Why exactly are jobs boards better than search engines?

Members using search engines and job aggregators to find their next move could be the perfect fit, that’s if your roles don’t require sector-specific or niche skills.

But before I go into too much detail, let’s just make sure the vocab’ is clear, as there are different definitions of jobs boards and job aggregators, the latter of which are really more akin to search engines, hence the title of this blog. 

Candidates go to an aggregator’s site and type in ‘qualified social worker, Northampton’, for example. After trawling through thousands of sites to discover job listings, the aggregator shows the candidate a list of positions prioritised using an algorithm. There are usually few barriers to using these sites, which may be highly visible in terms of search engine results pages (SERPS) when the candidate first begins their search.

Compare this with a jobs board, which only posts positions at companies that have approached the board to advertise. Membership job boards don’t proactively seek to advertise roles being posted onto, say, job sites, or on the careers pages of other organisations. 

The key reason why our clients develop their own jobs boards is to make sure they’re the purveyors of the go-to destination for jobs in their sector. Jobs boards reinforce connections with members and consolidate their loyalty. Jobs boards also allow organisations to avoid the time burn of sifting through unqualified candidates.The various barriers to access mean you’re likely to get fewer applicants, but more of the right ones, particularly in niche areas where highly qualified candidates need only apply. 

You can also enhance your custom jobs board with highly-tailored content and links to your main site. In this way, jobs boards provide a further communication and engagement tool. They can offer access to careers advice, or CPD content and interactive features. They can be part of the mix that generates more enquiries from new members and reminds your existing membership why your organisation is still relevant.

Users of job aggregators often report duplicate listings and search results clogged with closed vacancies, the whole experience can feel distinctly lacking in prestige and credibility. These things won’t trouble organisations with a well-managed jobs board.

However, aggregators could potentially deliver better RIO than jobs boards for some positions. For example, if you need to create a broad talent pipeline, let’s say because you’re trying to attract a volume of diverse graduates from different disciplines, then the search engine approach could be the right way to go.

But if the talent you need swims a shallow pool, or is unlikely to respond well to seeing their prospective next move advertised on the same site as completely unrelated and unqualified positions, then you may need to add a jobs board to your recruitment channel mix.

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