July 19, 2007   view past issues

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WEDDLE’s Research Factoid: Which Job Boards Are Best?

WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on the Best Practices in employment and HR leadership. Recently, we took a look at the results to date for our annual poll to determine the leading job boards, at least according to recruiters and job seekers. This survey is clearly not a scientific sample of either population, but it is a measure of the intensity of support a particular job board has among its customers. Each voter has to log onto the Internet, visit the Online Poll on the WEDDLE’s Web-site, look over the ballot, and then express their preferences. The whole process take a bit of time and effort, so we think the results are a meaningful indication of which job boards are best serving their users. Are there other good employment sites? Absolutely. But the selected job boards have earned a singular distinction-they are winners of a WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Award.

As of July 15, 2007-the halfway mark in the year-the following sites are the top 10 vote-getters (in alphabetical order). We’ve actually listed 11 sites as there was a tie for tenth place.

  • Absolutely Health Care
  • craigslist
  • Dice
  • ExecuNet
  • Monster
  • VetJobs
  • Yahoo! HotJobs
  • While the results above represent the views of many thousands of voters, there’s still time to cast your ballot if you haven’t yet done so. Which job boards do you feel deliver the best yield with the best customer service? All you have to do is click on the link above to express your opinion.

    What the Findings Mean

    WEDDLE’s Annual User’s Choice Awards are the only recognition in the recruitment industry where actual users-the recruiters and job seekers who patronize the sites-get to pick the winners. Each year, we announce the top 30 vote-getters, as determined by you and your colleagues, and designate them the WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Award Winners for that year. To see the 2007 winners, please click here.

    What can we learn from these preliminary results?

    Among the top vote getters, there are both general purpose and niche or specialty sites. The general purpose sites, of course, support your recruitment efforts in a wide range of career fields, industries and locations. The specialty sites help you drill down into a:

  • specific industry (Absolutely Health Care,,
  • specific segment of the workforce (, ExecuNet,,
  • specific career field (Dice),
  • specific candidate population (VetJobs), and/or
  • specific geographic location (craigslist).
  • These ten sites alone (and there are thousands of others now available to you) represent a set of diverse employment-related platforms that enable you to achieve reach, a key factor in recruiting success. The greater your reach into the candidate population, the higher the probability you will find the perfect person for your opening. That’s why it’s important that you advertise on more than one job board. To optimize your reach, we recommend that you use the following formula:

    1GH = 2GP + 3N + 2D


    1GH = one great hire

    2GP = two general purpose job boards

    3N = three niche sites (one each that specializes in the career field for which you’re recruiting, the industry in which your employer operates, and the location of your opening)

    2D = two diversity sites (either general diversity sites or those that focus on a specific career field or industry).

    Please Note: As a part of our ongoing research, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both recruiters and job seekers on the Web since 1996. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Online Poll at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    This Issue’s Sponsor: RES

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of RES.

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    Section Two: For Your Consideration

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2007. For a complete collection of Peter’s writing, please see our book Postcards From Space.

    The Five Keys to E-Branding Excellence

    The best candidates are fickle consumers. These passive, high caliber performers have lots of choices and, deep down inside, they don’t want to make one. They receive a constant stream of employment offers from recruiters and, almost always, they elect to say “No.” Why? Because they are generally well treated by their current employer and thus have no motivation to endure the disruption and stress a change would involve.

    How can you overcome such reluctance? With a strong employment brand (or e-brand). This statement:

  • acts as a magnet that draws even the most passive consumer into your recruiting process and
  • predisposes them to “buy” your organization’s value proposition as an employer.
  • Effective e-brands are not easy to create, however. They are unlike commercial brands in several important respects. Wish as some might that it were otherwise, selling employers to top talent isn’t like selling insurance or cars. So, while our colleagues in Marketing can be helpful, we have no choice but to develop our own guidelines for developing a successful employment brand. The following five “keys” will get you started.

    Avoid Organizational Multiple Personality Disorder.

