Tech & Work

Online job boards: Boon or boondoggle?

According to a recent TechRepublic column, online job sites are a bust. But several members said that they've had success with the boards. Here's what they have to say about using online job sites.


IT pros use a number of methods for finding a job, from the traditional classified ad search to online job sites such as Monster, HotJobs, and FlipDog.

These online sites are full of both job opportunities for IT pros and information IT managers can use to fill openings. But are the boards effective? TechRepublic contributor Nick Corcodilos said in a recent column that statistics show IT pros are not finding jobs and managers are not finding employees online.

In the column, Corcodilos listed two stats to back up his point:
  • In 2000, Forrester Research reported that only 4 percent of job hunters found their last job on the Internet.
  • CareerXroads, a company that monitors job boards and online recruiting activity, released a report in 2002 that revealed that companies found 1.4 percent of new hires through the four largest job boards.

But according to some of the responses in the discussion following Corcodilos’ column, many TechRepublic members have found jobs through online boards, while others stay away from them completely. Here’s what they had to say.

Some do find jobs
In his column, Corcodilos said that if you still rely on online boards to find jobs, you’re living in a dreamland because “various studies done over the past two years say the leading source of jobs and new hires is personal referrals.”

We all know that networking is a great way to find a new job or the best new employees, but are the boards really ineffective? According to many TechRepublic members, the boards led them to new positions.

“I got a job through Monster, and it was easier than trying to schmooze my way in with personal contacts,” said member Peggy Garberick, a database administrator. “Sure, it's not a perfect world, but whatever gets your foot in the door is what works for you,” she added.

TechRepublic member D. Mattingly agreed. “When I wasn't happy with my job, I started signing up with recruiters and submitted my resume to several job boards like Monster and HotJobs. I found that I received an equal amount of interviews from the job boards as I did with the recruiters and the newspapers. I found my current position at HotJobs and have worked here for nearly two years now,” he said.

“They're good. They get you interviews relatively quickly, and you have a pretty good chance of getting the job because by the time (it’s) posted there, you're not wasting your time vying for a job where there's an unspoken understanding that they've already given the job to someone else even before they've interviewed anyone,” said member sylah.

To post, or not to post, a resume
Most online job boards offer a place for you to store your resume online. This database’s assumed purpose allows employers to browse through stored resumes and contact you if they like what they see.

For TechRepublic member S. Sabin, storing his resume online gives him an added boost in his job search. “I like…being added to their database. Now you have several people hitting the pavement for you,” he said.

Another member, animatco, said he received an unexpected job offer after an employer found his name browsing a resume database.

“My current employer found an old resume of mine on Monster and interviewed me and then hired me because of it. I wouldn't have known the job existed if he hadn't been looking for a person with my qualifications.”

But other members see the boards as little more than a way to attract attention from headhunters. These members avoid resume databases because after posting a resume in a database, they were inundated with hits from headhunters.

“I have posted resumes on [Monster and HotJobs] and found most of the hits I got are from headhunters looking for fish,” said member J. Huggy. While J. Huggy doesn’t post his resume online, he does use the job advertisements on the boards to find an organization’s contact information.

“They (the boards) do have many job postings that are directly for the companies, so what I use them for is job searching…get the fax and e-mails and directly fax or e-mail my resume to the company,” he said.

Don't count them out
Yes, headhunters can find your name on an online board and sell your resume to an organization, hoping to make a profit if you are hired, but is this always a bad thing? Some members don’t think so. They still use the boards to find jobs. However, a few who participated in the discussion about Corcodilos’ column said that they use online boards exclusively to search for a new job. They believe the boards may give you an edge if you couple them with more traditional methods such as networking, newspapers, and job fairs.

“To eliminate the job boards from your job search would be a huge mistake. Job boards should be given equal consideration as the papers and recruiters, provided that you follow up with them as you would a recruiter. I completely disagree that job boards are a bust. I found my job there,” said D. Mattingly.

“The simple fact that companies use the online services means that there is always a chance of getting a job through them. How can you tell both job seekers and potential employers that the same service is a waste of time?” said philogic.

Tell us your board story
Do you have a success story about using the boards? Have you had a bad experience using these services? We want to hear about both. Drop us a line and tell us your story or start a discussion below.

 

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