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Your candidates are bored of job boards

Blog bored job boards content

Ever since the days of dial up, square screens and gigantic white towers under the desk to stub your toe on, advertising online has been a strange diversion from the marketing we’re used to.

The plain white boxes filled with plain job descriptions, sometimes adorned with a logo, haven’t really changed that much since the likes of Usenet, Craigslist, Monster, Reed and Indeed took the classifieds section of the newspaper into the digital age.

And as the world of digital experiences has exploded, and we sit perched on another revolution with the metaverse (whatever that is) looming on the horizon, the job boards are still sitting in the same little cycle of collecting fees and hiding behind ‘huge’ numbers of users each month.

Unfortunately, this little racket has been like this for decades. The organisations desperate for hires tap into the job board traffic, posting their jobs, then scrape whatever applications they get into their hiring process.

And guess what? It’s a big turn-off to current and future generations of job seekers.

Recruitment marketing = consumer marketing

As organisations finally realise the value of digital and divert budgets, the competition becomes even fiercer. Job hunting now isn’t about checking the salary, skimming the ad copy, then applying. It’s an entire digital journey, starting with basic recognition, before the candidate heads down the marketing funnel you’d usually associate with consumer goods and services.

Yes, job boards can be an important part of that journey, but they’re only a single component. The big mistake is thinking that job boards should still be the primary source of applications.

Candidates now, especially Gen Y and Gen Z, want to watch your corporate video, read your CSR charter, see your YouTube videos, speak to your current employees, read your glassdoor reviews and even look at just how ethical your organisation is before they even think about sending a CV. A black-and-white job board advert isn’t going to appeal. You need to buy not only a bigger net, but buy several bigger nets to land the fish, and make sure they aren’t tempted to click straight off the page after the first few seconds.

So what should I do?

Diversify your spend. It’s that easy. Yes, spend some of your budget on your Indeed and Totaljobs ads, but think about using Google adverts. We don’t need to explain why (hint: 98% of searches online begin with Google).

This is where we’d say spend some money on social media advertising too – but only if you’ve got the time, budget and expertise to deliver a campaign that interests and attracts the right audience. Throwing money at social media is just like throwing money at a job board if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s essentially money down the drain if you don’t get any traction, so consider asking the experts for a solid social media look and feel, and even better, an update to your employer branding.

If you’ve got the appetite, then targeted, effective offline marketing isn’t a bad idea either.


Only relying on job boards is asking for talent attraction trouble. Yes, they’ll still bring you traffic, but only from about 15% of the market. The other 85% of great applicants, the passive audience, are searching on Google or scrolling on social media, so go figure.

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