Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On job boards

ER Daily has published a great article by Raghav Singh on job boards, and why they have yet to meet their promise. It's worth reading

For the most part I think he is spot on, though I am not quite so pessimistic regarding their potential success. I believe that there are a few contributing factors which serve to lessen the benefits for both employers and candidates.

First, most job boards don't provide decent job search tools. Whilst geography searching is possible it is rarely well done. Why not give weighting to search results based on accurate distances from the candidates home address to place of work. This would be pretty easy to implement. Even better would be 'time to work', but my guess is that this would require too much server load at the moment.

Better still would be adding information such as salary and enabling search by that as well. In many countries recruiters rarely put salary on jobs. I think that this will change over time. The more information available the more preselection the candidate can do.

For employers more automatic or semi-automatic selection will aid coping with large numbers of applications. I am yet to be convinced that the CV is the most useful piece of information that a candidate could provide to help selection. Some recruitment systems allow the recruiter to ask several job-specific questions. Ask the killer questions and you get a good view of suitability. Link with external testing tools if this is part of your process.

The dream for employers would be that all their jobs get viewed by the largest possible number of applicants but they are presented by a short list of highly qualified applicants, presenting information in a way to help the decision making process. Technology can certainly help here.

For candidates the dream is to be served only the most relevant jobs. A job board type system that could learn which jobs interested the individual would be beneficial. One with much greater opportunities to search, using defined fields would be a significant help.

Searching is a huge cost to both groups and a key factor making the process inefficient. I cannot see the current job board model changing. I stand by my earlier views on new players coming into the space bringing new business models. Better acceptance of HR-XML format documents would dramatically increase efficiencies.