Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

The Value(??) of Job Boards/Resume Databases
July 2, 2007, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Recruiting, Research, Thoughts

I saw this question asked through my LinkedIn group today and I HAD to re-post this. This particular topic is one about which I feel very strongly.

Posted by Gavin Chase of Wild Pure Search (UK):
Where is the value to clients of Job Boards if utilised by recruitment agencies as a means to fill vacancies?

I was taught that the role of recruitment agencies was to provide a service to clients by providing them with qualified and motivated candidates that have been fully screened by careful interview techniques. I sense that recruitment agencies have moved wholesale into the use of Job Boards as a means to gather CVs from individuals who closely match the key requirements (or key words!) of a clients vacancy but fundamentally lack the skill, or willingness to engage with candidates to assess their suitability as a first stage interview.

I am concerned that our industry is taking the soft option, becoming a CV filtering machine which adds little value to the recruitment process. Indeed we are doing something that the employer is perfectly capable of fulfilling themselves, hence the errosion of fee levels for many agencies, probably because the client has a strong argument that the recruiter is doing little to add value to the process!
Read the responses to this question here.

This is a sensitive topic for lots of people! I definitely think that job boards/resume databases are PART of the recruiting and research process. However, if you rely SOLELY on these tools for your recruiting efforts, you cannot possibly justify your recruiting fees.

This goes also, and especially, for researchers. Research is NOT simply scouring a resume database for resumes using keywords. There is so much more to research than this. Research is supposed to supplement the recruiting effort, NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR IT. Recruiters who expect their researchers to only provide them with resumes harvested from a database are using that research support as a crutch. My belief is that recruiting is synonymous with networking. A good recruiter will be appreciative of a list of names provided by a researcher because he/she knows that calling those contacts will result in networked referrals that will lead to placements and develop relationships for future jobs.

Researchers: you must know passive techniques as well. As mentioned above, your clients will see your efforts simply as resume filtration unless you utilize your researching abilities to uncover passive contacts. Educate yourselves on passive techniques; invest in your career with education, tools, and mentorship. If your company does not have the resources to provide these for you, get creative on your own! Read blogs, subscribe to RSS feeds on research techniques, take free webinars, reach out to other researchers and ask for help. Those who are truly talented will be willing to help someone who reaches out to them if they sincerely want to learn.

The purpose of our jobs – researchers and recruiters alike! – is to add value to the hiring process. Let’s make sure that we are fulfilling our purpose in our offices and for our clients and not just become paper-pushers!

2 Comments so far
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Let me be even stronger on this: If I have a researcher who is just using the job boards, she needs to be fired.

I may be mixing the definition of researcher and sourcer (they are the same to me), but when I use a researcher (which I do from time to time), I’m expecting names from companies that are doing the same thing. Names that I shouldn’t find anything recent from on the job boards.

I can do a tighter search on a job board than most anyone I can hire. I can get that list and be calling on it immediately. Why do I need a researcher for that?


Comment by Dan Sweet

In our practice of advising executive search professionals, we suggest supplementing the posting of jobs to the ‘big boards’ with a customized, directed focus job board on their own site, listing only their hottest jobs. Integrating this niche job board with their ATS can eliminate a great deal of administration, and being able to direct both candidates and clients to your own site allows for the opportunity to present your message and posit yourself as a professional in your desk specialty industry.

Comment by Mike Burtner

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