The first in our series of interviews with speakers at our European Job Board Summit saw Dave Martin share 5 tips for job boards going mobile. The second in our series sees our North American guest speaker at EJBS 2013, Jeff Dickey–Chasins aka The Job Board Doctor offer his views of the Job Board Market.
Keith Robinson interviews Jeff.
Q – Jeff, what are the “big trends” that you’ve identified this year based both from your survey but also via your network.
First of all, job seekers are searching via their mobile devices – anywhere from 30 to 50% of all job searches are conducted on such devices. So any job site that isn’t mobile enabled is in trouble. Second, niche job boards continue to get high marks from employers based both on quality of candidates and return on investment. Finally, LinkedIn has replaced the old generalist boards as the ‘big’ job board. Where once all companies felt they had to advertise on Monster, now most feel the same about LinkedIn.
Q – Aggregators: Friend or Foe – what’s your take?
Aggregators can be both. They can be an effective way to garner more traffic. But they can also become a ‘crutch’ that a job board uses instead of developing its own organic traffic and investing in SEO. Ultimately they are one – and not the only one – source of traffic.
Q – LinkedIn: Every job board sees it as a threat 1) is it a “sector killer” 2) Any job boards that you see are responding smartly?
1) I don’t see LinkedIn as a ‘sector killer’. I see it more as a validation of a certain type of approach to an online recruitment site. They pioneered the idea of an ‘open’ resume database and a certain level of social interaction between candidates. It’s a great model – and we’re seeing it replicated at a niche level via sites such as ShiftGig, StackOverflow, and others.
2) The best way to respond to LinkedIn is to simply recognize it for what it is – a huge generalist job board. As mentioned earlier, niche sites get good marks from employers – so niche sites have the best chance of competing with LinkedIn by focusing on their strengths – a focused audience and highly targeted content and reach. A good example of this in the UK is FieldStar.
Q – What are the key differences between the US and European markets?
Apart from broad differences in the state of their economies, in the US direct employers play the biggest role in placing jobs on job boards and using job board services. In the UK, agencies tend to be more important. In Europe, it’s a mix. Agencies behave somewhat differently from direct employers – and thus job boards in these regions have to adjust their offerings. Another difference is the rising numbers of temp workers in the US – this is affecting both the types of job boards and the way the sites are used.
Q –What services do you believe job boards could develop?
Job boards have an enormous amount of content on them in the form of job postings and candidate/employer interactions. They could provide very useful research for both candidates and employers. We’ve seen some of this via job posting distributors like eQuest. Also, many niche boards offer the bare minimum of services to both candidates and employers. They fail to understand that both sides want more and better quality interactions. Offering services like on-demand video interviews, high quality industry-specific content and project-based interactions for candidates to display skills are some possibilities.
Q – What content should job boards develop?
In a nutshell, job boards should develop the content that most benefits their candidates. Sounds simple, right? Not really. For example, wouldn’t it be useful to candidates to know what the typical profile of a candidate successfully landing a specific job looks like? Wouldn’t it be good if a candidate could plug his/her CV into an analysis tool that compared it to the jobs he/she is interested in, then gave the candidate feedback on what skills/training are lacking? This type of content is what I would call ‘extractive’ – it is generated from existing content the job board has (CVs and job postings) – and it takes this existing content to extract something useful. Yes, it’s difficult to set up – but imagine how candidates would flock to a site that had it!
Jeff will share much more of his thoughts at the Summit and will run a Job Board Clinic during our networking session on the evening of the 4th December. If you are attending the summit you will be able to book your slot with Jeff nearer the time.