Keith Potts – Understanding your KPI’s

A few weeks after Manpower became a minority shareholder in Jobsite.co.uk in 2000, they provided us with golddust: We ran a project to look at vacancy views, applications and placements. Manpower posted exactly the same jobs on all the major job boards in the UK and recorded every step of the funnel, from views, to applications, to placements. One of our major competitors at the time beat us (and all the other job boards) in the number of views and applications delivered but what was interesting was that our site totally outperformed the others on the number of placements made.

A few years later, we working with a newspaper group. They ran a job board with significantly more unique visitors and page impressions than Jobsite. In the initial meeting we were being questioned and challenged as to why our site wasn’t performing as well as theirs. We looked at each other in astonishment and – realising that all their execs came from a newspaper background and were more concerned with eyeballs – explained our philosophy: Visits and page impressions are irrelevant and it’s all about making it as easy as possible for candidates to find relevant jobs and apply as quickly and smoothly as possible. Later on they asked us to run their job board…

You see where I am going, right? To run a successful job board you need to focus on the most important deliverable – the number of placements made and the value per placement. This is the ultimate success criteria.

We had many clients who didn’t want to share this data with us as they were afraid that it would be used to increase prices, but they missed the point: This information would have allowed us to make our site perform even better for their company. The recruiters that were prepared to help us, received better and better returns from Jobsite.

Based on this experience but also to have a view on our performance earlier in the application process (these days also called funnel), we also looked at the number of applications made per vacancies (ApV). The ApV cuts both ways: It ensures that you have relevant jobs for every candidate and enough applications for every vacancy (job) of your clients. This in turn gives you a clear insight on where to look for product improvements and marshall your sales and marketing resources in the most appropriate way for maximum impact.

These days you can obviously aggregate jobs based on candidates in your database that haven’t applied, as we do very successfully at OilFinity (www.oilfinity.com). It is all about balancing supply and demand. Obviously, as outlined in my previous posts, these KPIs always need to be seen in context of the market you operate in and your role in the recruitment value chain.

There are many other secondary performance indicators such as number of sign ups for job alerts (as on a normal job board they deliver more than 50% of applications) and CVs searched and downloaded within a given time period if you have a CV database as you want to make sure that candidates are having a great experience here being contacted. Obviously you overlay every step of the funnel with cost, so you can manage your cost per registered user, cost per job alert, cost per application – this enables you to really dig into site performance and unearth product and marketing channel improvements. How can I improve conversion rates to make every step more profitable and optimise it for maximum return of my business?

The other KPI besides placements and APV for me is the number of exclusive users for your service: How many people only use your job board to find a job? With all job boards we’ve run, we record this on an on-going basis by industry sector and hence could show recruiters how many of the overall population of an industry sector were using us and how many were using us exclusively. If this is high, it is a very compelling reason for recruiters to use you.


These are the KPIs I use to assess the health of job boards and manage their performance. These KPIs are at the heart of the work and development we are doing today at Talenetic and are certainly ones that we use within www.oilfinity.com and www.topengineer.com, our latest products.

Keith Potts: The challenges and future of job boards

We had some fantastic names with us for this year’s Job Board Summit 2015 – Europe, one such being Keith Potts. Keith has been at the forefront of the job board industry since founding one of the earliest job boards in the UK, Jobsite, and subsequently built the highly successful group, Evenbase which included: Jobsites, Broadbean Technology and a number of niche job boards.

Today, Keith is building another successful business, Talenetics, and he is bringing the same passion, knowledge and values we’ve seen time and again to this business.

I was delighted to get a few moments with Keith to discuss his insights into these four big questions. Continue reading “Keith Potts: The challenges and future of job boards”