Rene shares his thoughts on the challenges Job Boards face today.
Job Boards are not dying at all. They do, however, need to change things to stay alive and have their business’ grow. Based on my experience in the Job Advertising market and the trends I see, these would be my five top priorities if I owned a Job Board:
1. Deliver more than just applicants to high volume clients.
Most Job Boards have some, or many, high volume clients (both employers and recruitment agencies) and are desperate to keep these clients. A lot of Job Boards are dropping their prices for this type of client because of the competition between Job Boards, the other types of channels these clients can use, but mainly because they are not perceived as a provider that can deliver something others can’t. A large retail company, for example, told me recently that a Job Board was almost giving them money to keep them as a ‘client’. If Job Boards will keep devaluing themselves like this, the end of having a lot of content, which is key, is near. If Job Boards don’t figure out ways to deliver more than just applicants in a standard way like many other sources can do, the only way to keep having a lot of content on their platform is aggregation.
2. Do more business with SMB.
Since large vacancy holders are (slowly) becoming experts on SEO, PPC, active sourcing, referral recruitment etc, they’re going to be spending less money on external platforms. Add the fact that Job Boards are dropping their prices for these type of clients and the future of Job Boards looks very negative, doesn’t it? It actually doesn’t.
Why not? Because small and medium businesses are ready for online recruitment. They want to hire in-house and Job Boards are absolutely part of the easiest solutions for them. This market, which is obviously incredibly big, will pay a lot more than your ‘big’ customers do and might be the market where the biggest part of your revenue and especially margin will be coming from very soon.
3. Become an expert in real-time, automated bidding.
Clients of Job Boards want to see results. We all know this. They have always wanted this, but now they are often able to measure if you are delivering results; giving you less content because they are trying to target better or are just smaller businesses (as described above at point 2) and are becoming more demanding. If you don’t deliver results on every single job they pay you for, they will not be happy and they will not return.
Because of this, you need to be able to deliver value on job-level, not just on ‘big-client-level’. This is becoming even more important since a lot of Job Boards are becoming more dependent on PCC, affiliate marketing, re-targeting and other ways of paying for traffic/applications than ever. Being able to bid real-time on traffic/applications based on how much traffic/applications you have received, expect to receive and need to receive (to make your customer happy), and based on how much the traffic/applications may cost is key to Job Boards who want to keep up with the demands of their buyers.
4. Enable mobile.
If, as a Job Board, you don’t enable consumers to find, read and apply for the jobs of your clients on phones and tablets, your business will go down very soon. This is a case of adapt or die. If you don’t want to hear this and/or are not working on this, you’re burying your head in the sand and that usually doesn’t end well.
5. Come up with smart performance based pricing and/or subscription models.
A lot of Job Boards don’t seem to understand that by doing the same thing they used to do, they will not get the same results, but worse results. I’m talking about the fact that a lot of Job Boards are still selling their advertising products in ways that their (potential) clients don’t like: Pay and you will see what you get, no guarantees, no performance based pricing, long contracts with no flexibility etc. Job boards that are desperately trying to hold on to something that has worked for a long time will probably survive a few more years, but the future definitely looks very, very different.
Do you agree these challenges should have top priority at Job Board businesses and why? And what other major challenges do you see for them?
In a next post I’ll share some ideas I have on tackling these challenges and becoming a winning Job Board.
This blog was written by René Bolier who is partner and responsible for sales and marketing at OnRecruit – PPC advertising on steroids for the recruitment industry.
Feel free to connect and get in touch directly with René: nl.linkedin.com/in/renebolier / twitter.com/renebolier / firstname.lastname@example.org / +31-611604603
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