7 Reasons Job Boards Are The Worst Place To Job Search

Sep 28 2011 in Featured, Job Boards, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Another reason that your job search is frustrating is because you’re looking in the wrong places.

If you are like most candidates, you spend the majority of your job search time using job boards. Even though many jobs are listed on job boards, job boards are one of the worst places to look for a job.

It’s counter intuitive to most of you – you think that the best places to look for jobs is where all the jobs are listed. It’s kind of like the old saying “fish where the fish are”.

Here’s 7 reasons job boards are the worst places to look for jobs:

  1. 80% of new hires are found through networking: CNN/Money, CBS, and Fox news all report 80% of new employees are people the hiring manager already knew. This mimics human behavior – when hiring managers are first getting headcount approval, long before the job is advertised, the hiring manager has identified 2-3 preferred candidates. These are past employees, internal transfers and people the hiring manager has met through networking. It’s important to note, that if the job is advertised, it’s too late – the hiring manager has already identified their 2-3 top candidates.
  2. Ever hear of the hidden job market? It’s staring you right in the face.

  3. Job boards help companies pass DOL audits: Companies use job boards to collect resumes, just to show the Federal Government that they consider people from all walks of life, to be in compliance with EEOC requirements. This doesn’t give advantage to minorities … this practice uses minorities and wastes their valuable job search time, interviewing people with certain backgrounds for the sole purpose of fooling government auditors.
  4. Job boards list fake jobs: Outside recruiters and company recruiters defend the practice of listing fake jobs as future recruiting to build an inventory of candidates with specific backgrounds. If a recruiter focuses on accountants with SAP experience, you can bet they use ads for non-existent jobs to have candidates ready when an employer calls. This practice isn’t limited to recruiters – employers use this practice also. Read more about fake job ads in http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/01/08/a-review-of-fake-postings-and-your-job-board/ .
  5. Mass competition: The average advertised job attracts 1,000 applicants – even small companies regularly get 500 candidates from Craig’s List ads. SimplyHired supported these estimates, when they published that candidates apply to 10 times more job board advertisements today than just 10 years ago.
  6. Plan B: When a hiring manager’s top 2-3 candidates all fall through (can’t come to salary terms, they’ve found other jobs, can’t jump through the political hoops to get the internal transfer, or they don’t pass background checks), then what? That’s when the average 1,000 candidates who apply to each job through job boards are seriously considered by hiring managers.
  7. The Ladders’ CEO says so: Marc Cendella, the CEO of TheLadders published a letter to job seekers stating that “Job Boards Are Broken”. Read why, and read Marc Cendella’s letter at http://www.recareered.com/blog/2011/03/11/when-a-major-job-board-ceo-states-that-job-boards-are-broken-do-you-listen/ .
  8. CareerBuilder says so: CareerBuilder, the largest job board out there, brags that 10% of all new hires come from job boards. They aren’t embarrassed about this figure … they’re proud of it. By the way … the remaining 10% come from recruiters and company web sites.

So let’s do the math … if a hiring manager’s top 2-3 candidates are all a bust, then they go to Plan B, considering an average job board candidates, who have a combined 10% chance that one of them will get the job. This gives each candidate who applies through a job board a .01% (10%/1000 applicants) chance of landing that job – or a 1/10,000th chance.

Consider how awful those odds are – it’s like depending on church raffles for your income.

Job boards aren’t completely worthless – see how to make job boards an effective part of your research strategy at http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/10/19/job-boards-great-for-market-research-but-lousy-for-applying-directly-to-jobs/ .

Think about how much time you spend on job boards …

If you’re spending more than 10% of your your job search time on job boards, just like Waylon, you’re looking for jobs in all the wrong places.


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Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

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Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

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