And now for the good news … Job Boards Work.

2016 headlines seem dominated by drama and controversy across the world, but in amongst the doom and gloom, this article originated in the US, with advice and insights that apply globally. The message? Job Boards remain relevant and indeed essential – because they work. And the Jobg8 take on all of this? Just read on for our advice …..

The author Dave Zielinski argues strongly that “Job Boards remain a major source of quality candidates for employers, and as such it pays for recruiters to be smart consumers of the burgeoning number of boards at their disposal”. The Jobg8 team certainly agrees with this – every week we add a new “startup” Job Board to our global network, so we’re seeing an increase of choices for both job seekers and recruiters.

Zielinski goes on to say that “Job Boards have long been a popular punching bag for the recruiting vanguard. The boards represent old technology, the recruiters’ mantra goes. They use outdated pricing models. They’re on their last legs, to be usurped by more-modern job search strategies”.

Louise Grant, CEO of Jobg8 and organiser of the largest Job Board Summits in North America and Europe, concurs to a degree: “again we’d agree with the sentiment but not the total reality. Job seekers still look for jobs on Job Boards, in overwhelming numbers. Survey after survey consistently shows that Job Boards are either the No. 1 or No.2 source of external candidates for employers.”

Zielinski’s next point is one that we in the job board industry simply cannot ignore:  “The overall number of candidates using boards to find work has fallen. However, this is due largely to the rise of other job search methods like careers websites, referrals and social media”. Grant observes the same trend and sees it as a positive refinement: “at Jobg8 we understand and see this in our own tracking data. Today’s jobseeker has more choice than ever before. Both jobseeker and recruiter wants to find the ‘right’ job or the right candidate – so relevant applications are now “King”.

One key recommendation that the article makes is that recruiters should do more research and target at least two general job boards and three niche boards for every high-priority job search.  Zielinski states: “Recruiters have to guard against habit and using the same board over and over again, regardless of results” – and other published research shows that many organisations do not invest enough time in planning (i.e. identifying which Job Boards are right for the position they are recruiting for).

Joe Shaker Jr., President of Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications in Chicago, affirms this increasing focus on choice and performance: “Job Boards should be evaluated by the quantity and quality of applicant traffic as well as their pricing models. While many boards charge a flat fee to post jobs for a fixed period, recruiters increasingly want greater flexibility in how they spend their dollars, which means pay-for-performance options have become more popular.”

This move in recruiter and employer behaviour has been matched by the product developments at Jobg8, with Grant confirming:  “amongst our network we’ve seen a rise in new charging models and we’ve also reflected this in our own service models, through greater choice in pay-per-click (PPC) for job ads and pay-per-application (PPA). It’s clear that our clients want flexibility”.

“Such price flexibility proves attractive to recruiters”, said Paul D’Arcy, a Senior Vice president at Indeed. “Indeed was among the first to introduce pay-per-click advertising. We don’t have any contracts and you can select free ads or pay $100,000 depending on what you’re looking for,” D’Arcy said. “Users can set their budgets for a job listing, and when the number of clicks they want is reached, the ad is no longer displayed. Recruiters only pay us when candidates come to their careers sites.”

Zielinski adds Job Boards should also be evaluated for services they provide beyond job listings. That can include things like social sourcing tools, labor market research, media content creation and more. Job board pioneer CareerBuilder has also added a host of HR software services to complement its core business. “The company built a pre-hire platform that provides application management, job ad distribution, workforce analytics and semantic search”, says Jennifer Grasz, Vice President of Creative Services. “In addition, a new supply and demand portal aggregates job demand and compares it to active supplies of candidates in specific geographies.”

At Dice (a niche board specialising in technology jobs), a social sourcing tool called ‘Open Web’ helps recruiters unearth promising passive candidates. “Recruiters in the tech sector can no longer just rely on posting jobs,” explains Bob Melk, Dice’s President. “The gap between jobs they need to fill and the number of qualified candidates is often significant. There is a lot of pressure to find new methods of engaging potential candidates, and that falls to talent sourcing.”

Finally, Zielinski looks at the growth of Programmatic Buying and shares some excellent insights from US experts “so rather than manually choosing Job Boards, some recruiters are turning to programmatic buying. Popularized by marketers, the strategy uses automated software programs, not people, to purchase and manage job listings through networks of job-related websites. Chris Forman, founder and CEO of Appcast, explains that the goal is to spend less money finding quality applications while removing labor-intensive burdens from recruiters like choosing the best boards, determining pricing or manually loading copy into ad servers.

“Sean Quigley, Vice President of Digital Media at Hodes, an employer brand agency in New York City, said the company has moved into programmatic buying for its clients, with Quigley noting ‘Real-time data is more effective at helping you pay just for the right amount of clicks or applications you need for your job openings.”

We hope you enjoy this article and our own insights. Give us your feedback on how this reflects your own experiences – or come to the US Job Board Summit and hear what your industry peers are experiencing. 


The Jobg8 Job Board Summits focus on many of these changes – and the North American Summit on June 23-24  in Chicago has panels, keynote speakers and workshops that explore the changing nature of the Job Board Industry.

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