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Job Boards vs Social Hiring

Human Resources

Options for sourcing, hiring and recruiting automation are abundant. The rise of cloud and web-based apps and systems has brought solid hiring technology to the masses. Expensive posting packs, annual subscriptions and a big fat rolodex are no longer the only prerequisites to starting a thriving hiring function.

Niche boards, social recruiting, professional networking sites and the big job boards all come with their pros and cons. The right candidate is out there, but how do you know where? Recently, I did a post comparing the big jobs and niche boards. This time I wanted to take a look at what to expect from aggregators and how they compare to social hiring.

Aggregators

Whether you as a recruiter are pro job board or not, it is still a fact that this is where job seekers flock to in their search. Aggregators are taking center stage for one obvious reason; they do what the big job boards do, only better. Aggregators are like the Travelocity of job boards. Instead of visiting each of the thousands of job boards, aggregators bring them all to the job seeker in one search. Aggregators not only present you with all relevant job board listings, they include newspaper job sections, company career site opportunities and recruiting sites.

Aggregators appeal to candidates because they’re popular, easy and a huge time saver. Instead of trolling job sites all day, candidates simply have to find the right aggregator for them, and all the results they could ever find individually, are right there in front of them. Recruiters like aggregators because posting a listing is free (no wonder traditional job sites are floundering). Because aggregators are merely redirecting you to already posted job ads, they cannot charge for their services. Their revenue model runs off of advertising.

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Indeed is the head honcho of aggregators. They first came on the scene in 2004 and have been growing in popularity ever since. Recruiterbox’s biggest source of candidates for their 800 customers are Indeed and Simply Hired.

Aggregators Can Be a Monster

Because aggregators use keyword search, they are going to come up with duplicates and irrelevant jobs. Some aggregators (and job boards) are using semantic search to attempt to curb this issue.

Recruiters posting on several different sites will show up several different times in a candidate’s job search. Candidates then end up applying for the same position more than once. This is a waste of time for all parties involved, and it can make what could have been a good candidate look careless and sloppy.

Volume affects both the candidate and the recruiter as they encounter the sheer number of posts, resumes and applicants. While aggregators are more user-friendly, they don’t necessarily generate more relevant searches or candidates. Aggregators are still dealing with massive amounts of listings and candidates. The sheer numbers tend to overwhelm recruiters in the screening process and drive candidates away. No one wants to be in a pool of thousands. Aggregators and larger job boards can work less effectively in smaller markets as well, where regional boards thrive.

Social Hire 

The popularity and success of social hiring has caused a lot of nay-sayers to think twice about this new tool in recruiting. Initially thought by some (the ones who swore they would never have a Twitter account, and now check their Klout score daily) as a passing craze, social hiring has quickly proven itself a valid source of hire. Social hiring has become known as the primary method to reach passive candidates, the ones who are just waiting to hear how great your company is.

Social recruiting now makes it possible and even acceptable to approach candidates in places where they feel comfortable “just looking”. Instead of casting a wide net on job boards or career sites, recruiters are expanding their reach to non-professional sites.

This method of recruiting has also enabled recruiters to use social data to create more robust profiles and target more relevant and quality candidates. As recruiters learn how to harness social data and make it useful, social hiring is taking center stage in future endeavors. Several vendors are entering the space and beginning to automate (for a price) what recruiters and sourcers predicted a few short years ago.

Social Misfire

This sudden invasion of recruiters into personal space isn’t always a welcome method of recruiting. When recruiters don’t know how to used social for recruiting and hiring purposes, it can be damaging to the brand. Although there are a reported 175 million Twitter users and 500 million Facebook users, finding a job isn’t why they come to these sites. For personalized recruiting, social makes a lot of sense, but don’t expect followers to line up for jobs.

Every source of hire comes with its strengths and weaknesses. There isn’t one site or system that does it all. Creating ideal candidate profiles is the first step in locating your best source of hire. Assess your location, industry and the job climate and then decide where and how you’ll find the right person. If you want to hire 20 call reps with some college education in Chicago, the big boards may be your best bet; if you want one systems engineer with experience at your competitor in Nashville, you might be better off using one of the new social overlay sourcing tools.

What’s your favorite source of hire?

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