Today, I Googled the phrase ‘Are job boards…’ I wasn’t surprised to see the top suggested searches including ‘dead’, ‘profitable’ and ‘a waste of time’ pop up. The speculated end of the job board used to be just a whisper - these days it’s an open debate. This week, Jobsite announced a proposed sale to giant StepStone and Monster’s share prices continued on a downward dip. Is the end nigh?
With 60% of active candidates beginning the job search journey on Google and LinkedIn continuing on a path to market domination, a shift is undeniable. Clients say the proactive ‘outside the box’ thinkers capture the imagination in the recruiting race, and those systematically uploading CVs on to databases are simply sending Word documents into the void of cyberspace. If the quality apps are those outside the job board sphere, these jack-of-all-trades providers will struggle to compete.
Those set to benefit from the ‘demise’ of the generic job boards are the niche providers: your Stack Overflow, your Top Language Jobs. They never previously featured on my radar; now they’re a staple of the long-term strategy. Adding value through employer branding, upping PPC advertising and polishing profiles on LinkedIn: all are ‘new-age’ methods helping revive an old-school mentality. It gives the art of recruiting back to the recruiters, making job boards ever-more obsolete.
However, as a specialist in the entry-level market, I’m going to jump to the defence of the traditional ‘post and pray’ mantra: job boards do have their place. For me, it’s what graduates know and where they come to hunt. I won’t be a traditionalist desperately holding on to my VCR while Blu-Rays sweep the globe; as the market changes, I’ll be on the front line and #hashtagging my roles on Twitter. But if your applicant flow is coming from job boards, turning your back could cost valuable talent.
It’s all about getting the recipe right. If you’re recruiting higher up the ladder, a one-size-fits-all generic board won’t churn out the quality: on the other foot, you’re less likely to find entry-level talent sniffing around focus groups on LinkedIn. But if the latest trends show us anything, it’s the danger of putting all our eggs in one basket. So while I won’t be divorcing my job boards just yet, I will be keeping my options open.