It’s no secret that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the Internet’s go-to places for sharing news, milestones and – in this economy – leads on job openings. And certainly any professional who’s been searching for employment in recent years has put together a LinkedIn profile to showcase his or her skills.
So where does that leave job boards, such as the one I host on Geebo? Are they destined to fall by the wayside as social networks become the new home for job listings?
The short answer to that question is, quite simply, no.
In fact, at the recent ERE Expo in San Diego – considered to be the premier conference for recruiting professionals – I noticed that the social networks were nowhere to be found. I saw no signs of Facebook or Twitter or even LinkedIn.
It turns out that, when it comes to linking employers with prospective employees, social really isn’t the most effective route. Consider the points that a couple of recruiting and job board experts made during a recent Q&A in Forbes. Job boards, they said, offer faster signals to the market. They are good for driving lots of eyeballs to a single job listing that’s tied to a certain industry or location, which is especially good for reactive small businesses who tend to post a job as the need for help arrives.
But recruiting over social networks has two primary problems associated with it (among others):
1) The ability to apply online for something that a jobseeker may or may not be qualified for leads to what’s called “Resume Spam” by job seekers who cast the widest net possible by applying for everything – even if they’re not qualified or clearly didn’t read the job description.
2) Friends tend to overvalue their ability to judge their friends abilities. Consider your out-of-work accountant neighbor. You know he’s out of work and you think of him when you hear about an opening out there – but what do you really know about his job skills, work ethic or professional background? He may be a nice guy and quick to lend a neighborly hand from time to time – but does that make him qualified for a particular job?
When a job seeker comes to a site like Geebo to scan active listings, they can immediately filter down the choices by industry and location. Because these listings tend to be fresh, job seekers understand that there are opportunities out there.
Sure, social is a great way for recruiters to identify people who might be good matches for their open positions. And as a means of learning more about potential candidates, social networks offer a greater insight that goes beyond the resume. But as a place to solicit and find the right matches, social is almost too big to be effective.
Consider what happened to KODA a few years ago. The startup company rounded up millions in venture capital money to deliver a site that brought together the elements of social networks and job boards – a idea filled with challenges that eventually proved to be too much for the company, which has since headed into the sunset.
Social has a role here but, by no means, should anyone start writing the job board’s obituary. In a recent blog post, SilkRoad, a company that focuses on “social talent management,” chimed in about the importance of job boards in finding talent and ranked sites that were the leading external sources for hiring.
Not surprisingly, Facebook, Twitter and other social sites were nowhere on that list.