If a Job Posting Falls in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound?


As a recruiter for the last 15+ years, I have spent countless hours crafting job postings to attract top talent, but lately, it has become a futile endeavor.

While online job postings are a quantum leap removed from classified ads in newspapers, which peaked in 2000, I’m worried they have headed down the same dark path of embarrassing mediocrity as the job boards they are posted to. Job boards enable job hunters to search for multiple jobs, visit potential employers’ websites, and contact those employers if interested. But is anyone reading job descriptions? Anecdotal feedback stories from my peers and others suggest the answer is “no.”

If they are reading the job posting and the qualifications, are they not understanding the requirements? Are the job postings too broad? Do candidates believe it’s a numbers game? When I talk to my fellow recruiters, they share stories of applicants who apply to 20-30 roles; could anyone have such a broad skill set that they could be qualified for that many roles? Is this a failure of job postings or the next evolution of hiring?

Job postings are dead, but will linger for the next five years because of a bureaucratic necessity. Applicants are not interested in reading long job postings that list 3-5 required skills and then requirements like, “team player,” “strong communicator,” and “ability to wear many hats,” cliché, cliché. They certainly don’t want to read it and I don’t want to write it. Times are changing. Applicants want to see pictures of the office, videos, and a glimpse of the culture. Can they see themselves working for this company? If yes, then they will apply and qualifications are secondary. Is this a good thing?

Good or bad, it is the reality of the information-laden, social media-driven environment we now live in. Company and Talent Acquisition Teams are pivoting to provide pictures, videos, employee spotlights, culture identifiers, and job postings for applicants. No one cares about job requirements and companies are transitioning to educate applicants about their corporate brand, as an applicant, you must pivot how you engage with those companies.  The next domino to fall in this job search evolution will be the resume and few job applicants are ready (LinkedIn Profile).   The war for talent is only getting hotter and job postings are the classified ads of the 2000s.

Here is what I really think about job boards…