Job Boards: So Much More Than a Bunch of Jobs

By Ali Neill

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For most of us, a job board is quite simply the go-to place when looking for work, or looking to hire. Much like an online notice board, job websites advertise local (and foreign) job offers to enable candidates to contact potential employers, and vice versa. However, if that were all job boards were good for, we would not have so many. Job boards come in all shapes and sizes. The main types are:

  • Aggregators: the giant job websites, which exist in multiple countries.
  • National job boards: the local job boards, which offer employment to those in their country.
  • Niche or specialist job boards: job websites with a specific focus, be it an industry, a generation, graduates, special needs workers, or something else.
  • Classifieds job boards: as a rule, a mix of odd jobs, temporary work, services, etc.

Other job websites exist, but those are the four big categories. Two features that practically all job boards have are filters and job alerts. In fact, according to the Jobboard Doctor’s Recruiting Site Trends for 2018-2019 Survey, job alerts are the most effective way to generate traffic for recruiting and job websites. So, what does this mean for job seekers and recruiters?

For job seekers, it means you should sign up for job alerts! Use the filters and pick your keywords carefully to ensure you receive relevant offers.

For recruiters, it means you need to put yourself in a job seeker's shoes: which words are you going to look for? What filters are available on the job board? How important is the salary? Don’t let your job post fall by the wayside just because of inaccurate wording and categorizing. To find out more about filters on job boards, check out how to use them more efficiently on the Jobboard Finder.

Branding and visibility

According to the Global jobseeker survey, more than 50% of job seekers use job boards to research companies and the current vacancies. That doesn’t mean they necessarily use the job board to apply to the offers (sometimes you can’t). Some jobseekers actually prefer to apply to the offer through the company page, despite the easy application process through a job board (like the “quick apply” option on TotalJobs and CV-Library, among many others). Advertising through a job website creates visibility. If you want to know the names of companies hiring in your field, you turn to a job board. Many job websites have a company/recruiter list, which can include company logos, descriptions, benefits, current vacancies, ratings, etc. In some cases, it’s possible for recruiters to customize their pages and/or job offers to really reflect the company’s values and image. This is called branding and, depending on where you’re recruiting, it could have a greater impact on your applicants than the other factors, like the salary.

Job boards offer a variety of packages and branding options. Companies with a larger budget can invest in featured job posts, or the “urgent” slot on some job boards, in order to attract more job seekers.

However, greater visibility isn’t just for companies. Many job seekers struggle to gain attention from recruiters too, or they aren’t really sure how to search for the right position. Thankfully, there’s a little something called the CV database, which allows recruiters to find the right candidate. There are even websites where job seekers can pay for better visibility, better branding and advice from a team of experts (like Naukri in India).

Furthermore, job seekers can post their CV and professional experience to relevant recruiters and companies without worrying about their current employer finding out. Unlike Linkedin, where company recruiters or colleagues can potentially notice changes to your career, a job board keeps your job search private. If you notice that your company advertises with a particular job site, use a different one!

CV writing, cover letters

Even if social media and blockchain might eventually make the cover letter and CVs obsolete, they are still a big part of how we look for work in 2018. It can be quite daunting to write your first CV and, despite our reliance on computers at work, many of us remain rather backward when it comes to creating a chic layout. Furthermore, recruiting and job searching are different depending on where you are, so it goes without saying that the documents you send also vary. For that reason, nationalist job boards can be particularly interesting and instructive. Consider that, in France, a resume is expected to fit onto one page. However, in Anglo-Saxon countries, it can be 2 to 3 pages long.

People hesitate when it comes to adding a photo, or personal information and job boards know that. Most of them offer advice on how to write the perfect CV, and some even have downloadable templates. In England, Reed and TotalJobs have a downloadable CV and cover letter templates. In Australia, SEEK can provide everything from advice to templates to pitches. My personal favourite is actually a Polish job board, Pracuj, which has particularly appealing CV designs for job seekers. Just remember to translate the headings because they are in Polish.

Salary checker

                The job market is continually changing, which makes it difficult to know exactly what to expect when changing jobs. Whether you’re changing careers, starting a career or just changing companies, the salary is always a delicate issue. Since they work with a wide range of companies in all kinds of industries, job boards collect an impressive amount of information on proposed salaries and jobseekers’ current salary. To help the job seeker, they share that knowledge with special features like a salary checker and job sheets. For example, the CW jobs website, which is an IT specialist job board, provides information on different IT salaries and it shows how they have evolved. In France, Keljob lists the cities that pay the most for a particular profession. That’s just to name a few! Actually, we have an article on the French salary checkers coming out very soon so keep your eyes open!

                The salary information can also be particularly useful for companies looking to hire in a new field. If you’re unsure of the average pay to offer your recruits, there are job boards that have already anticipated that problem. Indeed, for example, gently suggests a salary based on the other job offers on the website. The pay can change depending on the location and the profession, and job boards know that better than anyone!

Personality tests and questionnaires

Some job offers attract many candidates. Too many candidates even! It can be very time-consuming for a recruiter to access every profile and to interview candidate after candidate. Guess what? Job boards know that too. For that reason, a number of them have personality tests and questionnaires that help cull the candidates before they even apply. One of the standouts is Jobbsafari in Sweden and Norway, with a number of personality tests that job seekers can even include in their profile.

