What was job hunting like before job boards? Well….
- You obsessively pored through each line of the newspaper classifieds, looking for something that might match your skills. (You might even do this with multiple newspapers, depending on where you lived.)
- You walked from office to office, filled out application forms – either for actual jobs, or so that you were ‘on file’.
- You had special ‘resume paper’ and matching envelopes to send out – and your typewriter always had a new ribbon, for clean, crisp text.
- You usually focused on jobs in your immediate geographic area – because you had few ways to learn about jobs elsewhere (unless your local library was particularly well stocked with out of town newspapers).
- You ‘worked your network’ by cornering friends, relatives, and friends of relatives at parties – and pestering them for job leads.
And what of employers in this bygone era? Was it good for them, too?
- You spent LOTS of money on newspaper ads.
- You had no easy way of reaching candidates outside of your newspaper’s region – so you settled for what you could get.
- You had legions of administrative assistants juggling letters, resumes, and scraps of paper.
- You had a sign in the office window, too.
Job boards changed everything - in my opinion, for the better. Just think:
- For the first time, job seekers could easily search for jobs with certain keywords. They didn’t have to wonder if the ‘perfect job’ was hiding in an obscure classified category that they had missed.
- Employers could afford to post most (if not all) of their openings – increasing the chance of better hires in the bargain.
- Job seekers could find large concentrations of jobs in their profession on niche job boards.
- Candidates could apply online – cheaper, faster, better.
- Employer could take more space to talk about their opportunities – and not worry about the ‘column inch charge’.
- Job seekers saved time, money, and paper by posting their resumes online.
- For the first time, job seekers could see where the jobs were on a national basis – another step toward a truly mobile workforce.
So, what’s ahead? How can job boards continue to help employers and candidates? What new services can they deliver? Think mobile access, social networking, applicant screening and qualifying, and increased HR and recruiting services.
The future looks pretty bright!