The social networking boom has had an interesting side effect with regard to job listings – it’s making a lot of these job posts larger than life. I have to ask if many of those listings I see propagating from CraigsList to KITlist to Twitter are real, or if they are really like urban legends. Consider the following:
Phony job listings have always plagued the human resources industry. We all know that many jobs are filled or the hiring company has a candidate in mind before a job is posted, but they have to post the position in order to comply with federal hiring regulations. Sometimes companies or more often recruiters just want to test the waters and gather resumes. I’m not talking about job scams on CraigsList for mystery shoppers but executive job listings for C-level positions. It’s always has been a problem and your only defense is to establish a rapport with recruiters and hiring managers so you know whom to trust.
Now let’s throw the Internet into this mix. When we started NETSHARE, e-mail was still in its infancy and FAXed job listings would be making the rounds. Then we all became connected and e-mail lists started to proliferate. One of the most popular these days is Sue Connelly’s KITlist. This list started out as a keep-in-touch mailing list in 1997 for employees laid off from Silicon Graphics. It’s grown to become one of the most active job lists on the ‘net.
Now consider what happens to KITlist postings. They get circulated via e-mail. You send them to friends who might be looking for a job, or a helpful recruiter might post it to a member list. We have a few recruiter members at NETSHARE that routinely repost KITlist leads. The same is true of Monster, HotJobs, and the big job boards. They routinely scrape other job boards, Criagslist, and other sources to build out their listings. These job listings get picked up and circulated by job bots, e-mail, and other web propagators.
And these same leads hit the social networking circuit where they take on a life of their own. There are more than 400 Twitter feeds dedicated to tracking job leads. So these Twitter leads get retweeted by people trying to build their online presence, which means they get reposted to Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, wikis, everywhere. It’s easy for a phony lead to get added to the batch. KITlist, Monster, and other online job services don’t qualify their job leads so anyone can post a job anywhere, whether those jobs are real or not. Suddenly, these job leads start becoming urban legends. You start seeing the same job leads everywhere, like Kilroy, and it gets harder to determine if it’s a lead you’ve seen before, let alone a lead for a real job.
That’s why it’s important to know the source of your job lead. At NETSHARE, for example, we don’t accept money for job listings, which means we can be choosey. We can qualify every job listing. Before we post a job from a new lister, they get a call from our COO or CEO to make sure that the lister understands the rules and that the jobs they post are legitimate. And NETSHARE listings can’t be scraped because they are protected behind a firewall for access by members only. We take our job listings seriously which is why we protect them and make them exclusive to members.
So when you’re cruising those online job listings, remember you don’t know what’s being posted on the Web. That’s why it’s important to work with Web watchdogs who can vet those job listings for you.