Other job websites prefer to focus on the job market as a whole and their goal is to assess how happy the workforce actually is. Once again, Jobbsafari and Jobindex are among some of the leaders, with their “Happy at Work” questionnaire. There is also Rekrute in Morocco, which has a similar “Happy at Work” survey.

As for the difficult questions to deter those that just aren’t the right fit for the position, MyJobs in Myanmar does a particularly good job of making it difficult to apply for the wrong job. Of course, Indeed and many more also allow recruiters to include questions and they can even suggest questions. Sometimes, it feels like the job boards just take care of everything.

Worker rights and legal facts

How many workers really know their rights? Most of us don’t worry about the legal side of our jobs unless we feel that we’ve been treated unfairly. It doesn’t even occur to us to question certain aspects of our work, our hours or our pay. Luckily, job boards ask some of the tough questions, from your entitlements concerning bereavement leave to the legal break time. TotalJobs actually tackles both of those topics on their blog in the legal section. Other original articles on legal issues in the workplace can be found on job boards all over the world. SuperJobs, for example, has an article on the consequences of showing up drunk at work in Russia.

These kinds of articles help workers, but they also help recruiters. If you aren’t sure of your legal obligations as a recruiter in a foreign country, chances are the local job boards can help. For more information on how to recruit overseas, the Jobboard Finder has a series of How to recruit articles, from Nepal to Colombia.

Articles and whitepapers

                That brings us to the blog. It would be a mistake to underestimate the worth of a job board blog. Some of the very big job websites even have two or three blogs (or career advice sections), like SEEK, because there is so much to say about the workforce and recruiting.

                By working closely with companies, recruiters and job seekers, job boards see both sides of the employment story. They hear the employee expectations and can write about how they feel unappreciated by their bosses; they see the new technology set to revolutionize the recruiting process; they notice new trends; they know the recruiters’ concerns when it comes to hiring millennials, etc. Thanks to surveys and statistics, job boards can provide recruiters and jobseekers with vital information. By sharing their knowledge, they create communication and awareness between people from completely different worlds.

                The niche job boards usually focus on a particular audience or industry. That means that the news and articles also focus on that particular audience or industry. Some of the job websites write the content themselves and cover the hot topics in their field, like the eFinancialCareers job board. They actually have a former Wall Street Journal reporter on their team to guaranty the quality of their articles. Others gather relevant information from all over the internet to bring the users up-to-date. Medicis-jobboard, for example, displays different articles depending on your country but it is all related to the medical field. If you’re in France, the articles are from LeMonde; if you are in the UK, the articles are from NHS (National Health Service) website.

                For the more ambitious recruiters (and job seekers), some job boards even provide their readers with whitepapers. A whitepaper is a report or guide that focuses on a complex issue and conveys the writer’s opinion on the subject. It helps readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. CV-Library, for example, has many whitepapers on topics like How to create an effective mobile recruitment strategy to How to negotiate with candidates.

A Job board community

                A job board is more than just a bunch of job offers: it’s a community. Sometimes, the community aspect of a job website is particularly evident merely because it’s the career portal for a clearly defined group. BrightRecruits, for example, is a subsidiary of the IOP (Institute of Physics), which enables the scientific community to find jobs in one place. In Sweden, NyTeknik has its own job board for those in the tech field that already follow the news on the online magazine. The Guardian even has a job board! Do people who never read the Guardian use Guardian Jobs? Unlikely.

                There are also national job boards that have created a feeling of partnership through large campaigns and regular Youtube videos. The #millionpoundjamie campaign orchestrated by TotalJobs had jobseekers revealing their job search struggles. Then, when Jamie Mudle was chosen for the face of the campaign, the job board spent a million pounds to reinvent his professional image and to post it all over the U.K.

                Another commendable English job board is Reed. The Reed Foundation owns 18% of Reed group, and the job site distributes another large percentage of its income to charities and associations. Even if the recruiters and job seekers don’t realise it, the website is giving back to the community. In America, there is even a job board (70millionjobs), which targets newly released criminals in the hopes of making the transition from prison to the workforce less difficult.

                On a smaller scale, a number of job boards make it easy to contact the team with chat support. On some websites, the chat only appears on the recruiter page, but it is for everyone. Monster and Blocket (in Sweden) are just two examples of this particular service. Personally, when I used Blocket, I felt like I could find more than just jobs, I could make friends. This is particularly true when using a classifieds job board, which utilises the feeling of community by putting locals in contact with locals. One of the most original ideas to encourage users to interact is probably the meeting place created by the Hungarian job board, Jofogas. The idea of bringing people together already existed the way of job fairs, which is another great service some of the big job boards offer. Workabroad will even promote job fairs and other events for companies.

                Finally, job boards create communication and interaction among jobseekers and employees. It’s not unusual to find ratings and feedback on practically everything online nowadays. If you’re looking for honest feedback on a company, there’s a job board for that. Most people will probably think of Glassdoor or Linkedin, but there are many others! In Poland, GoldenLine lets users share their interview experience and follow different companies. In the Philippines, Jobstreet has a “helpful” button to ensure the most helpful comments appear first.

                 There are some amazing “special features” out there, just waiting to be utilised by job seekers and recruiters alike. At the Jobboard Finder, we make it easier to find the right information on the right job board. We advise recruiters on where to share their job offers, and we guide job seekers through their job search process.


About Ali Neill:

As the job board tester and editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends. With a Masters in French Comparative Literature Research and a Bachelors in English History and Language, Ali is interested in a wide range of subjects, from cognitive learning in children to the subtle differences in employment in one country to another. 

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