Revolution, Evolution and Much More

Day One at the North American Job Board Summit

The “Job Board” industry is one that is certainly going through real change and this was a key message from last weeks North American Job Board Summit. Some of these changes are structural i.e. consolidation via acquisition. Some are organic i.e. Monster developing new ways to do business and others are new models that move what are generically called “ Job Boards” in new directions.

The event kicked of with insights from some of our clients. Isabelle Hung from ADP shared her views on Job Boards, Data and LinkedIn, her clarion cry was “we want more data”. Her insights into LinkedIn were excellent. It’s not just the information/insights they can give you on a candidate but the simple and effective way this data is presented plus the fact it is real-time that hit home.

Isabelle then joined our Recruiter Panel which included Carrie Corbin (Samsung) Crystal Miller (AT&T) and Cynthia Cancio (Wilson HGC), with the debate being hosted by Gerry Crispin. Gerry pointed out that his recent Candidate Experience survey results highlighted that companies are continuing to reduce their usage of job boards. The trend started 5 years ago and this was confirmed by the panellists.

Rising job board costs, the issue of irrelevant candidates, more alternative routes to candidates plus the “LinkedIn effect” are all cited as reasons why job boards are being used less. In some cases those on the panel had reduced job board spend by 70% but there was an admission that this trend tends to be amongst the leading employers in the U.S. However for many job boards today it is the SME market that delivers the jobs and revenue.

Data, Insights, Reports and Dashboards are all reasons why LinkedIn proves to be so popular. Jeff Dickey–Chasins wrote in his ‘The money quote’: “If I was building a job board today, I’d focus on candidate activity, community and data.”

Gerry threw in a fascinating fact from his research: candidates referred into a company are 16x more likely to get the job – therefore referrals work. But here is a comment of our own – if 80% of your customers are happy, do you focus your efforts on the 20% who are not or the 80% who are?

The mobile debate focused really on one issue – Mobile Apply. At the same time we saw a barrage of statistics to show that the candidate is mobile and searching but we are not delivering… but also apps are not for everyone.

So here’s a question for you, if 40+% of candidates are searching on mobile, why has this issue not been solved?

The afternoon sessions kicked of with Alex Sigal from IBM talking about what seemed to be the theme of the day “Big Data”. We enjoyed this presentation. For all the hype the most important question to ask is “what data do I want?” (good idea to ask your clients) and then, what questions do I need to ask to get the answers (data) I want? Alex also shared a CareerBuilder case study which you can download it Here. He shared 4 key insights:

• Design is not just what it looks like or feels like – It is how it works.
• Ask Really Big Questions – Get Big Answers
• Don’t just validate problems with data, solve them
• Build a coalition

When it comes to pricing, we are an industry which tends to be traditional and somewhat conservative in its thinking. Melissa Sueling from McKinsey looked at new pricing models and how to implement them. She had the audience absorbed and busily taking notes. Her key thinking was related to eCommerce businesses;

• Differentiation (e.g., power by the hour)
• Bundling in new ways (ad + resumes + screening)
• Ancillary services (e.g., data, insights, advice)
• Dynamic pricing (e.g., according to shifts in supply /demand)
• Performance-based pricing (e.g., payment for # of applicants placed)

Some great insights from Melissa and we love this fact; “What is the average
uplift in operating profit from a 1% price increase?….14%…. pricing is king.

John Sumser (HRExaminer) was the final speaker on Day 1 and he made a statement that grabbed our attention, “Job boards used to be the hubs (in online recruiting); now they’re the spokes.” He also made the useful point that while big brands get all the recruiting press, they are not representative of most job boards’ customers, which are often mid-sized and smaller companies.

John also looked at “Big Data” in HR and the move towards Predictive Data. He identified the fact that “aggregation is the opposite of differentiation”. The new tools being developed are focused on extracting meaning from all the data and making it easier for us to make informed decisions. Finally, John sees recruiting (despite all the noise) as being a local “issue” and the strength of the job board is providing this local offering.

So we’ve summarised Day One. We had some excellent speakers, panellists, debates and all the PRESENTATIONS can be found here.

What did you think of our event? We’d love you hear your feedback and be able to take this on board for future events? Please take just 5 minutes to complete our feedback survey.



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