The 2010 Job Board Report is ready for download here. Here are four observations from the report:
The Competitive Landscape
The wrath of the downturn spared no one; industry revenue dipped by 21%. However, the industry grew in numbers even in the midst of falling revenue. We recorded 270 jobs boards, an increase of 14% from last year, and many more are still in the woodwork (we counted around 50). Convinced that the print industry has no long-term future, job boards are buoyed by the fact that spending on print media still amounts to an estimated $400-600 million every year.
As competition remains fierce, the gap between a good and bad operator becomes more apparent. While household names rule the roost, new players with little hope of survival enter the market; many just unique domain names masquerading as job boards. However, new niches rich with potential continue to be discovered. Resume databases are looked at with new vigour, monetising job seekers’ experience is doing the rounds, and new business models are emerging.
A Year of Doubt, A Future of Hard work
Besides having to tackle the wrath of an economic downturn, job boards have been forced to address simmering doubts. Proven or otherwise, alternatives to job boards are suggested with aplomb. The social media brigade is the loudest. Already, 53% of recruiters and 23% of HR have dabbled with social networks. While social media offers compelling reasons for adoption, there is little evidence of mass migration from job boards. Still, past glory amounts to little, and like all players in the employment game the task to stay relevant will be all consuming for job board owners.
Endorsement Remain Strong (The triangular nexus)
As it stands, the fortune of the job board sector is influenced significantly by recruiters; in turn recruiters owe their existence to employers. There’s a place for job boards as long as recruiters can do a better job than employers in finding talent. Good job boards count as an essential tool in the toolbox of any competent sourcing operation. 96% of recruiters continue to use job boards; it’s in the interest of job boards that the recruitment industry thrives. For now this dynamic – a nexus between job boards, recruiters and employers – remains healthy. Also, it helps that job seekers – those who have the least to gain from job boards – are generally positive with their endorsement.
Clarity of Purpose
Thanks in part to the emergence of alternatives, more than ever, there is a clearer understanding of the problems job boards can solve. With almost all friction eliminated in posting job ads, using job boards is effortless and widespread. Over time, fuelled in part by marketing and the lack of real alternatives, job boards have been painted as the be-all for sourcing. Job boards do a good task within the realms of what they can and are supposed to do. Expecting more than they can deliver often results in blame falling in job boards’ courts. Sourcing is a complex operation; a universal solution rarely exists. Smart sourcing operations who understand the need to use different tools for different tasks will call upon job boards to perform what they are best at doing; nothing more nothing less.
This year, to decipher the road ahead, we enlisted the help of twenty contributors, many of them giants of our industry. A beneficiary of their wisdom and good grace, I remain eternally grateful to all contributors below:
- Brett Minchington (CEO, Employer Brand International) argues that promoting employer brand should be the bedrock for all recruitment advertising.
- Greg Savage (CEO, Aquent) thinks that technology by itself amounts to little, and that it is people, not job boards, who find people.
- Jeff Dickey-Chasins (Founder, Job Board Doctor) sheds lights on new global trends that will affect the industry.
- Carey Eaton (CIO, SEEK), provides pointers on why job boards matter and the potential of the industry to further grow.
- Paul Jury (Head of Executive Recruitment, Talent 2), offers an assessment of the job board sector from a recruiter’s perspective.
- Clifford Rosenberg (MD, LinkedIn), believes the time for social networks in recruitment has arrived.
- Lisa Watts (CEO, ArtsHub) contemplates a future where job seekers paying for content might not be a rarity.
- Peter Wilson (President, AHRI) believes that Association-run job boards have an important role to play. Lauren Jensen, Marketing Manager ITCRA, shares similar sentiments.
- Keith Muirhead (Head of Jobs, TradeMe) believes a job board’s growth lies in looking after the welfare of the audience – job seekers.
- Google and search engines matter in job searching and sourcing, argues Glenn Davies (Director, JXT Consulting)
- Phil Harpur (Senior Research Manager, Frost & Sullivan) reveals past, present and future numbers for the job board sector.
- John Kirkby (CEO, ExpatJobs) lays down ten points to illustrate that all job boards are not created equal.
- Kevin Lodge (CEO, EOC) illustrates the value of face-to-face interaction as an alternative method to source talent.
- Adam Shay (MD, The Face) thinks offering advice on job boards will feature in the evolving role of advertising agencies.
- Andrea Culligan (MD, Unimail) addresses the issues of using multiple channels in recruiting Gen-Y.
- Kelly Magowan (CEO, Sixfigures) lays down the case for niche sites.
- Riges Younan (Director, Peerlo) affirms the need to boldly experiment with many sourcing tools.
- Leah Gibbs (Founder, Lifestyle Careers) highlights the idea that many demographic niches remain largely untapped.
- Martin Warren (Principal Consultant, Insidejobs) dives into the role of sourcing in identifying passive candidates.
- James Green (Director, Check4jobs) thinks aggregator with new business models have fresh solutions to offer.
The Job Board Report is supported by the following organisations:
JXT Consulting (Premium Sponsor)