The Job Boards Boom

Everywhere you browse online these days, you're bound to find some new job board. They're ubiquitous; there's GigaOM Jobs, the 37Signals Job Board, TechCrunch's CrunchBoard, Cameron Moll's Authentic Jobs and countless others. Regardless of which one you end up browsing or using, the concept remains the same - pay a $200 or higher fee and list a wanted job.

For Them

With the success of professional networking sites like LinkedIn, it's no wonder these job boards are trendy right now. For the creator, there's nothing to it. One week of development and designing (I could probably make functioning job board software in a few days, given that Kyle was online), a server, and a professional VeriSign or Paypal account are all it really takes.

For You

So what are the benefits of using these smaller job boards as opposed to utilizing services like Hot Jobs, Monster Jobs, Dice or Indeed? Well first off, if you're looking for a job chances are you would spam your resume on all the services you can find. The main difference between smaller jobs boards and the big guys is the type of people that use each.

  • The Job Boards Crowd: These people are knowledgeable about all things online and tech, even if their field is something completely unrelated. They know enough about the blogosphere to have found the job boards, which typically run advertisements in the blogosphere. Most of the people in this category are web programmers or designers.

    Companies that post and hire through these job boards are typically small startups, however the booming nature of the boards has attracted large firms such as the New York Times and NBC Universal. They are generally looking for that awesome, super do-it-all person and are hoping to hire ASAP. It's not uncommon to see job listings entitled "Superstar Sys Admin" or "Ninja C/C++ Programmer" on these small, high-traffic job boards.

  • The Big Guys Populace: There are far less technophiles using services like Monster jobs (exception: the technically-oriented Dice) compared to small job boards. Large job listing sites are aimed at providing accurate listings for every type of job, however the experience is not as unique. You will often see a dozen listings for the exact same position at a large company. You will generally be "just another employee" and not treated like the rockstar coder you are. That being said, many of the job listings are from large companies. You'll be hard pressed to find a 4 person social media startup list a job on such sites.

Now that you have a basic idea of who uses each service, you're probably leaning towards using the small job boards if you are looking for a technical job. I think the smaller boards are more effective as each spot is randomly advertised on several sites. For example, a post on CrunchBoard gets the listing advertised on TechCrunch and CrunchGear while a job listing on 37Signals' board is advertised on Kottke's blog.

The main thing to note is that each listing gets more attention. You don't have to search for anything to find it. For this reason, companies pass off the 200+ fine as an investment since many spots are fulfilled before the 30 day listing expires.

In a nutshell, these small job boards are great places to start looking for your next career or find your next employee. If you aren't sure which one to start with, I would suggest the 37Signals Job Board so the creator, Jason Fried, can get that new Audi RS6 he's got his eye on.

Now if you represent a firm looking to contract someone for a week to whip out some little script, chances are you won't be looking at job boards but rather sites like RentACoder.

Disclaimer: I wrote this article using only my experience from constantly browsing job boards and listing services. I'm not sure why I do it, as I won't be graduating for another 2+ years, but it's pretty neat to see all the interesting jobs out there.