Charu Malhotra – Talking Job Boards

CHARUphoto21Charu will be joining our client panel at The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe in a week’s time. She is a highly experienced and respected recruiter, having worked at BP, Vodafone, Baker Hughes, Unilever and Smiths News Group, holding a wide range of leadership positions.

With this experience Charu brings great insights into the world of recruiting, sourcing, employer branding and social media, she kindly took the time to speak to Jobg8 about her take on Job Boards.

Q – What’s your take on Job Boards?

For large organisations they can be used as part of any branding strategy and a well written posting (rare these days) will attract candidates, so I think they will remain a source for candidates. However, Job Boards can be critical for the recruitment attraction strategy of SME’s, who often have limited budget for employer brand, creating careers sites, and developing the right ‘mobile user journey’.

Therefore, in order to attract/hire job seekers up to £50k, I see Job Boards as an essential part of the attraction and media mix.

As a resourcing leader, they form part of my sourcing strategy. The CV database, if used smartly, is an excellent sourcing tool and I will always look at allocating budget to this channel for marketing.

Most .com career sites for SME’s, in fact the majority, still don’t have mobile apply and are losing applicants in this part of the hiring funnel. Knowing that Job Boards and aggregators have already invested in mobile candidate centric strategies, allows organisations not to miss out on an increasing candidate pool who will not want to apply via desktops.

Q – Why do you use Job Boards?

Job Boards are a critical route for both branded & brand advertisements, aggregators are a cost effective solution for industrial repeatable roles, which in my latest position at Smiths News Group, have been an essential part of my resourcing activity.

Some Job Boards have regional reach while others have a discipline/niche focus (e.g. supply chain, marketing, industrial, retail) that organisations cannot ignore. My experience tells me that candidates will already be looking at Job Boards so I firmly abide by the statement ‘fish where the fish are’; if my audience is already there, then it makes sense to ensure my brand and roles are too.

Q – Charu, what are the good and bad things about Job Boards and where could improvements be made?

The good:

The vast reach of Job Boards (usually for industrial hiring where it’s not a specific discipline hiring) mobile apply, candidate awareness and PR bundle-approach to selling to customers.

The bad:

  • The amount of work and time on the formatting of ads.
  • Little sharing of analytics from ads.
  • The focus on selling rather than adding value.
  • Still not understanding the role of recruiter function; it feels like a commodity Job Boards are selling as opposed to a solution.
  • Finally, and a bigger issue, a failure of the Job Board industry understanding the structure of the industry itself; the move from third party to In-House has changed recruitment dramatically.


Improvements to be made:

  • For me one of the biggest opportunities for Job Boards, and what would also be a huge improvement, would be to share ‘big data’. Job Boards can produce great insights, more effectively and, potentially, with multiple language options.
  • When I worked at Unilever, my global projects involved working with core global universities to aggregate our MBA advertisements. The technology that the universities used was dated and time consuming. Job Board leaders are missing a huge opportunity here to make money and improve this route to market. The universities are very limited in their understanding of how to cater for the organisations that want to partner with them and the number of companies that want to do this is growing.
  • Provide economic data trends and demographics in a user friendly way. I have never seen any of this from a Job Board thus far, yet Job Boards have so much of this rich data.

Q – How well do Job Boards market themselves?

Some have huge budgets which is clearly effective i.e. TV and Radio adverts. However they still seem to be missing the ability to create content socially which is what will engage candidates/clients more as we move into the era of bite sized, useful information.

The industry needs to be looking at more of a content approach, which can be personalised as opposed to the big bang TV approach.

The above is all consumer facing. In the B2B sector it seems that marketing is replaced by selling and feels very much like a sell to the lowest common denominator. Sales calls to junior recruiters rather than HRD/TA Heads. As I mentioned earlier is appears to be a commoditised approach as opposed to a solution.

Q – Finally, LinkedIn, your take?

LinkedIn is a powerhouse player no doubt about it. It is seen by people outside of HR & marketing as a Job Board, despite what LinkedIn say. They do a brilliant job sharing analytics regularly and also provide narrative which Job Boards fail to do.

Currently it is more of a solution sell and they work closely with clients to solve problems.


Some great insights from Charu and you can pose your questions to her and the other panellists at The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe.


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