We use job boards at the retained search firm I work for—they’re necessary for broadcasting opportunities. I think that’s standard, whether you’re a corporate or agency search firm. Once or twice a year, one of the job boards we use will invite us to demo their fee-based resume database. And my team will humor our Director of Operations and give it a go.
It’s amazing to me that job boards are not figuring out how to enhance the recruiter experience. I think job boards, like many web-based destinations, are focused on keeping us on their site. It’s the wrong logic. You want us in, searching, extracting and out! Moving on and getting hires! But instead, cumbersome steps are created, and click-throughs are required just to sort candidates we find interesting to a file and then download. Download. Which means we will have to upload. Arrrgh.
I find this incredibly insane because I work in the land of billable hours. My search hours are directly credited back to each job order. So, I have a personal mandate to search effectively and efficiently to do my part to have each job order turn a profit. I hate redundancy, particularly if you’re trying to create a secondary ATS for me with the way your job board is constructed. I already have one of those.
Also, know this: Besides having years of experience and the ability to understand how to craft and implement a search strategy, I am a tool junkie. And I love web scrapers. I currently have two I use to help me harvest information on candidates, whether it be standard name generation or extracting profiles found online.
Extraction of candidates, from the world wide web, is a breeze. Extraction of candidates from a job board resume database is painful. I looked at the process last week and here’s what I think job boards need to do to enhance the recruiter experience and help us be much more efficient while on their sites:
- Follow the model of Indeed and give each user a resume URL. Even if I have to log in to see it, giving me a resume URL versus a .pdf is so much easier for me to load into my applicant tracking system.
- Internally, don’t make me file the resumes to a file folder and then download to a .pdf. Instead… think like a web scraper. Give me check boxes on my results pages for the candidates I want to pursue. Enable extraction of the candidate profiles into a .csv with all pertinent information, including their profile URL. If I can extract 25-100 candidates within seconds, I’ll be off your site and moving on.
- Don’t glom candidate information into a box. Or, if you must put this info in a box, think a bit more logically. What do we want to know first as recruiters in order to click on a candidate? Name, Current Job Title, and Current Employer. This current job board I’m evaluating hides the current title three lines down into the box—not good.
- Realize, like Indeed, that job seekers are savvy. If they’ve posted on your job board, they’ve also posted elsewhere. You aren’t selling me a resume; you are really selling me contact information. Oh yes, my friend, that personal email and phone are gold. Sell me access to that.
Sounds like I’m a fan of Indeed? Yes, I am… even have the t-shirt to prove it. Their model of free resumes and pay for sending emails directly to candidates works for me (although, truthfully, you know I’m using EmailHunter to get those emails). I’m also happy to spend on their job board. And I can use both of my web scrapers to efficiently download my Indeed results. Even more importantly, Indeed gives me high-quality candidates. It use to be “free” resume databases wouldn’t turn out fabulous results but Indeed does. Perhaps more job boards should take note; they seem to understand the recruiter and job seeker experience.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.