What has changed since the days of Help Wanted signs is that we have entered the age of marketing and branding, both employment and personal as well as the expectation of two-way communication. Social Media tools have changed in all three methods.
This is fishing for talent:
Job boards have become the number one way that the unemployed or underemployed look for jobs, but these same postings result in hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes sent to your posting for job opening. Only one in one hundred is even a reasonable match. Narrowing your reach by focusing on just the specialty job boards for your industry or function can really help these ratios.
Fishing can also be likened to broadcasting your wants and needs in hope that someone, somewhere, will be interested in meeting them and have the skills to do so and be willing to contact you.
Nevertheless, there are always new social media tools being developed to help solve this problem. LinkedIn is moving in on the job boards and since they have great data, they can show your job posting to people who are a better fit. Monster has a new Facebook application called BeKnown that may be a way to approach individual contributors who are on Facebook, but it is early days yet. There are job boards on most professional association sites. Free is always nice, but the $50-$500 fees for job board postings may well be worthwhile for getting your job in front of the right group of people.
But a raisin on a string, fly fishing or trawling, these methods take time and a great deal of sorting.
My expertise is most useful after my clients have been to the job boards and are either inundated or simply have not found the right person of the job.