The perfect job board: some random thoughts

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Talk to job seekers about looking for jobs, and you get an earful. Talk to employers about finding candidates, and you get another earful. Both sides are looking for each other, and both sides have problems doing so.

Problems are almost always expressed in the negative: “No one ever responded to my application.” “The candidates sucked.” “The site is too expensive.” “I couldn’t understand how to use it.” And so on.

Observation #1: No employment site or service will be perfect for all candidates or employers.

Observation #2: That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, however.

So, following are some random thoughts on what might contribute to the ‘perfect’ job board. Please feel free to add your thoughts!

  1. Don’t call it a job board. The terminology gets you off on the wrong foot with some employers. It’s also inaccurate. Come up with a better name – I know you can do it.
  2. Think multi-platform. Your site is actually a service. You connect candidates to employers. That means your service is delivered via web, mobile, (possibly) in person, as part of another service…you get the picture. You’re not running a web site anymore.
  3. One size doesn’t fit all. Don’t make candidates feel like it’s your way or the highway. Do they want to login via LinkedIn? No problem. Create a profile bit by bit over several months? Sure. Never have to visit your site again to access services? OK. Same goes for employers. Ray’s Pizza Joint doesn’t have the same employer profile as Dell – so why are you offering them the same services?
  4. Design matters. Unless you are actively trying to alienate your users, a pleasant visual design that is also functional is a must (regardless of how much money Craigslist makes). And remember #2 – your design needs to work on all platforms.
  5. Results matter. A candidate uses an employment site because he/she wants to find work. If they give up personal info, they expect to be shown relevant jobs. So – when was the last time you used your service as a candidate? Were you happy with the results? Technology, design, and expectation-setting all play a part in providing good results for candidates and employers.
  6. Engage. You have little or no control over how much (or little) your employers engage with your candidates – but you can certainly provide the tools, training, and platform to encourage engagement. The best place to start? By reaching out to the candidates yourself – what do they want? What would they consider a positive sign of interaction?
  7. Visibility. If your target candidate doesn’t know about your service, you’re useless. Same goes for the employer. You can be visible in many ways – and should, because you never know when your audience is actually paying attention.

What did I miss?

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