Career and Executive Recruiting Advice
A Better Job Board, Part 2
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CERA - career and recruiting success

Also important to using the better job board for your recruiting needs is one that is easy to navigate and use as well as provides relevant and manageable results from key word searches.

When taking into consideration which job board to use for your postings, another important matter is the ease of use of the site for you as the recruiter or hiring manager. You want to be able to go in and quickly post the positions youve so conscientiously developed with your client and be able to source for candidates in a meaningful way. Here are some other issues that bear consideration.

Easier Searches

Usability Issues
Some boards have serious navigation and usability issues. It was simply not possible to find the database on one site because the link was either not on the home page of the site or was nearly impossible to find because it took so many stabs at finding the right one. Making it easy to find the right link to get to the database for input or searching is critical to a useful job board. If it isn't easy to find or so obscure that it becomes invisible -- that is, it's buried under several layers of the site -- all the board has succeeded in doing is creating a very interesting web presence. A board that is well designed will have accessing links that are easy to find and don't require a lot of clicking to reach the target.

Key Word Searches
Selecting and requiring good key words that properly fit the position may be one answer for both sides of the equation. A resume that has key words for the type(s) of situations for which the candidate wants to be considered will then pop up in a search that uses those words. A good key word or meta tag structure to the board makes it a better site to use. With one in place, it becomes the hiring manager's and recruiter's responsibility to know how to input the proper search string to get the most relevant results.

But input needs to be there. Candidates, in this age of cyber communications and knowledge management, also need to be key word conversant so that they are sprinkling their resumes with the terms that provide them with the best fit. Recruiters and hiring managers should be just as conversant in these terms when both searching and inputting opportunities.

To meet the needs of both the hiring agent and the candidate, it's a good idea for job boards and resume services to either offer a page of tutorials on creating effective key words. If not an article that discusses how to input the best strings, then a list of key words that are most effective for producing results in certain categories can prove to be an immeasureable asset. The amount of stickiness of that type of content will increase as more users learn of its availability.

Searches on boards need to be easy to construct and conduct. If the database is lacking key words because the resumes lack them, the site would be well advised to start using them and make that a top priority. Otherwise, hours will be spent doing searches that, again, deliver shotgun results.

Yet another issue regarding key word searches is when the return results ask for fewer key words. The typical response is something on the order of "The number of responses is too high to display. Please try narrowing your search by using fewer terms." After a while, the key words become a key word and the results still unsatisfactory.

Managing Results
Results from less than desirable searches require more work. Shotgun results are random; they require sifting through multiple screens to try to cull the dozen or so desired content out of the hundreds delivered. If the key word search was narrowed down to one word that was too broad, an alternative may be inputting the job title and, again, simply sifting through the screens. Very tedious. Not very desirable, scientific or efficient.

One helpful aspect of some boards is that they list the results according to the percentage of relevancy compared with the key words. If the results are too broad, the person conducting the search can examine the top hits to determine what modifications may be needed for better output. If the site keeps requesting that the key word search be made narrower and returns nothing in the form of some type of results, the time and effort to refine the search will be nonproductive. So ranked results are very useful.

Another desirable aspect of a job board with a searchable database is to provide the user of how many resumes in a particular category exist. If there is no content in a particular area, the user immediately knows that they will need to use another category that's a close match or not spend an inordinate amount of time searching for something that simply is not available at that site. I don't know of any job board that offers this type of information either before conducting a search nor afterward.

Still More
Yet to be discussed are matters of posting packages, delivery of results and tracking your posting metrics. We'll consider those matters in Part 3.

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

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Originally published April 30, 2002

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