- Employers who use online job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder to fill low-level positions, but recruit high-level manager positions through LinkedIn networks, perpetuate a "winner-take-all" labor market, a new study asserted.
- Research led by Dr. Steve McDonald, a professor of sociology at NC State University, found that online job boards inundate recruiters with candidates, leaving job seekers searching in a "black hole." Interviews with 61 HR professionals in the Atlanta and Raleigh areas revealed that many primarily use LinkedIn networks to track down talent for high-level positions, targeting candidates who aren't actively job searching.
- The internet leveled information asymmetries in the labor market, but "access to information has not led to access to opportunity for many people," McDonald said.
Candidates searching on competitive online job boards don't always receive a response from employers, let alone personal feedback, the study also concluded. Job postings can receive "hundreds or thousands of applicants," which "makes it hard for any individual job seeker to find employment, and poses challenges for the HR professionals tasked with sorting through a flood of applications," said Annika Wilcox, a PhD student and co-author of the study.
In April, Monster launched a new campaign to address issues of long wait times and impersonal feedback, saying that their current system serves neither job seekers nor recruiters. Online job boards including Monster have faced criticism for their purportedly non-user-friendly search functions and number of expired job listings. LinkedIn, which reached 575 million users in 2018, is also working to improve its job search experience. Last year, it introduced a feature for companies to upload videos to their LinkedIn pages and communicate with potential hires through a voice messaging platform on the site. It also rolled out a 'How You Match' service which identifies candidates with the skill sets particular employers want.
For sites to stay competitive in the $200 billion job recruiting industry, they will need to keep up with the rise of AI and machine learning technology in job hunting. But certain algorithms that preference employees from particular schools or past employers carry the risk of weeding out potential candidates from less 'elite' educational or skill backgrounds, if employers don't pay attention. "AI tools can replicate, and magnify, existing disparities in a workplace," Mark Girouard, shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis, previously told HR Dive.
The new NC State-led research argued that elitism can also manifest in how employers use various job boards, as recruiters may be less willing to hire candidates actively searching for employment. But as the labor market tightens, HR professionals have started to rethink how they use online platforms to ensure they're not overlooking potential good fits.