    An effective e-brand highlights the two-to-three most important attributes of an organization’s employment experience. These qualities define the essence of what it’s like to work in the organization. When an e-brand tries to encompass more than that-when it describes four, five or even more values, principles, or cultural features-it becomes too much for a candidate to understand and absorb. The employer is so many different things, it is nothing, at least nothing definitive. All organizations are complex, to be sure, but selling organizations to candidates requires that we simplify the offer by focusing on their 2-3 most engaging and differentiating characteristics.

    Announce the Attributes That “A” Candidates Want.

    The key to selecting the right attributes to emphasize in your e-brand is an understanding of the Golden Rule of Recruiting. The rule is as simple as it is profound: What you do to recruit the best talent will also recruit mediocre talent, but the converse is not true. Said another way, the secret to recruiting top talent is to highlight the characteristics that matter most to them. How can you identify those characteristics? Borrow a page from your colleagues in Marketing and conduct a focus group with the top employees in your organization. Use this session to determine what attracted them to and sold them on your employer. As with any customer analysis, there is likely to be several clusters of opinion-not every buyer acts for the same reason. The goal, then, is to identify which attributes were most important to all of the top employees after any individual need or interest (e.g., its location or compensation policy) has been addressed. These universal factors define your organization’s strategic value as an employer for “A” candidates.

    Don’t Get Tied Down by a Tagline.

    The attributes of a car or a holiday cruise are generally well known, so a brand for organizations that sell them can be short and memorable. In effect, a commercial brand is both a reminder (of what a car or cruise is like) and a differentiator (for a specific company’s car or cruise). For commercial brands, therefore, a tag line is appropriate. For recruiting, it is not. Famous product or service brands will attract active job seekers, but they will not influence passive, high caliber prospects. They do not contain enough selling power to persuade a person who doesn’t want to make a change that they should. As a result, an employment brand must be more than a tagline, more than an advertising jingle. It must be a statement that informs and differentiates. An effective e-brand will present the essence of an organization’s value proposition as an employer and do so in clear, compelling English and without jargon (e.g., “employer of choice”) or rhyme.

    Employ Your Employment Brand.

    Promoting your employment brand on your corporate career site is important, but promoting it elsewhere online (and off) is even more important. Why? Because one of the primary functions of an e-brand is to draw otherwise reluctant consumers-those pesky, passive prospects-into your recruitment process. If the brand doesn’t do that, then all the promotion in the world on your corporate site isn’t going to improve your yield. Where should you employ your employment brand? Where your target demographic hangs out. That’s the second question you want to ask your focus group participants: what are their favorite Web-sites, their leading conferences, and their most popular publications. Use that information to focus your e-brand advertising where it will do the most good, and then, keep at it even when you’re not filling openings. The drawing power of an e-brand grows by non-intrusive repetition, and that takes time.

    Create an Expectation That Comes True.

    Your e-brand creates an image of what your organization stands for as an employer. The best candidates, however, are savvy as well as fickle consumers. While they may be attracted to your organization by its employment brand advertising-the expectation you create in the marketplace-they will look for evidence to confirm (or deny) that image as soon as they get there. Positive reinforcement-an expectation that comes true-will accomplish the second purpose of your brand: to predispose candidates to buy into your employer. Negative reinforcement or no reinforcement at all will have exactly the opposite effect. How do you create that positive reinforcement? By designing your recruiting practices, procedures and policies to demonstrate your key attributes as an employer. In other words, illustrate your organization’s employment culture and values by using its key attributes to shape the candidate experience in your recruitment process.

    E-branding is an essential component of any organization’s strategy for recruitment success. Employment branding, however, is not an exercise in selling cogs. Rather, its purpose is to convince cognitive human beings. For that reason, it has its own keys for success, and they open the way to victory in the War for the Best Talent.

    Thanks for reading,


    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and benefit from your recommendation. And, we’ll certainly appreciate it too!

