Career and Executive Recruiting Advice
A Better Job Board, Part 1
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Recruiters and hiring managers are always wondering where to find the better job board. A lot of issues are involved in finding and choosing one. Here are some of those issues in the first of this three-part series.

What any recruiter or hiring manager wants from a job board is a tool that's easy to use. More than that, they want one that delivers great results, and offers pricing that fits within their uses. That's the simple formula. There are specifics that make a board less desirable as there are attributes that create a more desirable (or the better) one.

Easier Means of Posting Opportunities
Some sites require editing the posting down to a discrete number of words. Usually what's being posted is the entire position description or a modified version of it. True, there are some position descriptions that have been known to run as many as 10 pages. The idea of the position description is to provide a good overview of what the opportunity entails so that the candidate will be attracted. Overkill on description can leave the reader with so much saturation they'll lose interest. Wordy position descriptions that become postings also take up a lot of broadband, in addition to web, space. So a limited word count is a good idea in order to filter out the treatise-style postings.

At the other end of the spectrum is the site that requires editing down to 100 words or less. Starting out with a description of 300 or more words in every section of the position description and posting it to a site with 100-word restrictions requires a lot of work to edit it for the service. There was one site that required so much editing for all of the fields that after two to three hours of editing and retrying for each position, it was no longer feasible; the posting went to another site because the effort didn't offset the return. So making the input fields a reasonable size makes for easier posting and display of a descriptive opportunity listing.

More Relevant Responses
Boards assure the poster that they deliver quantity and quality in matching resumes. But there are times when the resumes simply do not match the stated minimum requirements. Sometimes receiving resumes of good candidates is rare. One example was the board where the stated minimum experience and background was a bachelor's degree in a specific discipline plus more than five years of managerial experience. Many of the resumes that were submitted from the service were not matches in one aspect or another. The most memorable mismatch was from a candidate who was still completing their degree, had no business (let alone managerial) experience, and listed experience as a cheerleader as a qualifying talent. A better job board is one that will offer better screening of its throughput or a recommended key word list that helps both the poster and the candidate find one another.

Postings that are run through newspaper classified ads will yield a shotgun response effect. Many candidates will know they do not have the stated qualifications but will submit anyway, hoping that they will be noticed or at least get their resume on the desk for some other opportunity that is a match. It's the shoe in the door effect they're seeking. But recruiters and hiring managers are relying on the job boards to save them time and filter out the obvious mismatches. To save administrative time and increase contacting and presenting opportunities, a better job board will yield relevant responses based on the position description and key words.

More Considerations
There are other important issues to consider in what makes a better job board for finding and attracting the best candidates (and for candidates to be found) such as usability, searches, delivery and packaging. We'll discuss those in the next two installments of "A Better Job Board."

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Originally published April 16, 2002

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