Even though job boards are a new technology that have been around for just a few years, there are already many signs that they are a significantly more effective recruiting technology than what had been used before (mainly newspaper classified ads). Trying to gauge the effectiveness of job boards is sort of like trying to figure out how fast you’re going in a jet airplane. At 40,000 feet, you don’t realize how fast the plane was moving you until you get to your destination.
In 2003, Monster.com earned about $423 million dollars from employers who paid to find candidates on their job site. And Monster is only one of the top job boards. Nationwide, employers spend over a billion dollars a year to recruit candidates from job sites.
How likely you are to find your next job through the Internet depends on a number of factors. One of them is the profession you’re in. Some studies have suggested nearly 50% or even more of IT jobs are found online. For less tech-savvy positions, the chance of finding your next job online are generally lower. If most job seekers in your field are not tech-savvy, employers will probably not bother looking online for those types of candidates. For example, employers generally do not search the Internet for low-wage job candidates like home health aides and cashiers. The feeling is many of these people don’t have computers and aren’t on the job sites.
In other professions, there is a quickly changing dynamic. When job boards first became popular, most higher-level managers still had their secretaries do most of their work. It was not uncommon in 1997 for a CEO to spend little or no time on the computer since it was seen as an administrative tool. By 2000, that had started to change with many executives and other high level managers starting to see e-mail and the web as a necessity for doing their jobs and staying in touch with employees and customers. Whereas recruiters had originally thought executives would never look for jobs online, by 2002, a study by outplacement firm Drake Beam Morrin reported 6% of management-level jobs were found through the Internet in the prior year. This statistic is continually increasing with more and more management jobs being found online.
Even with the impressive growth of job boards, the top source for finding a new job is still by word of mouth in most professions. The 2002 Drake Beam Morrin study found 61% of management-level jobs were found through networking. The percentage tends to vary depending on the profession but usually anywhere between 40% and 70% of positions are filled by word of mouth. About 5% of jobs are still filled through newspaper ads. Overall, across all professions, job boards account for about 10-15% of all jobs found.
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