img_michael-bernick

Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

 

Which job boards are used by California’s employment professionals today?

Earlier this month, Transmosis, the tech group dedicated to fuller employment in California,     undertook a survey of 21 job counselors associated with two Workforce Investment Boards, NOVA in Silicon Valley and Contra Costa County. Job counselors were asked, “Which internet job placement sites have you utilized in the past three months?”,and “Of the sites utilized, which has proved most effective?”

The results are summarized below. 27 internet websites were mentioned as sites utilized in the past 3 months, but only 6 internet sites were cited by more than 4 of the 21 counselors. Among the sites utilized, 12 were cited as “most effective”, but only 4 sites received more than one mention (counselors could vote for more than one site in this category).

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.35.29 AMWhile a small sample size, the survey is consistent with what Transmosis researchers have heard in discussions with job counselors throughout the Bay Area. At the same time that the internet job placement websites are rapidly growing in number and diversity of approach, they are not being used widely by job counselors associated with the public workforce system. The major job aggregators, Indeed and SimplyHired are used by these job counselors, as are LinkedIn, CraigsList, and CalJOBs. But the more than one hundred other internet job placement sites are not on the radar of these counselors.

(In some ways it was surprising to see Monster mentioned at all by the Bay Area job counselors. One of the early generations of job boards, counselors often describe it as a black hole for resumes. Mr. John Sullivan, a human resources consultant on the faculty at San Francisco State, explained to the press last year that “We call it Monster.ugly. In the human resources world, applicants from Monster or other job boards carry a stigma.” He added that applicants from these supersites were often dismissively referred to by recruiters as “Homers”, after Homer Simpson. Still as a NOVA job counselor noted, any job seeker will want to get as wide an information-base on job listings as possible, which would include Monster.)
As we have discussed recently, the emerging internet job placement sites are experimenting with a variety of ways of going beyond the job board format. They are testing the uses of video, on line referrals, employer/job seeker Tinder-like introductions, and social media links, to name a few of these approaches.

The survey underscores the value of better connecting this internet experimentation and creativity to California’s public workforce system. For in speaking to the tech entrepreneurs behind these websites, one hears repeatedly a belief in a social mission connected with the enterprise.

Matt Hendrickson, CEO of Ascendify, speaks of a better way of connecting employers and job seekers beyond the static job board. Similarly, Ray Rike, Chief Operating Officer of Accolo, points us to the “Accolo Manifesto”, with its declaration: “Accolo is about the relentless pursuit of connecting the two people that matter; the hiring manager and the person who is the perfect fit for the job…We envision a time when everyone who wants a job can find one, and the person with the opening can fill it with minimal distraction. Imagine the impact of cutting national unemployment by 30% to 50% just by eliminating this noise between the opening and the ideally suited person. Further, imagine that each and every person is treated fairly and with respect.”