Why job boards will soon give way to introduction-driven recruitment
Often the first stop, be it for a new college grad, an experienced professional looking to change careers, or a company that’s hiring, is the Job Boards. For job seekers, the job board search process is often difficult, and confusing. Unlike other searches on the internet, a job search is a very personal thing. You are looking for a position that fits your needs, your personality, and lifestyle, something that’s enjoyable to do, and also balances family life. All these matchmaking “criteria” are important, and almost none of this information is embedded in the job description. The fact is, today job boards just don’t work since with social media people can pretty much network their way to the right contacts.
Think about if you were hiring: would you be more likely to take time to interview a candidate you don’t know except for what’s been given on a submitted resume or someone who’s been introduced to you? A warm introduction has much less risk, more trust, and that’s why networking has a higher success rate than job boards when it comes to securing a position.
The evolution of job boards
"We study the past to understand the present; we understand the present to guide the future.” William Lund
Credit — StackRaft Employer Case Study 2019
It all started from classifieds, ‘advertise and get calls’. Then, the internet happened, and online job boards emerged. Companies that defined this global movement were Craigslist, Monster, and CareerBuilder to name a few. The effectiveness of the job post was the function of traffic it could earn, the typical advertising model. Then Indeed emerged; it aggregated jobs and the ‘pay-per-click’ model emerged. LinkedIn won this era when it made a job search a social experience. Companies like Glassdoor attacked this advertised information model with employee reviews, just what a TripAdvisor did to booking sites. Indeed had a silent death despite being the biggest traffic aggregator. Among all this rush emerged SaaS-based, process efficiency tools promising to save time & cost and of course “Big Data Intelligence”. Despite 20+ years of technical innovations, a single person recruiter still operates who works on a contingency model and charges a premium for information arbitrage. None of the above is non-existent; all of it still exists and will continue to until disrupted from the roots. After all, recruitment is a $200 billion industry worldwide.
The big question amid this chaos is did we forget what we were solving for? The goal was always to find that one person who the hiring managers like and can trust for his contribution towards the goals of the company.
The problem was never to advertise jobs, it was always to find out ‘Who knows who with X to do Y’
The history in recruitment and expanding sources of revenue led us to do new things and created infrastructure that opens up new opportunities. For e.g. the new wave of use of advanced algorithms that rank resumes according to skills, experience, and keywords, et al. An HR manager once told me that they get an average of 350 resumes for each position and only look at the top 10–20; meaning 330 resumes are not even reviewed, thanks to ATS!
Then the status of a job posting keeps changing. It’s never off the job boards if the company suddenly holds a position or gets a lateral reference internally from more trusted sources. The context understanding the gap between the hiring manager and the recruiter is widening too, due to evolving job roles and nature of work.
Back to the drawing board
Do you know someone with X who can do Y is the fundamental problem statement and the solution is the aggregation of our networks and a trust-based people recommendation model that benefits everyone while reducing cost and time to hire.
The key hypothesis here is that the person that you want to potentially hire is not applying on job boards. He’s rather busy building and learning to grow in his career elsewhere.
The message here is not that job boards are dead; people’s need to find jobs and leverage technology to do so in more effective and efficient ways hasn’t changed at all.
Before money existed, people used references and local community-led information for barter exchanges. A warm introduction was a commodity until bank notes became a thing and every real estate, from land to space on a blog, started selling for dollar value.
Naval Ravikant, the Founder of AngelList, once said in a podcast: “The older the problem, the older the solution.” The case with finding the right person is the same. Introduction-driven recruitments will be the next possible disruptive wave when companies come together and cooperate on their candidate sourcing intelligence and provide access to a pre-vetted pool of high-quality and diverse candidates who would not otherwise have applied to any given company. This maturity will give rise to new forms of social systems, the kind that has been difficult to come by during the dominance of the major platforms.
(Disclaimer— The author is the founder of a global tech talent platform dedicated to helping people connect with companies by getting warm introductions. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)