Too Good for Job Boards? Try Using Them in Tandem With LinkedIn

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Mar 8, 2012

I cannot believe how many of my clients/followers tell me that they don’t or won’t use job boards because their clients either won’t pay for job board candidates or don’t want to see job board candidates. Many tell me with a gleeful condescension that they simply “don’t do the boards.”

All of you should be using job boards.

Why should you make this a key part of your strategy? Isn’t LinkedIn enough?

Let me make this clear: no, LinkedIn is not enough. I am a huge fan of LinkedIn and one of the top industry trainers for it; however, LinkedIn and job boards really need to be worked together. You have really forgotten the great blessing of the job boards. All people on job boards are active candidates. All people on the job boards will take your phone calls or reply to your emails. All people on job boards are sitting ducks for sourcing.

LinkedIn is a tremendous tool and superb for networking, sourcing names, and email communications. It’s a great way to find passive candidates, since many people today have their LinkedIn profiles completed. As of this writing, LinkedIn has more than 135 Million people. So, use it and use it well. What I am proposing, though, is that you use your job board strategy in conjunction with LinkedIn.

The key to this is to tap into the active candidates that are like fish in a barrel, on all of the top job boards. As noted, all are active and most will take your call or reply to your emails. So, that gives you a great opportunity for easy and live sourcing. Yes, sourcing, and by sourcing, I mean the manual, old-fashioned kind where you actually talk to the person (or yes, you can email them), but you ask them to point you to other great people.

Be a Master Prospector

Any great recruiter or salesperson knows that being a master prospector is the key to the game. Prospecting is the very first step in any sales training you ever will take. Prospecting guru Paul J. Meyer put it best, when he said, “I’d rather be a master prospector, than be a wizard of speech and have no one to tell my story to.” The job boards simply give you the best opportunity to source for candidate leads and for job leads. Use this to work your game plan to make sure you are “telling your story” to the right people and in the most time effective manner.

I am not even proposing that you place the job board folk (although you will here and there and pay for the fees associated with the boards), but rather take advantage of the fact that they will take your call. Build a quick relationship and they will direct you to their former boss, current boss, great peers, and so forth.

Frankly, as part of your LinkedIn strategy, you should use your 3,000 lifetime invitations wisely (that’s right, you get 3,000 and you’ll learn that as soon as you send out your 2001st invite. At that time, they will then tell you that you only have 999 left). Ask every person you contact on the job boards to join your LinkedIn network. You can be certain they will accept and now you have online access to their entire network and work history. This is much more powerful than spending hours hoping to add people in LinkedIn Groups to your network or risking getting banned by LinkedIn for adding people who don’t know you. Many of you have learned the hard way that as soon as three or so people click “I don’t know” on their invitations, that LinkedIn will block you. Then they require that you have an email address of the person before allowing you to send out an invitation again.

Who Do You Know?

When people tell me they don’t use the job boards, I immediately ask them how much sourcing plays into their strategy. Almost always, they can’t answer the question. If you are a true sourcer, you know that every call should end with an “Oh, by the way….” That leads into questions about who they know that can help them with candidate leads or job leads.

Anyone who sources for job leads knows that the route to go is with an active candidate base. This group will always tell you what companies are interviewing or hiring people through agencies or who is hiring temps/contractors right now. It’s the best and most effective — and efficient — strategy to do this business. Someone who is good at this knows that the job boards just make it easier. They don’t necessarily look at these people as potential placements but as guaranteed relationships and as referral sources and future LinkedIn connections.

Take Job Boards for a Test Drive

Here’s what I propose: If you already have some form of job board access, then begin searching! If not, simply buy one job board job posting for one week. Post an open position you currently have that is also common for your niche. Talk to every single person you can that is somewhat related to your search that you either seek out or responds to your posting. Then, for this group, always end the call with “Oh, by the way, what other positions have you been interviewing for? What other agencies have called you and for what? Where are you currently temping?”

You’ll be shocked at how many leads you get. Do the same for names to call for candidates and your business will explode!

One final tip: if you provide temp or contracting services, then go ahead and create a Boolean search that lists all of your competitors (along with variants on how your competition may spell their name) and do a job board RESUME search. You will find hundreds (if not thousands) of candidates who list your competitor as their employer (since they are employer of record) and then list where they are currently temping/contracting and/or where they have in the past. These are incredibly hot leads and ones that you should follow immediately. You’ll also see that many are kind enough to list the hiring manager as a reference right in the resume.

I think I’ve made my point: you really must start using a job board and use it in tandem with LinkedIn. Your results will be exponential.

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