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Should job boards get a new name (and is this a dumb question)?

should job boards get a new nameLast May I wrote a post about  the concept of a ‘job board’, in which I asked the eternal questions, “Is LinkedIn a job board?” and “Is Indeed a job board?” It was one of the more popular posts of the year, with 158 shares (and counting). At the end of the post I considered the possibility that perhaps – just perhaps – the term ‘job board’ was a bit outdated.

Guess what – it’s almost a year later and the term is just a bit more outdated. To wit:

  • Should job boards get a new name? The term ‘job board’  encompasses every type of service, from a free-to-post one to a large general one like CareerBuilder where you pay for everything; from a site where you can only post a job, to one where your job is turned into a  query that searches not only the site you’re using but everything public on the web; from a site with minimal technology, to one that include social, mobile, matching, and more. In other words, ‘job board’ really doesn’t mean what it says – a ‘board’ for ‘jobs’.
  • The term carries negative connotations in some quarters – a site where the employer ‘posts and prays’, where candidate applications go to die, and where the cost of hire is high.

So should job boards get a new name?

Before we answer that, let’s ask another question: Is my first question dumb?

Maybe so. Think about it – how hard is it to change a term once it has become lodged in the popular mind? You’re looking at the end result of hundreds of millions of mentions in the press, online, in person, at career fairs, and by the sites themselves – and any marketing pro will tell you that repetition works. Want to get someone’s attention? Say the same thing 100 times. Eventually they’ll get the message.

So is it even worth talking about a new name for job boards, when it will be VERY difficult to change the term’s use by the general public (not to mention the heartbreak and pain it will bring this writer’s own website)?

Yes. Because, as they say, if the shoe doesn’t fit, find another shoe.

The term ‘job board’ just doesn’t fit for the vast majority of – ahem – job boards out there. It’s dated, limiting, and carries too much baggage. It’s served its time.

(Don’t think it can be done? Ask scientists who decided that ‘global warming’ wasn’t getting the job done – and began using ‘climate change’. It made a big difference.)

If ‘job board’ doesn’t cut it, what does? There have been plenty of ideas submitted:

  • employment websites
  • candidate acquisition sites
  • career sites
  • career management sites
  • career hubs
  • employment networks
  • career communities

(And you can easily substitute ‘services’ for the word ‘sites’ on any of these – after all, much of what happens on a modern ‘job board’ doesn’t actually happen on the site).

What are your ideas? And – should job boards get a new name? Submit them below. Let’s get this conversation going, because once we can get behind a better moniker, then we can put our collective resources toward making it the dominant term.

And I will have to change my site….

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. A timely question in light of the evolution going on in the online employment space. While the term does seem to evoke a somewhat dated connotation, it may still be the best and most recognizable, since nothing else seems to have an instantly appealing cache. Something like “Online Employment Resource” may be descriptive, but it lacks cache. Hmmm, will have to keep thinking!

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