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The Pros and Cons of Recruiting from Job Boards

By February 20, 2024No Comments

Building a successful organization and culture is a challenge even for the most seasoned leadership team. There are many reasons for this, but one common issue that leaders share is the challenges they face when they try to recruit new members or backfill team members who have moved on. Choosing the best people who are a good culture fit, have the right skills, and are committed to your mission is essential for success and organizational longevity. However, recruiting can be expensive, difficult, and time-consuming, even as the tools to help connect job seekers to jobs become more sophisticated and accessible.

Over the last decade, the amount of employers who struggle to find good job candidates has grown from 35% to nearly 80%, a glaring indictment of many of the recent technological solutions that have promised better recruitment. Even so, this doesn’t mean all these solutions are bad, rather you need to be strategic about how you use them and temper your expectations. The best example of this is the modern job board, which is a website designed to help companies find candidates suited to a specific job and to help job seekers explore their options. They’ve become one of the go-to tools for recruiters, but they aren’t without their limitations and issues. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a job board:


Access a huge range of candidates

Probably the primary reason job boards are so popular is that they have undeniable reach. Like social media, they are designed to help people connect and promote themselves, which incentivizes both users and organizations to be active and engaged with them. This is especially true for finding people either geographically distant from you or outside of your personal network. If you’re an organization that is open to or actively engaged in remote work, job boards can give you access to a global network of qualified candidates.

Find people with specific skills and experience

Tools like LinkedIn are also geared towards helping people highlight their skills and accomplishments, giving a fuller impression of the person than a resume or cover letter might. They are also a search engine, with granular search parameters that can help you zero in on keywords, skills, or other relevant data points that you want to see in a candidate. Being able to pull a list of people in your area with a specific skill who have or exceed a minimum level of experience was once impossible but can now be done by filling out some simple search fields.

Job postings take a lot of the work out of recruiting

Even when you aren’t actively using a job board to recruit, posting a job with certain descriptors will draw job seekers to you. Because they offer a low-friction way to apply, you’ll probably receive a wealth of applications and be able to easily peruse each candidate’s experience and skills. This allows you to focus on other tasks and build an effective recruiting pipeline without investing major resources into the first steps of the recruitment process.


Dealing with overabundance

One of the main benefits of a job board is ironically also one of its primary drawbacks. Because you are posting on a site with potentially thousands of qualified job seekers, you are likely to be inundated with applications, which can create a tremendous amount of work with potentially little to no reward. It is possible to develop skills and an understanding of job board mechanics which allow you to filter for the best applications, but you will likely have to deal with a large number of applications regardless. Another issue is the overabundance of similar roles that you will compete with. While your organization may be outstanding in your field or chosen mission, if you put an individual job listing up, say for an IT professional, most job seekers are going to rate it primarily against the other IT roles that are on the job board. In other words, you can get lost in a sea of job postings.

Quality is difficult to filter for

Because job board profiles are relatively easy to create and populate with information, and job postings are easy to apply to, many job seekers simply create a profile and apply for as many jobs as they can in as little time as possible without reviewing the jobs in detail. The opaque nature of job applications incentivizes this — job seekers rarely if ever hear back about why they aren’t chosen, so their best bet is to maximize the number of applications rather than invest time in a smaller number of ideal jobs. For you, this means that many if not most job board applications will be from people who aren’t necessarily invested in your organization or mission, and who simply want any job. For a mission-driven organization like yours, this can make sorting applications even more challenging.

Difficulty assessing soft skills

Standing in contrast to other, more labor-intensive forms of recruiting like networking or job fairs, job boards are highly impersonal and give you little to no information about the soft skills of a given candidate. Skills like communication, empathy, leadership, and collaboration are not things that can be accessed via a job board interaction, which is a significant drawback. While these things can be teased out in interviews or learned through professional references, these usually happen after you have invested a certain amount of time into a candidate. This creates a risk of misallocation of recruiting resources, or of missing out on a candidate that has excellent soft skills but isn’t as adept at marketing themselves on a job board.

Grow your organization with expert advisors

Our team at 501(c) Services is deeply familiar with the struggles you face growing your nonprofit. We’re here to put our deep knowledge and experience of the nonprofit space at your disposal, helping you identify and utilize key resources while building the best possible team. You can learn more about our services and how we can help you by reaching out to us.


For more than 40 years, 501(c) Services has been a leader in offering solutions for unemployment costs, claims management, and HR support to nonprofit organizations. Two of our most popular programs are the 501(c) Agencies Trust and 501(c) HR Services. We understand the importance of compliance and accuracy, and we are committed to providing our clients with customized plans that fit their needs.

Contact us today to see if your organization could benefit from our services.

Already working with us and need assistance with an HR or unemployment issue? Contact us here.

(Photos by Biljana Jovanovic and PV Productions)

The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.

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