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Why job boards still have a role to play in recruitment

So what does this mean for job seekers and recruitment?

We all know that the ways in which people apply for jobs are evolving rapidly. You’ll probably also be aware that there’s now more job boards online than ever before. I’m talking tens of thousands. So what does this mean for job seekers and recruitment? Can we predict any future trends?

The first thing to say is that, contrary to popular belief, job boards aren’t dead. However the continued rise of job aggregators does still beg the question: can job boards still compete?

I would say it depends entirely on what they’re offering job seekers.

Whilst many false parallels are drawn between aggregators and job boards, there’s much we can learn from social media – specifically Facebook. The reason Facebook became such a success is because everybody’s on there. Consequently there’s little point in finding another social network to use when all your friends are concentrated somewhere else.

In the same way, the reason job aggregators are so popular is that they have all or most jobs in one place. Job seekers want convenience and quick results. Given the choice, they don’t want to subscribe to half a dozen or more job sites to achieve their end goal of finding a job.

So does that mean job boards are now redundant in the face of the big aggregators? Not at all. However they need to be at the top of their game to stay relevant and viable.

My (very basic) formula for an aspiring job board would be the following: they target a niche sector; they advertise all the jobs in that sector (remember, if you don’t get all the jobs in one place, people will look elsewhere); they offer various add-ons or other services to distinguish themselves from competitors.

This last one requires some innovative thinking. For instance, advertising big name employers like we do at AdView, be it jobs at Tesco, jobs at Cancer Research, jobs at the BBC and so on is a great way to utilise big brands to attract candidates. Also, offering unique sector-based data insights such as the number of applicants applying to a job or average salary levels can help distinguish job boards from the competition.

The final big issue is for job boards traffic. This is where aggregators can help job boards instead of competing with them. The best aggregators can help support job boards by supplementing their traffic streams with a steady source of high-quality targeted traffic.

Let’s face it – most job boards realise they’re not going to generate the majority of their traffic through social media or search engines. This is why aggregators can be a friend as opposed to a competitor.

By Kevin Brady

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