Chicken Little – The Job Boards Are Failing

 In Career Tips, LinkedIn, Social Media


Chicken Little The Job Boards Are FailingGuest – Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR

The job boards are failing.  Have you heard?  And more importantly, how could you have not heard?

There’s been a lot of banter, discussion, and revelation about job boards and their impending failure and doom as an effective source for employers to hire qualified candidates and post openings.  Experts have said that social media and the creation of social recruiting will serve as a replacement for job boards and will be their detriment.  Failing much like the newspaper’s classified and help wanted sections as a result of the job board industry.

I have been an advocate of social media as a sourcing and recruiting tool for over 10 years.  It has served as a compliment to newspapers and job boards over the course of my career.  Bottom line is that job boards serve a purpose.  They serve as a portal to engaging millions of potential job seekers who are actively looking for work.  In 2010, job boards served as the second most effective way in which to hire and recruit candidates.  Good old-fashioned referrals were the best source and social media played a part.

The problem with job boards is the quality of candidate not the quantity.  The sheer volume of website traffic and users is what drive companies to use job boards as their primary candidate source.  Never mind that it takes 826 visitors to a company career site to fill a single solitary position.  They serve a purpose and yet we call for their end.

The problem with the job board debate is not the failure of  job boards themselves, but the lack of companies employing the right tactics and strategies to garner the attention of a quality candidate.   And the way in which to target the perfect client, candidate, or job seeker outside of social media is search engine optimization.  When advertising positions online, companies need to target the right candidates using a multitude of tools and keywords.  These keywords and tools help to determine the quality as well as the quantity of visitors that click on your advertisement pay per click, corporate blogs, or social media posts, profiles, and updates.

Much like a solid boolean search, search engine optimization can help you reach a better quality candidate.  And I disagree with Dan Schwabel, recruiters are not lazy.  The game has changed.  It’s those that do not understand the technology, levels of engagement, and candidate marketing that serve as the Chicken Little’s of the industry.  Whether it’s social recruiting, job boards, candidate referrals, LinkedIn or even Facebook based networking engagement applications Branch Out and BeKnown, the job boards aren’t falling or even failing, they’re evolving.


Jessica Miller-Merrell


Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is an author, HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at  Her company, Xceptional HR offers social media strategies, human resources, and recruiting consulting with an eye on digital media.  Jessica is the author of Tweet This!  Twitter for Business, a how-to business guide for Twitter. Listed as the number 6th most influential recruiter online and as the 21st most influential woman on Twitter, she is a highly sought after speaker.  Follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs.


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