Expert Interview with Escrowboard on Effective Recruiting

One of the biggest problems of traditional recruiting lies in mismatches between candidates in the available talent pool and the job requirements, says Michael Agee, vice president of operations for The Board Network.

Recruiters are charged with finding the best available candidate for open positions and they often turn to job boards as a source of those candidates. But after posting jobs, some recruiters can receive as many as 200 applicants a day, too many for one recruiter to screen effectively.

“Automated screening tools are missing skilled applicants due to the inadequacies these technologies,” he says. “Recruiters are literally drinking from the ‘fire hose’ of resumes.”

Because of this, finding a reliable and consistent source of candidates is a recruiter’s top priority.

The Board Network, a career site specializing in mortgage, banking, title, escrow and real estate industries, is hoping to be that reliable source.

Can you tell us a little about the background of Escrowboard: when and why was the site started?

The Board Network (TBN) which owns several niche job boards was started in 1999 by Matt Johnston, the CEO of OnStaff, a national staffing agency based in Burbank, Calif. Johnston created the in order to augment his own recruiting efforts with OnStaff, which grew into other vertical markets as OnStaff entered those markets.

What sets you apart from other job sites?

Besides the niche industries we serve, we lead our market with our job distribution technology. We not only post our clients’ job to our family of web properties, but also to more than 40 partner sites that we have reciprocal relationships with.

Unlike many niche sites we maintain a very close relationship with the industries we service. We participate with all the trade groups and even power their job boards. Our advisory council is comprised of professionals from these industries.

Later this year TBN will be launching our educational portal, which will offer a full range of online training programs for certifications in our target industries.

How do you think job recruiting will change in the next 10 years?

We think that sourcing tools will continue to fragment along industry lines giving recruiters a deeper pool of experienced talent to pull from. We are also seeing an increase in contract work and “trial” employment where candidates are invited to participate in a paid training program that weeds out less qualified applicants.

What we know will happen is that more and more data about candidates will become available, and analytical tools that help recruiters make sense of all this data will start to develop to get a more clear picture of a candidate.
We see the creation of scoring tools that analyze resume data but that also allows candidates to merge in data from educational and social networks to give employers and recruiters a clearer picture of an applicant’s employability.

What should sites like yours be doing to prepare for these changes?

Focus on better data quality and analytics for your recruiter clients. Forge relationships with prominent industry employers and develop educational programs that can quickly cater to emerging technologies.

What are some of the challenges or frustrations you deal with running a career site like yours?

Besides sales challenges, data quality is probably our number one challenge. Our resume database is only as good as the data entered into it. We constantly monitor new resumes for completeness.

How do you market your site?

We’ve served over 12,000 employers who have posted nearly 3 million jobs in the last 15 years. We have very deep relationships within the markets we serve. We regularly reach out to our customer base via email and through our relationships with industry trade organizations.

In your opinion, how can recruiters write better job ads – what are some best practices?

  • Use the Job Requirements section to set expectations with your candidates. List only the experience and skills candidates must have, don’t include the “May Have’s” in the “Requirements”
  • Include information about your company’s culture in the Job Ad. Candidates who have skills in high demand are looking for the best opportunity.
  • Don’t be overly broad in the list of duties for the Job, stick to the 80/20 rule and describe what the candidate will be doing 80 percent of the time. Don’t get lost in the weeds trying to describe every aspect of the job. Be short and concise in what you’re looking for.

What are some good habits that job seekers need to get into when searching for jobs online?

  • Make sure you include location identification information like city, state and zip codes — recruiter’s systems use the center of the Zip Code to measure distance in radius searches. If you don’t include your zip code your resume may not even show up in the Recruiter’s results set.
  • Post your resume to a niche job site vs. a large global site. Resumes have a life of their own and if employers find multiple conflicting copies of your resume they may pass on calling you in for an interview.
  • Keep your resume short and concise.
  • Make sure you have your resume available in multiple formats, such as PDF, Text file and Word Documents.

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