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Hold the Flowers

August 9, 2010

Reports of the job board demise were premature

About a year ago, I commented on a post by Lou Adler that was lamenting the end of the job board. This was a start of a long series of posts around the theme of Job Boards RIP. I added to the conversation with my own post on the RecruitingUnblog.

My view at the time was that job boards were and were far from dead, advertising revenues were down but then so was recruitment in general. More a response to the world, rather than a deliberate choice to stop using job boards in favour of social media or other forms of sourcing.

Jumping on to today, as I see it, the job board market has divided in to two camps and two offerings. I think this is good for both recruiters and job seekers.

There are the giant job boards that dominate the majority of the space. In any country you care to look at, there are between 3 and 6 boards that act as conglomerates and carry posts in virtually every sector at most salary levels and for most roles. Because of the brand recognition, and the likelihood of finding something suitable, most job seekers look here and leave their details on the C.V. database. The challenge faced by these boards, most of which are global, is to be able to deliver the right jobs to jobseekers.

This has seen a big investment in search and matching technology in order to deliver what the jobseekers want most, accurate jobs by e-mail that match their needs and expectations. In addition, the recent research from #truManchester sponsor Jobsite indicates that the second highest reason for visiting a Job Board is to add a current and up to date C.V. Most recruiters I know use at least one of main job boards for sourcing C.V.’s as one of their first ports of call. Job Seekers still see this as one of the must do’s as soon as they start looking, despite the rise and rise of Linked In, and more recently Facebook.

The smaller Job Boards have continued to increase, despite mentions of their demise. These boards have become more niche with plenty of new titles servicing specific sectors springing up daily. I’ve been particularly impressed with the approach taken by #trumanchester track leader Simon Lewis at OnlyMarketingJobs. OMJ have built a real community based on a blog platform, forum and a rolling roadshow of live networking events, the most recent of which attracted over 450 attendees. The job board features as part of the community with plenty of brand advocates, providing the first port of call for Marketeers that are active members. Some of the members are active job seekers, others far more passive, but present in the community none the less. The community being about Marketing first and job seeking second.

I’m sure that the advent of companies like Jack Barton’s JobShop.HQ, that provide a fairly sophisticated job board platform at a low entry cost (£250) for targeted niche boards, will only help to increase the growth of the niche job boards. I will be watching the growth of the JobShop Brand closely, as at this price entry point for the level of technology provided, I’m expecting to see quite a big take up over the coming year.

During the past 18 months, Job boards have been working hard to integrate through the social media channels, either for communication, cross posting and brand promotion. This has been evident regardless of the size of the community. integrating mobile has also brought new challenges, as an increasing number of job seekers have started to use mobile for web access. Very few job boards are not mobile compatible or have their own application. Companies like Dave Martins  AllTheTopBannanas have been very active in this space with launches nearly every week. Dave will be leading the Going Mobile track at #truManchester.

My own longer term view is that the split in the two camps between the job board giants with global reach, and the niche or local boards with a very specific focus. The jobsite research indicates that job seekers are largely electing to sign up for 2 boards. I suspect this is one in each camp. These 2 markets will evolve independently.

I’m really looking forward to talking about this more in the Job Board 2020 track at #truManchester with Felix Wetzel, Jeff Dickey-Chassins and Simon Lewis as track leaders.

What are your views?

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 11:46 pm

    Great post Bill (as always)
    there may be a third option that you haven’t yet mentioned; that of the integration of jobboards with recruitment agencies and in turn the offerring of a unique, fixed fee recruitment model.
    My agency has done just that. Job Affair are devoping a series of niche uk based jobboards and Ba Recruitment can offer a very effective advertising platform throgh our Network and social media channels. Still in the early stages but i now have three avenues to market.
    I look forward to updates on #trumanchester

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