Posting a job online is perhaps the first action most companies take to attract talent when they have an opening.
However, posting jobs in an attempt to attract qualified talent has many intrinsic flaws, and here are the top 4 in my opinion:
- Posting jobs a passive strategy
- Posting jobs offers no control over candidate qualifications
- Job advertisements only attract candidates who are actively looking
- Posting jobs isn’t interactive
Read on for a more in-depth analysis of posting jobs vs. sourcing passive candidates, as well as to have your eyes opened to a new way of looking at the value/ROI of posting jobs
Job Posting Is a Passive (Lazy?) Strategy
Posting jobs online is a sit-back-and-wait talent attraction strategy wherein there is no action taken other than that of publishing the job to various sites.
If identifying, attracting and hiring top talent is critical to any company’s ability to create and maintain a competitive advantage, does it make sense to rely heavily on a method of talent attraction that involves little-to-no effort?
Posting jobs online anywhere – whether it be on a corporate site, LinkedIn, Facebook, or a niche job board – is essentially the lowest level of effort anyone can take towards the goal of hiring your next game-changing employee.
Job Posting Offers No Control Over Candidate Qualifications
Posting a job is just like setting a trap. In setting a trap, the strategy is to set it in a place where you think your quarry might come across it and be ensnared.
Wherever you place the trap, you are essentially hoping that the specific type of animal you’re looking to capture will wander into it. This is very much a passive, hope-based strategy, and hope is actually not a strategy.
If you post a job for a windows system engineer with a minimum of 5 years of experience, an MCSE certification and web hosting industry experience – literally ANYONE can respond, whether they have the appropriate experience, certification, or industry experience or not.
As a zero-percent control strategy, you simply cannot control who responds – unqualified, under qualified, over qualified, out of area, etc.
A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article cited a study of 501 hiring managers by Robert Half and CareerBuilder which found that 63 percent of resumes presented to hiring managers are submitted by unqualified applicants. Additionally, the EDGE report also found that 57 percent of hiring managers cited under-qualified applicants as their most common hiring challenge.
No one should be surprised by such a high percentage of un- and under qualified applicants, because you can’t control what wanders into the traps!
Job Posting Attracts the Smallest Percentage of Job Seekers
Not only can you not control who responds to your job posting, but the only people who are going to get “snared” by the trap you’ve set are people who are actively looking for a job, and active job seekers represent the smallest percentage of the available talent pool.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here is the breakdown of job seeker status:
- 32% passively looking
- 34% not looking
- 20% casually looking
- 14% actively looking
Now, unlike many people, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with active job seekers – they are not all desperate, unemployable people (can you believe people in the recruiting industry actually believe that?).
However, the real issue at hand is that with job posting, you are essentially missing the other 86% of the workforce.
That means that when you post a job for an opening you need to fill in the next 2 weeks, you are realistically only tapping into 14% of the available workforce. On top of that, many people who respond will not actually be qualified for the position.
That’s an issue!
One could argue that some of the people who are “casually looking” might stumble across your ad, but even if all of them did (which is highly unlikely), you are still missing 66% of the available workforce.
Your Ads and Postings Are Invisible to Most People
Truly “passive” job seekers and certainly those who are not looking at all don’t even SEE ads for jobs right in front of their face, no matter how “targeted” and well placed your ads are. Additionally, the reality is that most people tune out ads of any kind – on the Internet, on TV, billboards, etc.
When’s the last time you clicked on an ad or bought something/took action specifically because of a commercial or billboard you saw?
Even for those people who do “see” or “tune in” your ad/job posting – the reality is that most will not take action.
Changing a job is a big, stressful deal. Most casual, passive, and practically all inactive job seekers will not likely be inspired to take any action and explore leaving their current position just because they saw an online job ad, let alone one on their Facebook page.
SEO Is NOT Enough
I agree 100% with Marvin Smith that SEO is not enough.
How could it be anyway?
For SEO to work, you have to have someone searching for jobs and/or information about your company, and as we’ve already seen, that is going to be the active job seekers and perhaps some of the casual job seekers – which is only a small sample of the available talent, the clear minority.
Posting Jobs Isn’t Social
Most HR and recruiting professionals agree that posting jobs online isn’t social, even if they are on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
That’s simply because in order for something to be social, it has to involve engagement and interaction between people.
Sourcing Is An Active Strategy
Whereas posting jobs online is a passive method of attracting talent (I would argue that it’s not even a method of identifying talent), searching for candidates in Applicant Tracking Systems, recruiting CRM’s, job board resume databases, and LinkedIn is an active method of talent identification.
Instead of setting a trap and taking no effort when you create and execute searches to source for potential candidates, you are actively “hunting” for talent – targeting people with specific qualifications and experience, who live in specific areas – regardless of their job search status.
Instead of waiting (and hoping) for the right people to respond to a job posting, sourcers take decisive action to go out and identify and proactively engage and attract talent.
Sourcing Can Target Passive and Non Job Seekers
Unlike posting jobs online and SEO which require some action on the part of candidates (e.g., actively looking at ads or running keyword searches) and are quite literally invisible to those who are not taking any action to look for a new job (the majority of all people), when you actively search for candidates, you can target people who are not actively looking.
If someone responds to a job posting you posted recently and they enter their information – they are most likely actively seeking a new job, although there is a chance you could also be collecting a casual job seeker.
Statistically, many people who respond to job postings are not actually qualified for the position they applied for. If they are not a match for any current openings, it is likely they will find a position with another company with a position they are actually qualified for.
But you still have their resume in your ATS.
Alternatively, their resume may still be posted in an online resume database somewhere (many people either don’t or forget to take them down after they take a new job). In fact, my own research has shown that approximately 75% of all resumes on the job boards are over 30 days old. So if you think that all of the resumes stored in online resume databases are of active job seekers, you are quite wrong.
Statistically, the majority of resumes in online resume databases are of people who are likely to be not looking or passively looking.
In about 3 months to 2 years’ time, those active job seekers turn into people who are likely to either to be not looking at all for a new position, or who may be satisfied with the new position they took, but open to better opportunities (passively looking).
Unlike job posting, when you are searching for resumes, you can actually specifically target people who are not likely to be actively looking.
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