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Editor's Notebook

Job Boards Aren’t Dead; They’ve Just Matured

A soft launch of a job board by AARP also plays into the diversity and inclusion space.

It’s not often that I get geeked up about the launch of a new product. Well, there was that New Coke thing. And Betamax. But that was DECADES ago. Since then I’ve grown; wised up; matured, you might say.

And maybe that’s why this new product appealed to me. AARP rolled out its new job board for, well, older people. Seniors. Users and members of AARP. Mature people … like me.

Michelle Hoffman, the products and platforms director, work and jobs, at AARP, gave me a brief online tour on Day 2 of SHRM’s Talent Management Conference & Exposition. Understandably since the site launched just six weeks ago, it’s relatively thin. Employers have yet to discover it. But there is content, and enough to see that this could be a really valuable tool for older job seekers and those looking to add workers with years, if not decades of experience.

In fact, the topic of workers over 50 randomly popped up during Tim Sackett’s excellent presentation on diversity and inclusion earlier in the day.

“If you’re over 50 you’re crap,” Sackett sarcastically said of clueless employers. “They want 27-year-olds with 20 years of experience.”

As empty nesters, 50-plus workers have more capacity and bandwidth to do a good job, Sackett said. “Instead they want to hire that 30-year-old who has sick kids.”

A D&I issue? Absolutely.

But back to AARP’s job board. The last of the old-school job boards was also at the conference. Rumors continue to swirl regarding CareerBuilder’s sale. Yes, it took years for Monster to finally sell off, leaving CareerBuilder as the last of the HotJobs-Monster triumvirate that dominated the space for years.

AARP’s site is simply named the AARP Job Board. But as with the trend, it’s niche-y. It’s simple and clean, informational and appears easy to use. It also fits to tablet size. And don’t underestimate AARP’s ample muscle behind it.

In other words, at a bouncing six weeks old, AARP’s new-era narrow focus job board presents a clear sense of maturity and longevity.

Unlike Betamax or New Coke.

The Buzz … I hadn’t heard about it – no surprise there – but several presenters talked about GE Millie program. Huh? The venerable company committed earlier this year to employ 20,000 women in STEM positions by 2020. And 86-year-old National Medal of Science winner Millie Desselhaus is the unlikely spokesmodel. It apparently was the centerpiece of GE’s Shaunda Zilich’s Tuesday morning presentation on the changing nature of recruiting. Tim Sackett mentioned GE Millie during his D&I presentation.

Phrase of the Day … Frans Johanssen’s lively final-day keynote’s talk on recruiting innovation provided the new phrase: smallest executable step. In other words, narrow your focus to help innovate.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.