All job seekers are not alike – and that’s the problem

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I recently spent a very pleasant 2 days with my family at an alternative music festival. Apart from hearing some great bands (check out Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Bear Hands), I spent quite a bit of time observing 20- and 30-somethings. It was fascinating – and it really drove home a (what should have been obvious) point: people differ in so many ways. (Duh!) They have different levels of use and comfort with technology, they interact differently, they have many beliefs about the dissemination (or not) of information,  and they have extremely varied ideas about work. I should know this, right? I look at dozens of job boards every week, I talk to job seekers and employers, I read and read. But there’s something about thousands of dissimilar people jammed into a close space to make you really appreciate their differences.

Those differences include the ways they find work. On the one end, you have the tech-head coolsters who are so beyond the mainstream social media that they sometimes talk with each other -verbally (although only while using voice-manipulating devices, mind you). On the other end, you have folks that know Monster exists – but nothing else. And – surprise, surprise – if either type is suddenly unemployed, they will tackle their job search in many different, rarely logical ways.

This is not criticism. This is reality.

The point of all this? Job boards are built for one kind of job seeker. You know:

  • Focused
  • Able to search – maybe even use Boolean terms
  • Organized
  • Willing to plow through lots of listings to find that one perfect one

Does that sound like most of the job seekers you know? Nope?

I’ve said many times that job boards must evolve or die. One way they can evolve is by creating a job site for all types of job seekers (or at least the ones most dominant in their niche). Lots of mobile users? (Hint: that’s going to be pretty much everyone, folks!) Then you need a site that does everything your website does – on a mobile device. Lots of technically challenged folks? Find out what trips them up – and fix it. Yes, that may very well mean how they search for a job. Maybe your website becomes only one of many possible ‘destinations’ that your job seekers visit. Maybe you turn into an extension on the Chrome bookmark bar.

Job seekers want better jobs. Employers want better candidates.

And that’s where your site comes in.

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