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#HRTechChat Preview: Sinking and Capsizing Job Boards

Who’s putting points up on the boards with job boards? That’s a good question. An unfiltered mess of information all jumbled together on a board with archaic search functionality is such a turn-off. That’s what job boards used to be, and some still take an unfocused tack. But few job boards today are stuck in the late nineties. Most have exerted an effort to evolve: to embrace social media, to become interactive, to move away from the unfiltered onslaught that everyone put up with back then and flees today. Back then, it was a big deal just to be able to communicate word of jobs via the Internet. Since, the Web has grown into an ever more precise instrument to communicate information, and that itself is a big deal that job boards must deal with.
Job Board Stiff?
For the March issue of HRO Today, #HRTechChat Co-host Brent Skinner wrote “Job Board Stiff?,” an article packed with information that otherwise would have made its way into this preview. In fact, read that article for a snapshot of job board technologies today and the landscape they face; read that article, and consider yourself prepared for #HRTechChat Episode Sixteen, which takes place today at 4pm ET / 1pm PT.
All Aboard the Job Board Titanic—Or Poseidon?
It’s provocative to say so, but the good ship job board has taken on water for years now, and man, is she ever listing. How many more times will conventional job boards rearrange the deck chairs? How many more songs will the string quartet play before the sounds sound like they’re gargling ocean water? How long will it be before the job board, once the epicenter—the “Titanic”—of the job search, sinks to the bottom of the sea?
Actually, the image of a capsized vessel might make for a better metaphor, and the story of job boards seems more like the “The Poseidon Adventure.” In that 1972 film, the late, great Leslie Nielsen played the role of captain of the luxury ocean liner Poseidon—for about 10 minutes. Shortly into the film, a 90-foot tidal wave strikes the Poseidon’s port side, capsizing the ship and claiming Nielsen's character's life. Just watch the trailer, and you’ll see.
Most job boards aboard the Internet died or should have died when the tidal wave of Web 2.0 hit them—ahem, we mean most passengers aboard the Poseidon died or should have died when that tidal wave capsized the ship.
Do you see what we did there?
What ensues in the film makes for wonderful cinema. Following their instincts, Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine—but mostly Hackman (sorry, Borgnine)—proceed to shepherd a ragtag team of surviving passengers (i.e., job boards) through a dramatic series of innovations, acrobatics and improvisations to reach the hull of the ship, now the de facto top of it, and exit a hatch to safety.
Job Boards in 3-D
And do you see what we did here?
Throughout the “The Poseidon Adventure,” Borgnine implores Hackman to play it safe and stick to what they know. Hackman has none of it, instead charging forth on faith and what seems, to his followers, like reckless abandon and a lack of respect for convention. And the film shows us that Hackman’s approach is necessary in the face of challenges.
The Web of the past, which job boards knew when they were born, is now upside down. That’s pretty dramatic, and only the innovative ones, adept at acrobatics and deft at employing improvisation, will survive and exit to safety as viable enterprises. Boards are one-dimensional by nature, and the job boards that emerge victorious will do so in 3-D, as multidimensional entities incorporating social media, video, voice technology and everything else the upside-down Web now has to offer. They’ll bear little, if any, resemblance to the notion of a board.
All Aboard #HRTechChat Episode Sixteen—Wednesday 5/9 @ 4pm ET / 1pm PT
If you missed #HRTechChat Episode Fifteen’s Recap, we looked at the iTalent Competition, which took place last week at the HRO Today Forum, and we put “The ‘i'’ in Talent Management Technology.”
This week, #HRTechChat will explore job boards and their technology—where they were and where they’re going. Please board with us at 4pm ET / 1pm PT today, when TalentManagementTech will tweet the following questions. Yes, that would be today. We invite you to grace us with your tweets, and we promise not to capsize or sink.

  • Q1: This will be fun: In one tweet, describe the evolution of #jobboard technology from birth through today. #HRTechChat
  • Q2: What aspects of #jobboard technology must die? What emerging & existing tech must they embrace? #HRTechChat
  • Q3: The best job seekers have become savvy users of the Web. What have they come to expect from #jobboards? #HRTechChat
  • Q4: Do #jobboards face a losing battle? Will #socialmedia do them in, no matter what? Why or why not? #HRTechChat
  • Q5: What will the #jobboard of the future look like? What kind of technologies will it incorporate? #HRTechChat
  • BONUS QUESTION: What TV series starred Ernest Borgnine as Dominic Santini alongside a Stringfellow Hawke? #HRTechChat