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 They're outdated.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.

No comments: