Why do most job boards fail to thrive?

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“When anyone can start a job board, we’re really in trouble.”

– apocryphal

A long, long time ago, people found work through quaint methods such as friends, a sign in the window, or a newspaper classified. Those days are, well, waning.

In 1995 (or 1994, depending on who the storyteller is), the first web-based job board was launched. CareerMosaix was a grand success and immediately created a bevy of imitators. These in turn begat Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, and other sites which survive to the present day.

So what’s the attraction? Simple – rather than keeping the job seeker at the mercy of whatever friend, sign, or newspaper is at hand, a job board levels the playing field. Suddenly, no matter where a job posting originates, it is now available for anyone with access to a computer and browser.

And the attraction for employers? Lower cost and more applicants – at least in an ideal world.

That was the plan. Now for the reality check.

FACT 1) Most job boards aren’t that great.

Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. I’ve studied hundreds of boards over the past decade, and I can confidently say that most of them deserve to fail. Why? These websites fail to meet the lowest of bars: they don’t fulfill the promise they’ve made to jobseekers or employers.

FACT 2) Most job board owners don’t know what they’re doing.

Because if they did, their sites would be better, and they’d be making more money, and their employers and job seekers would be happier, and….

FACT 3) Most job boards go out of business.

Well, you could derive this fact from the preceding two, actually. If your job board isn’t that great AND you don’t know what you’re doing, then you’re probably going to go under sooner or later.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…as you’ll find out in my upcoming posts.

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