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Do Job Boards Work?

by | Aug 2, 2017 | Top Echelon Blog

As a recruiter, there are many sources you can use to find and attract talent. One popular method is to post open positions on a job board. But, do job boards work?

What are job boards?

Online job boards help hiring authorities source candidates for open positions and job seekers find employment. Companies and recruiters advertise open positions and accept applications directly through job boards.

There are both general and niche job boards available. Niche job boards focus on specialized candidates for particular industries. For example, some industry specific job boards only list positions for technology, higher education, or advertising and marketing.

Do job boards work?

When it comes to answering the question, Do job boards work?, there is no clear-cut answer. Sources have varying data about job boards. One reason it’s difficult to say whether job boards are effective is that some data is not available to the public.

For its 2016 Global Job Board Trends Survey, Job Board Doctor surveyed 211 job boards across the globe (nearly half U.S.-based). The survey revealed that 32% of job boards weren’t tracking the number of applications that paid postings received. In a data-driven market, this metric would be helpful to recruiters and hiring managers.

Why is this information not being tracked? It could be that a job board’s primary focus is not measuring data. A job board exists to connect employers and jobseekers. Publishing information is helpful to users, but not necessary for a profitable job board.

Regardless of the missing recruitment metrics, some believe job boards are a prime source for finding candidates. This could be due to the number of users on both the hiring and job seeking sides.

The Job Board Doctor found that 47% of the job boards surveyed post about 500 jobs per month. That’s a lot of jobs! But, how many of those posts come from recruiters?

Top Echelon’s State of the Industry Report revealed the most popular sources for finding high quality candidates. The top source of talent came from referrals (43.6%). Job boards made the bottom of the list, pulling in only 9.5% popularity.

Though recruiters don’t seem to use job boards as their primary source for finding candidates, they do use them to supplement their recruiting efforts. That may be because of the large number of job seekers using job boards. The number of American online job seekers has also doubled since 2005. According to a CareerBuilder study, 51% of millennials and 46% of baby boomers use job boards.

Though other recruitment sources are important, job boards remain an important recruiting strategy when it comes to making placements.

Why use a job board?

Job boards offer several perks to recruiters and hiring authorities. Take a look at the following reasons to use a job board in recruiting.

Job boards can integrate with your ATS

When you post an opening on a job board, you might receive an overwhelming number of applicants for a relatively low job posting cost. Sorting each application can take up a large chunk of your time, and not all candidates will be qualified.

Integrating a job board listing with your applicant tracking system (ATS) helps you find talent faster. Applications filter into the ATS through job board integration, and the software narrows down candidates before you start sourcing.

Applicant tracking software can also pull candidates from different channels into the same pipeline. This feature is especially helpful if you use multiple job boards or recruiting sources.

Many job boards are mobile-friendly

Today, more candidates are applying for jobs on their phones. The Pew Research Center revealed that about 28% of job seekers (including 53% of 18- to 29-year-olds) have used a smartphone as part of a job search.

Job boards with mobile features allow you to reach more talent. Candidates can research positions and apply on their phones. This allows job seekers to apply for online jobs at any time. Mobile-friendly job board applications make job seeking easier for candidates, so you are likely to have more people to choose from.

What about recruiting on social media?

Recruiters often use social media recruiting to find candidates. Is social media a better source than using a job board? It depends.

Social media is clearly an important tool for sourcing talent. In a 2016 Global Recruiting Survey from Social Talent, 37% of recruiting professionals said that social media was their primary tool for attracting candidates.

That said, job boards should not be looked at as an ineffective recruiter tool. Candidates come with all different skill levels, backgrounds, and mindsets. Some candidates prefer to use job boards while others don’t. Excluding job board postings could cause you to miss out on talent.

Don’t use just one source for recruiting candidates. You need to utilize each recruiting channel to narrow down the best-fitting talent.

Each tool you use can support the other. For example, you could include your social media accounts in job descriptions. And, you can advertise job listings on social media.

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