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The problem with job portals

You might well think that the number is overwhelming, but in truth, the jungle of job portals in German-speaking countries is not yet all that complex. However, recruiters are often spoiled for choice. Between the large platforms like, or, you will find countless smaller platforms catering to a specific industry or area of specialization. To figure out which site is most effective for your recruiting process, you will have to take many factors into account. If you keep publishing the same job ads on the same job platforms, and it feels like the quality and/or the number of applicants is going down, then you should get to the bottom of why that is the case. It’s almost certainly not a matter of chance.

There are many reasons why the job portals you use most might not be performing up to standard. It’s not always because of you or your job advertisements.

Maybe you or the platform in question is struggling with one (or more) of the following problems, and you aren’t even aware of it:

1. Unappealing job postings

It is natural to put the blame on someone else first. However, you should look at your actions before you do that. This can prevent embarrassing situations from happening and may even solve the problem more quickly and efficiently than you thought possible. If you are unsure whether a job posting is really appealing to your target group of applicants, just ask some colleagues for their feedback. Would they apply for a job advertised this way? Why not ask acquaintances who might be employed in a similar position? Keep in mind when placing a job advertisement that it should spark people’s interest and include all the necessary information.

2. The wrong job portals or target group 

In most cases there is no doubt as to a niche platform’s applicant target group. With large job platforms, on the other hand, it often makes sense to double-check which sort of people use them to look for jobs. Regional specificities or language barriers can have just as much of an impact as the wrong marketing strategy on the job platform. Even if your past recruiting experiences included a specific platform, it is possible that your target group has developed further and is now looking for the right job somewhere else. That situation can become even more critical when things evolve such that you want to reach a completely different target group but are still using the same old job portals. A student looking for an assistant position probably won’t look for it on a niche platform catering to the construction industry.

3. Your target group is everywhere, just not online

They are still around, even in 2019: people who don’t look for jobs online. There are many reasons for this:

  • They may be specialists in an industry where it is common to hear about new job offers in a different way (e.g. recommendations, word of mouth, etc.).
  • You are looking for C-level managers who are usually recruited or enticed directly (e.g. through headhunting).
  • They may be limited in their ability to look for jobs online because of their age, first language or for technical reasons.

Don’t lose hope if you discover that your target group isn’t online. There is obviously more effort involved in going to job fairs, looking for applicants directly at universities or paying for headhunters. Even if it is more time-consuming, you should be where your potential new employees are.

4. The platform is long gone…

Experienced recruiters have probably seen this happen this several times. An online job portal is extremely popular for many years and suddenly everything stops. There is a lot of competition among job portals, and sometimes a portal that was once a leader on the market disappears completely. Many seemingly successful online portals often fail to keep up with the times and end up doing the same old thing. As with any other company, this usually means it’s all over for them. You know your favorite platform is no longer active when:

  • there are no new job advertisements from other companies,
  • practically no clicks on your ads,
  • it takes a long time for the page to load and
  • the service is poor. 

Are you still waiting for applications in vain? By using appealing ads on the right job platforms, you will end up with more applicants than you can handle. And soon you will be welcoming motivated new employees to your company.

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