Job Boards Aren’t Dead. They’re Evolving.

Posted March 19, 2013 by
Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads just released their Annual Sources of Hire (SOH) Study, which is one of the most referenced and authoritative snapshots of how large, highly-competitive, high-profile firms define and measure the talent supply chain.

The SOH report is a glimpse of where employees – actual hires – were found. This data is important to organizations as they look to find and hire new employees. It is equally important to job candidates as they seek the most effective channels to a new job.

Interesting findings from this year’s study include:

  • Employee referrals are as important as ever. CareerXroads examined 185,000 hires made last year and found that approximately one quarter of external hires were filled at least in part through the the employee referral programs (ERP) of those employers. In addition to employee referrals being the largest single source of hire, it was also noteworthy that for each of these hires there were 9.9 employee referrals. The ratio of approximately 10 to 1 continues year over year. Mark and Gerry estimate that a candidate who has acquired a referral is three to four times more likely to be hired than a candidate who applies through other channels.
  • Social media and other source of hire categories are NOT independent of each other. To the contrary, they are interdependent and drive, combine with, or influence most other source of hire categories. Indeed, survey respondents only attribute a paltry 2.9 percent of their hires directly to social media and a large share of those social media hires are attributed not to Facebook, Twitter, and other such sites that are commonly thought of as social media sites but also LinkedIn, which many consider to be more akin to a job board than to a pure social media site such as Facebook. Mark and Gerry report that employer respondents believe that social media influence, drive, or combine with seven out of 11 other sources: referrals, company career site, job boards, direct source, college, temp-to-hire, and career fairs.
  • Job boards like are not dead; they are evolving. Approximately one in every six external hires is attributed to a job board (18.1 percent) with the ‘aggregators’ such as Indeed and Simply Hired representing more than 35 percent of the total category. Mark and Gerry report that the percentage of hires attributable to job boards itself is slow trending down as other sources like social media, referrals etc. are incorporated in job boards and as job posting capabilities in social media and other sites become part of the service offering.
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