An Uncertain Future
If you work within the recruitment industry or just keep your ear to the ground when it comes to career development and jobs, you will have heard the rumours that have long been spread - the job board’s days are numbered.
The world of recruitment has always been fast paced, and with the changing face of the online job market, economic climate, the growth of social media channels and online search, it’s really no surprise that there is some uncertainty about the future of online recruitment in particular.
However, the fact remains that job boards are still popular, are being used, are still relevant and represent part of a thriving recruitment industry. Employers are still willing to pay to have their jobs on a site, as long as that site instils trust and authority and the aggregators are pushing content to other likeminded sites and a relevant audience.
With all that in mind, what has actually changed for the jobs board?
The Changing Job Seeking Experience & Expectations
Unpicking the online job market really lies with the job seeker; after all they are the target market responsible for driving the success or failure of the industry. They are the ones who drive demand and should always be closely analysed.
The real motivations of the job seeker are unlikely to be affiliated with one particular channel, purely because social sites, job boards and search engines all have their part to play within job search. Just like an online purchase, the consumer will use whichever channel is most convenient.
Furthermore, the technology through which this information is consumed continues to expand as jobseekers employ multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop) throughout their day.
The onus is now with the job board provider, to keep themselves as an integral part of the job seeking experience and remain relevant by continuing to cater for their audience’s growing platform and device preferences. This includes continuing to test and develop the user experience and ensuring cross platform responsiveness.
Across all of the job boards we run, traffic comes from a broad range of sources such as search engines, referral sites and channels such as aggregators, email and social media links and shares.
The job boards that are really thriving are those that have managed to keep up with the changing digital landscape by adapting the methods through which they generate new users.
There are some great examples of our clients strongly positioning themselves within the social realm. OnlyMarketingJobs.com now have a popular blog, a LinkedIn group with more than 58,000 members, 20,000 Twitter followers and run events such as the UK Marketing Network.
The key aspect to take away here is that they have created real value by offering content which benefits those who may, at some point, consider looking for a new role. They concentrate on growing their brand and getting themselves in front of the right people at the right time.
The Technology Demands of Job Market
There is, of course also a lot of pressure for the technology being used to keep up with the growing demands of the market. We have seen the number of mobile devices diversify substantially in the last few years with mobile traffic increasing to over a third of the Madgex portfolio’s total traffic – a number likely to increase throughout 2015.
And then there’s the growing trend for personalisation on the web. The fact is that whoever you are and however you have arrived at the site, you should be presented with the same set of job hunting options. Taking that one step further, you should also be presented with your profile, recent searches and job alerts regardless of the device you have used.
If we can leave any impression, it’s that job boards are far from being an isolated job seeking format. What we actually have is a co-existent, even symbiotic, relationship with many of the latest channels and devices. Far from being intimidated by the rise of new technologies and channels, we should be embracing it and thinking about the opportunities it presents for us to reimagine the possibilities of the job seeking experience.