I’ve been in the job board world since 1998, which probably makes me some sort of dinosaur or masochist. Strangely enough, the imminent death of job boards has been proclaimed almost since their inception.
Today is no different. Whether it’s here or here or here, the word on the street (or in the blog, as it were) is that the job board’s days are numbered because of a changing employment environment, Twitter, job board greed and incompetence, a surplus of recruiters, social networks, or a as-yet unknown technological innovation.
Why? What drives this desire to proclaim the imminent demise of job boards? Let me propose a few ideas:
- They’re too damn simple. The average job board just lets a job seeker apply for a job and lets the employer receive the application. There has to be more elegant and complex solutions, right?
- Anyone can start one. If pretty much anybody can start a job board, they must be worthless. They have to be.
- They’re outdated. Essentially this is a restatement of item 1. The job board should have x, y, and z to be worthwhile.
- They don’t deliver. Job seekers don’t get what they want (jobs) and employers don’t get what they want (quality candidates). Instead, they should be using (insert your favorite solution).
- They’re too expensive. You don’t get what you pay for (or in the case of free job boards, what you don’t pay for).
I obviously have a vested interest in the survival of job boards, and each of the comments above has some basis in reality. But I believe what will happen – is happening – is an evolution in the nature of job boards. They are changing – but they’re not going away. Why? They serve a fundamental need by aggregating groups of job seekers and then pairing them up with like-minded jobs.
I suggest that, rather than killing job boards, we simply make them better.