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Being social isn’t enough

job board social mediaJob board social media isn’t just for fun. Sorry to tell you this – but job boards are businesses. They make money. They produce results.

Why are these statements such a shock to social media enthusiasts? Just like Apple and Google, job boards rely on customers who pay for results. Perhaps there’s the rub – most social media tools and sites are free (at the moment).  Since job boards aren’t free, they are by nature less lovable and effective than (insert the name of your favorite social media tool).

Well, guess what? Nothing lasts forever – and the days of ‘free’ social media will end. Twitter is inserting ad Tweets into the Twittersphere. Facebook has contemplated charging users. LinkedIn is always looking for new ways to extract money from users.

More than the expense, though, is the realization that results matter. Ask the well known recruiter Jerry Albright how many candidates he garnered from Twitter (hint: less than the fingers on one hand). Employers have been wowed with the whiz-bang of social media – but once a price tag is affixed, they will begin demanding results.

So if social media is about interaction and conversations, social media + a price tag will be about conversations and interactions that result in a specific outcome. In the case of recruiting, social media will need to show that it can produce better results – less expensively and as consistently – than a well-run job board. If it can, then that’s fantastic for the employer and tough for the job board.

But it just isn’t enough to be social. Going forward, job board social media must produce results – or it will end up as ephemeral as Handspring, est, and (insert a fad you remember!).

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Second Life (as another fad 😉 – however, that cost companies a lot!

    I see that discussions about justifying the existence of job boards have been increasing these days. Are job sites afraid they could lose business as papers have with print job ads? Of course, in the wake of the financial crisis everybody fears losing even more money. Don’t see Social Media as a threat to the job board world. I think they are a suitable complement to a recruiting process – a means to market an employer image.

  2. Here’s my take on the subject. Whilst many employers post decent advertising copy that sells to potential applicants, many recruiters post crap that won’t work on job boards and, guess what, won’t work on social networks either. Recruiters will just kill both off as an outlet for getting good quality candidates.

  3. The day social media comes with a price tag is the day that that we transition into new media. Charging takes away the social factor and the vanity of being able to socialize online. Charging a fee would be bad publicity. There is a way to add value to content in such a manner that people can monetize but straight out charging for the ability to be social will just lead to a new alternative to facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.

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