The turmoil and tumult of the FLIG Era – the ascendance of Facebook, LinkedIn, Indeed and Google in talent acquisition solutions – has pushed some employment sites into two misperceptions. The daily impact of these much larger brands and much deeper pockets certainly makes that understandable. And yet, when they accept these fallacies, job boards, digital publishers, association career centers and social media sites put themselves at a distinct – and unnecessary – disadvantage in the marketplace.
The first misperception is that the customer of these sites is the employer or recruiter – the folks who pay the bill. That’s true, but it’s only half the picture. The customer is also the men and women who visit the sites.
That’s hardly an original assertion, and yet it’s important to acknowledge both that reality and the fact that these individuals are divided into two distinction customer sets.
• The first set, of course, encompasses active job seekers or those typically referred to as “candidates.” They are people who are actually looking for another job.
• The second set encompasses the 70+ percent of the population who aren’t actively searching for a new position, but are always interested in achieving greater career success.
Again, that’s hardly a new observation. But here’s the point: when we buy into all of the blather about “optimizing the candidate experience,” we unconsciously sub-optimize (or worse) the experience of the 70+ percent of the population who don’t see themselves as candidates or act that way.
That isn’t smart for employers and recruiters, but it’s a disaster for employment sites. Ignoring the majority of their current or potential visitors undermines their prospects as a business. They might as well hang out a sign that reads “If You’re Not Looking for a Job, You’re Not Welcome Here.”
A more prudent approach would be to welcome 100 percent of the workforce – passive prospects as well as candidates. Such a site would focus on optimizing the VISITOR experience so that everyone feels welcomed and engaged. When employment sites do that, they become a legitimate and powerful competitor for the FLIG.
The other misperception afflicting employment sites is that everyone who might visit a site starts their journey at Google. The research indicates that many candidates do, in fact, demonstrate that behavior. The other 70+ percent of the workforce not so much.
Active job seekers are searching for jobs, so using a search engine makes sense. Passive individuals are interested in different kinds of content, and that affects their behavior. They actively conduct research to uncover two very different kinds of information, both of which help them advance themselves in their careers. The sites that support that research are, therefore, optimizing the CAREER ACTIVIST experience.
Some passive prospects are thinking about making a career move, but are not yet ready to do so. They need information in order to make the right move, so they actively investigate prospective employers. They want insights on their culture, values, and leadership. Employment sites such as Glassdoor, Careerbliss and Comparably have produced multifaceted employer reviews that provide this information and therefore make their sites a great first stop for career activists.
Other passive prospects are doing research on themselves and on the state-of-the-art in their current or future profession, craft or trade. Self-knowledge can be acquired through behavioral and other kinds of self-assessments, while occupational expertise can be honed by reading relevant articles and blog posts and by interacting with others in discussion forums. In one or both of these cases, association career centers and sites such as Intry, Jobcase and randrr are the kind of destination that attracts career activists.
All of these examples underscore the fact that employment sites have a strong counter to the FLIG’s ability to “optimize the candidate experience.” They have the potential to optimize the visitor or the career activist experience (or both), and in doing so, they reach a much broader cross-section of the talent population.
Food for Thought,
TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.
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