More Evidence of Disconnect Between Job Board Candidates, Employers

Fork in the Road

Despite lamenting the ongoing talent shortage, employers continue to be out of step with the very candidates they’re trying to attract.

For one thing, job seekers and employers are misaligned on the importance of company culture, according to iHire, a platform of industry-focused job-matching communities.

In the company’s report on the State of Online Hiring, nearly two-thirds of candidates (62 percent) said they’re more likely to respond to job posts that include discussion of a company’s culture. Despite that, just 46 percent of employers publish such information in their recruiting material.

Despite lamenting the talent shortage, employers are out of step with the very candidates they’re trying to attract. #HR #HRTech #Recruiting Share on X

That’s not the only area where employers are missing opportunities. When checking a job ad, the first thing candidates want to see is the position’s salary. Employers do share that—after covering qualifications, job duties, location and culture.

Employers also put more stock in social media than candidates do, ranking their use eighth in importance while seekers put them dead last at number 11.

Job Boards Seek New Traction

As we consider this, we shouldn’t forget that traditional job boards—whether they’re general or industry specific—have been losing ground with candidates for some time. Increasingly, seekers prefer communities like GitHub, where they can concentrate on what interests them without being bombarded by recruiters. The recruiters who follow them to these sites succeed when they abide by the communities’ written and unwritten rules and concentrate on developing long-term relationships.

Meanwhile, services such as Dice, Indeed and ZipRecruiter are pivoting to focus on matchmaking, education and candidate loyalty rather than simple job-posting and database building.

Monster is prioritizing the candidate experience, CEO Scott Gutz told us in an interview. “We’re focused on the candidates in order to acquire the audience necessary to perform effectively,” he said. “I think we’re still trying to solve fundamental problems in the industry where candidates are still a little bit lost about how to go about the process.”

That work doesn’t occur at the employer’s expense, however. “We’re clearly also very focused on providing the right tools and solutions to the employers,” Gutz said. “I think you can see that from a talent acquisition perspective, there’s been a lot of activity to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to evolve to what we call a ‘recommendation anticipation engine,’ which allows a Monster to provide perspective to candidates on the right fit and to provide perspective back to employers on the right fit.”

Across job boards, other new tools include more intelligence in search algorithms, data on which employers a candidate has viewed, the number of times they’ve searched for a specific job type and how closely their profile matches others that have caught the employer’s eye.

Employers, Seekers Diverge… A Lot

Job boards do have some work to do. Just more than half of employers say they don’t receive the kinds of applications they’re looking for from them, the survey found. iHire’s bias here is obvious, but we’ve heard the same thing from enough others to believe its findings. Employers’ biggest frustrations with online outlets, iHire says, are the number of irrelevant applications they receive (31 percent) and the number of unqualified applicants they hear from (23 percent).

At the same time, employers impede their own efforts by allowing applications to languish in the reviled “black hole.” Just more than 26 percent of seekers said their top challenge is the deafening silence they hear from organizations they’ve applied to—or even interviewed with.  

Less than 1/3 of job seekers use #mobile when searching online. #HR #HRTech #Recruiting @iHireJobNetwork Share on X

Some of iHire’s results break with conventional wisdom. To hear vendors, consultants and CHROs talk, mobile dominates the recruiting landscape. But only 29 percent of seekers said they use their smartphones to job hunt, while 64 percent use desktops or laptops and 7 percent use tablets.  

Finally, although the attraction of industry-specific job boards has always made sense on paper—narrower audience, more qualified candidates—neither employers nor candidates seem to have gotten the message.

Almost 47 percent of candidates first use general sites like Monster or Indeed when beginning their search. Their next choices are industry-specific boards (17 percent) and company web sites (14 percent). General boards lead for employers, also, with 53 percent posting there first. Industry boards and social media tied for second choice, at about 14 percent each. (Only 7 percent of seekers prioritized social media.)

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