    Section 3: News You Can Use

    The HR consulting firm DDI released the results of a survey of life stressors among managers in the U.S. and abroad. Surprisingly, the number one cause of anxiety cited by respondents was not a death in the family (reported by 14.8%) or divorce (reported by 11.4%), but a promotion (reported by 19%). How could that be? Well according to the findings, four-in-ten newly promoted workers get little or no support from their employer when trying to figure out the ropes in their new position. Of those who did get institutional assistance, just 6.2% said it came from HR. Who provided the assistance they did get? Their colleagues and peers. Why should we recruiters care? Because the survey also found that one-third of newly promoted leaders fail, increasing the likelihood that an employer will turn to the outside (and us) to fill the opening. What should we do? Institutionalize peer-to-peer support. Use your intranet to establish a channel where newly promoted leaders can access private, online information and insight from those who have been there and done that.

    The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers has re-launched its IEEE Job Site. This area on the IEEE site was revamped to make it a more compelling destination for the Association’s career-minded members and other visitors. The changes include such new features as career-related news from The Wall Street Journal’s, a new monthly poll on both career and industry topics, and a brand new Career Center. The Association expects these features to attract more of the best engineering and IT talent to the Job Site, making it easier for you to reach them with your employment opportunities.

    There are a number of excellent recruitment conferences each year, and we’re often asked which offer the best content at the best price. This year, we’re recommending the Onrec Expo2007-also called its Global Summit for Online Recruitment-in San Francisco on September 18-19 and Kennedy Information’s Recruiting 2007 Conference and Expo at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, FL on November 12-14. Why these two events? The lineup of speakers at both is especially strong and each offers a unique feature:

  • At the OnRec Conference, the theme is global recruiting excellence. It’s a rare chance to hear from experts in recruitment around the world as well as in the U.S.. For more information and to register, click here.
  • At the Kennedy Conference, there will be two post-conference summits-one on sourcing and one on retention-that are sure to expand and enrich the learning experience. For more information and to register, please click here.
  • In addition, WEDDLE’s Publisher Peter Weddle is presenting a pre-conference workshop at both events and speaking at the OnRec Conference and chairing a panel at the Kennedy Conference. So, if you decide to attend, please come by and introduce yourself.

    SHRM and Watson Wyatt Worldwide published their 2007 HR Technology Trends Survey. It found that almost three-out-of-four employers (73%) intend to implement a healthcare portal for their employees over the course of the next year. That’s undoubtedly a good idea given the rising cost of healthcare, but what exactly is a healthcare portal? As with anything else online, these sites can be effective or they can be a waste of time, effort and money. If you’re going to launch a healthcare portal, how can you make sure you do it right? Our suggestion is that you model your portal after a commercial healthcare site. What kinds of content and features keep people coming back to those sites over and over again? You don’t have to duplicate WebMD or to be successful, but you do need to think as they do in designing the information and activities you provide … if you want the site to actually reach your employees and influence their behavior.

    WEDDLE’s announced an innovative new way to track down top talent online. What is it? Walk a mile in their footsteps.

    Figure out where they go and what they do when looking for a new or better job on the Internet. How can you do that? Use the same resource candidates are using: WEDDLE’s WizNotes-Finding a Job on the Web. It’s the top-selling guide to job search on the Internet. This handy, little primer covers everything from how job seekers should select job boards to where they can network online with their peers (and you). Modeled after the classic CliffsNotes, it is practical, user-friendly and a treasure-trove of information about the best techniques for planning, organizing and conducting a job search campaign online. WEDDLE’s WizNotes-Finding a Job on the Web enables you to know where to go online so you can be there to meet the top talent when they arrive. You’ll be able to:

  • post your open positions where they’ll generate the best yield,
  • connect with the best talent when they’re ready to network with you, and
  • provide the information the best talent wants where and when they’re looking for it.
  • As a consequence, you’ll know how to get the most out of the time and effort you invest online. To order your copy of WEDDLE’s WizNotes-Finding a Job on the Web, please click here or call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424.

    Support Our Sponsor: RES

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of RES.

    Request Your Complimentary Staffing Scorecard

    Do you have a World Class Staffing Function?

    There are five (5) cornerstones of Human Resources and Staffing that when fully optimized will create a world class staffing organization.

    RES has developed a unique scorecard that will enable you to see where your strengths and areas of opportunities exist.

    By analyzing the results from this scorecard, you will see what areas your company performs well and where initial focus is needed to drive the organization towards becoming world class.

    To request your complimentary staffing scorecard, click on RES.