The Online Recruitment Conference 2013

I recently attended the Enhance Media Annual Online Recruitment Conference, for the 4th year in a row.
As you might suspect, I am a bit of a fan!

It was at the same conference, back in 2009, that an inspired colleague and I brainstormed the initial ideas for the Wiley Job Network. Four years down the line and it’s a reality. To anybody who ever doubted the contextual advertising model; a quick scroll through our list of current advertisers should be proof enough of its merits. More about our unique and trail blazing methods of candidate attraction at a later date….

Although there were some interesting presentations from the internal recruitment teams at Nestle, Virgin Atlantic and Telefonica, I found the most enlightening talks to be those from Content Etc., LinkedIn and Jobsite!

This post is going to focus on the findings of Jobsite’s ‘Quarterly Recruitment Review’, which provided a fascinating insight into the state of the market place but, before I go into more detail on that, I feel I need to make a couple of honourable mentions.

Craig McGregor of Content Etc. gave a surprisingly insightful talk on the art of writing good advert copy. I feel its importance is overlooked all too often; it’s incredible how two identical job descriptions can solicit such differing responses as a result of the quality of advert. I see countless demonstrations every day on our CMS; any company that wants to improve their quality and volume of candidates should be addressing this.

David Cohen at LinkedIn reminded us all (…lest we had forgotten) that their platform is now an essential part of any recruitment process. The latest innovation from the online recruitment wunderkind, is a tool that allows companies to measure the strength of their recruitment brand against their competitors. They have all the information to be able to do this already (no online surveys involved) and are offering it free of charge. It’s the kind of market insight that any marketer of a corporate brand would kill for but, apparently (thanks to LinkedIn) it’s now something that recruitment world can take for granted!

So onto the meat of this post: Jobsites presentation of 4 years’ worth on Quarterly Recruitment Reviews.

To anybody who doesn’t yet know of the company (which now appears to be synonymous with Max Beasley’s gnarled features) Jobsite is one of the older and more established job boards in the UK. Originally a generalist in scope, it has developed over recent years and added a number of niche brands and even an aggregator to its portfolio (Evenbase, the parent company, purchased Job Rapido a couple of years back).

One of Jobsites niche brands, e-medcareers, is a competitor of ours, so I was surprised when Mervyn Dinnen stood up and magnanimously shared several years’ worth of market insight with us. I suspect it might have had something to do with the 300 or so in-house recruitment teams in the room. He had some interesting findings to share. Here are some of the highlights:

• There has been a steady increase of job seekers who feel their current employment situation is ‘worse than last year’ and a steady increase of uncertainty in the job market since 2008.

• Corporate clients are recruiting less but, there has been a recent increase in hiring from SME’s.

• Regardless of company size, the top three methods of candidate attraction are still personal networks, online job boards and (amazingly) newspaper adverts.

• Jobseekers see job boards and company websites as their primary ports of call whilst looking for a job,although the number looking to social media, is rapidly increasing.

• Price is the most important factor to companies when choosing where to advertise; followed by ‘knowledgeable staff’ and the ‘specialists in sector’ (the niche board is still the way ahead it seems).

• The most desired job board feature by employers is the ‘CV search’

• The service most desired by jobseekers is the ability to upload CV’s (I have been saying for some time that the best candidates simply expect to submit their CV to a database and let the recruiters do the work)

• The majority of jobseekers at the end of 2012 were female and involved in a passive job search.

• The number of passive job seekers has been increasing over the last year (people hedging their bets perhaps?)

If you haven’t been to the conference, I’d recommend you book it for next year! It’s reasonably priced and offers a great insight into what’s going on in the market place. I’ve always found it inspires me with new ideas and I am sure it will have a similar effect on you!

That’s it from me now – more next week!

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