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?
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