Clarify this for me: questions (and more questions) from my recent webinar

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Q&AA few weeks back I conducted a webinar (courtesy of RealMatch) on what job seekers want and do. Lots of you attended – and there were many more questions than I had time to answer. Jane Serra of RealMatch carefully collected the questions for me so that I could answer them now. Here goes!:

Q: If newspapers are strong how do you account for the huge drop off in ad revenues for print? Do newspapers include the online version or just print?

A: All I can say is when a truly random group of respondents was asked, 45% said that they use newspapers in their search. We did not ask them if they were using them online or offline. My best guess is that newspapers still play an important role – at least among less web-focused job seekers – because they are locally focused. This is definitely something we’ll pursue in the next survey!

Q: Is there data that suggests the use of job agents as being useful by active and random seekers?

A: It’s second only behind being able to search – 43% of job seekers said that job alerts are ‘essential’. So I think they’re pretty useful!

Q: To what extent would you expect to see the data shift [ie old media/new media] with types of worker? Are truckers more likely using mobile, laborers using the newspaper, sales using LinkedIn, etc.?

A: It’s a fact that for a significant portion of the population, their smartphone is their primary connection to the internet. This is particularly noticeable in certain professions (trucking, skilled trades, etc.) and in certain socioeconomic groups (lower income workers may not have a computer, but they’ll have a mobile device). I only expect this trend to continue.

Q: What do you think about using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter for posting ads or jobs?

A: Facebook and Twitter should be treated like any recruitment marketing channel – you must test the channel and see how it does  for your specific jobs. If they work, great. If not, there are plenty of other options out there!

Q: Can you give us an example of a job board that is doing a great job on mobile?

Both Dice and LinkedIn do nice mobile versions.

Q: Generalist boards received poor marks from candidates yet aggregator boards (which are general) received good reviews.  Why do you think this is?

A: I think a couple of things (actually, probably more than a couple) are going on here. First, the very term ‘niche’ means narrow and focused – the opposite of a general site. Most job seekers perceive a focused site as higher value. Also, many of the general jobs post ‘fake’ jobs – jobs that aren’t really jobs, but instead come-ons for multi-tier marketing, etc. That gives the general boards a bad name.

Q: Is there any chance survey respondents mixed up Google+ and Google?

A: Possible, but not likely, as the question about Google+ use was in the context of what social media channels were used to find jobs and build their careers.

Q: Have you ever queried whether people use association job boards and where they fit in a job search strategy?

A: Not yet. Good question, and something we’ll keep in mind for next time.

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