In the midst of the digital age, we are witnessing the decline of traditional business models as online retailers are successfully flipping the industry on its head. From buying deodorant to 3-piece suits, with just a few clicks of the mouse you can avoid traffic, checkout lines, and the Chicago plastic bag tax with near-instant gratification.
In recent years, business professionals have made this shift into the online shopping realm not only for their material goods, but for their job search as well.
While “shopping” online for jobs has plenty benefits compared to a more traditional search through a staffing firm, there are inevitable pitfalls to this approach that you should be aware of.
Check out our quick list of pros and cons for online vs traditional approaches before you begin your job search so that you can decide which path will lead you to the career you deserve.
Online Shopping (Job Boards):
Search, Select, Submit – these are the three simple steps it takes to apply to a job via the online market. Simplicity means savings on time, and (if the old adage holds true) time is money.
By efficiently breezing through multiple job opportunities, you have the ability to distribute your resume on a grand scale with minimal effort.
In an age of instant gratification, you expect online job boards to cater to your expectations.
Con: Click & Forget
A common issue with job boards is that the ease-of-use enables consumers to get “click happy”, leading to resumes in the hands of companies which simply don’t match your personal criteria.
Much like finding an Amazon package at your front door that you had forgotten you ordered, a wave of confusion may crash over you as you are called to schedule an interview with a company that you know nothing about.
Pro: Visibility to “Endless” Supply
The efficiency provided by online job boards exists not only for applicants but for companies as well. With a relatively low cost and ease-of-use, companies of any size can now market their open jobs on an impressive scale, providing prospective applicants the ability to scroll through page after page of exciting career opportunities.
This dense saturation of postings gives you the opportunity to uncover potential career paths that would have remained hidden otherwise.
Con: Quality Control
Since nearly any company can upload their job descriptions onto these sites, it puts the onus on the applicant to decipher between postings which are valid and those which are attempting a classic “bait & switch”.
A “dream job” scenario may turn out to be a nightmare – a realization that you won’t uncover until after you’ve invested time into an interview, or worse, after you’ve accepted the position.
Brick & Mortar Shopping (Staffing Firm):
Pro: Individual Attention
Maybe the most important aspect of working with staffing firms is understanding that there is a mutual investment in your success. Placing you in a position that is beneficial for both you and a hiring company is what recruiters are paid to do, so your success is necessarily a recruiter’s success.
In order to ensure that you are hired into a company where you will thrive means that you can expect to have a recruiter strive to understand your core wants/needs and provide individual attention throughout the entire hiring process.
From interview prep to salary negations, your recruiter will lay the foundation for the career path that you want to travel down.
As with any beneficial collaboration, expect to invest some time with your recruiter throughout the process as they work to ensure you are hired into a position that suits your needs.
Similar to buying a suit, it may be easier to order one online and hope that it fits, but the benefits of working with a tailor, gathering your measurements for a perfect fit, generally outweighs the time cost involved.
Pro: Quality Sourcing
In order to do right by the applicants, a staffing firm will weed out any companies who do not meet the standards set by both you and the firm itself.
You can expect to only be submitted for roles at companies which will set you up for continued success in your career, never having to fear a “bait & switch”.
Con: Limited Supply
By only working with companies who meet established criteria does mean that there is a smaller pool as a result.
Applicants willing to work with any company that extends an offer may not find this approach to a job search as the most efficient, but it is important to understand that, like you, firms are invested in your long-term success and that begins by working with only those companies that are aligned with your goals.