For recruiters and talent acquisition professionals, online job boards have been the best way to attract candidates since the widespread adoption of the internet. They’ve served as a bridge for connecting the right candidates with the right employers and have long provided recruiting teams with a go-to channel for sourcing talent.
Job boards have become so commonplace in recruiting that the overwhelming majority of hiring companies now use them to fill their candidate pipeline. But this has resulted in many job boards becoming over-saturated with postings—making it more difficult than ever before to get your opening in front of the right candidates.
Faced with this new reality, forward-thinking recruiting teams have turned to job board alternatives to overcome sourcing challenges and meet their hiring goals.
Job boards just aren’t driving the results they used to. In a survey of recruiting professionals conducted by Sense, the majority of respondents (52%) said job boards are becoming less effective.
Even more, job boards are getting pricey. Cost-per-application (CPA) has increased each year since 2020, jumping 43% in 2021 before leveling off over the past couple of years as the labor market cooled. The rise in job board costs comes as many recruiting teams have had their budgets reduced but are still being asked to meet lofty hiring goals. The reality is that the results job boards deliver often aren’t worth the spend.
We’re by no means saying job boards are dead. They’re still a valuable channel for attracting candidates. We are saying that job board alternatives need to be incorporated into your sourcing strategy so you cast a wide net and generate applicants in a variety of ways.
The goal of sourcing is to create a pool of qualified candidates as quickly as possible. But relying solely on job boards can be an impediment to quality and speed. It’s a passive sourcing approach where recruiters must wait and hope the right candidates come to them. Recruiting and hiring are now viewed as a revenue-generating function, and leaving critical roles unfilled for too long just isn’t acceptable.
To succeed in today’s competitive hiring landscape, recruiters must evolve from a passive to a proactive sourcing strategy. That requires thinking outside the box and exploring multiple job board alternatives that lead to different candidates discovering your opportunity.
So what job board alternatives are worth considering?
Despite our survey respondents sharing that job boards are becoming less effective, these sites are still one of the primary ways recruiters source talent. Job boards were cited as the second most used sourcing channel in our survey, finishing only behind LinkedIn.
That means there is a huge opportunity for savvy recruiters to pivot and use technology to surpass the competition and attract more candidates. AI and automation empower recruiting teams to drive better results at each stage of the hiring process—starting with the sourcing stage.
Let’s explore different job board alternatives your team can leverage to attract more qualified candidates, accelerate hiring, and reduce costs.
Using AI chatbots, you can provide job seekers who visit your website with a faster and more personalized hiring experience. The chatbot will instantly engage them and ask about their skills and experience, their location, and the type of job they’re looking for.
It will then direct them to relevant roles they’re a match for and collect their application details. AI chatbots can even pre-screen applicants and schedule interviews, helping you source qualified talent within mere minutes of them arriving on your website.
Recruiting teams that take advantage of AI chatbots have evolved from the generic career sites and clunky online applications that deterred many job seekers from applying, and now offer a streamlined experience that is tailored to the individual candidate.
For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, leveraging QR code applications and text-to-apply is a modern way to source candidates in the real world. This technology eliminates the need for candidates to visit your careers site when they’re back on their computer, come into the location to complete an application, or discover your opportunity on a job board.
Candidates are instead able to instantly apply from their phones. After scanning a QR code or texting a dedicated number, an AI chatbot will guide them through the application process, pre-screen them against role requirements, and even schedule an interview if they are qualified.
This seamless process enables recruiting teams to connect with talent in physical locations, resulting in a bigger pool of qualified candidates.
Attending hiring events can be a valuable strategy for connecting with eager talent in person. These events allow you to form personal connections with candidates, learn about their career aspirations, and share insight into your organizational culture.
However, traditional methods for following up with job fair leads are cumbersome. You have to reach out to each candidate individually and hope they’re still as enthusiastic about your opportunity as they were when you met them in person. Fortunately, text-to-apply and QR code applications enable candidates to easily apply from their phones on the spot, helping you get more out of recruiting events.
Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is full of candidates who have already expressed interest in joining your team. Many of them would be welcomed additions but perhaps weren’t the right fit for the roles they initially applied for or finished runner-up to more qualified candidates. Whatever the reason, reconnecting with these candidates is a great alternative to relying on job boards and other traditional sourcing methods.
Leveraging AI technology, you can search your ATS database to discover past candidates who have the right skills, experience, and other qualifications for important roles you need to fill. You can then reconnect with them, share your open position, and find out if they’re still interested in working for your company.
Many recruiting teams are always focused on sourcing new candidates. But tapping into your database helps you fill your hiring funnel with eager job seekers who are too often overlooked.
Connecting with passive talent is often mentioned as a proactive way to source great candidates. However, experienced recruiters will tell you that reaching out to individual candidates one by one is a time-consuming process.
With mass texting campaigns, you can connect with an entire pool of qualified candidates at once. You can share your opportunity with them in a personalized message that feels as if it was written specifically for them. And if they reply and say they’re interested, the AI chatbot will instantly respond and kick off the hiring process.
Mass texting campaigns are ideal for reconnecting with dormant talent in your database or engaging with a list of job seekers you met at recruiting events.
Employee referrals are a valuable channel for sourcing high-quality talent. Your current employees all have their own networks and can provide authentic insight into what it’s like to work for your company.
While employee referral programs are fairly common, manually managing them is challenging and leads to poor experiences for employees, candidates, and recruiters. They can be so inefficient that many programs are forgotten about soon after they’re launched.
But with an automated referral platform, the entire process—from sourcing to rewards payouts—is streamlined, encouraging your employees to participate and unlocking the full potential of referrals.
In our survey of recruiting professionals, 48% said sourcing is the most challenging and time-consuming stage of the hiring process. Respondents also said time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and candidate drop-off have all increased in the past year. It’s time for recruiting teams to modernize their hiring processes and it all starts with rethinking how you attract talent in the first place.
The teams that have turned to job board alternatives are removing inefficiencies and connecting with great candidates. Here are the specific benefits of using a comprehensive sourcing strategy that doesn’t rely only on job boards.
Embracing job board alternatives offers numerous benefits to hiring companies, their recruiting teams, and the candidates they hope to attract. By leveraging AI and automation, you can expand your sourcing approach beyond job boards and connect with outstanding candidates who will take your company to new heights.
Ready to learn how Sense can transform how you attract and engage talent? Request a demo today!