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A recent article in The Wall Street Journal cited a December 2010 survey by the Corporate Executive Board, which found that 24% of companies plan to decrease their use of commercial job boards while 80% said they planned to increase their use of social media sites and referrals to generate candidates.

Job boards aren’t dead yet though. The latest Sources of Hire survey by CareerXRoads.com indicates that job boards are the third highest source of hire after internal movement and referrals. In fact, companies participating in this survey attribute almost one quarter of their external hires to job boards. Approximately 89% of survey respondents attributed at least one hire to Monster, the granddaddy of job boards, during 2010.

Nevertheless, job boards are on their way out. Employers are tired of being deluged with resumes from unqualified applicants. Job seekers are turned off when their searches result in irrelevant jobs with vague descriptions and no identification of the employer. Applicants are getting fed up with posting resumes or applying to job postings and never getting a response. Hacking of job boards is becoming increasingly common resulting in some serious security issues for whoever is using them.

Employers and job seekers are moving toward using a variety of other online tools in conjunction with, or instead of job boards. For example, aggregators such as Indeed, Simply Hired and Google allow you to easily search by keyword and set up alerts to get information about relevant job opportunities. Both employers and job seekers are taking advantage of micro career sites like Jobfox, Climber.com, My Perfect Gig, Vitruva, OneWire and others to exchange information about career opportunities by discipline rather than specific jobs.

And of course, there’s social networking to find and fill jobs. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are increasingly being used by employers to get the word out about opportunities and by candidates to learn about available jobs. Job seekers are participating in discussion boards and forums operated by professional associations, trade groups, and alumni groups as well as setting up personal blogs with career portfolios to increase their online visibility and image so that employers and recruiters can easily find them. Recruiters and candidates are increasingly interacting through smart phones, texting, and other mobile technologies.

As a result, a positive online image is essential. ExecuNet Inc. did a research study, 2010 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report that showed 90% of recruiters regularly use Google to search for additional information on candidates. According to a recent Cross-Tab research study, Online Reputation in a Connected World, 86% of employers believe a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions.

The employment process is still all about relationships. But today, those relationships are more likely to begin online. As job boards continue to lose relevance, positive online interactivity becomes critical to employers, recruiters and candidates.

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