Is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

Is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

February 23, 2022

As technology becomes ever-more advanced, the question naturally arises: is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

For years, jobseekers have been turning to job board websites, such as Indeed or Glassdoor, as a first step towards a new career. We’ve all, at some point or another, opened up a new tab and scrolled mindlessly through job postings in pursuit of vaguely relevant and appealing openings, and then proceeded to send off our CV at the click of a button.

However, a trend seems to be emerging. As the internet evolves, jobhunters and employers alike are yearning for a more dynamic, engaging, and efficient job application process. For hiring managers, old-school job boards can feel like a bottomless pit of faceless mass applications. Employers prepare themselves for an influx of responses, hoping they’ll stumble upon a gem in a sea of coal.

For candidates, applying via job boards is a similarly mundane and anonymous experience. Upon applying, jobseekers can feel like they’re simply sending their CV out into the abyss.

With the rise of social media, the drawbacks of traditional job boards are becoming increasingly apparent. Is the death of the job board as we know it looming on the horizon?

What is a job board?

Job boards are online platforms dedicated to advertising job postings. Using job boards is an established method of finding potential employment opportunities.

Due to the sheer number of people that have been using job boards over the years, these platforms are a goldmine of potential candidates. The resume database on job boards gives companies access to millions of passive candidates. Recruiters and hiring managers alike can tap into this resource to access great talent.

The process of applying for a role via a job board is straightforward and user-friendly. With the click of a button, you can apply to multiple jobs in quick succession. You can also filter down your search to find relevant, focussed job opportunities.

There are many job boards out there; a huge selection from which you can take your pick. Many companies and recruitment firms tend to advertise more graduate and entry level roles on generalist job boards. Meanwhile, they often advertise more niche jobs on specialist job boards dedicated to roles in a particular field or industry.

With 64% of employers still using job boards to advertise openings, it would seem that the demise of job boards is still a relatively long way off.

Are they slowly edging towards irrelevance?

With constant technological innovation comes more innovation in the jobhunting process. As it stands, job boards constitute a pretty antiquated process, and they’re far from efficient.

Through using job boards, hiring managers tend to receive an influx of candidates, not all of whom are qualified for the role they’re applying for. The process can be infuriating; due to the ease with which candidates can apply to many roles at once, there’s often a lack of focus or specificity in their CV. It can feel like they’re simply hoping for the best, taking a stab in the dark and playing a numbers game by applying for as many roles as possible without tailoring their approach. If employers were to rely exclusively on job boards, they’d be depending solely on active candidates to fill their open positions. This would mean missing out on some of the best talent out there in a candidate-short market: passive candidates.

The process is no less exasperating for jobseekers. All too often, candidates will click the ‘apply’ button and be greeted with radio silence. Chances are, their CV is falling into a towering pile of other applications, sucked into a vacuum. Job boards lack a personal touch.

What alternatives are arising?

Both employers and candidates alike are seeking a more spontaneous and dynamic approach to the hiring process.

If candidates really want to put themselves out there and make themselves known to prospective employers, networking is key. Networking cultivates a human connection between hiring managers and candidates from the get-go. Due to the immense popularity of social media, the scope for innovative networking is huge.

There are numerous examples of individuals striving to stand out by approaching the job search in a unique way.

‘LinkedInfluencers’ are taking the platform by storm, with more and more people establishing a public presence on LinkedIn, cultivating a personal brand. These individuals are proactively putting themselves in the spotlight. By being so vocal on networking platforms, candidates are paving the way for job opportunities to come to them.

We’ve all heard the story of the unemployed banking and finance graduate, Haider Malik, who went viral after he stood outside Canary Wharf station holding up a sign displaying his CV. He was invited to an interview after just 3 hours, and ultimately landed his dream banking job. Disillusioned by the traditional approach, many candidates are finding more success by showcasing their personality and employing unconventional methods.

As of late, everyone’s been talking about the dating app Thursday, due to its innovative and quirky marketing campaigns. Their hiring methods are unorthodox, with many offers being made to interns who display unconventional creativity in their applications. For example, candidates have posted TikToks of themselves wearing placards advertising the dating app in public spaces, or composed a cover letter through putting songs together in a Spotify playlist.

Clearly, there’s a demand for personality to shine through in the application process. Recruiters also offer a more personal and human service to candidates and clients alike, taking out the arduous part of the process for hiring managers and prospective candidates by doing the heavy lifting for them. Recruiters reach out proactively to passive talent, source qualified candidates for specific roles, and filter the applications of active candidates from job board postings to ensure the best talent gets put forward for the role. They streamline the process and eliminate the clunky element of companies posting directly onto job boards.

Do job boards stand a chance of survival?

That’s not to say that job boards are now a fragment of a bygone era.

In order to survive, job board sites must evolve and innovate, incorporating other technological developments to remain relevant. As candidates and hiring managers alike are on the lookout for more dynamic and personal ways to breathe new life into the hiring process, job boards need to flesh out their offering and become more than a robotic application platform.

They need to start providing their users with a more varied offering. Job boards such as Reed and Indeed are leading the way on this, using social media and email marketing to advertise a range of certified skills training courses or valuable content to their users. They’re becoming more engaging, mixing the interactive elements of social media into the platform. Job boards need to embrace digital advances with open arms, injecting some new material into their platforms.

The traditional job board model is clearly contending with some serious competition. Recruiters source the right fit for job openings as opposed to inundating hiring managers with an influx of poorly-suited candidates. Furthermore, social media provides users with the chance to interact more proactively with prospective employers, making them feel less like an anonymous and faceless application in amongst a sea of a hundred others.

However, job boards clearly still form a crucial part of the hiring process for recruiters. Less companies are using them directly due to the inefficiency they’re confronted with on the platforms. If job boards want to remain relevant in the future, they need to catch up with the innovation materialising at a rapid rate all around them.

If you’d like help making your hiring process or job search as efficient and productive as possible, get in touch with our recruiters at contact@nicholsonglover.co.uk.

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