a handshake, a friendly word, a funny comment.

Apparently she did this after ever taping.

I have never forgotten how this woman -- clearly a rising star -- took the time to connect with strangers. My mother certainly hasn't forgotten it. Years and years later, she still talks about it. And she never misses Oprah. That day, Oprah made 200 life-long fans.

I learned something from Oprah. I learned the importance of connecting with people. Of being in the moment. After that show - bad as it was - she owned it. The show may have been dreadful, but it was her show, and she was grateful that we were there. What a lesson!


I am reminded of my first management job. I was suddenly promoted, plucked from my peer group, to do a job I had never done before. I had one direct report and a short timeline to prove myself. I'll never forget the words of our HR leader when I expressed my doubts about being a manager. He said, simply, "own it.". So I did.

Some years later, I offered the same advice to someone experiencing the same thing. A colleague who was experienced and talented and wise was reluctant to take on a leadership role. I offered her the same advice. As everyone around her could already see, she was a born leader. She needed only to own it.


So, in this new year, we have new opportunities to go at it with everything we have. And while few of us plan to launch television networks, we have dreams and goals and resolutions that we can own. We can step into whatever greatness awaits us, as if we were meant to be there all along.