Job board ‘black hole’

The boom in online recuitment sites may take a hit from a new survey that show 40% of job seekers say that posting a resume online is the equivalent of sending it into a black hole.

Remember the television ads that debuted during last season’s Super Bowl? Kids with serious faces listed their “when I grow up” ambitions. But in place of job titles like fireman or doctor, the kids mouthed Dilbert-like phrases such as “I want to be a yes-man” or “I want to climb my way up to middle management.”

The commercials worked for the Maynard, Mass.-based company, which had more than 2 million job searches conducted at its Web site within 24 hours of the game. Some job hunters —including information technology workers — reported less than impressive results from posting their résumés on such Web sites.

Forty percent of job seekers said that posting a résumé online is the equivalent of sending it into a black hole, according to a survey released in early November. About one-third of the respondents said they found it difficult to follow up with a company after posting their résumés online. And more than two-thirds said they don’t always find jobs for which they are qualified., an online recruiting and career management service and a divison of Romac International Inc. in Tampa, Fla., commissioned the survey of 1,000 individuals.

Jim Barr, a Y2K contingency planner at a financial services firm in Parsippany, N.J., said he agreed with survey respondents that black hole was an apt term to describe his experience. “I don’t even put my résumé online anymore.”

Stephanie Johns, a contractor and Advanced Business Application Programming programmer who lives in Tampa, said she agreed that following up with a company once she has posted a résumé can be difficult. “Unless [I’m] persistent with the contact person, it’s tough to get information on whether my résumé is applicable for a job.”

Howard Rubin, a research fellow at Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn., said IT recruiting managers at big firms still rely primarily on people they know — such as headhunters — to find qualified candidates.

According to a survey conducted by International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., the biggest source of IT recruitment for companies of various sizes is employee referrals, which account for about 25% of recruiting vs. 8% for online.

But recruiting sites can be rewarding if your search is more focused. Johns, for instance, found that it was time-consuming to hunt for positions at individual sites. However, she recently found a 10-month contract position at Tampa Electric by using, which scours the various job boards.

IT contractors may find that a Web site’s auctioning service can produce faster results. Barr has used’s Talent Market, where contractors name their price. With Talent Market, contractors fill out a thumbnail profile of themselves, which includes their skills, pay rate and availability. “By having the availability information, an employer knows he or she is looking at something current and active,” said Barr.

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