What is the future of recruitment? Location Vs Aggregation

What is the future is recruitment? It’s a question asked at every HR or Recruiting Conference around the world and we’ll be asking it at our third European Job Board Summit in London on the 27th/28th November. With a stellar lineup of speakers, bloggers and an audience of hundreds of Job Board owners from across Europe, we might just get nearer to answering the question.

LinkedIn are having their say and their CEO Jeff Wiener recently sat down with The New York Times to discuss the company, the world of work and recruitment, and how he envisages LinkedIn’s role in the future.

According to Jeff, the biggest problem faced by the recruitment industry at present is the ever widening skills gap i.e. there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fill the type of jobs that are currently being made available. In true LinkedIn fashion, they want to be the ones to help fill it. In fact they already have a plan for how to do so, which could be the answer to our question.

Location, Location, Location

LinkedIn want to get to work on digitally mapping every working person in the world; every company, every available job, every skill and every university. They’ll use that information to transform LinkedIn into a giant professional hub which has the ability to alert each different audience/group (college, company, individual etc.) of what those around it are doing in order for them to take action. LinkedIn will have enough information about an area and the skills it needs to be able to tell universities which courses they should be running in order to train people for the gaps that need filling.

A smart idea but one suspects that this data has existed for years and it is less about knowing and more about acting. Secondly there is a time lag between a need today and setting up courses to serve the needs of the industry. We have had a Stem Skill shortage for 20 years, more than enough time for governments, companies and universities to act.

LinkedIn are also keen to ensure that we become more of a collaborative economy i.e. we all start sharing our professional knowledge with each other on a regular, if not daily, basis. The opening up of their publishing platform has been their first step towards encouraging this kind of behaviour across the board. Great, but would it not be a more radical step to start sharing talent? For example, if company A have a great IT team that have some down time and company B, not in competition with company A, need some IT work undertaken why don’t companies share their resources?
Sharing knowledge is OK but not the real answer, for that we need is radical thinking not sound bites.

It seems that location is on a number of high profile recruitment industry vendor agendas. Glassdoor’s recently released ‘Job Explorer’ would appear to be the product of the same channel of thinking as LinkedIn. Job Explorer is a free interactive job search mapping tool that is set to help ‘bridge the gap between those looking for work and those with jobs available’. By mapping job opportunities (currently only in North America) and showing you where there is demand for your skills, Job Explorer allows job seekers to ‘pinpoint the best job opportunities by city, county and state’ and to explore what other jobs they may be qualified for. In other words, it helps job seekers identify where they have the best odds of finding a job and it does so in two key ways:

1. Job Map & Opportunity Scale:
The job map and opportunity scale displays the level of job opportunity in each area based on number of job listings and other key factors such as unemployment rate and population in each area. The darker the highlighted region on the map, the greater the opportunity to find work.

2. Career Progression Tool:
Using Glassdoor’s resume database, the career progression tool suggests similar jobs the job seeker could apply for based on the career paths other job seekers with the same skills have taken. It also provides job seekers with practical information like the base salary they can expect in these alternative roles and the percentage of people with their skills who successfully made the transition to that type of role.

However, we know all this. We know we have to lower levels of job seeker mobility, we know we have a mismatch between where the jobs are and where people with the right skills live. Recruitment has always been local hence the historical strength of local media as a recruiting medium.
The use of the data and the UI that both Glassdoor and LinkedIn are developing is great but whether it will solve the problem remains to be seen.

Aggregate, Aggregate, Aggregate

This is the second big battle ground and Monster just remodeled their entire business strategy to centre around talent and job aggregation. Earlier this year Monster announced their new strategy – one with job and talent aggregation at its core.

Like Glassdoor’s Job Explorer, Monster’s new strategy is set to play out in a number of ways (or pillars as they call them):

• Pillar one is called ‘Monster Reach’, which refers to the increase in the number of jobs Monster will now be offering to its job seekers, as well as the increased social media distribution and targeting of those jobs.
• Pillar two will be known as ‘Monster Connections’ which describes Monster’s broadening of their candidate pool by way of candidate data aggregation. It also refers to new methods for directly communicating with those candidates Monster will provide (which is badly needed).
• Pillar three is ‘Monster Solutions’ and will be the name given to Monster’s new analytical tools, CRM and the various cloud-based services the company will employ

So has Monster gone for a different route to LinkedIn’s and Glassdoor’s localised route? The simple answer would be no. Monster, with its own matching engine, has focused on location search for years and delivers a good result. Currently, however, it’s not a great visual experience and Job Boards generally have been poor at UI, needing to improve in this area.

So Location v Aggregation

As we all know they are not mutually exclusive and right now Indeed are winning the content war. Aggregation and Job Boards have done well with locality, although LinkedIn and Glassdoor seem to be taking the local approach but in a ‘globalised’ way. If we are truly moving to a global talent led economy then knowing from Beijing that the right job for you is in Vancouver, without even having to search for a job might be useful.

The question still remains; if I live in Beijing, New York or Manchester and the job is 10,000, 1,000 or 100 miles away but my family, friends and life is local, will I move? Human behaviour will dictate the winner of this battle.

Have you booked your ticket for The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe? If not, Book Now.

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Main Sponsors for The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe

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