Career and Executive Recruiting Advice
A Better Job Board, Part 3
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Four additional elements that are part of the formula in finding a better job board.

Matters relevant to finding a better job board are issues that exceed just postings and responses, more than usability and navigation. They also encompasses delivery of results, what the metrics are, posting package pricing, and good sales representative support. Here are some other findings.

Cleaner Delivery
Some job sites send good resumes but they are delivered with occasional strange characters in the body of the documents. The recruiter then has a choice. Either reformat the resume to eliminate the hieroglyphs when presenting the document to the client or do not. With the glyphs in, they just don't present well. Removing them creates more time consuming work that reduces the return on the contract.

The thing that can prevent the hieroglphys from appearing in the resume is inputting the content in text or rich text file format. It's the special characters that become jibberish and do not translate. For both the candidate who is inputting their resume and the recruiter who is inputting their opportunity, the board should include a caveat regarding type of input among their instructions for submissions.

Of use to both the recruiter and the candidate is metrics that show how many visitors actually viewed the posting. If the posting is not getting the desired results, the metrics will provide some indication of whether it's being viewed compared with the number of responses. If the responses are low, it may mean that the posting needs to be reworded. It may also indicate that the posting is simply too low on the list of new opportunities.

This type of feature is useful to more than the recruiter and candidate. The board can save administrative and pricing adjustment costs by allowing the job poster to see their own numbers and modify their postings based on quantifiable indications of the need. No matter what the issue, having some metrics can be both a drawing card for the board and a very valuable asset for the recruiter. At this time, I know of no boards that offer such tracking information.

Small Firm Friendly Posting Packages
Posting packages are great. They offer cost advantages for multiple or serial postings. In essence, they can be considered an investment in saved advertising dollars. However, the majority of boards use one across the board pricing schedule. No matter how attractive, for small firms and recruiters who are just getting started, they're sometimes prohibitive. Pricing packages that have some allowances for small firms and newcomers make a job board more attractive.

There are some boards that allow free job postings. The number of them is small and their site does not offer assurances of quality control features. Still, these free posting sites are useful for the sake of increased exposure. The upside of using fee-based job boards is that they do offer more assurance of timely posting, some types of mechanisms to support the database and other attributes discussed above.

The Good News
While many detractors have been discussed here, the major up side to the fee-based boards is the customer representative service from each board. While they didn't compensate for the lack of good responses, they did make use of the sites and other recruiting needs and knowledge much easier to gain.

New recruiters or firms with new administrative staff benefit immensely from talking with their representatives to learn more about the subtle nuances of using the service, copy modification for better results, the advantages of paying extra pricing points to gain enhanced positioning. While these services may have some initial support issues, the benefit of having a more knowledgeable poster is worth it. Good boards know that customer goodwill and nurturing knowledge of the most effective means of using their service equals long-term benefits for both their candidate base and their advertisers.

Those are just a few of the bonuses of the job boards. While there are some features that could use some attention, there are several offsetting advantages that make each board unique. More of a balance between the two would be good.

These are just some of the issues involved in finding the job board for your purposes. There are additional concerns that we'll consider at a later time. Meanwhile, use these observations, findings and discussions to find your better job boards.

Armed with this information, you'll want to take this time to access the Career Center pages or have your candidates avail themselves of the Job Seekers Toolkit.

Originally published May 14, 2002