I just answered this one on LinkedIn’s Answers section.
Why are so many “job boards” charging job seekers to look for jobs or post their resumes?
The job boards serve a very important service to smart employers and smart headhunters: For a fee (paid by job hunters and paid again by employers who post jobs), these boards effectively corral people who are looking for a job, any job.
These boards clear the playing field for us so we can focus on potential candidates who (1) aren’t desperate, (2) reflect their reputations among other professionals who are glad to recommend them, (3) would rather talk only to legitimate employers, rather than field calls from multi-level marketers and scam “headhunters.”
The more the boards charge, and the more “exclusive” they make themselves out to be, the more the hordes flock to them… and the better they separate opportunists from people who know what they want. I love it. More power to the job boards. (Forget about the fact that last year, companies filled only these percentages of their openings thru these boards — Monster, 3.14%; CareerBuilder, 3.95%; HotJobs, 1.35%. Source: CareerXroads.com. Lotsa luck.)
Keep it up. You, too, can compete with all job hunters… while managers are interviewing the few people they hire through personal contacts. (40%-70% of jobs are found and filled through personal contacts, depending on which surveys you look at.)
Disclosure: I’m a headhunter. Further disclosure: Headhunters fill only about 3% of jobs. But we spend all our time hanging out with people who do the work our clients need done.