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Looking for a High Performance Candidate? Skip the Job Board

Are job boards irrelevant for finding top talent?  Pretty much.

Job boards were the first step past “help wanted” newspaper advertisements.  The job marketplace moved online and the big boards gave seekers and employers agility in posting and applying for open positions.

A recent survey of job board operators notes online job postings generate 11 or more applicants per posting.  The reality is that an employer may receive one hundred applications for a single position within three days of posting.  Where is the downside?

While job boards remain effective for workforce recruitment, the connection between high quality employers and A-list talent is lost.  The same survey reports employer expectation of quality job applicants from job boards dropped by 25 percent in 2015.  Even as jobs become more plentiful—the quality of applicants declined.

Potential difficulties with job boards include:

  • Overwhelming numbers of under-qualified applicants apply for positions
  • Positions posted, or scraped from company websites, could be out-of-date
  • Job descriptions often contain poorly worded, “kitchen sink,” language

Job boards offer employment seekers a range of positions to evaluate, investigate, and approach.  For employers, job boards present a fast, easy source of job candidates, or a preliminary view of the field of applicants for positions being considered. If you are looking for quantity—job boards could be a resource.

As an architect of IT environments, technology, and processes, I routinely recruit and represent high performing candidates.  Indeed, Monster, or other widely-used job boards are definitely not what these candidates are seeking employment through.  Job boards are effective for several things—but not usually for recruiting high level candidates, purple squirrels, or professional sector employers.

Hiring top talent can boost company performance and revenue.  Yet, according to LinkedIn, between 75 and 95 percent of high performance talent is not even looking for jobs.  Already employed, these candidates passively view job descriptions on tech sites or niche boards.