Have job boards outlived their usefulness? Most recruiters agree that they can be helpful in certain situations, but others say the job board is dead and new social recruiting techniques have replaced them. The amount of competition between job boards makes them ineffective, since posting a job listing on each and every popular job board could cost an arm and a leg. And they are seen by some as the easy way out, somthing only lazy recruiters use as their primary method of recruitement. The best recruiters, the thinking goes, use their networks to hire strong candidates.

Many HR professionals are no longer using the big job boards like Monster or Careerbuilder to source candidates. Instead, they are turning to niche job boards. These smaller, more focused sites allow recruiters to fine-tune their search efforts by limiting the audience to candidates who are seeking work in the specific industry that they’re recruiting for. Specialized job boards are more effective, because smaller-scale sites are more likely to pull in qualified candidates with experience and a true interest in the field of work. In contrast,the major sites are viewed by thousands of candidates, but most of them have absolutely no interest in your job. Yet you’re still paying for them to see it.

HR professionals that mass hire are still using the big job boards, but for others there’s been a major shift in the way recruiting happens. It’s no longer about sending out your open job position to every job board, to try to reach every applicant no matter whether they’re qualified, interested, or even in the same industry. The new trend is to send open job positions to a small group of well-qualified candidates and create an experience that is unmatched by your competition.

Job boards are only useful when you use them the right way. They can be good for company branding, by getting the company’s name out.  But for most, with the overabundance of candidates seeking work today, sending out your open job position to several thousands of candidates no longer works. It just results in too many responses and resumés to read through.  Making the shift towards niche boards provides the greatest ROI. But recruiters would do well to develop a strategy that includes several different talent pipelines to siphon well-qualified individuals into their candidate pool. In doing so, they’ll have a better chance at winning the talent search game, and hiring the best for their organizations.

Will job boards be around in the next decade? Probably. Will be they as effective as they once were? Probably not. If you want to use a job board, start out with the specialized niche boards, which can be found with a quick online search, because they’ll give you the most relevant and qualified candidates.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.

4 Comments

  • Avatar Lauren says:

    I definitely agree with this! Niche jobs boards are much more beneficial for recruiters than the major ones.

    I work at Bubble Jobs, a niche digital jobs board, and we see much more job-relevant and successful candidates apply for the jobs we list than perhaps our clients may have received had they just used major jobs boards.

  • Avatar Lilly says:

    The big job boards are a good starting place for an Internet job or candidate search, but they’re really losing their steam whilst industry-specific online job boards keep on gathering pace. I think we all aren’t that far from refusing from big job boards in favor of niche ones.

  • Avatar Matthew says:

    The biggest drawback of major job boards is that sometimes it’s very difficult to direct your resume to a named individual or to follow up after responding to a job posting. Because of the huge volume of responses that employers receive the hiring process has become very mechanized and less personal than it used to be.

  • Avatar Elma says:

    Public job boards aren’t the most effective recruiting method for specialized positions. Niche job boards can provide a better location for advertising industry-specific opportunities and they seem to contain less spam-like opportunities.

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