I was listening to an online radio show recently, and was surprised to hear the founder of a major jobs board publicly state that only 12% of jobs are fulfilled through job boards.
It wasn’t that this ratio came as a surprise to me, either as a recruiter or a Professional CV writer.job board It was just that it was a jobs board owner stating what those of us in the employment industry already know.
When you start a job search, and its probably been a while since you have done that, you learn about the new and easy way of getting employed. Jobs boards seem to have multiple advantages over the old style newspapers:
- Greater variety of more jobs
- More employers
- You can spot/avoid the recruiters
Well, all that is true. But, the reality of the job search market is that:
- One third of positions are never advertised: they are fulfilled by internal promotion
- One third are fulfilled by known job applicants: these are either people from existing suppliers, partners or competitor companies. This is the biggest growth sector in employment, through companies offering incentives to existing employees to find new recruits, representing now around 8% of the employment market
- Residual third are fulfilled by some form of job advert system: either through recruiter networks, or employers directly placing job adverts
Therefore, having grabbed almost half of the total potentially available market share in around five years, shows the great success of the jobs board market, but there had to be a downside.
Human jobs boards?
As a job application made and reviewed via computer entry system is no longer a human interaction, the average applicants chance of standing out as different to everyone else are limited. Hence, the chances of your being rejected are higher.
Many corporations recognise this human interaction problem, by putting some form of test in the application process, based on some form of psychological theory. The concept is that only the type of people who both show the right type of skills and who would fit with the culture of that organisation, will get through to the point in the process where the applicant interacts with an employee of the company.
Even if you agree with psychological testing and screening, what does it say about a company that wants to employ human beings, and yet asks them to deal only with computers when they want to join them?
Jobs board business model
The second major problem is the jobs board business model. As the market is fairly easy to enter – £2000/$3000 or less – competition is fierce. The result is that the major business model which survives is the one where job seekers are a commodity, and hence are offered the service for free. Money is made on recruiters and employers paying to access databases of open profile job seekers, and advertise.
However, as competition is so fierce, the cost to advertise is continually decreasing, and hence job boards owners needs new techniques to make more money. One of the simplest is the repeat advert, or the multiple “buy one, get X free.” Both techniques encourage advertisers to keep the same adverts rolling around again, and again, and again. The outcome is that in a recent survey on regional job boards, less than 20% of the adverts were both still open and the only copy of that text.
Successful job application
The outcome of both of these problems, as the market showed and the job board owner summarised, is that only 12% of jobs are fulfilled by jobs boards. Job boards should not be dismissed from your job search, but be aware of your chances of being employed when you hit the “click to Submit” button. There are better and quicker ways of getting employed than one which at best returns 12%.