Job boards are so simple they are confusing. What exactly are we supposed to do with them? Some say we should ignore them completely, although I don’t think that’s a good idea.
After reading Cheezhead’s blog post titled ax falling hard at careerbuilder, and the 175+ mostly irate comments, I thought I’d take a stab at the topic. Perhaps I’m wrong… you can tell me in the comments.
I think job boards are great resources to do “competitive intelligence research.”
Job boards, from what I’ve been able to assess, don’t care about the job seeker. You are a number, a commodity, and once you get your job you go away.
The only reason they want you to come is so they can sell your eyeballs to their advertisers, typically companies who are interested in posting job postings (aka, job ads). I’d imagine they tell companies they have x,000,000,000 visitors who spend y:yy time on their site, and go to z# of pages.
And HR says “oh, that is a very big market for us, so we will pay you all kinds of money for job postings!”
Yeah, I’m generalizing. I think one of the very best job boards out there, which doesn’t even look like a job board, is idealist.org, which is where you should be if you are into humanitarian or “save the world” stuff… you know, if you are an Idealist (not to be confused with “idea list”). Another impressive job board is CollegeRecruiter.com, for the amount of value-add information and the way they engage their various audiences.
But other job boards just don’t get (or care about) YOU, the job seeker. It’s all about making money from a hiring company.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course… all businesses are in business to make money (even non-profits).
But the job seeker doesn’t pay… it’s the company that pays (for the job posting).
So CareerBuilder is supposedly trying to have good-looking financials to end the year, and Monster is supposedly going to roll out new stuff in an industry-changing upgrade in January (I’m not holding my breath – if it’s a social networking component for job seekers I’ll shake my head for everyone watching).
Where does that leave you, the job seeker or career manager? Use job boards for the tool they are, and don’t spend much time on them (best to set up the email alerts and then move on to other activities).
Just like with a recruiter… you are not the recruiter’s client, the company is. Any recruiter who helps you out may be going above-and-beyond, but it’s not their duty to help you.