Matching wireless tech talent with opportunity
Even with the state of the economy improving and the unemployment rate at 7.9% (as of Feb. 1, 2013), recruiters have fewer jobs to advertise, yet there are more people looking for jobs. Gannett, publisher of more than 300 newspapers in the U.S., reported that total recruitment advertising revenue at American newspapers was about $750 million in 2011 — or 85% lower than the $5.1 billion spent on such advertising in 2005.
General interest job boards (i.e., online job sites) such as Monster and Simply Hired also have seen a drop in job postings due to the recession. However, industry-specific or niche job boards are proliferating, according to JobBoardDoctor.com, as they provide laser-focused specificity and targeted options for employers and job seekers.
When it comes to recruitment, employers will tell you that maximizing the number of resumes received isn’t the goal. Rather, when evaluating which career sites provide the best value, both employers and job seekers need to determine relevance to their industry. That is the key role of niche career sites: target specific industries, such as telecom or manufacturing, or types of jobs, such as technical or marketing.
While social media websites like LinkedIn offer career-development opportunities, a recent survey conducted by HR consultants Bersin & Associates indicated that job boards are the most productive source, accounting for 19% of hires, with referrals and internal transfers close behind at 16%. In contrast, social media sites account for barely 1% of all hires. The trick, it seems then, is finding the right job board where job seekers and employers have the most in common.
What do employers seek?
Not all job boards achieve the same objectives. Most employers and recruiters prefer to use an online career center that will attract 10 of the RIGHT candidates, versus sifting through 100 resumes from the WRONG candidates. Niche career sites have proved to be more effective than using larger broad-based career sites, even with the detailed search tools that larger sites offer. Ever-mindful of their budgets, employers have learned that posting jobs on a variety of larger job boards is just not as cost-effective as placing them on smaller, more targeted, job boards. The bottom line is that niche job sites provide value, quality and efficiency for employers. Plus, it’s where more job seekers are posting their resumes, according to job board developer JobTarget.
What serves job seekers?
Job seekers also seek relevancy. Will their resume be viewed by multiple employers in their specific industry? Are they able to target their search to specific types of employers who seek their relevant skills, or are they just searching blindly through a database with thousands of marginally similar or irrelevant jobs? Even though broad-based career sites provide filters to narrow search results, it still takes job seekers additional time to navigate the maze of irrelevant and confusing options. As a result, candidates can feel lost in a sea of other applicants. Niche career sites offer more-specific industry listings based on highly relevant job skills, increasing the chances of job seekers finding and landing their ideal job. In addition, because niche sites often include openings that do not appear on larger sites, there is a greater chance for job seekers to find a position that is best-suited to their skill sets and employer criteria.
Skilled wireless technicians in high demand
Wireless sales-and-service providers, dealers, public-safety and government agencies, and business-and-industrial wireless users approached the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) in 2012 about developing a niche job board specifically for technicians, engineers and installers.
“These types of jobs are in such high demand, yet it’s just too difficult, our members tell us, to find qualified workers,” said EWA President/CEO Mark Crosby. “We want to provide our employer members a way to find the needles in a haystack, folks with the specific technical radio and IP skill sets.”
The Wireless Career Connection job board, which EWA will launch this month, will feature member-preferred rates for employers posting job announcements, and will enable them to automatically filter out unsuitable resumes through a sophisticated online qualification process,according to Crosby. Additionally, the site will provide job seekers with tips and links regarding resume writing, career coaching, technical training and certification, as well as information about college degrees and scholarships.
“We always are looking for skilled technicians to augment our growing workforce,” said Rich Lacouette, President of NYCOMCO, a New York-based two-way radio and wireless communications solution provider. “Having an industry-relevant site — one set up specifically to attract a narrow set of technical, engineering and IP skills — will be beneficial for every employer in our industry.”
By launching a niche site focusing solely on specific radio and IP technician and engineering jobs — and by offering member-preferred rates — EWA is providing employers with a cost-effective way to filter applicants and limit the submission of unsuitable resumes. Meanwhile, job seekers receive valuable career advice and tools, and an opportunity to sharpen their focus regarding this ever-growing and ever-changing industry.
In short, both employers with a need for strong technical talent and those seeking to fill that need both have a new tool that will help them grow in 2013.
Louise Hippolyte is EWA’s manager of member communications.