Six or seven years ago I would probably have said that, as a recruiter, I could not possibly do my job properly without access to at least two or three good job websites; online areas where I could post adverts and scour CV libraries.Today I can honestly say, hand on heart, that the requirement is no longer there and in its place is my most beloved social media; or more specifically LinkedIn.

I do use other forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogging) but I find these more useful as content publishing channels that boost SEO, raise my profile, build my brand and reputation etc; and not as sourcing tools. However, I do know that quite a few recruiters use them in this way and there are changes afoot at Facebook that will make it much easier to search its users and this may change how I view its usefulness in the future.

For me the greatest and best online method for finding candidates is LinkedIn. It’s fairly accurate, up to date, easy(ish) to use, well populated, interactive and many more things besides. So do we no longer need job websites?

Well if you look at what major corporates are doing you’ll clearly see that in their minds the best place to focus their recruitment spend is on strengthening their use of social media rather than continue to churn out adverts on job websites. Platforms such as Linkedin and Facebook are responding to this by making improvements to their functionalities and services (which can be monetised) to help companies find and reach out to target candidate audiences.

Ironically one of the most common criticisms of LinkedIn is that it is becoming too much of a hiring platform and losing any resemblance to a social networking site. The often cited (bad) joke is “Q: Did you see Stan has updated his Linkedin profile?” “A: I didn’t know he was looking for a job?” – cue much hilarity.

It will be up to the great minds at LinkedIn to consider if they want the site to be more than just a place to find a job. Given that they seem to be developing a publishing revenue model it seems that they are intent on it evolving and diversifying.

As for job websites? Well for candidates and recruiters they’re easy to use but a tad boring, a bit samey and a smidgeon old-fashioned in my mind. They’ll continue to have a place but I suspect the companies that really want to put some effort into finding and engaging with the best people (passive and active job seekers alike) the way to go will be social media. So any job seekers (again active or passive) wanting to be touched by the best companies I think your efforts would be best placed making an effort to be active and engaging on a site like LinkedIn than plonking your CV on a job website and hoping someone comes knocking.

Photo credit: cartoon by Nick. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.