Hey, guess what? The recession is creating a boom for “career resource sites” like HotJobs, Monster, Indeed and others. People are “flocking” to these web sites in record numbers.

No kiddin’, Dick Tracy. And desperate rats will gnaw off their own legs trying to escape pain.

eMarketer Digital Intelligence tells the story in a new report, Consumers Flock to Career Sites, but gets so excited about big-percentage traffic spikes that it doesn’t bother to ask, Do these career sites actually work?

The answer is, No. eMarketer does its clients and audience a disservice when it merely counts the rats. For the sad truth, turn to the CareerXroads 8th Annual Sources of Hire Survey. Go to page 19 and read the top paragraph. CareerXroads bears witness to all the gnawed-off legs. The big job boards don’t work.

But the media hungrily pick up the Job Board B.S. because there’s so much of it being delivered by “research firms” like eMarketer.

The big job boards remain and continue to be a waste of time and a national disgrace. But suckers are born every minute in Human Resources departments, and yes, Virginia, rats do indeed gnaw off their legs just as job hunters flock to the job boards without asking does this shit work?


  1. Perhaps a better analogy is the one for insanity: repeating what is known not to work. And yet the urge to do something when unemployed can be overwhelming (as can the urge to do nothing.) So trolling the job boards is the post-print form of scanning the help-wanted ads. Somewhere a miracle occurs…

  2. Yes I agree, looking for jobs where they are posted is completely stupid, the best way to find a job online is twitter and facebook. Thats where you will find your jobs. Now after reading what I just wrote dont you just want to slap me? Good, you are learning something!

  3. Hi Nick. Just tracking down how my name gets taken in vain. Always enjoy your down to earth interpretations and, by the way, sorry to have missed you at Ft Dix recently. I got there for the afternoon.

    Anyway the point I would emphasize is that the source of leads i.e. job boards is less important today in a world where there are so many ways to find out what positions are open.

    There is no longer a “hidden” job market as many scam artists would have you believe. Job seekers can and should learn in minutes how to effectively find dozens of new job leads every week. Job boards can be helpful in this effort, but that is about all they offer. Unfotunately, people tend to expect much more and many job seekers waste too much time sifting through leads than doing something about them.

    It’s the next step- what to spend your time on once you have the lead that is the critical ingredient to a successful strategy.

    And here, that same study we publish each year [for free]offers important data. The answer? Go get an employee in the company you target to refer you!!!

    When you get past all the BS, your chances are about 1 in 10 of getting a job IF you have an employee refer you and about 1 in 500 if you don’t. So which lottery would you invest [your time and effort] in?

  4. @Gerry Crispin: Your annual survey is one I write about frequently. There is no other longitudinal study about job boards that I’m aware of. What’s stunning is the consistently poor performance of the boards over the past 10 years.

  5. The number one factor accounting for double-digit increases in the average length of unemployment is the reliance on job boards.