One of the great things about being involved with the Job Board Summit is the opportunity to meet or reconnect with old friends from the industry. Networking is very much at the heart of what the summit is all about.
Back in June I met with Ian Partington at our U.S Summit. Ian had attended our first ever Summit in the UK last year and travelled over to the US event. He saw the value to be gained by attending the summits and says “by nature I’m into networking but in our industry an event like this just didn’t exist, you get to hear different people, with different ideas but all with a common theme relevant to my business plus you get to meet and network with so many people from so many countries”
I recently got the opportunity to interview Ian as part of our Job Boarders Talk series.
Q – What was the first Job Board business you built?
Q – What did you learn from that?
Not to work with people who don’t share the same vision as you. It is critical that in building and running a business your core management team are aligned with the vision BUT as importantly how you get to that vision.
Q – How did the SimplyGroup come about?
I moved on from Justengineers.net and wanted to stay in the job board business, so I looked at what industries had lots of jobs but were not being served by niche providers and was surprised that Sales and Marketing fell into that bracket. So simplysalesjobs.co.uk and simplymarketingjobs.co.uk came into being and since then that simple mantra “lots of jobs” and a poor provider equals opportunity
Q – What sites are in the portfolio?
A growing portfolio and we intend to expand!!
Q – You operate in both the UK and US Job Board Market – what differences do you see between the two markets?
We are quite new to the US but the main difference I have seen up to now is the sheer size of the market place which means you have to be really strategic with your offering and the market places you concentrate on (location wise). The second difference, which we hope will be an opportunity for us, is the lack of niche job boards
Q – What are the technologies that you see impacting on our industry?
Without question – mobile. It will impact for good if you embrace it, but impact badly if you don’t
Q – What are the “real” threats to our industry?
As I have said, I think mobile is a key threat if we don’t embrace and accept it is happening but outside of that I see Indeed as a true threat who have used the job boards to grow their business but will ‘flip’ completely soon and exclude job boards
Q – Tips for anyone launching a job board today
Ensure you have a good backer or lots of your own cash and develop with a ‘mobile first’ mentality
Q – Finally, what keeps Ian Partington awake at night today (business not football i.e picking up the Champions League for MUFC!!)
I don’t worry too much about that Keith, I have seen them win that twice ;) What really keeps me awake is the fear that we, as a business, don’t develop a great mobile product – quickly! And that the US operation doesn’t achieve the potential it undoubtedly has for the business. The good thing is that it is my job to ensure these fears don’t materialise.