I have a ton of friends who work for job boards. All of them want me to spread the word that job boards are more than job boards. I wonder if you know anything about job boards.

What’s a job board?

A job board is a website where you can look for a job.

Give me some examples, Laurie.

Monster. CareerBuilder. Dice. Indeed. LinkedIn. All of those sites and more. If someone can find a job on the site, it probably falls under the “job board” definition. Alumni associations have job boards. So do many professional organizations and local Chambers of Commerce.

Is it anything more than that?

Yes and no. Some people think job boards are like the old-school classified section of the newspaper. Other people think job boards exist to repurpose your data and sell it to advertisers. That’s true. But job boards have access to a treasure trove of economic data. They can predict economic trends faster than many governments, so job boards employ economists and advisors to make sense of this data.

They also innovate in different ways. Some job boards own economic modeling software companies. Still others have software tools to make recruiting easier. A few job boards are part of larger recruiting companies. And others have forums for niche talent pools who want to talk about their jobs.

Why do I care if the job board is more than a job board?

Well, I dunno. I work on projects for CareerBuilder, and I want you to know that I work hard to make sure that CareerBuilder offers helpful content to make HR professionals better. So in that sense, it matters because I want you to get smarter. My friends at Dice have an excellent product called Open Web that might make your life easier as a recruiter. Nobody is paying me to say that. I just want you to get your work done and spend more time on my website. That also matters to me.

I hate it when people only see the superficial aspects of a business — or life. Is Coca-Cola just a cola company? Does Hershey just make chocolate? Was the Titanic just a boat? Is the Declaration of Independence just a sheet of parchment paper?

A job board isn’t just a job board.

It’s a tool on the front-end of the employment life cycle, and it’s a tool on the back end of the life cycle when you want to improve your game as a human resources leader or advisor. I always tell my young HR trainees to dig deeper and look for greater value in the products and services that are out there. I give that advice to you and one thing more: don’t be so dismissive of things you don’t understand.


  1. Hi Laurie,

    I couldn’t agree more about your definition of job boards and what they have the potential to do for their owners, and the employers and job seekers who use them.

    I recently wrote about the phenomenon of related websites essentially becoming job boards in recent years, over here on my company’s blog. I’d be interested in hearing what you think!

  2. Hum. Guess it depends on audience. To job seeker a job board is a job board (save for LinkedIn perhaps w it’s news/advice). And of course if you aren’t paying for it (eg candidates) you aren’t the customer – you are the product!

    Issue w job boards is they are based off old metaphor (classifieds) and have generally only succeeded in helping people switch to competitors (vs change careers).

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