Death of the Job Board in Recruiting Insights

Networking and Referrals Outpace death of the job board

From a recruiting standpoint, the death of the job board is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers – by and large all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce and could easily be replaced by automation, software, or robotics. While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value in terms of contributing to or developing IP (intellectual property), fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.

To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that the death of the job board suggest they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort results. This means that your resume must be optimized for keywords, skills, and experience to be seen.
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results, so active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker.
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.

Who or What Caused the Death of the Job Board?

Suspect number one: Social Media

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking talent away from job boards (besides the sheer volume of dreck) is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with the people and companies they want to pursue on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. A small death for the job board – and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere – but in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue as the passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either locale.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume’s online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling the death of the job board, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and cold-calling to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

The top players, the candidates we actively seek out for recruitment, make up only about 14% of the workforce. They are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth. Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together. The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.

When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant. This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

If you’re looking for proof that the death of the job board is complete, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year, how many hires occurred? How much did each hire cost you? And most importantly, what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate? Were there any critical roles filled? Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

Personal connections always yield the best results

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. As much as technology has infiltrated our society, our industry, and the way the world around us turns, it is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on the death of the Job Board

Death of the Job Board in RecruitingIn closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table:

If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resume’s. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-4 “finalists” who not only meet the performance objectives of the position, but are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment, leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable, viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.

NextGen: your partner in innovation and executive leadership

NextGen is a global executive search company with a focus on AI and robotics, IoT and wireless, medical devices and electronic health records, and power systems for aerospace and industrial markets.  With more than three decades of experience recruiting for leadership and key contributor positions. If you are interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do, contact us today.

NextGen Global Executive Search

NextGen Global Executive Search

NextGen Global Executive Search

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