Why (some) recruiters hate job boards

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Oh, to be the new kid on the block! Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of social media are experiencing that thrill – they’re new, exciting, and can do no wrong.

A while back, job boards were the new kids. No more messy newsprint, no more limits on ad length, immediate results – what was not to like? Recruiters flocked to job boards and, in the process, made many boards very profitable.

But things have changed. Job boards are old news, like those ugly, dependable leather shoes your mother made you wear to ‘protect your feet’. Sure, job boards continue to connect millions of job seekers with millions of employers – but they’re boring (at least, that’s what the pundits say).

And so we come to the subject of this post: Why do (some) recruiters hate job boards? I find this fascinating, because of course lots of recruiters don’t hate job boards. But a vocal sub-group does, so let’s see why:

  • Job boards are too expensive: That can translate into “too many $$ for too few candidates”, “just too damned high”, or “not free like social media”. Seems to apply primarily to the ‘big’ boards.
  • Job boards’ results aren’t what they used to be: Usually comes from recruiters who have been in the market for more than 4 years.
  • Job boards are filled with bad postings: In this case, a ‘bad posting’ can range from a ‘work at home’ scam to a duplicate posting.
  • Job boards don’t attract the right audience: The audience is too old, too young, too unskilled, too high-priced, etc. Again, depends on the recruiter.
  • There are too many job boards: In other words, too many choices, and all of them are bad.

As a mentor once told me, when a customer says you’re too expensive, he or she is usually telling you something else – and it’s your job to find out what that something is.

In this case, when recruiters tell job boards they hate (well, maybe hate is too strong – loathe?) them, the job boards in question should find out what the real problem is – and try to fix it.

At the end of the day, I believe the vast majority of recruiters focus on results – and if job boards can produce the best results, then recruiters will use them. Even if job boards aren’t the next big thing.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lauren

    Perhaps you should be asking “Why (most) jobseekers hate job boards?” It could be a good start for recruiters to take note of seeker frustration and why so many seekers have given up their job hunt altogether.

  2. Brian Meeks

    I think that Lauren asks and interesting question, and it would make an interesting follow up blog piece.

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