Sand ManI often hear the remark that job boards are the same as recruiters. If that is true, could job boards replace recruiters?

Companies post jobs on Monster, CareerBuilder, and various niche boards, and many post jobs on their own sites in a career section. Social media has tackled the job seeker market in the last couple years, with new applications such as BranchOut and TopProspect, just to mention a couple. Does this mean the job of a recruiter is finished?

No way, I say! While there are hires happening via these methods, working with a recruiter is quite a different method for a finding a new career opportunity.

First of all, many executives and high level managers are not actively seeking a job, but are interested in specific types of new opportunities. A resume may be updated on a job board, but surfing it to apply for jobs is not on the priority list of the passive candidate. And employers don’t typically have the time to search job boards. Perhaps an admin in H.R. may jump on one at the outset of a search, but they are likely focused on the flood of resumes they get and other tasks involved in administering their H.R. functions.

Top notch talent may also wish to keep informed as to new opportunities but in the strictest confidentiality. Working with a recruiter, especially developing a relationship with him or her, allows talented managers to keep abreast of any exceptional employment opportunities. This allows them to privately consider new challenges without a public plan to change companies.

Recruiters are often an access point to the really hidden job market. We are amongst the first to know about new positions, before they are posted, before the req has been approved, and sometimes before the rest of the department is even aware that headcount could change. Working intimately with hiring managers, recruiters know how to spot the best talent and cultural fit. This relationship and knowledge can also lead to matching up candidates with a company that has no new req at all but who recognizes the opportunity of creating a position for the right person that the recruiter has brought to their attention.

Job boards do work, obviously. But job boards only provide a two-dimensional snapshot of a person. Recruiters delve into the skills and experience typed up on the resume to get a measure of a person’s depth of experience and ability. The recruiter will speak with potential candidates to understand their goals and motivations, and get an appreciation of their personality and how they would fit within a company’s culture. Recruiters inform candidates as to the work environment, company opportunities, and personnel make up. Your recruiter can help prepare and coach you to position yourself in the best light, and facilitate a negotiation leading to a successful hire.

Let’s recap. Recruiters network to access and assess the right talent whether they are on a board or not, and they reach out to the right people regardless of whether they are actively looking or not. Recruiters often know about positions early or before they are even approved, and can instigate the creation of a new position by putting together an unbeatable talent-company match.

So will job boards replace recruiters? Again, no way! Whether you are actively looking for a job, or simply want to be in the running if your dream opportunity comes up, take advantage of all the career tools out there. Post your resume, use LinkedIn, try the new job related social media tools that speak to you. And make sure you stay in touch and send us your updated resume! We’ll see what we can do.

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