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Job board myths and how to fight them

job board mythsHow do job board myths start?

First, something happens – something unusual or notable, something that prompts a person to file it away in their memory. Next, the person tells a story about what happened. Perhaps they exaggerate or embellish – whatever is needed to make it a good story and engage their audience. Perhaps the story is interesting enough that some of the listeners retell it to their friends. Pretty soon, you have a myth. Perhaps it was originally based in reality – but by the time it becomes a myth, its connections with reality can be tenuous.

This brings us to job board myths – those oft-repeated assertions about job boards that take the place of reality for some in the recruiting world. I recently participated in a #OMCchat wherein we talked about common job board myths – the things you see bandied about on recruiting blogs or at HR conferences. I thought it would be useful to talk about these – and how to fight them.

  •  Myth #1: No one finds jobs on job boards: Uh, really? Then why do companies spend billions of dollars – repeatedly – to advertise their jobs on job boards? Because they are filling those jobs via job boards. It’s really that simple.
  • Myth #2: All job boards are like the ‘Big 3’: Almost everyone who has looked for work or posted jobs online has run into the big general job boards. They promote themselves very well. But to equate all job boards with these ‘big guys’ is misleading and inaccurate. For example, niche sites focus on specific geographic areas or professions – thus producing different types of response for employers. It’s a big, complicated world out there!
  • Myth #3: Social media has made job boards obsolete: If this was true, one would expect to see social media dominating as a source of hire. Instead, social media remains a marginal player in terms of source of hire for most companies, according to CareerXRoads – and job boards end up contributing 20%.
  • Myth #4: Companies don’t use job boards anymore: Ahem. See Myth #3 and #1.
  • Myth #5: Job boards are ‘old fashioned’: You could rephrase this as, ‘Job boards are proven, cost-effective ways of sourcing candidates and generating quality applications’. Old-fashioned is simply another way of saying ‘not new’ – and you know what? That’s ok. If you have 1000 open positions to fill, you don’t necessarily want something ‘new’ and ‘shiny’ – you want something that works.
  • Myth #6: Only ‘active’ job seekers use job boards: And this is a bad thing? Candidates that are actively looking for work tend to be as skilled and experiences as the fabled ‘passive candidates’ – with the added advantage that they are motivated to apply for open positions and turn up for interviews. (And you’re just fooling yourself if you don’t think ‘passive’ candidates don’t browse job boards on occasion as well).

So, what job board myths did I miss? Let me know!

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