Will People Aggregators Change the Way Job Boards Do Business?

Job boards evolve along with technology, but even with the many changes to the technology landscape in recent years, they remain as relevant as ever. The best job boards evolve to accommodate important changes, like the rapid adoption of mobile technology in recent years. Job boards are a popular way that digital publishers, media companies, and trade publication websites can monetize their content – as long as the job boards are relevant, continuously updated, and technologically mature.

People aggregators are engines for finding talent, and although they can complement the use of job boards by employers, they are by no means a replacement for job boards. Here’s what you should know about people aggregators and how they are expected to affect recruiting.

What Are People Aggregators?

People aggregators are engines that allow employers or recruiters to search across multiple public social media sites at once, rather than going candidate hunting on Facebook, then LinkedIn, then Twitter, and hoping to find a handful of great potential recruits that stand out. In other words, if an employer needs a code developer with a specific set of skills, a people aggregator can take that employer’s keywords and other parameters and search across multiple social networks to find people that might not be found otherwise.

Some of the most popular people aggregators today include Dice, TalentBin, Entelo, Gild, and Identified. The goal of people aggregators is to help employers and recruiters find candidates based on very specific needs without having to do multiple searches on multiple platforms.

What Do People Aggregators Mean for Recruiting?

People aggregators aren’t magic tools that let employers type in a list of dream qualifications and find the perfect candidate immediately. But they do cut way down on the tedium of pursuing job candidates (particularly passive job candidates) across multiple sites. Some people aggregators also have add-on tools such as messaging of candidates and even predicting when people may be more open to a job offer. But these add-ons are not as important as the main thing people aggregators do, which is to find where potential job candidates hang out on the web (professionally or personally) and organize their public data so employers and recruiters can assess them more thoroughly.

Some Niches Are Better Fits for People Aggregators

People aggregators tend to work best with specialized professions. For example, if you need a web developer with particular skills or experience, a people aggregator can be tremendously helpful. The more broad an employer’s requirement (say, if they need entry level accountants), the less use people aggregators may be. The only way to really find out is to try them out to see. The so-called ”social CV” is the product that people aggregators strive to produce, and it works out for some professions better than others.

So I Tried a People Aggregator. Now What?

Different people aggregators give you different tools, but in general, you get tools that let you refine your searches using parameters like location and educational credentials to help narrow down your search so you’ll know who to concentrate your efforts on. Many aggregators have tools that allow you to email the people you find who are of interest. Some people aggregators let you export the data collected in CSV form so you can put it into a spreadsheet more easily, or put the data into an applicant tracking system. This information is a great adjunct to job boards, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for job boards.

People aggregators are expected to save employers and recruiters’ time, but they aren’t a substitute for building strong networks and listing on job boards. An employer could, for example, take the name of a person who has applied on a job board and plug it into a people aggregator to find out more about that person, or could use a people aggregator to find people and encourage them to visit a particular job board.

As the technology stands today, use of job boards without the help of people aggregators makes more sense than use of people aggregators without job boards, because active job candidates seek out job boards and may not strategically alter their professional and personal social profiles in hopes of showing up in some coveted employer’s people aggregator search. The best job boards are still the gold standard for employers and recruiters, and will likely remain so if they continue to adapt to technological trends and are served up alongside high quality, unique web content.

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