We heard a while back that job boards were far from dead and actually producing some decent results–particularly for some employers. Now we have a fairly new report from an HR technology provider called SilkRoad (discussed in an article, “New Source of Hire Study…” by John Zappe on ERE.net), that suggests they’re doing better than expected. That’s particularly interesting since we’ve also heard that Monster.com is probably for sale and is seeing a decline in its North American revenue.
First, I should point out that if you’re waiting until someone stumbles upon you in a job board database, you’re wasting some valuable time. You need to get to potential jobs before the rest of the world does. However, I’m not going to keep beating that particular drum right now. Instead, I want to focus attention on the sources of hire mentioned in Zappe’s article and what the new information might mean to your overall job search.
In most cases, it won’t hurt and at least might help for you to tap into online job board resources as a part of your job search. Notice I said part, and it isn’t even the #1 part. Senior-level individuals (particularly high-level executives) probably don’t go the job board route anyway, because they tend to focus more on active networking and to target rarely posted positions. The rest of you, though, could try selectively dipping into the job board environment. That said, where might you want to start?
According to SilkRoad’s data, Indeed.com (a well-known job aggregator) “is the leading source of external hires for its 700+ customers, providing 42 percent more new hires than CareerBuilder, the #2 source.” The company also learned that “55 percent of the total hires came from three sources: internal employee candidates, employee referrals, and company career sites.” The rest were mainly from job boards.
It certainly wouldn’t make sense to depend on job boards as your only job search tool. However, since it appears that a number of employers do find employees that way, you might not want to totally discard them as a possible tool. Keep in mind that you can incorporate this method into your job search without having it consume an excessive amount of time and effort. That might mean you start by using Indeed.com to help you identify posted job possibilities that fit your criteria (what you want to be doing, are good at, etc., and what your target employers might be looking for). Then you can decide which to pursue, if any.
At the same time, you can be updating your LinkedIn profile if you haven’t done that recently. Although LinkedIn didn’t come in high on the SilkRoad survey, it does enjoy a reputation among many employers for being a useful resource to identify and research candidates–particularly those classed as passive (theoretically, not actively seeking a new position). Updating your profile doesn’t need to take a lot of time or a huge amount of effort, if you do it periodically. Just remember to turn off your activity notification if you don’t want your current employer to be made aware that you’ve been making changes, in case the company views it as a surreptitious job search action (it might be, but you don’t really want to signal that to them!).