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The 10 most important insights from the 2018 Job Board Summit

Are job boards dead? Not yet, it's clear – but times are changing. After referrals and rejected candidates, job boards are still the most important recruitment channel in the world. Geert-Jan Waasdorp was in London last week to attend the 2018 Jobg8 Job Board Summit. This two-day event featured interesting speakers and leading suppliers of aggregators, new technologies and (of course) job boards. It's a must for anyone curious about where the market is heading. 

By Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Job board developments

On average, job boards aren't seen as particularly sexy; in fact, now that they've been around 22 years, they're practically old-school. And if job boards are complacent, that assessment will be correct – as they themselves agree. Adoption of new technology in the recruitment industry plays out at a Champions League level. Technology makes it possible to recruit applicants for between one and ten euros. Wow!

It was surprising that parties like Adecco and Manpower were not present at Jobg8: an event that is essential to their continued existence, now that Indeed is leaning hard on their market share. There's a good reason that Randstad bought Monster when it did. They saw how this development had already started in America. There was a lot of interest in data.Data, data and more data. With our European Recruitment Dashboard and the presentation on the European Job board market (which can be downloaded here), Intelligence Group was able to set out a solid picture of the situation.


10 insights on job boards

1. Google for Jobs is still far from delivering the promised results. Google for Jobs was the topic of conversation at the conference. Unfortunately, most people were talking about their disappointment that the company hadn't delivered on its fine promises in the UK. Still, Google for Jobs hasn't been written off entirely. No one is quite that bold. On the contrary: if it turns out to be something after all, it's better to stay on their good side so you don't find yourself out in the cold.

2. Agencies must now pay for access to Indeed. Now that, from 1 January 2019, agencies in the USA and UK are no longer welcome to use Indeed free of charge, the playing field for aggregators is seeing increasingly dramatic shifts. Parties such as Joblift, Jobrapido and Adzuna are only too eager to take advantage of the resulting vacuum. Slowly but surely, Indeed is transforming from an aggregator and job board to an intermediary. This is a clever strategy and completely in keeping with their parent company: Recruit

3. Voice technology might just be the next big surprise in the job market. In concrete terms, people tend to think of Amazon's Alexa, especially since the prediction is that nearly half of households will have such an appliance by 2022-2023. Broadbean is experimenting with voice technology as well, in both a search and skill-development capacity. And in the Netherlands, we of course have Hoooop exploring this technology here.

4. Will Amazon or WeChat be the latest disrupter in the job market? The idea of Amazon going into business with LinkedIn/Microsoft, Google or Facebook in order to achieve a dominant position in the job vacancy market can't be ruled out. Especially when you consider Alexa and the current developments within Amazon Web Services (AWS). Yet the Chinese WeCHat might also carve out a solid position for itself in the global market within a few years’ time. Who says the new leader has to come from America, now that Japanese-owned Recruit is an industry leader as well?

5. The power of the job alert is unprecedented. Job boards rely heavily on job alerts (along with SEM, aggregators and the like). The problem with job alerts, however, is that traffic is hidden. Once conclusion to be drawn here is that corporates and agencies should be investing much more heavily in making sure their job alerts are linked to their ATS. The Dutch company TrendingJobs , a true gem, specialises in this area.

6. A ten-second video is probably too long. Brief video clips (under ten seconds) work best for recruiting millennials and generation Z. The international community has learned this from observing the popularity of Tik Tok and Snapchat. This trend will lend a whole new dimension to attracting talent, as the successful Job Today app has also demonstrated. Job Today has over five million users, most of whom are millennials, in countries including Spain.

Job today

7. Rejected candidates are a gold mine. After referrals, job boards are the most effective method for job-seekers. That's true enough, unless you are actively pursuing rejected candidates (in a GDPR-compliant way). In that case, re-approaching rejected candidates is one of the most successful recruitment channels.

8. CpH and CpA are a trending topic, but there's no business model there for job boards yet. Gurus say that the market is shifting towards Cost per Applicant (CpA) or Cost per Hire (CpH). Yet this trend hasn't really revealed itself to date. Last year, in fact, companies paying for visibility on job boards (posts visible for 7, 30 or 60 days) only increased. The business model of job boards hardly seems tenable using CpA or CpH, since these days each applicant has a commercial value of only one to five euros. This is where technology has brought us: applicants have become a commodity.

9. The days of job boards in their current form are numbered. If they can't manage to retain, surprise and attract candidates more effectively, job boards are doomed to lose out to Google for Jobs. Once Google has worked out the initial bugs, that is. Job boards must offer more context and make sure the masses of data they collect is actually converted into added value for candidates and recruiters.

10. The rise of platforms While platforms are the subject of serious discussions in the Netherlands, such platforms continue to pop up everywhere. Take Temper (Netherlands), Helping, Pack (Brunel), Yoss (Adecco), Ploy (Randstad), Uber and Deliveroo, for instance. Platforms could pose a serious threat to job boards – or serve as a much-needed lifeline instead.