Job Seekers and Employers Look for Alternatives to Job Boards 6 Comments

Realmatch recently publicized the results from several interviews detailing the frustrations felt by job seekers and employers while trying to connect with each other online. The interviews and survey research very clearly indicates an extreme degree of frustration and dissatisfaction about the economy as well as the fragmented, commercialized and noisy environment perpetuated by online job boards. In addition to being frustrated with technology and scams, the current economic environment is causing employers and recruiters to abandon the “pay-to-post” pricing model which in turn is causing job seekers to form new habits to find job listings.

Between frustrating technology and risky pricing models, job seekers and employers are finding new Web properties to become paired.  With competition for employment and talent on the rise – and with layoffs making headlines across the nation, many job seekers are kicking online job searches into high gear hoping to land a steady paycheck.

Recent data from the Inavero Institute for Service Research concluded 50 percent of hiring managers use online job boards more than any other recruiting tool. In fact, these hiring managers revealed that 72 percent of the salaried jobs they needed to fill were posted to an online job board as part of the search strategy.
However, despite the prevalence of recruiters who say they are still heading online to find qualified candidates, job seekers are voicing frustrations with the status quo. Chief complaints include job board spam, irrelevant listings, confusion over keyword searches and a decreasing number of job postings.

“Whether a good economy or bad, online job seekers and recruiters voice similar complaints about traditional classified/keyword job boards,” says Rafael Cosentino, vice president of business development for RealMatch.com. “But recruiters and the online job board industry can learn plenty from listening to the frustrations of candidates and employers who are often desperately seeking to connect. We need to better serve the online employment market and stop fragmenting the market with 50,000 unconnected job boards.”

Jelena Woehr has a self-admitted pet peeve about mainstream job boards – she hates it when boards aggregate job listings from several sites and return pages upon pages of the same listing posted in several places. “Would it really be so hard to program these search engines to eliminate results that are exactly the same?” asks Woehr, a social marketer in Golden, Co. “Google does it, so why can’t job boards? It’s such a pain to see 60 results and then realize there are only six jobs fitting my search terms, but each is listed 10 times.”

Karen Whiting, an author and speaker based in Grasonville, Md., is frustrated with services like (a certain job board) that she says blatantly ignore the parameters of the job search. “Even though you request listings for jobs in the marine engineering field in the $90,000-plus range, they constantly send listings for sales positions and high school grads,” Whiting explains.

Willy Franzen has a laundry list of frustrations. Franzen graduated from Cornell University in 2006 and began job searching in the fall. He said he was pretty picky about what he was looking for and wound up undergoing a long job search that yielded few prospects he could get excited about.
Don’t We Get Enough Spam?

A common beef with online job boards is spam. Job seekers are frustrated with illegitimate postings that only distract them from their mission, and blame job boards for allowing spammers and advertisers to clutter results.

Shannon Ramos cites spam e-mails for off-topic jobs, get rich quick schemes and search results that don’t match the parameters of her queries. But Ramos, a relief escrow officer and mobile notary public in San Dimas, Calif., has a particular beef with (a certain job board): “I don’t appreciate the tons of ‘commercials’ I have to say ‘no thanks’ to,” she says. “If I wanted to go to college or get a loan, I wouldn’t be job hunting.”

The Free Job Board Stigma
It’s one thing to be annoyed by irrelevant job listings when you are merely keeping an eye out for the next rung in your career. But when paying your mortgage depends on finding a new job, entering random words into an empty search box and hoping for the right match can be a daunting experience for the average job seeker. Allan Hess knows that feeling all too well. He is in the midst of his fourth time through what he calls “the mill.” Back in 1999 the free job boards were a blessing, he says, but today those same boards are riddled with spams and scams, he says.

“The boards have stooped to prostitute themselves to compete and generate revenue, so they seem to sell or allow junk to be sent out. Even while surfing the boards, you are now bombarded by ads from various schools, and for work at home gimmicks,” says Hess, of Marietta, Ga. Hess has held leadership positions in business development, marketing and sales in the I.T. industry. “All this is a distraction.”

Over 3400 Human Resource professionals and recruiters participated in a recent survey which also reveals a high level of discontent with classified/keyword/pay-to-post job boards. Some of those survey results:
When posting a job online, the “pay to post” pricing model yields good results with consistent value.

  • Strongly agree 13.3%
  • Moderately agree 6.9%
  • Undecided 13.7%
  • Moderately disagree 33.9%
  • Strongly disagree 32.2%

I would prefer a pay for performance pricing model online where I only pay if I find a suitable candidate for my job.

  • Strongly agree 39.2%
  • Moderately agree 22.2%
  • Undecided 4.8%
  • Moderately disagree 7.3%
  • Strongly disagree 26.5%

Most online job boards have enough traffic to provide value to job seekers and employers.

  • Strongly agree 6.1%
  • Moderately agree 5.9%
  • Undecided 22.2%
  • Moderately disagree 22.6%
  • Strongly disagree 43.2%

“We took a critical look at all the problems which plague legacy job boards from the job seeker and employer’s perspective. I’m proud of the solutions we offer to job seekers and employers”, says Cosentino of Realmatch.com. “RealMatch is listening, our matching technology produces relevant results for both sides of the table,” says Cosentino. “As Employers abandon the unnecessary risks associated with the “pay-to-post” pricing model in favor or risk free pricing models, job listings are disappearing from the pay-to-post job boards which were so popular in the past. As employers and candidates adopt new and better technologies like that of Realmatch.com and used across 1100 partner sites powered by Realmatch’s technology, finding a job and hiring a candidate is becoming easier, less risky and much less frustrating.

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: Tuesday, October 21st, 2008