Thu, Jan 20, 2011
Mark Twain famously wrote “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” upon hearing rumors that he had died. I find this quote at comical as I find the posts and banter in the HR world about job boards (like Monster) being dead or dying.
In the past week alone, job boards have taken a beating from HR pundits, including Laurie Ruettimann, The Cynical Girl (Ed Note: Reuttimann was referencing the business model of specific job boards, not their general efficacy), and The Career Diva, Eve Tahmincioglu (try to say that name fast, after three Sapphire & Tonics). Both question the ability of job boards to do, well, their job.
Both Laurie and Eve mention the recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Recruiters Rethink Online Playbook, which leads us to believe recruiters around the country are breaking off their love affair with job boards for this new sexy alternative called LinkedIn. From the WSJ article:
“About 24% of companies plan to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards this year, according to a December survey from the Corporate Executive Board Co., a business consulting firm. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of job-board alternative methods this year, such as employee referrals and other websites like Facebook Inc. or LinkedIn.”
I find it interesting that The Corporate Executive Board put LinkedIn into the “alternative” recruiting methods, because the last I checked, they were a job board in wolves’ clothing. In fact, as a Human Resources professional, I could easily make the argument that LinkedIn might be the single biggest threat to losing its talent your organization faces.
LinkedIn isn’t a “professional networking” site – although they really like HR people to believe this. Why? Because if we (the collective HR/Talent/Recruiting Professionals) believe this, we won’t see all the job board stuff going on right under our noses on the site.
In the past month alone, I’ve been called by 3 separate LinkedIn sales people attempting to sell ‘behind the scenes’ access, for purposes of recruiting, on their “professional networking” site. Wake up HR people…there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing in our midst!
At most corporations today, if an HR pro finds the resume of one of their employees on a job board, all hell breaks loose. The person boss gets a call (‘Hey, did you know Tim is looking?’), the person gets a visit from “HR”, and all kinds of drama ensues.
But, we (that’s us HR folks again) think it’s perfectly fine all of our people are on LinkedIn – in fact, I know of corporate HR folks training their people on how to get onto LinkedIn. Who gave out the crazy Kool-Aid at the last SHRM conference – when did this become the proper thing for HR people to do? “Hey, I’ve got a great idea, how about we make it easier for the competition to get in touch with our employees!”
Here’s what I know: inherently people like to do what’s easiest – that’s why job boards work – and have worked for years. Candidates get access to tons of job openings, HR folks get access to tons of resumes – it’s easy.
Are job boards perfect – for every organization, for every opening, for every candidate? No! Nothing is. But they work. I’ve worked corporate and third party for the last 18 years and every year we’ve used job boards to hire people – in fact we hire as many people from job boards today as we did 3 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 years ago.
I think good HR Pros get it. They get the fact it’s not one tool over another, but rather, a combination of those which work best in getting a great pool of candidates. Have a solid referral program, utilize social recruiting, mine resume databases, post jobs where the candidates are, hand out hand sanitizer and breathe mints at career fairs, etc.
Ok, now go out and let me know: what’s the biggest threat to your talent pipeline?