As recruitment methods go, job boards feature quite prominently in any agency’s toolkit to attract talent. However, they are one of many tools. The key is understanding the pros and cons of job boards so you can use them effectively alongside other methods in your recruitment strategy.

So read on for the best and worst parts of using job boards – and tips on maximising your return on investment if you do decide to use them.

The pros of job boards

You can reach a large, active audience

Job boards attract thousands of active candidates every month, so it would be foolish to not engage with them.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

You can search for potential employees anytime, anywhere (and candidates can apply anytime, anywhere).

There are many generalist & specialist boards to choose from

Broadbean is a tool used by recruitment agencies to post to multiple job boards at the click of a button. At the time of posting, there were no fewer than 2,000 job boards to choose from, from the well-known brands like Jobsite to niche boards like Supply Chain Recruit.

It makes life easier for potential employees

They can register with a job site & then make multiple applications without having to repeatedly upload the same information each time.

You can create an online employer brand

If you don’t have a career page on your company website, job boards can provide a chance to create an online profile of your business to attract talent. Your company profile can give an idea of what it’s like to work in your business along with an outline of training & progression opportunities offered.

The cons of job boards

Candidates that only meet 3/10 of your criteria (but thought, “What the hell, I may as well apply”).

The ease of online recruitment is a double-edged sword: too many people treat the process as a numbers game and make as many applications as possible, regardless of whether they have the skills and experience for the role (or even the right to work in the country).

Cue hours sifting through piles of unsuitable candidates (unless you want to chance some CV algorithm software being reliable enough to still find those killer candidates who unfortunately didn’t change their weird-and-wonderful job title to the one you’re looking for).

“I’d love to work for [insert competitor brand]”

Some spammy applications can be spotted a mile off (we all love seeing applications that wax lyrical about a competitor company), others are harder to spot to the untrained eye. Before you waste your valuable time interviewing somebody, you will often need other tools to screen out the candidates that will fit in and those who will have you avoiding the coffee machine like the plague.

Missing out on passive candidates

Solely using job boards means you may miss out on people who are not actively applying for roles – people possibly perfect for your business but tantalisingly out of reach. Just because they are not applying doesn’t mean they are not open to the idea of moving for the right job.

Our advice 

Use specialist job boards to attract high calibre candidates

Find out which boards specialise in what you are looking for and consider using those first. As a specialist recruitment agency we know how hard it can be to find the perfect candidate in a sea of generalists. We usually advocate advertising lower level positions on the more generalist boards & more specialist roles on niche boards to ensure you get the right level of candidates you’re looking for.

Know your employer brand

Understand and communicate who you are as a business, what you offer, what it’s like to work for you and what opportunities there are for progression. All these things can make a massive difference in attracting the right candidates.

Download our Employer Branding Checklist

Leverage LinkedIn

Traditional networking still has its place, although LinkedIn is now becoming the go-to place for finding elusive and passive candidates with specific skill-sets. However, you need to know how to perform the searches (and have a stand-out approach if you don’t want your InMail being lost in a sea of connection requests).

Listen to your own people

Don’t forget the best employees often come from referrals. Consider offering rewards to staff who refer on candidates that make the grade.

Recruiters can offer better value

Job boards can be expensive when used for one-off job adverts. Often recruiters will advertise over several boards for a fraction of the cost, so don’t rule out using them.

If you’re wondering whether it’s more effective to deal with your recruitment in-house or use a recruitment agency, then check out our infographic: Cost per Hire v Recruitment Costs