100 years ago companies started putting job ads in newspapers. They still do, although much less.
That’s because they’re putting those same job ads online. The Internet took hold offering hundreds of places employers could post their job ads.
Compare a job ad from 100 years ago to a job ad today and they’ll look almost identical. The buzzwords have changed, but the format, style and general dullness have not.
Here are 9 signs the online job market is broken:
- Companies can’t differentiate themselves. Almost every online job ad looks the same. There’s a few reasons for that. Online job sites don’t offer any way for companies to stand out. And employers look at what everyone else is doing and do the same thing. Job ads are written by HR departments, which means they’re buzzword-laden and generic. “Unique offerings. World-class team. Fast paced. A leader in…” Oops, sorry about that. Did you fall asleep on me?
- Job sites like Monster.com are loaded with too much spam. When looking for work, the two best opportunities are through recruiters or anonymous companies on Monster.com. Right? Too much junk, too much spam and no way for a candidate to get through it all easily.
- Jobster.com now offers free job postings. They couldn’t figure out how to get people to pay for them, so they offered job postings for free. My take: They should be free. They’re largely worthless.
- Niche job boards don’t offer enough. Niche job boards are a response to the massive job sites out there. That’s a sign people realize the job market is broken. The problem is that niche job boards aren’t the answer. We’ve seen plenty of niche job boards spring up. At least they’re targeted, but the job ads are still the same, boring stuff.
- The best candidates aren’t surfing job sites looking for work. The top talent doesn’t spend time surfing job websites for fun. They’ve already got jobs. They’re busy. And even if they find themselves unemployed, you can be sure they don’t spend much time surfing for work. They know how to stand out, and they’re busy making that clear through referrals and their network of contacts.
- It’s too easy for candidates to apply. Technology is a wonderful thing. There are millions of examples of technology making our lives easier. When it comes to applying for a job, it’s now too easy. Someone can apply for hundreds of jobs with a few mouse clicks. Boilerplate cover letter, standard resume…click, click, click, click. And don’t forget, “references made available upon request.”
- It’s too hard for employers to assess talent. The result of everyone on the planet applying for every single job is that employers spend insane amounts of time filtering resumes. And in a global marketplace where you know nearly nothing about the educational institutions or companies in foreign countries, it’s almost impossible to pick out the best candidates. Employers do what they can to filter out the crap. And they’ll catch most of it, but not all of it. And they’ll lose some good ones in the process.
- Companies use the services because they’re there, not because they work. Job websites continue to make money because they’re there. Not because they work. Employers are at a loss for what to do. They’ll try anything. And they’ll keep trying it by default. It’s almost automatic. You’ve got a job opening, you go through the routine: post on the job websites, ask your friends, hit up a job fair or two, etc. You can just picture the HR people asking themselves, “We know the job sites don’t work, but what if, just this one time, we miss a killer candidate by not posting?”
- Lots of money and time is going into the online job market space. The job market is hot. SimplyHired. Jobster. itzBig. Indeed. CareerBuilder. In July 2006 it was announced that Jobster took $18 million more in financing (hitting around $50 million.) Lots of money, lots of energy.
And let’s not forget – people are talking about the problems in the online job market. Steve Poland wrote: Online Job Hunt 10 Years Later – Still Sucks.
Wait, I’m not finished. “We need 5 years experience in Java. 2 years experience in HTML. A university degree in something relevant.”
I love this: “The people that we continually seek are highly motivated, bright, and growth oriented.” As opposed to unmotivated, stupid and stunted?
My good friend, Austin Hill, is looking to hire people for his new startup company, dubbed “Project Ojibwe.” He’s looking for a Python Wrangler. Instead of just telling you what he wants (and boring you with the same job ad everyone else is writing), Austin filmed a video job ad. He’s trying to show you want he’s looking for.