JOB BOARD JOURNALIST

June 18, 2013   view past issues

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2013 IAEWS Global Benchmark Survey

2013 IAEWS Global Benchmark Survey

What’s unique about the IAEWS Global Benchmark Survey?

  • It is the only data collection effort designed by job boards for job boards.
  • It is the only survey where respondents get to meet and discuss the findings.
  • In addition, your data are seen by no one but an independent research team from The Ohio State University, so you can be sure its confidentiality is protected and the resulting analysis will be world class.

    The questionnaire is available and takes less than an hour to complete, so now’s the time to register your site or sites for participation. Simply click here to sign up. (The deadline for submitting your questionnaire is August 19th, not the date shown on the site.)

    The Most Hated Term in the Job Market

    Amidst all the chatter about this new technology or that new functionality, it’s all too easy – but extremely dangerous – to overlook the one aspect of your site that most determines its appeal: Words. And, while many employment sites now feature an engaging vocabulary, they continue to rely on a term that is anathema to the very talent that establishes their business.

    Words have meaning, of course – they convey information – but they also elicit responses – they touch nerves – that shape the perceptions of those who read them. For that reason, the choice of words as much as their definition has an impact on how working men and women view a site.

    Many words are benign. They aren’t loaded with freight or laced with hidden meaning. However, one term in particular is especially problematic. Though jargon to recruiters and employment sites alike, it is anathema to everyone else on the planet. It is the term “job seeker.”

    Why is that term so hateful to individuals? Because whether it is preceded by the word “active” or “passive,” it subliminally positions a person as a supplicant for work.

    The Active & Passive Interpretation

    To put it bluntly, both those who are actively looking for a new job and those who are passive prospects think the term “job seeker” signals the existence of prejudice. After all, they read the same news reports that everyone else does – you know, the ones that report on surveys which find many if not most recruiters view today’s job seekers as damaged goods.

    Those actively in the job market may not be turned off by the term – they have no choice – but to them it says the site is (consciously or unconsciously) putting them at a disadvantage. Passive prospects, on the other hand, refuse even to acknowledge that the term applies to them and avoid the sites that use it.

    If you have any doubt about that, consider that surveys show the majority of traffic to most employment sites is composed of people who are unemployed. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition. In other words, those sites are plumbing the depths of the small cohort of the population that has no choice and missing out altogether on the much larger cohort of people who do.

    How can you redress this situation if it’s occurring on your site? Not simply by using different words. Making that change is obviously important, but if you hope to influence the perception of your site, you must do more than replace one word with another.

    For example, you might decide to replace the term “Job Seeker” with the more respectful word “Candidate.” Site visitors will certainly notice the difference – it’s such a rarity among employment sites – but they may not understand why you’ve made the change. So, also include a visible statement – not one hidden six clicks deep in your site – that affirms your organization’s commitment to positioning every visitor as a valued employment prospect.

    Jargon is often criticized for its lack of clarity, but in the case of the term “job seeker,” its impact is exactly the opposite. To active and passive candidates, it sends a clear (if unintentional) signal that a site doesn’t care if they’re seen as damaged goods. That impression, in turn, undermines the site’s appeal and, therefore, its ability to deliver talent to its customers.

    Thanks for Reading,

    Peter

    Visit me at Weddles.com

    IAEWS Resource Directory

    If your organization is selling a product or service to job boards, the IAEWS Resource Directory is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to promote it.

    What makes the Directory special? It connects with your prospective customers in not one, but two ways:

  • First, the Directory will be linked from the Home Page of the IAEWS Web-site so it’s front and center with both IAEWS Members and other site visitors
  • Second, a hard copy version of the Directory will be distributed to delegates at the IAEWS Fall Congress in Chicago, IL USA on October 15th.
  • In short, you get a two-fer: both virtual and real world visibility.

    In addition, the Directory will be featured in regular e-blasts to the IAEWS membership and to the employment sites on the mailing list maintained by WEDDLE’s Guide.

    Rates are low and insertion orders are now being accepted. The Resource Directory will go live on July 1st, so don’t delay. For additional information and to place your insertion order, contact me at director@employmentwebsites.org today.

    To see the beta version of the Directory, please click here.

    HuffPost Column: The Academe-Academic Complex

    In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the country about the “military-industrial complex.” Today, it needs to be more concerned about the academe-academic complex.

    What is that complex? It is the back-rubbing relationship between the administrators in most of America’s higher education institutions and the blind Greek chorus of educators on their faculties. Together, they have perpetrated the myth that a college degree will provide career security in today’s turbulent global economy.

    Here’s how one representatives of the complex put it just last week. “College and career skills are the same,” opined Ken Wagner, the New York State associate commissioner of education for curriculum.

    If that’s so, why are legions of recent graduates moving back in with Mom and Dad because they can’t find work? And, why did an Associated Press study released last year find that over half of bachelor degree-holders under the age of 25 – an astonishing 53.6 percent of recent college graduates – were either jobless or underemployed?

    If you’d like to read more of my column on the HuffPost site, please click here.

    If you’d like to read some of my other columns on the Huffington Post site, please click here.

    Job Board Business Book

    I’m pleased to announce the publication of The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success: Four Principles for Optimizing Operational and Bottom Line Performance.

    There are plenty of books about general management strategy and tactics, but only this book focuses entirely on the online employment services industry. So, make sure it’s on your summer reading list and take it with you for that long plane ride to the beach. It won’t help with your tan, but it will provide some interesting food for thought.

    As one industry executive put it: “The book is a great, quick read for all job boarders and I highly recommend it.”

    So, what are you waiting for? Click here and order your copy today.