We’re calling it first: the classic old style job posting you have seen a thousand of – and may have even posted a few yourself – is on its deathbed.

Job postings on Craigslist…dead; jobs on Monster…dead; jobs on CareerBuilder…dead (at least as far as A-Player job seekers are concerned).

Why will job postings die?  First off, don’t feel too sad — they are dying of old age. The first job postings came from Online Career Center (later part of Monster.com) and DICE back in 1990…that’s right: 22 years ago.

Such job boards were super-innovative at the time.

This was the 1990’s and job boards/postings had 3 true break-through features — a job seeker could:

  1. Search multiple jobs at once;
  2. Click a link to visit the employer’s Web site; and
  3. Email the employer if they wanted to apply.

That was truly ground-breaking at the time…22 years ago. It was a quantum leap from the print help wanted ad before it; ike this one from explorer Ernest Shackleton from the London Times December 29, 1913:.

In fact, Monster, DICE, Craigslist, CareerBuilder et all annihilated the 300-year run of such print-based help wanted ads (which had reached a high-water mark of nearly $9 billion in 2000) and the group has steadily been bringing in a couple of billion a year in job board revenues ever since.

…their $ billions will soon vanish.

The story of the classic job posting dying is mostly one of atrophy.

There has been so little activity (translation: innovation) in job postings that the inactivity has led to a feeble old species that is being hunted down by more sprite species (more on them later!) that leverage new trends and opportunities.

Here are 5 Reasons The Classic Job Posting Will Soon Die

Let’s dig deeper on why the classic old job posting is dead.

1. They Do Not Name The Hiring Manager

Go look at some job postings on Craigslist, Monster, CareerBuilder (or the /careers or /jobs pages of employer sites) and you will be hard-pressed to find the name of the person who would manage you for the posted job.

Serious, go look…I’ll wait…

…are you back? Did you find any hiring managers mentioned in any job postings?

If you do find one, please link to it in the comments below and I’ll buy you a free coffee drink and snack at the cafe of your choice in San Francisco is on me…free Ongig t-shirt thrown in for free!

But more likely you didn’t find any hiring managers. In fact, many job postings lack the identity of the employer’s name (e.g. the jobs on Monster are often posted by third-party recruiters and a good number of postings on Craigslist are anonymous).

“So what,?” you might ask.

The reason the identity of the hiring manager in a job posting is so important is two-fold:

A)   A-Players Want It – A-Players say that the hiring manager is one of the most important factors in what company they choose to join (Check out The 5 ‘C’s’ Of Why An A-Player Takes A New Job). And what employer doesn’t want A-Players on their team!?

B)   Transparency Dictates It — The world has changed in the last 20 years and transparency is valued more highly than ever. Facebook, eBay, Yelp, WikiLeaks and many more sites are prime examples –it is now standard to find out who is involved in any key transaction/project. And a hire is a massive transaction (if the employer and employee come together in a positive hire, hundreds of thousands of dollars will exchange hands!).

The majority of job postings will be no different — quality job applicants will demand to know as much about what they are getting into as possible: especially the name and background of the manager who is supposed to have their back!

10 years from now, nearly all jobs will include the name of the hiring manager as well as the other key people on the team you’re considering joining.

LinkedIn does a great job of identifying the person who posts a job on LinkedIn and Glassdoor does an amazing job of including reputation information on CEOs at various companies (I’d love to see them have such ratings on all managers/leaders!).

Note: I acknowledge that there will always be some job postings whose manager/employer are confidential, such as highly sensitive placements like a new C-level hire (CEO, CFO, etc.) or a key researcher for a drug company needing FDA approval.

2. They Lack Visuals (Pictures & Videos)

Visuals on the Web, such as pictures and videos, just weren’t used back in 1990 when online job boards emerged…but it’s 2012 now and pics and vids are nearly ubiquitous on the Web.

A job opportunity needs to be like an “open-house” for homes – afterall, you wouldn’t buy a home without taking a stroll through it, right?

The team and culture are so important for A-Player job seekers that we they will soon demand to see the visuals of any serious job.

They can of course do that by scheduling an interview with the hiring company, but we believe the best employers will share pictures and video of themselves through the Web to save A-Players that time.

