Posted November 15, 2011 by

Unless You’re Smoking Crack, Your Web Site is Not a Source of Hire

Alex Charraudeau of 4MAT

Alex Charraudeau of 4MAT

Alex Charraudeau, a web site consultant for 4MAT, wrote an interesting blog article about a presentation he saw at last week’s UK Recruiters annual conference. The presentation by Gareth Jones of the Stop Gap Group focused on their apparent lack of success in generating applications or hires from the job boards they’ve used.

In a nutshell, Stop Gap Group used Broadbean to distribute their job postings to a number of job boards and then were quite disappointed with the apparent lack of applications and hires. Broadbean is a partner of our job board,, so I’m quite familiar with them. They do a great job of distributing jobs to a wide variety of job boards and then measuring the responses to those postings but they can only measure what the employer has allowed them to measure.

The vast majority of employers which post ads to our site use what we call apply URLs — meaning the candidate clicks our apply button and goes to the employer’s web site / applicant tracking system page to apply. Broadbean can measure those clicks but not the applications so I have to wonder whether the employer in this article used the job boards’ application system in which case Broadbean would be able to properly track the number of applications or if the employer relied upon candidate self-identification such as a drop down box. If that’s the case then Broadbean can’t measure the number of applications and neither can the employer as studies have shown that the vast majority of candidates (over 83%) do not accurately self-identify their source even if that source is listed in the drop down and it is amazing how often employers don’t list a board they’re using and then wonder why they didn’t track any responses from that board.

In addition, many employers compound this problem by listing their own web site as a source of hire. An employer’s web site is NEVER a source of hire as no one ever starts their job search at an employer’s web site. They’re always referred by a friend, see an ad, drive by the employer’s facility, etc. so the employer’s web site is a destination and NOT a source. published a study a few months ago that demonstrated that job boards are the second largest source of hire behind employee referrals. If this employer isn’t seeing results like that, then this employer is either quite unusual or, more likely, not properly tracking their results.

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