Predictions are a dime a dozen – and if you’re lucky, no one goes back at the end of the year to see how accurate your soothsaying actually was. Nevertheless, I like predictions just as much as the next person; if nothing else, making them forces you to take a broader look at the preceding year’s events. So let me slide my virtual crystal ball in front of me and tell you what I see:
- More and better job board software: As I’ve said before, competition has been good for the job board software world. More vendors means better prices, more robust software, and – ultimately – better job sites.
- More spending: As recent investments have demonstrated, the drought is finally ending for investments in the online recruiting industry. Most of these won’t pan out, of course – but a few will, and I’m betting we’ll see some new starts up this year that shake up the existing paradigm.
- Freelance nation: One effect of the recession: more of the workforce now works for itself. This represents opportunity for the job board industry, and several sites such as eLance have begun filling these new and different needs. I expect to see more.
- Social media is a tool, a threat, and much more: The year 2010 will go down as the year social media entered the mainstream. As such, it also garnered top-level headlines in the major HR sites, blogs, and magazines. Some job boards reacted by providing new services; others stuck their heads in the sand. Wonder which will survive?
- Everything’s gone mobile: Yes, I’ve said it before – but I’ll say it again: job hunting is going mobile, and this has big implications for the way that employers and job boards structure and promote their listings. Whether job seekers are using traditional feature phones (and texting) or smart phones (and accessing the mobile web), they want to look (and apply) for jobs via their mobile devices. ‘Nuff said.
- Matching, maybe?: Could I possibly be wrong? Could 2011 be the year of job matching? Well…there’s some venture dollars out there betting on matching, so we’ll just have to see.
- Job site sector grows – again: Despite the inconvenient fact of ‘job boards dying’ (or at least the never-ending repetition of this in various blogs), the job site sector is growing. Dice, Monster, and CareerBuilder all reported strong Q3 growth, investment dollars are flowing to various startups, and mid-tier sites are expanding. I expect to see a few ‘intermarriages’ between social recruiting and job board sites as well.
Well, darn it – the crystal ball has clouded up! So tell me – what do you think will happen in 2011?