“We keep using job boards and we don’t know why.” During a conversation with the CEO of one of the smartest digital recruitment marketing agencies earlier this week, he mentioned that one of his clients (a major employer) said this to him.

I’ve heard similar statements from a number of talent acquisition leaders over the past year. None of these job boards2employers is alone. Many of you are still using job boards as your primary source of candidates and often you don’t know why.

Here’s why:

  1. You have no idea what sources produce the most qualified candidates. Despite all of the focus on data analytics and metrics in the HR field over the past several years, many employers still aren’t automatically tracking the source of their candidates. Since you don’t really know where your good candidates come from, you just keep doing what you’ve always done – post jobs on job boards.
  2. Your hiring managers and executives have too much influence on how you spend your recruitment marketing budget. They hired someone in 2002 from a job board or they were hired after responding to a job board ad, so they think that all jobs must be posted there. This situation, coupled with the fact that you don’t have any data to prove them wrong (see #1 above), you just keep doing what you’ve always done – post jobs on job boards.
  3. Despite the mantra that I hear from many of you – “We are more concerned with quality candidates than a large quantity of candidates” – you still get concerned when you only have a limited number of applicants to your positions. Even if many of those applicants are qualified for the role, you fear that you must be missing someone if you don’t have 100+ applicants for a single job. So, you just keep doing what you’ve always done – post jobs on job boards.

Now, I’m not saying that job boards shouldn’t be a part of your recruitment marketing strategy. They most certainly should be. However, the decision to use specific job boards needs to be based on data – you need to know why you are using them. Niche job boards can provide access to highly qualified candidates with the specific skills you are after. Job boards focused on interns and college graduates are essential if you have demand for new graduates. Transitioning military job boards can provide branding opportunities for your company with individuals with key leadership skills. General job boards can still be a good source for certain skills or locations.

As talent acquisition leaders, you need to insist on tools or services that can provide data to help you determine the effectiveness of the job boards you use. You can determine the best boards for your business and focus your spending on those that yield the best candidates. You can break your addiction to job boards (and the annual renewal for the same packages with every job board vendor) and focus on those that produce the best candidates.

Need help building a business case for investing in tools that can provide this data? Check out our free webinar and business case worksheet here.

About Kara Yarnot

Kara founded Meritage Talent Solutions to provide tailored talent acquisition solutions to employers and employment services companies. Kara has over 17 years of leadership experience in talent acquisition and recruiting for several FORTUNE® 500 organizations, including Boeing, Intel, and SAIC.

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