What do job seekers want? (Hint: a job…and a wee bit more)

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Why do job seekers go to job boards? Ahem – to find a job.

I might add that’s why they network, Tweet, post profiles on LinkedIn, and troll through company career sites. They just want a job. Right?

Well, no. Not exactly. They want a lot more than a ‘job’. They in fact have an entire laundry list of desires:

  • work that fits their skill set
  • work that pays well
  • work that lets them advance over time
  • work that means something
  • work with great co-workers
  • work with a great company

Yeah, so, no big deal, right?

As a job board operator, you know that most of the job seekers visiting your site are going to leave disappointed – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Seriously – with a list of needs and desires like the one above, you’ll be lucky to make one out of a thousand happy. (This is not unique to job boards, by the way – it’s true of any channel, venue, or site where job seekers congregate to find work).

So, what’s to be done?

  1. Be as honest as possible: Focus on what’s true (i.e., your niche and your employers), not on what’s iffy (‘your perfect job awaits!’).
  2. Up the odds: Do everything you can to connect each job seeker with the best fit jobs. Give them ways of promoting themselves. Have job alerts. Train employers to use resume search tools effectively.
  3. Listen: Give job seekers an obvious and direct way to communicate to your job board. Act on the best ideas.
  4. Educate: As much as possible, show the job seeker how to use a job board effectively. Keep their expectations realistic.

Many job seekers simply don’t realize that their expectations are unrealistic – or they don’t know how to increase their odds of getting hired. It’s a job board’s responsibility to help them out, both because it’s the right thing to do, and because it will improve results for employers.

Now, as far as unrealistic expectations, I’d really like a SawStop….

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Karl D

    and also the recruiters that know how to craft a job ad so to weed out the active candidates and tap into the passive candidates – totally agree with your first point – be honest, be targeted and really pin point your key candidates – you’ll get less applicants but definitely of a higher quality if you present your “ad” correctly

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