Will Twitter kill the job board?

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The growth of Twitter (and the hype) continues. Facebook is threatened. Google is threatened. And yes, job boards are threatened. Right?

Millions of people are turning to Twitter (and Ning, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others) to find out information about jobs, companies, and other tidbits of data previously the domain of job boards. Recruiters are twittering madly, looking for the elusive top-flight passive candidate. There’s enough buzz that even the most recalcitrant of HR managers have at least gotten curious enough to look. There are even a few Twitter-based job sites. (Yes, I’ve visited them. No, they’re not that great…yet).

But I think reports of the death of the job board are perhaps premature. Twitter is a broadcast tool – which can be very powerful in pointing people to content. Job boards are content – searchable, focused content. The very brevity that makes Twitter attractive also limits its value as a content source.

What makes a good (and I emphasize good) job board work for both employers and job seekers is functionality and focus. If you need beer brewers and ‘BeerBrewingJobCenter.com’ has 500 daily visitors and 10,000 qualified, vetted resumes, why would you waste time Twittering (or, for that matter, spending your hard-earned bucks on Monster)? The site has done the work for you. It’s old, boring technology – but it works. Same story for job seekers. I can Twitter and build up my beer brewing followers (and hope they’re paying attention when I twitter) – or I can go to the job site and find some work. Most likely I’ll do both.

Tools have been (and continue to be) built that attempt to harness Twitter and make it more useful. But until it proves its efficiency as a recruitment tool, I suspect it will remain the domain of that certain subset of recruiters who love technology and have more time than money. However, it may well become a job board owner’s best friend – a great one-on-one marketing tool.

What do you think?

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Stephen

    Hi Jeff, yep I couldn’t agree more. I gave some of my thoughts on my Recruitment blog.

    I certainly think job boards have there place, but saying that twitter is unique and I am impressed at how many people I have connected with in a short time, compared to Linkedin and my blogging.

    On top of that I wouldn’t have found you without Twitter 😉

    Regards
    Stephen

  2. Mercedes Smith

    Maybe not Twitter alone, but I can certainly see how social media will kill the job boards. You’re right that recruiters haven’t figured out how to efficiently leverage Twitter; however, job boards are expensive and not nearly as effective as they should be. Besides, job boards are passive. You don’t use them until you have an opening. Social media lets you build a community of talent. It has the potential to change how we think about recruiting.

  3. jobboarddoctor

    Mercedes – can’t argue with the ineffectiveness of many job boards (that’s why I’m in business!). But I would say that job boards (the good ones) let a recruiter dive into a targeted resume bank and find people fast – searching on multiple criteria. I haven’t seen that efficiency yet in social media. Maybe it’ll get there someday. – jeff

  4. Mrawicz

    Job boards have traditionally been used for finding “low hanging fruit.” Those candidates that are actively looking for new work who may or may not be the best candidate for your company. Niche job boards are best for targeted candidates, but because they might not be as well-known, those candidates may not utilize them.

    So I see social media tools such as Twitter, et al. as an avenue to not just help people find content but to help each other find work. A job board’s best function is to serve as a “billboard” giving visibility to a company and their openings. It entices candidates to go to your website.

    Number one rule of recruitment is networking; building your pipeline. How best to do that than using all avenues at your disposal? Job boards are best used as yet another tool to track down information, cross-reference on candidates, and as a resource for networking.

    But if you are using them solely as your means to hire then it is very limited indeed. Job boards will continue to be there and be useful on some level, but I do not see them as the way of the future. And with cost a continuing factor in today’s current market, may soon be obsolete.

    Your comments above seem more reflective of an agency recruiter point of view rather than corporate. So if that is the case, the usefulness of a job board would then be dependent on the perspective of the search.

  5. Job Board Doctor

    Have to agree that job boards are part of a recruiting ‘mix’ – should never be used as your only source!

  6. Phillip Tusing

    I think it is too early to write the obituary of job boards. Down Under we are witnessing an explosion of job boards (Have a look at this report http://www.destinationtalent.com.au/job-board-report.html). Also, you might wanted to check out a similar discussion on the future of job boards here http://geoffjennings.com/2009/02/the-future-of-job-boards/comment-page-1/

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