The End of The Job Board

Anyone who has turned on the TV recently and seen Max Beasley relentlessly plugging Jobsite knows what a load of nonsense this prediction has turned out to be!

Job boards have been a feature of the internet since it launched and fulfilled exactly the same role as that recruitment pages did prior to the digital age. The difference being that they made the entire process for candidates and recruiters easier, faster and more measurable; not to mention far more cost effective.

Job boards initially usurped the majority of recruitment revenue from regional, free and controlled circulation newspapers and trade press; causing many to go under (I refer the reader back to a point in my last post: that the internet exposed poor services to scrutiny that wasn’t available prior to the digital age). I believe many of the publications that suffered, just weren’t being read by the audience they claimed, didn’t adapt fast enough and didn’t modify their pricing structures to be competitive with new media. There are still many successful publications and journals that see significant recruitment revenue from print and that’s because they were able to effectively deliver on their propositions.

Although there is no end in sight, as far as I can see for The Job Board, things have changed considerably over the years. Generalist job boards have to adapt to a new market place, as more and more publishers produce niche job sites, either supported by industry focussed content or exclusively marketed to a particular sector.

Generalists still have their place but, they have had to strengthen their brands and diversify into niche areas over recent years, in order to avoid losing market share to the multitude of new competition. You may have noticed that many of these big generalist brands (Jobsite, CV Library and Total Jobs) are now advertising on TV as a way of addressing this.

I believe the future of the big brand generalist job boards is in the horizontal markets: sales, administration etc. and specialist publishers (now aware of the potential) will continue to chip away at the vertical markets.

This was why we built the Wiley Job Network.

Wiley produce 1600 highly respected peer review journals, which attract 13.5 million unique users every month, each with its own specialist audience and brand. By targeting our client’s adverts to relevant articles in these journals, we have a unique advantage, capitalising on an exclusive audience who rely on our content as part of their career development, the strength of trusted journals brands and global reach. This is something that stand-alone job boards and generic job boards aren’t in a position to offer advertisers, no matter how much marketing they engage in. Whereas in the past, a lot of the expertise and skill involved in producing a great recruitment platform was the preserve of dedicated job board providers, this technology is now available to anyone. Companies like Madgex (our own providers) have state of the art recruitment platforms that can be bought off the shelf and updated as and when new technology becomes available – all the publisher has to do is bring the audience to the table. I believe the future will see more and more content producers capitalising on recruitment revenue streams; it’s an easy win during a tough transitional time.

With Jobseekers increasingly uploading their CV’s to several job boards at a time, recruiters now frequently see the same candidate come through from a variety of different sources. The logical response to this situation is to simply choose the one producing the most volume and to cut back on spend with the others (which is where a lot of generalists have suffered). In order to have a successful platform in today’s market place, producing candidates recruiters are not seeing from another source is essential, which normally means, targeting passive candidates in a space that they don’t use for job seeking! In our case this is done through our journals on Wiley Online Library, however, you’ll see the same contextual job advertising appearing alongside relevant articles on more and more content producers. You can take a look at some examples of this below:

In this respect Job Boards are morphing into something different. An accurate description would be: “platforms that facilitate placing client’s adverts alongside contextually relevant content”.
In that respect at least, the title of this blog is, in part, true.

That’s it for today. In my next piece I am going to be looking at where Recruitment Advertising Agencies have found a new role in the digital world.

UPDATE: After searching this topic the other day, I found an article written a few days before mine on the same topic. I have met Felix before, he has been around far longer than I have and I respect his opinion. In light of this it would be rude not to link though to his blog on the same topic (albeit from a different perspective):

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