James Mayes

Are job boards just a fad?

In Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on May 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

Talking to potential clients recently and I’m pleased to note more and more are accepting social media is here to stay. There are, however, still naysayers. I was reminded recently of a discussion I was involved in some years previously which has some relevance here.

1996. I’d just graduated and fallen into the recruitment industry in my search for some way to clear my student debt. Within the first few weeks there, my branch manager started seeking my opinion on many internet-related things. Whether it was my age, tech know-how, degree subject, whatever. I was happy to be asked!

And so, over a lengthy pub lunch one day, there it was. Are job boards a fad? I was crystal in my view and fought my corner. Glad I did, I was proven correct. But now I look back on that. What if I’d lost? What if they’d never started investing time and money on job boards? They’d be dead. Sunk, without trace. How many recruiters do YOU know who’ve operated entirely without job boards in the last ten years?

Fast-forward fourteen years, to present-day 2010. Social media is fighting its corner. Wanting to answer the ROI question that job boards currently find so simple. Wanting to make you understand it’s not going away.

Next stop – 2015. Whatever happened to that recruiter who said social media was a fad?

  1. In the mid to late ’90s there was serious discussion about the threat posed by these new job boards to the traditional agency model. Everyone agreed that if we all refused to advertise on them, they would have no content, and die prematurely. Of course, it was impossible for agencies to organise (look at the REC), and the cost to advertise was WAY cheaper than the newspapers and trade magazines. Inevitably then, many agencies broke ranks, whilst others poo-pooed the whole notion of internet advertising.
    The difficulty Social Media presents to agencies nowadays, is that they cannot simply book an advert. There isn’t anyone to pay to advertise in a specific place, and agencies/ recruiters will have to much of it themselves. Sure you can post vacancies to Linkedin, via Twitter, and routed through Facebook, but SM means stringing it all together, mixing up your own formulation of what works for you, and developing a unique strategy. Frankly, this is beyond most traditional recruitment agencies. It’ll come, but it won’t be soon.

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