Are Greedy Graduate Job Boards Monopolising the Market and Limiting the Opportunities that Graduates See?

Every graduate faces the impending challenge of the job search. This can be an exciting time as they explore the promising career opportunities that will reward all their efforts while at university. Admittedly, at times it can also turn into a tedious slog through adverts, applications and cover letters. In the age of the internet, there are thousands of graduate jobs just a few clicks away, but with such a vast range of sites and methods to choose from, where is the best place to begin?

If a graduate knows exactly where they want to work then it’s easy. They can get straight onto the employer website, submit their application and they’re on the right track. Numerous graduates, however, may only have an industry or sector in mind. When this is the case their first port of call is often well-known graduate job boards, the ones that come up when you google ‘Graduate Jobs’. However, I find these self-proclaimed graduate-friendly sites to be extremely limited in what they offer and here is why:

1. They only list a very small number of opportunities

Graduates are constantly reminded that they face a competitive job market and it certainly isn’t easy to land a graduate role, but there are a lot of them out there! I think that graduate job boards make the challenge of finding a role seem that much harder, given that they list a relatively small number of opportunities. Each sector that they categorise their jobs into have only a handful of roles available, which can leave graduates feeling demoralised and as if their options were limited.

2. They don’t accommodate small/medium-sized businesses

Graduate job boards charge a small fortune for employers to advertise with them, charges that are not feasible for small/medium businesses and probably aren’t worth the investment for many large companies as well. As such they are limiting the opportunities that graduates see and are actually causing those who are unsure of other job search options to miss out on numerous fantastic opportunities with other great-to-work-for businesses.

3. Their roles are extremely competitive

I’m sure that with the vast traffic these graduate job boards attract, they receive a very large number of applications. This is great for them and the employers advertising with them, but not so great for the graduates who are applying. These graduates are perhaps unknowingly swimming into a tiny job pool where there are already thousands of hungry fish!

Hats off to the graduate job boards for attracting so many graduates and I’m sure they advertise a number of good roles. However, I think that it’s important for graduates to look beyond these limited platforms if they are serious about finding a career. I advise that they also consider national job boards, recruitment companies in their sector/area and their university careers sites, because until graduate job boards are truly accessible to all businesses, they won’t be able to cater for the graduate masses.

Agnes Butterworth
CEO of Bridgewater Resources UK

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