9 Alternatives to Posting Open Positions on Job Boards

Dear, Anita,

I’ve been trying to hire a new Accountant for my department. Like in the past, I have advertised my opening on the large job boards, but it’s not getting the type of response that my ads did a couple of years ago. I notice that there are many options available to job seekers today when looking for a new job. Is there something else I could be trying? What do you recommend?

Newspaper_Ads_000008959134Dear, Board to Death,

CareerXroads’ Source of Hire Report notes that LinkedIn and job board aggregators (like Indeed.com) are playing a bigger role in recruiting, while traditional job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder are seeing declining traffic. (I remember when “help wanted” ads in the newspaper were the go-to for hiring managers!) While there’s no magic bullet, choose a few from this list to try. If they are successful, add them to your hiring toolbox for future use.

If the list below seems like an overwhelming amount of work over and above your regular day job duties, consider enlisting the aid of a professional staffing firm, such as The Select Family of Staffing Companies. Not just for temporary workers, Select’s divisions can find qualified candidates for direct hire positions. Its temp-to-hire solution is like an extended working interview that ensures the right fit.

  1. Niche Boards
    Since you’ve noticed decreasing results from generalist job boards, you may want to try an industry-specific website, such as Accounting Jobs Today in your case.
  2. Industry Associations
    Do you belong to any professional organizations in your field? Openings posted on associations’ job or career boards are more likely to hit closer to your target candidate. (Try The PASA: The Professional Accounting Society of America, or similar groups.)
  3. Craigslist
    Plenty of communities have vibrant Craigslist job boards. In many non-metro areas, posting an ad is – amazingly – still free.
  4. Social Networking
    Social Media Strategies Summit found that 78% of recruiters have hired through a social network (95% through LinkedIn, 24% through Facebook, and 14% through Twitter). So if you’re not a full-time recruiter, I’d invest my time in LinkedIn.Job_Fair_000027571881
  1. Job Fairs
    Larger businesses may host their own job fairs, and smaller businesses may participate in career fair events hosted by local chambers of commerce or area universities and colleges.
  2. Career Centers
    Local governments and educational institutions often have career centers. Be sure to alert these counselors to your open positions. In fact, if you often need young, enthusiastic employees, cozy up to the department chair in your discipline at the local college. He or she can be a valuable source of referrals.
  3. Referrals
    Undercover Recruiter claims that employee referrals have the highest applicant-to-hire conversion rate – only 7% apply but account for 40% of all hires. An added bonus is that applicants hired from a referral begin their position quicker than those found on job boards (29 days vs. 39 days).
  4. Fill from Within
    Companies fill 41% of their open positions with current employees, CareerXroads finds, from promotions or lateral moves. Not only is there the added benefit of the employee already knowing your company (culture, terminology, policies, workflow, etc.), which allows for quicker onboarding, but it also promotes loyalty among other employees who will view your company as a good place for professional development and movement along a career path.
  5. Your Company Website
    Companies who wish to maintain a strong pipeline of candidates make use of their own website. If you don’t have one already, add a Careers page. Check out ERE.net’s list of 10 Companies with Fantastic Career Sites for inspiration.

Hiring Managers: What has been your best source for new hires in the past 6 months?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 1
How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 2
Onboarding New Employees

The Bridge from Temping to a Full-Time Position

Dear, Anita,

As a recent graduate, I opted to take temporary jobs rather than settle for a steady, permanent full-time job I didn’t like and in order to build a more diverse résumé. I have three questions. If I want to stay on at a company I am currently temping for, how many hours do I have to work before I can get hired on full time? Second, when interviewing with other companies, some employers like to pop the question, “Why temping when you can have a regular job?” I’d like a good answer for that. Finally, how do I include temp jobs on my résumé without looking like a job-hopper?

Dear, Pursuing Permanency,

Temporary jobs can be a great stepping stone to full-time employment. A recent American Staffing Association (ASA) Employee Survey found that of temporary workers who cited obtaining a permanent job as their top priority, a whopping 99% achieved their objective! That’s a great reason to try temping – for those fresh out of school or for more seasoned workers still looking for a full-time employment.

The top reasons for choosing temporary work are:

Figure3If a potential employer asks questions that may indicate a bias against your temporary employment, counter with how your short-term stints made you more employable. Highlight the specific skills that you learned, and outline clearly how valuable the on-the-job experience was for you.  You can even throw out some ASA statistics from the survey to answer his objections.


