The pros and cons of having a resume database
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about whether or not a job board or recruiting site should have a resume database. Originally, almost every job board had resume databases – and they charged employers to access them. Some still do, in fact. But resume databases have fallen out of favor in the past five or six years – or at least, that’s the ‘common wisdom’.
Yet just today I learned that OLX Ukraine has added resumes to its recruitment area. And if you listen to Indeed’s ads, a continuing theme is how candidates can post their resumes and be ‘discovered’ by employers. Plus, let’s not forget one of the world’s largest repositories of resumes – LinkedIn. They aren’t fading – they’re growing! And don’t forget to ask CV Library if anyone is interested in resumes, too – since they’ve built their entire business around them!!
So is this a case of ‘common wisdom’ being a bit wrong? Maybe. Let’s dig a bit further.
In very broad terms, employers fall into one of two camps in their recruitment efforts: ‘posters‘, who are more than happy to post their jobs and wait for candidates to respond, and ‘hunters‘, who search out candidates and contact them. In my estimation, posters have historically made up about 70% of all employers, versus 30% as hunters. Don’t forget that some employers do both – it’s often a matter of available resources. Being a poster makes sense when you’re working in an employer’s market – candidates are trying their best to get hired, so you’re assured of a decent response to your job ads.
But what if you’re working in a candidate’s market? What if candidates have the leverage (for once), instead of employers? Then being a hunter makes more sense – you can go after the candidates you want and persuade them to join you. A candidate’s market is a pretty good description of where we are right now, after many months of the pandemic and a labor force that appears to be smaller than what is needed.
Most employers are not stupid. If being a poster doesn’t work, then they are willing to try hunting. Thus, having a place to hunt becomes more important – they are looking for concentrations of candidates that can be sorted, searched, contacted, and interviewed.
If you’re a job board right now, you may very well want to have a robust, up-to-date resume database for these hunters.
I can already hear the objections: “But it takes too much time to build up a resume database!” “But, LinkedIn…” “But the technology… “But, but, but….”
Fine! If you don’t want to do the work, someone else will. You may (or possibly may not) lose some business. It’s really your call.
Just don’t forget that each of the two of the largest job boards in the world have a resume database – and they’re making money from them right now.
Something to think about!
Note: this post first appeared in 2021 but continues to be relevant now![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]. [Check out the JobBoardGeek podcast archive!]
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