Breaking the silos in Recruitment – a pressing need

The recruitment space suffers from inefficiency in the flow of information due to walled communities or silos of information created by the job boards. This needs to change.

Key points in this post:

  • There are too many job boards and each expect re-entry of information of individual information and job information in their own formats. This leads to waste of time.
  • Further, they do not permit easy flow of information in or outside their sites. This leads to loss of opportunities for both job seekers and providers
  • The need for change to make information easy to manage and flow is acute. And there are ways in which we can achieve this.

In an (inter)networked world, information needs to flow seamlessly across different information resources if users are to benefit from the true intent of the Internet. And there are ways in which information can be enabled to flow across the flat world.

Facebook is one extreme example of a unified information base. It is the most highly-used social media and hence searching for a person, wherever he or she might be, is so much easier. But then, Facebook evolved organically into ONE base of social information through sheer popularity, leading to its wide-spread use.

Now, consider the case of blogs. Wherever you may post your blog — be it WordPress, Google or a blog in your website, the information can be read and transferred easily from one source to another. We can read the blogs written by others, we can share them and even add their links in our own blogs. This helps the flow of information and proves to be tremendously beneficial to someone who is seeking that piece of information.

Breaking the silos in Recruitment

However, the recruitment space is quite frustrating. It is full of silos where information does not flow easily and information from one silo cannot be transferred from one information base to another. Let’s consider job boards. There are so many of them (that fact alone indicates that most are not working efficiently) and each one requires information in a specific format and each has its own set of forms with the required fields, restrictions on number of characters, drop down menus, and so on. Each of these silos makes it difficult for information to flow out of the silo as well as enter into it from elsewhere. The last time I attempted to post a job opening in some of these sites, I discovered that I was not allowed to add links to the posts. To me, this is a basic requirement that the job boards failed to meet.

As an employer, if I was to post a job, I will have to create separate job posts for Monster, Linkedin, Naukri, Dice, and all the other job boards. Isn’t this a wasteful effort? How would you feel if you were forced to write your thoughts in different formats in different blogs just because each blog wants the information to be presented differently.

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The best results in recruitment or talent acquisition can come only when the information about the job or the job seeker reaches as many possible (relevant) job seekers or job providers. But creating silos restricts this flow and thus leads to poor results in the recruitment arena.

So, why are there so many silos?

Each job board wants to rule the market by the size of their information base and hence do not want information to flow out easily — maybe each one aspires to become the Facebook of the recruitment arena. This would not be a bad thing, provided they do a good job of finding jobs and job seekers and matching them to each other. But unfortunately, they are not doing a good job. The very fact that there are so many silos indicates that the silos are not working out well.

finding jobs and job seekers

Now to the important question — how can we overcome the limitations of silos?

Option 1: Job boards can modify their systems to make it easier for information to flow in and out without forcing the user to repeat the same tasks for sharing the same information.

Option 2: Provide one information base, where information can be created once (whether it’s a job post or a job seeker profile) and this information can be accessed by anyone — the job boards, employers, job seekers, and so on.

In my opinion, this is the best solution (there are several reasons why I’m saying this, but I am not getting into these here).

This information from one base can be used not just by job boards but also by social media. They can leverage their reach, technology, and marketing capabilities on top of the information base.

Option 3: All job boards and social media use the same format — standardized and universal (much like the case of geographical information as in countries, states, cities, and so on). This will enable information that is created at one site to be used elsewhere. Of course, the sites can have their restrictions on information such as email, name, and other sensitive information.

The true power of the Internet lies in efficient and free flow of information. Unfortunately, the job space has still not caught up to this fact.


The post is created by Ramu Govindan, head of It’s Your Skills initiative. IYS aims to create a simpler and more effective way for articulating, sharing and using skills information through its IYS Skills Profiling engine. The same is offered as web service for others in the HR tech space for building their applications.

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