I was debating the other day about the viability of online job boards. So is everybody, it seems.
Beyond the advertising model itself for job boards, there are reasons why your online job posts may not always draw in the most qualified employees. There are reasons, too, why traffic drops even for your new job posts after a while.
Here are some big ones.
1. Using job boards to build your database. It may have become the norm for job seekers to send their resumes and cover letters off into oblivion and never hear another word about them, but the job seekers you most want can quickly tell when there’s no actual job behind the post.
One of the first cues is “at ABC company, we’re always looking for…” Another one is if you’ve dreamed up the most attractive, cool-sounding position ever in order to gain responses. If it seems too good to be true, the most qualified candidates will often assume that it is and pass it by.
2. Overposting. Please, please do not overpost. Sometimes there’s a temptation to post every facet of every position you’re offering to get the most coverage.
To a job seeker, seeing multiple posts from the same staffing firm is annoying; at best they’ll dismiss them as spam and move on, and at worst they’ll avoid your job board altogether.
3. Vary your media. If you’re advertising on Monster a lot, job seekers will become accustomed to seeing you there. In this case, brand recognition is not always good. You don’t want anyone questioning why the same position keeps popping up over and over again. Is it that bad?
4. Vague job descriptions. It’s amazing how many posts include the basic job description and nothing else. Include as much as possible about the actual position – why it’s unique, and what makes it exciting.
A qualified candidate will be somewhat familiar with the description already; make it stand out by briefly explaining what the advantages are.
5. Not enough – or too much – information about your staffing firm. It seems basic, but it’s easily forgotten: be sure to clearly state what your company does, who you work with and why your staffing firm is the best company to choose.
Conversely, don’t spend three-quarters of the description on parity statements about your company – “we strive for continued success,” etc. It tells the job seeker nothing and encourages job seekers to skip the passage altogether.
6. Do not overpromise the “hire.” If your firm offers healthcare benefits and other perks normally associated with staffing firm clients, be careful of this one.
This is what happens: you post an ad that explains the basic job duties and lets applicants know that if they qualify through your interview process, you’ll hire them. They’ll be employees of your firm – benefits, steady work, no worries.
It’s a pretty good way to attract candidates, even if they’re passive job seekers. However, if a passive job seeker takes the bait, gets hired by you and quits his/her other job, you’d better either actually have a lot of work lined up or be prepared to never answer the phone again.