That’s why nearly all job opportunities will contain photos and videos within 5 to 10 years.

Glassdoor is one company helping to lead the way in career-related visuals on the Web.

3. They Lack Social Connectability

Most of the major job boards do not “get” the amazing social graph that a couple of smart dudes (“Zuck” and “Reed”) helped bring to life.

A-Player job seekers expect to see how they are connected to the hiring team and their networks and sites like LinkedIn and BranchOut are making social connectability in jobs standard.

The “social” train has left the station and job boards like Craigslist and Monster haven’t even made it to the platform.

Note: BranchOut will continue to crush Monster’s BeKnown social play because the former is built with “social” in mind from the ground up while BeKnown resembles a botched botox lip job.

 4. Their Jobs Are Not “Shareable”

Two very cool facts are colliding: A) The Social Graph is here to stay and B) The best job candidates come from referrals (that’s why many employers in Silicon Valley pay $2,000 to $10,000 to employees who introduce them to a person they hire!).

“So what,” you might ask, about the “worlds colliding” thing?

Well, the way that the old job boards design their job postings makes for very boring-looking jobs.

99% of job postings are boring: they have nothing but text and have become clones of each others by asking for such things as “a team player,” “strong communication skills,” and “metrics-driven.”

People are not going to “Like” or “Re-tweet” a job if it’s boring looking…because then they look like a loser (to their friends and colleagues!).

It would be like your Mom asking you to set your best buddy up with that socially awkward single cousin of yours – not gonna happen!

Jobs that are sharable are ones that are visually appealing with such rich information as pictures, video and LinkedIn or Facebook connectability.

In The Future, Your Friends Will Supply You With A “Job News Feed”

Additionally, the highest quality job candidates, as discussed, are referrals! That’s how the real world works:

You often hear about a job from a friend or a friend of a friend or perhaps from a recruiter.

A visually appealing job will amplify this sharing.

In the future, it will be common-place for you to have a job news feed in the same way you have a regular news feed (whether from CNN or from your friends on Facebook) — and nearly every job in your feed will have an image (just like the thumbnails of most of your Facebook News Feed!).

5. No Direct Interaction & Feedback Loop (Too Much Friction)

We all know the Internet is about removing friction and classic job boards continue to have a bunch of unnecessary friction.

Why is it that when you go to Monster you will likely sift through numerous job postings by recruiters (without the employer named!); and when you go to Craigslist you see that a good many of employers posting jobs are anonymous?

A recruiter friend of mine says that Monster takes so many jobs from recruiters purely for the money (Monster is publicly traded and perhaps they feel pressure to please shareholders).

I’m guessing that Cragislist (who I’m a huge fan of!) has the anonymous posting feature to protect its community of posters (admirable, but a crappy experience for an A-Player job seeker).

A-Players won’t jump through those extra hoops of friction.

The “Black Hole” Of Applications

Another friction point for job candidates is that very few candidates who apply actually get a response back from employers.

A study from StartWire found that only 33% of Fortune 1000 companies provide feedback in the application process; yet 96 percent of job seekers said they are more likely to apply for a job if they know they will receive regular updates on their job application status.

Candidates often feel that there is a “black hole” in the application process.

As far as I know, job boards do little to help solve this  problem.

It’s terrific to hear that Startwire is working with 7,000 employers to solve this “Application Black Hole” problem.

In the future, most job postings will allow real-time communication directly with all of the people on the employer’s hiring team.

A-Player job seekers will expect to be able to easily”follow” a job like they follow people on Twitter.

The Future Of Job Postings

Just to wrap up, the first 300 years of job marketing was about print-based help wanted ads and 1990 to the Present was about online job boards.

The next 5 to 20 years of job postings will center around:

  1. Hiring Team Transparency (whether it’s the hiring manager or others on the team (peers, recruiters, etc.))
  2. Pictures & Video
  3. Social Connectability
  4. Social Sharing
  5. Real-Time Interactivity (between the employer and job seeker)

Some of us are calling this new wave of job postings “social job postings” or “visual job postings” or “live job postings.”

Ongig is proud to be working on all 5 of the above elements and we look forward to shaping this new reinvention of hiring with the numerous other awesome hiring innovators out there!

Please leave a comment if you are, or know, one of those hiring innovators.

by in Hiring