Editor’s Corner

I recently conducted a mini-survey regarding the industry’s usage of job boards in their practice. As expected, I received answers ranging from “I never use job boards” to “Most of my placements come from the job boards.” I also asked how much of their revenue came from these job board resources, and almost no one could answer definitively.

Frequent contributor Frank Risalvato’s initial response was the most representative of the group:

“I’m bracing myself for what will surely be ‘lots of flack’ email from the ‘I can’t believe you actually use job boards’ crowd. I can hear it now: ‘You’re not a recruiter if you use a job board!’

“I’m not saying I rely on such as the focal point of our business – I’m a damn good direct/cold call style recruiter and cold call almost every day. But it makes no sense at all to be in the ‘recruiting business’ and not have access to some of the nation’s most often used electronic forums – even if it is for ‘poking around’ or ‘flirting with the secretaries’ of the managers you are trying to reach.

“It’s amazing the information I get – just from admin staff and secretaries/office support types. If you are a good ‘direct contact’ (cold call) style recruiter, then you ought to extract even more benefit from HotJobs/Monster, etc., as you should be able to network your way ‘past the dud’ résumés and get to the ‘gem candidates.’

“In my humble opinion, if you can’t derive benefit from a job board – even if the results are dwindling these days compared to past years – you are a lousy recruiter. To me it’s like putting a driver in the seat of a Ferrari and not being able to get past 55 mph.

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“For the record, we’ve purchased national accounts with HotJobs and Monster since 1998. Some years I buy the résumé search package of one but not the other. Other times (such as the past two busy years) we decided to spring for the résumé search capability with both sites, which my research specialist and I use side by side.

“My monitor/screen setup is such that I tie together three flat-panel LCD 19-inch screens. I usually have Monster on one, HotJobs on the opposite screen, and in the center my database/email calling program. If we’re not actively searching that day, I may have email application on one screen, candidate interview/client call tracking software on the other, etc.

“I can have my eyes on two job boards correlating and comparing information found there with our internal database on the third screen and do this pretty much all day/every day while banging out scores of calls.

“I don’t think we ever had an instance where we did not earn the entire $9K/$10K annual website fee for the entire package within weeks if not days of purchasing it.”

Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.