Job Boards VS LinkedIn

Job Boards VS LinkedIn

May 27, 2015 Blog 4

The battle between the two major job platforms continues to rage! With many wondering if LinkedIn or Job Boards are king, where has this heated debate sprung from? Search for “death of the job board” and you will discover hundreds of results – that’s a lot of pessimism surrounding an industry that employs many tens of thousands worldwide and helps many millions find their dream jobs. Let’s dig a little deeper…

In a recent survey by JobBoardDoctor.com (January 2015) respondents highlighted that niche job boards receive 5-20 applicants per advert, with generalist job boards receiving 11-30 applicants per advert. With 81% of respondents stating that the quality of applicants is critical to employers, this demonstrates that not only are job boards still incredibly relevant, but that the niche job boards are receiving excellent apply rates for every posted vacancy. This is vital in a recruitment landscape where niche recruitment is starting to dominate.

Professional social media platform LinkedIn, has been the supposed go-to place for recruiters researching assignments. Candidates love the flattery reaped by their LinkedIn profile, and if a candidate has a good profile, why shouldn’t they be flattered? Does flattery lead to a new job? Not per se. As Facebook is a great place to gain peer acceptance for personal lifestyle, LinkedIn has become a great place to gain career recognition.

It is the serious social network, with 300+ million users and two users signing up each second. LinkedIn has set its sights high with a target to achieve three billion members worldwide. Started in 2003, the platform has developed into the public online CV database and personal showcase accessed by recruiters and employers worldwide. To compliment LinkedIn’s evolution, in 2014 they launched Resume Builder – a quick mechanism to create a CV directly from a LinkedIn profile – pick a template, edit the info, and share. But, can anyone stop the march of LinkedIn?

What many seem to forget is that there is a workforce that doesn’t quite fit the LinkedIn mold, leaving millions of people from across the globe looking in from the outside and wondering how they can get noticed. As you would expect, the smart job boards took notice.

They are becoming more market savvy. Many are now implementing a pay-per-click models, offering a more sustainable financial model that means the job board must work harder to make relevant applications on behalf of their clients. Job boards are, almost, entirely mobile-friendly – another vital innovation in the modern world. Far from stagnating, job boards across the globe are innovating and adapting to a quickly changing environment.

As long as there are candidates and recruiters, job boards will never cease to lose their, undoubted, usefulness. Their value is proven time and time again and, although the world has seen the rise of LinkedIn (and, through acquisitions and innovations, it will continue to rise), its dominance will not exist in perpetuity. Not without fierce competition, job boards still reign as the go-to place for job seekers, with LinkedIn often the research tool to view a candidate’s profile once they have applied for a position. Perhaps we should have titled this article the yin and yang of recruitment advertising, for as we see it, job boards and LinkedIn are opposing but complimentary forces.

  • alconcalcia

    Linkedin to me isn’t a social network and has never been anything more than an online business card and an opportunity to see where people I used to work with are now. If I was looking for a job I’d simply register with a few relevant job boards/publishers careers portals (The Guardian and Brand Republic for instance) and set up a few job alerts. As it happens, I DO have some job alerts in place, not because I need a job, but because I want to see what’s going on in the marketplace. Job boards win every time for me, particularly if there are decent niche ones around, which for many industries there are. I can understand some recruiters taking the lazy route and searching Linkedin for people, but an employer could do that for themselves if they bothered to take the time.

    • stevewalkr

      Its interesting how much the world of recruitment media hyped seen as “fixed by LinkedIn” theorism… The whole point of using an Agency is that they have a unique DB, a way of attracting the right candidates thats better than their competitors, a trust between their clients and candidates – in short, differentiators.

      The idea that a single DB like LinkedIn can take over agency recruitment is ridiculous. Unless agencies all want to become vanilla, which they dont.

      I like LinkedIn, its useful, and I find its social network aspects have been useful for the work I do. But a replacement for Recruitment Agencies. It. Is. Not.

    • ramblingsoncode

      As much as this is true for the UK, the reality varies from country to country; I live in Argentina – where the job board is practically non-existant – and over the last year I’ve been pro-actively contacted via Linkedin by at least a dozen people looking for candidates.

  • Matt B

    It is improbable either of them will always be king. One may be more appropriate in different situations. And sometimes a blend of both may work best. The trick is to know which to use and when.

    Applicants per ad may be one criteria in the selection decision. Cost per application and conversion (as a measure of candidate relevance) to may be others.

    But certainly using more than one criteria will help evaluate who governs the fiefdom / kingdom / houshold.