Seriously? This a Candidate’s On-line Experience in a Web 2.0 World? 11 Comments

Web 2.0 is about enhancing creativity, information sharing, and collaboration. The definition must have been written with the intent to exclude job postings and job boards as part of the world wide web.

With all of the talk about attracting passive talent, the war for talent and focusing on hiring quality, I was surprised to see little has changed – when taking a look at things from a candidate’s point of view.

I started with a simple search on a job board. After closing 2 pop up windows, here’s what the candidate would see with this example:

A page filled with paid ads:

  • 1 on the page header
  • 8 vertically on the right side of the page
  • 1 on the footer
  • 2 pop-ups

Within the job posting:

  • Grammatical errors
  • 40 different daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual responsibilities / tasks
  • 9 requirements

Thinking this must be a fluke, I ran another quick search on another board. The first posting I clicked on was from 1 of Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For. Surely, this will be better…

This posting was much shorter, and contained:

  • 9 responsibilities
  • 8 requirements
  • 3 portfolio examples

Since the organization requests you apply online through their site, I clicked the link, and found the following:

We’re kidding right? The candidate has to complete another search to find the position, which ironically isn’t even listed on the corporate career site. If it would have been and they would have applied, the candidate of course would have had to sign up for another profile too.

If you use the big boards for postings, consider the following 5 quick fixes you can control and implement:

  • Utilize a branding template with all of the boards. Templates pushes the ads off the page, so the candidate is looking at your posting, in your brand. They’re not forced to look at the online degree programs, or the amazing work from home opportunity ads. All the major boards offer branding as a service and is easily negotiated as part of a package.
  • If you believe recruiting is sales and marketing, then sell and market both your organization and opportunity. Don’t utilize a bureaucratic, and time consuming process to accept Resume’s.
  • Link your posting directly into your A.T.S., so the potential lead doesn’t have to search again once coming into your site.
  • Do not copy and paste you’re job description into your online posting. It doesn’t always format properly, and your main goal should be driving talent to your community or site. You can engage them further if they get there, so focus on selling in your posting.
  • Use titles and keywords candidates search for, and limit internal acronyms.

When relying on a poorly written job description or web posting, there should be no surprise less than 10% of corporate career site traffic converts into a completed application.

While most of this seems fairly basic it appears there is still a tremendous amount of opportunity – and we have a long way to go in recruiting – in Web 2.0 standards.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, June 16th, 2008
  • This Post Has 11 Comments

    1. Chris Moran says:

      Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

      Chris Moran

    2. Jason says:

      Chris, glad you have enjoyed, and thanks for adding to your feed.


    3. H. Schott says:

      Great article! keep them coming…

    4. […] Seriously? This a Candidate’s On-line Experience in a Web 2.0 World? […]

    5. the mainstream job boards are broken and so full of garbage now it makes them tough to use.

      I am hoping to bring about a new type of job board, from both perspectives (Candidate and Recruiter/Employer) with … Our first niche we’re filling is engineering jobs with

      We will be releasing version 2.0 of the site with many updates and features soon!

    6. Jason says:

      Engineering Jobs, thanks, I will check it out.


    7. […] Seriously, this is the candidate experience in a web 2.0 world? […]

    8. […] Take a good, in-depth look at your job board spend, and overall results.  Besides the crappy candidate experience, it should come as no surprise job board traffic continues on a multi-year decline.  Use this to […]

    9. Mark says:


      Interesting post for sure. I’m not overly surprised though…

      I think the main issue for the job boards is where the revenue comes from. It’s a horrible cycle that can’t be broken easily. On one hand, if you charge for postings, you have to sell your services to your clients, and justify the costs, primarily with site hits and (if you can) metrics for hire ratios. So it’s important to have a wonderful candidate experience to attract even more talented candidates, improve the hire ratio, and justify your costs.

      On the flip side, job boards that can’t justify their costs (especially new, nitche, and smaller boards) need to resort to advertising. It starts off small, but then becomes a main source of revenue. After a while, you end up with a board that provides a poor candidate experience, with lowering volumes and candidate quality. It doesn’t really justify the price for the posting… which then in turn drives away posting revenue and spurs a need for more advertising revenue… which then lowers the candidate experience, and you slowly bleed qualified users and postings until your board is basically job search clutter.

      As for the rest of the issues, especially the incorrect links from job boards and poor job descriptions, that sounds like an ATS or Recruiter issue at heart. Someone has dropped the ball. I believe recruiting has fallen behind the web 2.0 movement, and without some foresight (and less reactionary ways), we’re about to miss the new web enhancements that will become common in 2009 and 2010… That said, do you think a web developer makes more working for Amazon or CB/Monster? That’s probably a key reason…

      Mark MacDonald

    10. The article you wrote about the aggregators and this one really defines life in what we call the “Job Board Jungle”. Now more than ever it is harder for hiring companies to get their opportunities to the right people and job seekers to the right people. Your good articles help both the hiring companies and the job seekers navigate this. Thank you!

    11. Jason says:


      Thanks for the comment. I haven’t heard of “the job board jungle” before, but it rings true.


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