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Results of the Job Board Future survey are here!

In August, I began gathering data from job seekers, HR professionals, recruiters, and job board employees and operators on the future of job boards and the methods for finding jobs and candidates. Now, 275 responses later, we have some results.

Each survey respondent identified him or herself as a job seeker, a HR or recruiting professional, or a job board employee or operator. Based on their response to that question, they then answered a series of questions specific to their background.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • LinkedIn and Twitter are the primary social media channels for recruiting
  • Most job seekers use 3 or more job boards in their search
  • Planning recruitment spending is static for job boards and going up for social media and referral programs
  • Job boards continue to see the recession as problem #1 for their business
  • Job seekers are most influenced when choosing a job board by ease of use and profession or industry focus
  • Most job boards are planning to add new social media features in the coming year
  • Less than 7% of HR or recruiting professionals have purchased .jobs domains for their organization
  • Most job seekers are using job boards to locate jobs, then apply for them (either on the company site or job board)
  • The biggest challenge for HR and recruiting professionals in meeting hiring goals is a lack of qualified applicants

There are some warning signs for job boards in the results. For instance, less than 20% of job seekers have found a job via a niche job site.  Also, usage of general and niche job boards by HR and recruiting professionals falls behind social media, company career site, and referrals with regard to frequency of use.

If you’d like a copy of the complete results, register here for free access to  the survey (as well as a previous survey). I welcome your comments and suggestions for future surveys.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jason Blais

    October 8, 2010, 9:37 am

    Great report JBD, thanks for sharing it! When looking at these data points, a couple things jump out at me. Apparently, nothing has really changed in the recruiting world over the past several decades, with the number one challenge continuing to be a lack of qualified candidates. You’d think with the huge number of unemployed, the responses would have indicated that parsing the qualified applicants from the unqualified would be the biggest challenge, not that there simply is a lack of qualified seekers. Tangentially, have recruiters developed unrealistic definitions of “qualified”?

    The second thing that jumped out is the small number of job seekers who found a job on a niche site. I would be interested to see demography to understand if these seekers were located in larger metro areas or smaller rural communities. What I see in the market is that larger general job boards are working on a model that caters almost exclusively to the large nationwide or international businesses- a model that include pricing breaks for high volume posting and a focus on employers who can provide automated posting feeds to the boards. Niche boards should still be well-positioned, I would think, to capture market share for small and mid-sized companies that can’t automate the posting process and aren’t using upper echelon ATS systems. If you look for jobs in Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, or any other tier 3 state (based on population and number of businesses), there are still many jobs posted on the local boards that never make it to the large national job boards or aggregating websites.

    I realize Pareto’s principle is at work here, and that large job boards are focused on the 80% of the market share coming from the 20% of the employers. While that makes for a financially successful business model, it provides a disservice to the job seekers living in rural areas or wishing to work for small businesses. Perhaps the niche job boards would be best served to only sell postings to niche businesses, and include a clause in their agreement that prevents these small businesses from posting on general national sites? Not really plausible, but an interesting idea to ponder.