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A Wall Street Journal article concerning Internet job sites headlines, “Online job sites yield few jobs, users complain.” The job sites have spent millions on advertising their value. Our firm has never listed a client's job on the Internet. I feel that the best people are not continually looking through job postings. Why should a client pay me a fee for finding a candidate when they could list the job themselves and pay no fee?

The article went on to state the hard reality of finding a job on the Internet:

  • 61% of management level jobs are found through networking
  • 3.65% are found through corporate Web sites
  • 1.40% monster.com
  • 0.39% hotjobs.com
  • 0.29% careerbuilder.com
  • 0.27% headhunter.net

The user complaints are:

  • Job boards often have out-of-date listings.
  • Inquiries go unacknowledged.
  • Job hunts conducted solely online rarely produce jobs.
  • You do not know where your resume is going.
  • Computers, not humans, often match job openings to candidates.
  • There are not enough job listings.
  • Recruiters are just filling their databases.

When I read this article, I just smiled and thought, “I knew it.” For so long, I’ve heard the Internet was going to eliminate headhunters. I knew that was absurd. Even though candidates can send their resumes around the world in seconds and to many potential employers all at once - human contact is needed in all job searches. Someone has to read your resume and decide to interview you. All this speed and ease only gets your resume to the front door of the employer. With so many job seekers on the Internet, all sending resumes to the same job opening, it creates an e-mail overload for the employer.

I saved and e-mail solicitation I recently received from an Internet service because it was unbelievable. It started out by saying, “Two for one sale today.” For $69.95 I could access 1.8 million resumes and post a job to 2000 job-related Web sites. This e-mail ad is the exact reason that job sites are failing. The information overload makes the data useless.

The Internet is remarkable, but networking remains the best avenue to your next job. I can’t imagine doing business without it. The ease of communication between us and our clients and our candidates is beyond belief. The features and benefits are staggering. It seems, at this point in time, that the greatest benefits of the Internet to career seekers are:

  1. Maintaining Individual Lifelong Contacts: You can keep in touch with your network across the globe with little or no expense.
  2. Submitting your resume directly to any targeted company, instantly.
  3. Researching any company and scanning their homepage. In-depth research is available 24 hours a day.

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.