Note: The “Hiring for Creativity” series of posts is leading up to the launch of Hiring Gold, the 8-week plan for hiring awesome people. Sign up to be notified when it’s ready here.
Job boards are every hiring manager’s friend, until they’re your worst enemy. When you post a job online it’s a crapshoot. You’re counting on a ton of variables. You’re hoping the right person happens to be browsing the right website at the right time, and then makes the decision to contact you (instead of going off to check Facebook again.)
The odds aren’t good. And when you do connect, you’re often connecting with the wrong people. Piles of mediocre resumes flow through your Inbox, mixed in with potential winners.
The truth is job boards don’t really work, or at least should be looked at as augmentation to your hiring strategy and not the whole strategy. Here are three things to do instead:
Use your network. Hands down the surest way to find great employees is through the people you know. But be sure to ask them the right questions starting with (not ending with) “Who should I talk to next?”
Make a list of fantasy picks. People are more approachable than ever. Develop a target list: people who you think would be fantasy additions to your team. Maybe they were speakers at an industry event, or people you follow on twitter, or known experts. Track them down, tell them what you’re doing and approach them asking for help. Don’t give them the hard sell, go into with the intent to network, use them as a resource, not to poach. If the opportunity arises and there’s interest, they’ll speak up.
Try trade associations and other groups. Find the ‘watering holes’ where your potential candidates hang out. Where do they go for information? Aligning yourself with the right group gives you immediate credibility and can create introductions.
Job boards usually require more time and energy than they’re worth. If you do utilize job boards choose carefully. A well-targeted and well-traveled industry- or function-specific job board is eons more useful than the general kind.
What’s been your experience with job boards? Classic or dud?