It’s often surprising for job seekers to learn that even with a very candidate heavy market, that recruiters and organizations are struggling to find talent. So while more than 14 million are currently unemployed and eager to begin work, finding the right fit candidate for a position remains challenge even in this economy. In fact, 15% of companies in North America and Asia believe they have enough qualified candidates to fill their key positions.
And so as recruiters, we balance our need to find quality talent with the time and cost associated with filling our open positions. Even with all this talk as of recent regarding Facebook, social recruitment and talent oceans, the recruiting balance is still heavily weighted towards your old recruiting friend, the job board. Remember, depending on the job market for your position and location, the top job boards are not the same.
Job boards offer an opportunity to reach a large candidate pool (outside of your network and your networks’ network) through one of the following methods:
- Job Board Ads. Similar in nature to our even older friend the newspaper ad, job board ads serve as an easier way to reach your audience online through your job board of choice’s network, community, and search engine optimization. Make sure to write the job ad to entice the appropriate audience. Many of the larger job boards like Monster.com,CareerBuilder, and even niche boards like SalesGravy own thousands upon thousands of different job board sites offering you a variety of communities in which to post but for a price.
- Job Aggregators. Job Aggregators, such as Indeed and Simply Hired, are search engines for job postings. They consolidate job postings from many sources. There are free job aggregators. These get the ball rolling and start the candidate influx, but they may not bring in enough candidates to complete your search. There are also paid models, such as pay-per-click models and sponsored models to move them postings higher up within the listings by category.
- Forum Frenzy. Many job boards, such as SalesGravy and Brazen Careerist, offer forums as part of their candidate services and resources where job seekers pose questions and solicit feedback from other job seekers. Consider leveraging these forums by providing value to your potential candidate base, asking questions, and connecting with them offline as a potential candidate sourcing pool. Like any forum or community, the key is to provide value, develop relationships, and take those online conversations offline.
- The Email Blast. I’ve worked with various job boards over the years that have used effective marketing campaigns to drive candidates to our job board advertisements through targeted banner ads, more frequent posting, and targeted email alerts. But most job seekers will tell you that these methods don’t always work. We’ve been emailed to death. As a recruiter, I always keep a recent resume on file with my job board(s) of choice. It’s important to experience the job seeker experience through the eyes of the candidate. The trusty email blast is no different and with relatively small open rate you may be reaching desperate instead of quality candidates.
- Tapping Into the Resume Database. Leveraging the job board’s resume database can be a solid candidate recruitment strategy. Candidates who have recently updated their candidate profiles are seen first in your resume search. These active candidates provide their resume for you to see. The downside is that a generic resume posted for multiple positions, doesn’t always ensure a quality candidate match let alone the passive candidates who are just surfing the ads instead of posting their profile. Plus, the available resumes are probably not as up to date as LinkedIn profiles. It’s also a likely bet that your direct competition has the same or similar access to this candidate pool, which is where creative keyword and qualifications search comes in handy. For example, Try searching for non-profit fundraiser instead of outside sales professional; mainly, search more creatively than your competition.
Job boards are this past decade’s most valuable tool of your overall recruitment strategy, and yet they still remain the most effective. The key when developing a recruiting strategy with job boards is to keep your hiring measurements in mind, such as your cost per hire and turnover by source in check, and remember to find a balance between sourcing more creatively than your competition and turning to the job boards that have historically worked.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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