How to list these diverse assignments on your résumé? Group them all under the staffing company, using an umbrella date range. Then, indented below, list the different positions to which you were assigned and proceed to elaborate on these as you would any other job listing (duties, skills acquired, and achievements or accomplishments while there). If you had one particular assignment for an extended period that relates to your future career goals, you may wish to break out that position and list it separately to give it more prominence.

To answer your first question last, each company may have different criteria for its temp-to-hire process. Check with your personnel supervisor for the specifics in your situation.

Readers: Have you turned a temping gig into full-time employment?

I’m delighted to be back as a Human Resources Consultant at The Select Family of Staffing Companies. Select can help you realize your dream of a full-time job. Stop by the branch nearest you to discuss your long-term career goals and how temping can be the bridge to a full-time, permanent position.

Graduates: Attempt Temping
How to Get Hired if You Don’t Have Experience
How to Brag – Nicely
Employers Think I’m a Job Hopper!

How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 2

Last week, I offered a half-dozen alternatives to finding positions on the online job boards. To review those ideas, click here. For more tips on how to find unadvertised jobs, read on…

business visionJob Fairs. Also known as a career expo, this is an event where employers and recruiters can meet job seekers. Be sure to bring copies of your résumé, and jot down notes on the business cards you collect so you can follow up. Set up a Google Alert so you won’t miss the next job fair scheduled in your region.

Internships & Volunteer Opportunities. Don’t think internships are just for recent graduates. If you are able to get an internship or volunteer to work for free (a radical concept, I know!) at your dream company, you’ll have your foot in the door when that paid position opens up. Even if your volunteer activities don’t lead to a position, you may meet some people who can help you further your career.

Take a Temp Job. If you just can’t work for free, join a temporary employment agency, such as The Select Family of Staffing Companies. You’ll be able to make some bill-paying money with assignments that last from a few days to a few months, in addition to keeping your skills from getting rusty. You may even be offered a permanent position. In this US News article, “10 Reasons to Take a Temporary Job,” point #1 notes that temporary work isn’t so temporary.

Word of Mouth. If you’ve been searching for a job for any length of time, you’re probably sick of the term “networking.”  Don’t let discouragement keep you from chamber of commerce mixers, service club meetings, and even ponying up the greens fees for a round of golf. For tips on networking, read my post Networking Know-How.

Hit the Bricks. Whether you want to find a job in a downtown boutique or in the financial district of your city, dress for the part, pop some freshly printed résumés in your satchel, and go hunting on foot.  While higher-level jobs don’t often advertise with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, chatting up the receptionist in an office suite building may lead to some inside information. If you ask to speak to a company’s hiring manager, you may be able to get 10 minutes of his or her time, even without an appointment.

You never know. Your next job may be hiding in plain sight.

Readers: Have you ever landed an “unadvertised” job? We’d love to hear your story.

Do you have a question for Anita Clew? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

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Looking for Work during the Holiday Season

Dear, Anita,

I’ve been looking for a full-time job for months. Now that the holiday season is here, I don’t seem to see as many permanent positions listed on the job boards, and for those that I do apply to, I am not getting any response. I want to be able to buy my kids some toys for under the Christmas tree, but I’m losing hope.

Dear, All I Want for Christmas is a Job,

I don’t have any hard statistics, but the general consensus is that many job seekers give up the search between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It may be true that your job hunt may be less productive, because hiring managers can be absent during the holidays. But I’m an eternal optimist, and I say, “Don’t give up!” In fact, take advantage of the lack of competition these lethargic yuletide yahoos are creating. Many companies budget on an annual basis and may have full-time positions they need to fill before year-end.

Holiday partyKeep on with your current plan of applying for all of the jobs for which you are qualified. This may be time to head to your local coffee shop with your laptop and indulge in a peppermint mocha. In addition, attend any and all of the seasonal soirées to which you’ve been invited (yes, even the one with the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” theme). Use holiday parties as networking opportunities. You don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus, but be sure to mention that you are still actively looking for work. You never know whose best friend’s uncle has just the job for you. Send holiday cards to anyone with whom you have interviewed in the last few months. Circumstances may have changed, the new hire may not have worked out, or a new position may have opened up.

Don’t turn up your red Rudoph nose at seasonal or temporary work. My friends at The Select Family of Staffing Companies work with retail, distribution, warehouse, and other industries that staff up during the holiday season. You never know; if you shine like a star on the Christmas tree, you may be offered a permanent position.

Holiday Job Seekers: Have you ever been hired smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season? Have you taken a seasonal or temp job to get by?

Do you have a question for Miss Anita? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

Subscribe to receive weekly emails with career tips and advice for job seekers, employed people, and managers and supervisors.


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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