Do Online Job Boards Really Work?
The short answer is Yes, they do work.
Even though job boards are a new technology that have been around for just a few years, there are already many signs that they are a significantly more effective recruiting technology than what had been used before (mainly newspaper classified ads). Trying to gauge effectiveness of job boards is sort of like trying to figure out how fast you're going in a jet airplane. At 40,000 feet, you don't realize how fast plane was moving you until you get to your destination.
In 2003, Monster.com earned about $423 million dollars from employers who paid to find candidates on their job site. And Monster is only one of top job boards. Nationwide, employers spend over a billion dollars a year to recruit candidates from job sites.
How likely you are to find your next job through Internet depends on a number of factors. One of them is profession you're in. Some studies have suggested nearly 50% or even more of IT jobs are found online. For less tech-savvy positions, chance of finding your next job online are generally lower. If most job seekers in your field are not tech-savvy, employers will probably not bother looking online for those types of candidates. For example, employers generally do not search Internet for low-wage job candidates like home health aides and cashiers. The feeling is many of these people don't have computers and aren't on job sites.
In other professions, there is a quickly changing dynamic. When job boards first became popular, most higher-level managers still had their secretaries do most of their work. It was not uncommon in 1997 for a CEO to spend little or no time on computer since it was seen as an administrative tool. By 2000, that had started to change with many executives and other high level managers starting to see e-mail and web as a necessity for doing their jobs and staying in touch with employees and customers. Whereas recruiters had originally thought executives would never look for jobs online, by 2002, a study by outplacement firm Drake Beam Morrin reported 6% of management-level jobs were found through Internet in prior year. This statistic is continually increasing with more and more management jobs being found online.
Even with impressive growth of job boards, top source for finding a new job is still by word of mouth in most professions. The 2002 Drake Beam Morrin study found 61% of management-level jobs were found through networking. The percentage tends to vary depending on profession but usually anywhere between 40% and 70% of positions are filled by word of mouth. About 5% of jobs are still filled through newspaper ads. Overall, across all professions, job boards account for about 10-15% of all jobs found.
Here are some tips to get most out of using job boards:
1. When you post your resume on a job site, make sure salary you're asking for is in line with what other people with your background are looking for. Think about it from employer's perspective: if you got a list of 50 resumes, and 45 of them are asking for a salary you think is reasonable and 5 of them are asking for a salary that seems high, which ones will you look at first? How do you know what a reasonable salary is? One way is to look at job listings for your profession in your local area and make sure what you're asking for is within range of what employers are willing to pay.
2. Make sure recruiters can reach you easily at contact information you provide. The email address you put down on job boards should be one that you check frequently. Keep in mind that with free email services like Yahoo and Hotmail, you have to check them at least every few days if you're getting a decent amount of email so they won't fill up. If a recruiter tries to email you and their message bounces back because your mailbox was full, chances are they'll just move on to next person on their list. Same goes for phone numbers. You should provide a work or cell phone number so recruiters can reach you during day, as well as an evening phone number just in case they're working late (as many recruiters do) or they brought some resumes home with them. You should have an answering machine or voice mail, and make sure it works properly. If you have a fax machine on same line, make sure it's set not to answer phone.