Student Success Blog For Educators


September 19, 2016

Hiring College Students? 3 Reasons Job Boards Won’t Work

As a small or medium-sized business looking to hire a college grad or student intern, you probably don’t have the time, resources or brand recognition to make a splash at the local college career fairs. But before you click “post” on one of the Internet job boards, read these words of caution:


  1. Job boards are a waste of time and money

Posting to job boards is like going fishing without bait. You never know what you’re going to catch, and if you catch anything, it probably isn’t the fish you were looking for in the first place. Catching better fish requires better bait, and job boards just aren’t it. According to the Wall Street Journal 50% of job board applicants don’t meet basic requirements. And in a recent experiment, on, Portfolium found that only 10% of applicants to “new grad” positions were entry level. Everyone else was an over qualified mismatch. That means 90% of the results are useless, and since time is money, job boards end up costing you more than helping you.


Not to mention that the best candidates are going to be a lot more strategic in their job search approach. Given that only 15% of positions are filled through job board sites, the smartest hires know better than to apply aimlessly to every job opening they find. Instead, these candidates are spending more time researching and networking with recruiters from a short list of desired companies. Less and less students are turning to job boards as a job hunting resource. In fact, a survey conducted by indicated that 75% of recent graduates rely more heavily on university career centers and prefer to utilize niche job sites as opposed to general job boards. So, not only are you fishing for the right candidates with the wrong bait, your company is fishing in the wrong lake altogether.


  1. You’ll miss out on game-changing talent

The best students are being recruited by companies that know how to find them. Companies that are using the right bait. The best students are the doers and go-getters on campus. There are stories out there about interns and new grads who went on to make amazing impacts...

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  1. You’ll get stuck with mediocre hires

If you’ve ever had bad luck with an entry level hire, you’re not alone. According to a Forbes article, only 37% of interns convert to full time hires. It’s gotten so bad, that some companies have really lowered the bar on expectations, having interns work on the most menial of tasks.

Last time we checked, you don’t need a college degree to take notes and bring your boss coffee. If companies were more proactive in their search for talent, they would probably see a significant increase in their intern-to-employee turnover rate. If you spend more time and effort searching for a candidate that is the right fit for your company now, you’ll likely find a hire who will continue to add value to your company in the long term. Finding the right talent for your company should be an investment worth making.  


There’s a better way: It’s called evidence-based recruiting

Don’t lose hope just yet - colleges are now stepping up to help businesses like yours. On Portfolium, 200+ schools have put evidence of their students’ job skills on display to take the risk and hassle out of entry-level hiring. Instead of posting and hoping for the right talent to apply, you can now match your jobs directly with students who have the proven ability to do the work you need done. Check out how these students were able to use their Portfolium to showcase their talent:


Leo Carrillo, a recent graduate from San Diego State University, used his Portfolium account to showcase all of the impactful work he did as a student leader. Some of his portfolio entries include speaking engagements, marketing campaigns, events he's helped coordinate, and more.


Michael Harper, an alum of Georgia State University, expresses his passion for art, photography, and the Native-American culture by showcasing his creations in his portfolio


Beverlee Wood, a student at San Francisco State University, demonstrates her technical writing and analysis skills by sharing her writing samples on her Portfolium account


Christina Svolos, a recent graduate of California State University - Channel Islands, shares her experience with graphic design, copywriting, and editing in her portfolio


If you’re like other readers of this blog, you may have a job posted right now and are getting poor results. In the 4 minutes you’ve spent reading this, you could have used a tool like Portfolium’s TalentMatch to zero in on that perfect fitting student with 168 seconds to spare.


The Bottom Line
The risk definitely outweighs the reward when it comes to posting to job boards. Save time, money and energy by investing in a system that will reap your company long term benefits. Hooking in the right fish, takes the right bait. Evidence-based recruiting is the type of bait that will get the best candidates for your company hooked. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to fishing:

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