Which technologies are changing the job board industry?

Although it may not seem like it at times, the job board industry is a technology-driven industry. After all, it was the combination of a database and the web that gave it birth so many years ago. After a fairly lengthy period of incremental and erratic technical growth, the industry is seeing lots of change – and I suspect that those sites that ignore these changes may suffer.

So, which technologies (and technology trends) are changing job boards?

  • Mobile: As my recent survey made clear, mobile’s influence in the recruiting arena is growing. Why? Mobile devices are omnipresentimmediate, and ‘always on‘. What better tool to reach elusive job seekers? Many job sites are in the process of creating complete functionality on a mobile platform. Smart move.
  • Twitter: Ok, so calling Twitter a ‘technology’ is stretching it a bit – but the idea of direct, immediate communication with job seekers or hiring managers, the ability to mass communicate as well as micro communicate, and the channel’s efficiency and effectiveness and distributing content is pushing recruiters (and job boards) in new directions (check out what Sodexo is doing, for example). Believe me, there’s more to Twitter than simply ‘tweeting’ jobs.
  • The cloud: Cloud computing has been around since the 60s (at least conceptually), but it has gained traction (and buzz) in the past few years. Why? The proliferation of cheap servers, abundant broadband, and ever increasing software complexity have all driven adoption. Matt Alder has already posited a cloud-based alternative to the traditional job board. I have no doubt that some are in development.
  • ATSs: As the price tag continues to drop for implementing an ATS, more companies are utilizing them – which means that more metrics (whether good or bad) are being applied to the job board postings a company makes. In other words, if the ATS shows that your job board isn’t performing, you’re toast. The days of ignoring ATSs and hoping they would fade away are over – job boards have to tackle the challenge (and potential reward) these systems offer.
  • Simplicity: Ok, simplicity isn’t a ‘technology’. But look at the technological products that are thriving right now (iPhone, iPad, DVRs, etc.). What do they have in common?Simplicity. They are all incredibly easy to use. There is a lot of technology hidden behind that ‘simplicity’ – but the genius of these products is that you don’t see it. You just use them and they work. That would be my definition of the ideal job board: just use it, and it works.

Ok, what did I miss?

Views: 125

Comment by David DeCapua on February 22, 2011 at 1:59pm
Jeff: Awesome discussion. The question is how can we get "seasoned" recruiters on board? Technology is moving at warp speed - we all find it hard to keep up, but what choice do we have?  You mentioned several technologies, but didn't mention video, which will be the future of our industry. Today you can post a job and ask candidates to apply with video, answering several questions relative to the position. How efficient is that?  Check out this link to learn more - it's exciting stuff. 
Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on February 22, 2011 at 2:08pm
Video seems to lurk around the edges of the industry, IMO. It hasn't really gotten a lot of traction - but I do thing it's a  great medium for replacing or extending phone screening.
Comment by Brian Larson on February 22, 2011 at 2:27pm

I agree that video seems to be ever in the discussion around recruitment and job boards - our company has invested in it as have most - but there are still some challenges associated with it.  Some of these center specifically around HR hurdles when used as an interviewing/response tool as opposed to a marketing/recruitment tool.  Certainly it is an interesting discussion and evolution process...

Comment by David DeCapua on February 22, 2011 at 2:36pm
The only challenges that exist are paradigms and assumptions. We peeled this onion and got a letter from the EEOC - they have NO problem with video resumes, so long as you don't use them to discriminate (DUH).  Please don't tell the competition - I want them to live in the past.  Tell them they can't swim for 30 minutes after eating too.... 
Comment by Chris Piazza on February 22, 2011 at 3:29pm

Great post.


I think many people will agree that the pure Job Board in it's original form (that is, the online classified ad) is a dying breed. As you mention above, new technologies are changing the online recruitment landscape and those that don't evolve will perish. A couple other technologies that have had, and will continue to have, impact come to mind:


1. Online ( business / social ) Networks - The script can often go something like this:

Recruiter: I have a great new job you might be interested in!

Candidate: Thanks for calling, but I'm very happy where I am.

Recruiter: No problem. Can you make a referral?


Leveraging the online networks to generate qualified referrals (or leads on candidates) will continue to be an emerging trend. Birds of a feather, after all.


2. Candidate Search and Matching Technologies - There are a few different flavors of these out there, from structured to conceptual, but search is getting more targeted and can alleviate the tedium of manually reviewing the (possibly) hundreds (and I've heard tell of thousands) of resumes that come flowing in from a standard Job Board posting.
Comment by Mariah Gillespie on March 1, 2011 at 4:15pm
SEO, SEO and SEO! when people do google searches for your jobs or for your recruitment services, where are you? Google knows everything these days...when people ask, are you the answer?


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