Can job boards truly be ‘Web 2.0’?

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At their core, most job boards are series of one-way communications: employer posts a job; job seeker responds to employer; employer does (or doesn’t) respond to job seeker. Each communication is distinct and separated by both time and method – some might even say fragmented.

Compare to a blog, social networking site, or Twitter: you send out a communication – and built into your communication are methods for readers to respond, as well as the expectation they will; readers DO respond; you respond back. In other words, a conversation (albeit on Twitter an abbreviated one).

For the sake of this post, I’m going to boil Web 2.0 down to this: facilitating conversations via the web. There’s much more, of course, but most revolves around making websites more interactive and involving – in other words, pulling users into the conversation.

So, returning to the title of this post – can job boards truly be Web 2.o? Let me put this another way: how many HR folks and recruiters actually want to have conversations with job seekers via the web? From my experience – not that many. (I think it’s reasonable to assume that most job seekers would be ecstatic to have conversations with potential employers!)

What? Don’t recruiters talk to job seekers for a living? Well, yes, many do – but rarely via a job board. Think about it: a posting goes out on the site; you’re luck and get 50 responses on the first day. How is a poor HR/recruiter person supposed to have conversations with each and every job seeker?

Well, maybe that isn’t as difficult as it sounds – particularly if your posting medium (i.e., the job board) is optimized for conversation. What if the job board had these features?:

  • ‘click for questions’ on each job posting: you could send an email directly to the employer with your questions about the job
  • ‘Employer live chat’: employer could have a specific time for live chat with a company rep – then record session and add to postings and company profile for future reference
  • Pre-qualifying quizzes: job seekers can take entertaining quizzes that also tell them if they should or shouldn’t apply for a particular job or company (plus results could be fed on the backend to the participating employer)
  • Integration into popular social media platforms: if job seekers are using Twitter (or Facebook, etc.), include tools that make it easy for recruiters to send and receive messages to them  – and that ‘pre-tag’ these messages so that they are tied to particular jobs.

And so on. Making the transition to Web 2.0 would require both a conceptual and technical rethinking of the job board.

The question remains: if someone builds a Web 2.0 job board, will employers use it?

Please – join the conversation.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Can job boards truly be 'Web 2.0'? | Job Board Doctor -- Topsy.com

  2. Bob

    Great post. It does take two parties to hold a conversation and recruiters usually have the don’t call us, we’ll call you attitude with job board candidates. The only jobboard I’ve seen that allows candidates to ask questions is http://www.bigdoghub.com. However I’m not even sure you can call them a job board at this point….more of just an idea.

    Love the idea, but I’m not sure it will fly in the real world. too bad.

  3. Rob Humphrey

    IF you take the recruiter out, and you dont have some generic job board–then you will see conversations flourish

    We host 100,000 interactions a month at digitalrecruiter.com

    It works

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