As the recruitment industry ‘supposedly’ moves towards a new era of social recruiting, the role of job boards has come into question once again. Andy Headworth penned a blog on this topic this morning, asking whether job boards are trying to kill off social media in order to protect themselves. You can see my comments on this matter, and indeed, Andy’s post, right here; but this is a huge issue, which I thought worth addressing in a post of my own.
Let’s make one thing absolutely crystal clear. Despite the huge advances in social networking, online visibility, personal branding, digital targeting, community building, the recruitment industry remains very firmly entrenched in old practices. Yes, of course there are thought leaders, early adopters and social advocates using these new tools effectively, but an equally large percentage of the industry remains sceptical, unconvinced and ‘afraid of change’.
The simple truth is that while this continued scepticism and hesitance to embrace exists, job boards are in a perfectly safe position. Far too many recruiters are perfectly content to throw large sums of money at various job boards, all of whom claim that they can deliver x number of applications per month – and too many of us are happy to accept this. Social media could threaten job boards one day if everyone gets behind the platform – but job boards have a much more pressing issue to worry about.
At the Stopgap Group, I have worked with colleagues to create, implement and refine a robust matrix for job boards. As someone who is responsible for spending considerable sums of money on marketing and digital advertising, it’s only right that I know what that investment is delivering. And for many job boards, the results are not good.
Since we implemented this matrix last year, we have halved the number of job boards we do business with and saved a substantial amount of money. After referencing applications from job boards with our database, it transpired that certain job boards had delivered NO placements. And I’m not talking about niche start-up boards or little known ones – one of these was a huge national player who had consistently poured honey in my ear, telling me that they delivered x number of applications per month.
What they didn’t tell me was that none of them were relevant candidates.
So you see, social media and social recruiting could well be a threat to job boards – one day. But until every recruiter measures those job boards and holds them accountable for actually delivering the product they promise to – relevant candidates
– they can literally get away with daylight robbery. And that’s wrong.
To back up these claims, here are some figures from the previous quarter. For obvious reasons, I have excluded to name the boards in question and have also combined 6 job boards, but hopefully the figures will speak for themselves:
|ADS PUBLISHED||APPLICATIONS RECEIVED||RATIO||CONSIDERED RELEVANT FOR BRIEF||PLACEMENTS|
|1,222||4,717||3.86||541 (11%)||4 (0.7% of those considered relevant)|
What would you do if you had access to this type of information? Would you continue to throw money at job boards, or would you start questioning their return on investment? Knowledge really is power, and for us at least, it’s helped us to save money, invest in the right boards and work closer with job boards to deliver us the products we want – the right people.
The digital landscape is ever-changing; an organic phenomenon that is constantly adapting to new environments. There’s no doubt whatsoever that job boards will eventually face competition from social media and social recruiting. But for now, I honestly believe that job boards have more pressing concerns – namely, those who pay their fees are starting to wake up and hold them accountable.