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Find a Niche, Fill a Job

The war for talent has morphed into a war for the best talent.

November 6, 2003
Related Topics: Candidate Sourcing, Staffing Management
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The big job boards--Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder--cast a very wide net. The increasingly influential niche job boards provide a much narrower target, but in a tight job market with a premium on talent, such sites are a good hunting ground for job candidates.

    Here, names of the dot-coms often tell the story. There’s AMFMJobs, Attorneyjobs, Vets4Hire and, for executives, 6figurejobs. A desire to create a more diverse workforce might be satisfied at The Black Collegian Online, DiversityInc.com, GayWork.com and HireDiversity.com. Professional associations like the Society for Human Resource Management often have job boards, as do alumni groups, veterans and trade groups. In all, there are about 40,000 job boards.

    The authors of CareerXRoads looked at about 3,000 sites for their 2003 edition, including many of the above, and then narrowed that list down to 500 published job board reviews. "The sources of finding people have multiplied in an exponential fashion over the last few years," says Gerry Crispin, co-author of the reference guide. "There are literally hundreds of sources for every specialty."

    Hiring managers feel more of a need to make every hire count in a tight economy, so they have been turning to niche boards, says Peter Weddle, whose company, Weddle’s, publishes surveys of Internet sites related to employment. Weddle says that the war for talent "has morphed into a war for the best talent." Thus the explosion of niche Web sites.

    As most hiring is still done by employee referrals, word-of-mouth networking is all important; professional associations also provide opportunities for social interaction on their Web sites. Mediabistro.com, where hiring managers can list media jobs, also sponsors cocktail parties and other social activities, which can provide access to top performers. Craigslist in San Francisco and other cities provides a big range of job listings, posted along with personals, community bulletin boards and housing information.

    Maureen Kelleher, director of experienced recruiting for Ernst & Young, says that niche sites are valuable in finding experienced accountants, auditors and other specialists. She has a list of 20 niche job boards she often uses. One she likes is Jobsinthemoney, recently acquired by eFinancialCareers.com. "Since July we have had over 2,000 applications from Jobsinthemoney" for job openings. She says she still uses Monster but has dropped CareerBuilder. "It has very much to do with the level [of employees] we are looking for," she says. "We found that the hires from Monster tended to be for the lower ranks of our accountants. For senior roles, we need a more diverse network."

Workforce Management, November 2003, p. 42 -- Subscribe Now!

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