I'm preparing for a talk at the JobG8 Job Board Summit (June 26-27, Orlando), and it has me thinking a lot about job board evolution.
I will be taking a tour of unusual and interesting sites that are moving the job board model forward. As you can guess, I've been looking at lots of different sites - and a number of things stand out:
- Core functionality in many regards hasn't changed - these sites and services are still trying to connect candidates to employers (and vice versa). The difference is in the execution and (sometimes) presentation.
- Matching technology - regardless of how well it works - is presented over and over as a differentiator for these sites.
- Common barriers to success haven't changed much in 20 years - you still need to get the attention of enough candidates to generate interest from employers. Branding and SEO rule.
- Niche focus continues to be a common element in many of these sites, regardless of their technology or products. Makes sense - going niche usually increases the likelihood of startup success.
- Mobile is a given. Several of these sites only operate in the mobile world.
- Design matters. I'm talking visual and functional design. The days are long gone where you can ignore the actual 'look and feel'; consider this the Apple effect.
I'll of course be delving into the specific sites in more depth during my talk, but one thing seems clear to me: there is no dearth of companies willing to tackle the challenge of online recruiting. If we judge the health of an industry by the number of startups springing up, then you have to believe that the job board industry is thriving! But remember - don't call these companies 'job boards'. That's old school.
Excited to see you at JobG8 - and given LinkedIn's stock price, I wouldn't necessarily say 'thriving,' but certainly one with a viable future and a lot of current and future spend.
Matt, IMO, LI, Monster, CB, et al exist in a different world from the vast majority of online recruiting businesses - and in this world, things are thriving. Some bleed-over from the LI world, but not as much as you might think.
@Jeff: I'm not arguing with the good Doctor - just think traditional index is a lagging indicator, and LI is a leading one, at least the way I see the market play out, historically. I really appreciate your expertise either way - thanks for getting this industry better than anyone else.
Matt, no, I knew you weren't arguing. I think you need to convince me that LI is a leading indicator when we're at JobG8 Summit!
Jeff - I for one would like to add that I always appreciate your insights and expertise when it comes to this subject matter. On a side (random) note - how is the social party scene around the job board crowd? Look forward to reading your takeaways from the event.