In the last installment of this series we looked at three job boards (Craigslist, Used Victoria and Kijiji) that function like community bulletin boards. These types of boards can be useful, but the fact that anonymous people can post job openings means that they can be time-draining to sift through in order to find relevant job ads.
The WorkBC web site by comparison can be much less of a time waster for the busy job seeker. But before we dive into assessing its strengths and weaknesses, a short history lesson of how it came to be is useful here. Since the 1990’s the federal government has been operating an online job bank that replaced the old system of job boards that used to be found in the EI offices scattered across the country. The online job bank allowed job hunters to apply for jobs all across Canada and not just for those in their local community. As recently as four years ago, if you were in Victoria and wanted to search for a job through a government web site, the Federal Job Bank was the go-to web site.
Since then the province of BC has taken over responsibility for this role and has folded the job board into their comprehensive Work BC website. This is a very useful site for career planners and job seekers in general and has many tools that can be used to help understand and navigate the BC labour market. We’ll save an in-depth examination of this for a future article, but for now we’ll keep our focus on the topic at hand. The Federal Government job bank still exists and can be used to search for jobs in other parts of the country, however, most postings (but not all) for BC just redirect the user to the WorkBC site.
The main advantage of using the WorkBC website is that employers have to register to post a job ad. This requirement means that job seekers are less likely to look at postings that are scams or do not represent real opportunities. In effect, an employer is registering with the government for the privilege of posting a free ad. The down side of this process is that many employers will be hesitant to take the time to register and add one more user account and password to the growing pile of digital profiles that we all accumulate. An employer who is in a hurry and does not want to identify themselves may end up using a site like Craigslist or Used Victoria to place ads. This means that the WorkBC site will never be a one stop web site for job seekers, but is still worthwhile using because for an investment of 5-10 minutes a day a job-seeker can view all the new postings and decide which ones to apply for. There is less wasted time in trying to identify if an opportunity is a legitimate one.
The WorkBC job board has some features that make it easy to use. Each posting has a printable version and you can register to receive job alerts and save your searches.
Oddly enough, the federal job board can act as a gateway to the provincial one. Not only are all jobs listed on both, the federal site includes postings from other job boards. Still the enhanced features that come with registration and access to career planning and research tools make the WorkBC job board a vital part of any job seekers tool kit.