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applicant funnel blog

What's the Difference Between an ATS and a Job Board?

Job Boards are great for amplifying the all-important applicant volume, but what else should you consider?
Jeff Davis


As we enter a new decade, it’s fun to reflect on how hiring has changed over the past 10 years.

The job board landscape continues to ebb and flow. Dominant players from the early 2000’s, like Craigslist and Monster, have faded to the background, while new business models and social platforms continue to drive more applicants (is the term ‘freemium’ antiquated yet?).

Nothing has spurred change more than record low unemployment rates.

High-turnover industries have adopted digital marketing strategies to lure candidates and manage a pipeline. In these industries, the hiring process resembles a funnel. As competition for workers increases, high-turnover companies are rightly tempted to do everything they can to fill the top of that funnel with more applicants.

With dwindling margins and limited recruiting budgets, it’s tempting to look at spending all your budget on one job board simply for volume.

security applicant funnel

But the top of the funnel is only one stage to improve, and there are many ways to accomplish that goal. While job boards have added functionality over the past few years, they still don’t have the firepower needed for all recruiting organizations.

Before you make such a move, ask yourself these key questions:

Can the job board manage my hiring process? Job boards are designed to find applicants. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to move those applicants through your hiring process. A ‘one size fits all’ workflow may not be best for your organization if you have high hiring volume.

How will the applicant data flow into our other systems? Will the applicant information flow into your background check vendor and onboarding paperwork? What about your ERP or payroll?

Redundant data entry is frustrating and expensive, and let’s face it - no one wants to run afoul of state and federal requirements. EEO, I-9’s, the new W4, and constantly changing state requirements should all factor into your hiring workflow. If you’re only using a job board, be sure to have a separate system in place to gather critical employee paperwork to maintain compliance. 

Am I getting all the information I need to make the right hire? The ‘easy apply’ trend has been fantastic for job seekers who can apply to multiple jobs in short order, but often employers need more info. Can the job board collect your entire application?

Will a single job board give me the quality applicants I need? Our data shows that different job boards attract different pools of candidates. Have you reviewed your hiring data to see which job board gives you the best quality candidates?

Like real estate markets, hiring is local and varies market to market.

We find that certain job boards work well in rural markets but fail in big cities. Some industries see fantastic results with ‘guerilla’ style recruiting tactics like fliers.

There is no perfect job board for all industries and markets, just like there is no singular hiring process for all organizations. Make sure you’re partnering with solution providers who diversify your applicant pool while helping you create efficiencies for your organization.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your hiring process, we’d love to talk! Click here to talk to us about your situation and see how Kwantek can help.




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