Tools & Tips

Job Boards / Will they Be Still Relevant in the Future ?

Everyone seems to agree that generalist large scale job boards are in trouble, and others are profiting. The decline of the Monster share price to below five dollars, parallel to the success story of LinkedIn stock, and the recent valuation of nicely illustrates these shifting dynamics. Generalist job board revenue per posting is declining, and they are facing tough competition from smaller niche job boards, job aggregators, and social networks. Will job boards remain relevant in recruitment?

The main question is not whether job boards are relevant, but whether their search results are relevant for their users. Do job seekers find the job they want, and do employers find the candidates they need? It is a simple equation of attention and relevance, and currently the competition happens to play a better card on both aspects…

If anyone is still doing well in the land of traditional pay-to-post job boards, it is the niche boards. There are thousands of them and counting … based on either region or job sector. And they seem to be able to convince enough employers to spend their advertising budgets, even though for each of them the audience is rather small, and their search interfaces are very similar to those of large job boards.

Their key asset, however, is relevance. It is like they already pre-filled one part of the two standard search boxes for you (job title or location). If you are looking for a job as a rig engineer you will be looking on or As a software engineer you can go to ITJobboard or Stackoverflow. Natural language processing experts will be interested in, etc. If you are looking for work in Berlin, you might visit and the remaining 99% of the European job market will be wurst to you.

Job seekers do not want to browse through irrelevant job postings. And some discover, via their professional networks, that the jobs they seek are clustered on niche job boards. This is the tried-and-proven publishing model of professional and academic journals…

The rise of the job aggregators has been astoundingly fast and huge. Since the rumored selling price of Indeed to for over $1 billion last year, they have everyone’s attention. Of all job search traffic in the U.S., currently over 30 percent comes from Indeed. In terms of relevance, aggregators have a level playing field with the major job boards, whose job content — to a large extent — they are recycling.

Casual visitors without a profile, a simple dual text box to search, and no amazing tricks to give spot on suggestions. This simple uniform job board and aggregator interface is not asking you who you are and what job you’d like to work in. It is again asking you “do you know how to search for job advertisements?” Most people do not…

Why are the professional social networks attracting the attention and money of so many employers? Currently, the main reason does not seem to be for posting jobs. It is primarily to target the so-called passive job seeker and connect with them via active sourcing. This is a revolutionary change in the recruitment landscape, since it completely democratizes headhunting.

However, there is a clear rise of job posting spend on social networks as well, and it has two main reasons:

  • First, social networks provide a way to deliver job advertisements to people in a natural habitat.
  • Second, the social networks have a pretty good way of giving you relevant job offers.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

via Are Job Boards Still Relevant for the Future of Recruiting? –

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  1. Pingback: Job Boards / The preferred method for recruiting | Job Market Monitor - May 25, 2013

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