For years I have prattled on about vetting job boards. Maybe that’s because at my last employerI was part of the decision process when it came time to enter into annual agreements, and we considered metrics as well as customer service and, of course, what the job board was doing. And I have to admit, I am frightfully tight when it comes to spending any of my employer’s dollars. Good for the employer, but some of the vendors, well, I’m sure they didn’t get it.
Metrics were important because I really wanted us to get extreme ROI. I needed to see how many candidates we received, how many made it to interview and then to offer and, most importantly, how many made it to hire. I needed to be able to see which of my really challenging requisitions generated viable traffic on whether the job board was national or niche. And all of that information was tracked, religiously, even as a one person sourcing team. Like it or not, it is important for metrics to be part of a recruiting professionals life, and they can give you insight into your recruiting life cycle.
And when it came to customer service? I was really looking for a “Help Me Help You” mindset. If I was spending a chunk of the recruiting budget, I want to make the most of it. A job board’s forward facing employees should know the ins and outs of the industry you recruit for, again whether they are niche or national, and how to make the most of your posting investment. And lastly, I have always asked “How are you attracting the candidates I need?” That’s really cheesed some representatives off during the last 10 years. It is not a situation of “I have a website, therefore I am”…it is definitely important to know what the job board sales and marketing team does to reach out to the talent community you seek, their own advertising and marketing.
Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to meet with and get to know Kathleen Smith of ClearedJobs.net and really listen to the great things her company does in the defense, intelligence and cleared recruiting space. And with Memorial Day around the corner, it’s fitting to talk for a minute
about them, and Kathleen in particular. She is the chief marketing officer at ClearedJobs.net and incredibly active in the defense community, and there are lessons that all job boards can learn from the way Kathleen and ClearedJobs.Net does business. What is beyond interesting to me is not only does she do the things I would expect: is a web 2.0 marketing guru, hosts the parties for clients at recruiting events, runs job fairs, visits clients, knows EVERYONE in the DC defense recruiting space, etc., but she focuses on the clients of her job board. At #recruitDC, a grassroots recruiting conference that yours truly and JLee helped plan, I sat in on a session she ran and listened to her call on people in the at-capacity room by name, and then her subsequent participation in a panel on hiring veterans. Kathleen gets it. ClearedJobs.Net gets it. They really get the client base in the job board arena.
But, what do I really mean? They “get” that they have two sets of clients: 1) the employers who pay the dollars to post and gain access to their resume database and 2) the candidates who come, post their resume and want to successfully use the site to gain new employment. They also get that traditionally employers are lazy when they post jobs, they slap requirements into a form, post it and hope it engages a candidate. Kathleen believes in writing a job posting that will engage an applicant, she’ll talk to you about what you can do to improve your results, and the icing on the cake, she’ll talk to you about metrics you can incorporate to see improvement in your applicant flow. This is something every job board should offer up.
Sure, ClearedJobs.Net, like any job board, has a bottom line and aims to attract the best and brightest employers to their job board. But what impresses me more is their ability to give back so much to the defense and cleared community. The amount of pro bono work they do to help defense and cleared candidates get up to speed on running a job search in this internet oriented world is incredible. They go beyond shouting the merits of their website and all it offers and reach into the cleared and defense community to provide support when other programs don’t address all of a jobseekers needs. They understand that the defense jobseeker needs guidance and support during their jobsearch. They offer insight on the process of creating a presence online, and counseling on the way to do it in a way that will comply with their employer’s policies. Amazingly, they also not only trumpet their website as a place to post resumes, but they also promote the merits of other sites, like Linkedin.
It’s incredibly transparent that at ClearedJobs.Net you will be working with a team of people who are incredibly passionate about what they do, and they definitely want their employer client base to reap the benefits of the talent pool they’ve built. But what really is key for me, they really want their jobseekers happy too and will engage and educate them to be the savviest jobseekers they can be.
So, before we all head off onto “vacation” for Memorial Day, particularly because it’s Memorial Day, hats off to ClearedJobs.net. I salute you.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.