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OMG the sky is falling! And other threats to the job board world….

This may be heresy – but sometimes I think more communication isn’t necessarily better.  To wit: here in the U.S. Midwest, we are experiencing – depending on your news source – an unprecedented number of floods, a stunning increase in storm-related deaths, or just another summer season. Which is correct? Try the last one; we in face are having a very typical, average, not at all unusual summer here despite the killer tornadoes, floods, locusts, and other such. So why does it seem like everything is so incredibly awful? Because we actually know about it.

Go back even 50 years, and chances were you wouldn’t know about every natural or man-made disaster. No Twitter, 24-hour news channels, Internet – some places still didn’t have television! So if the disaster happened to you, it was a bad year. If it happened elsewhere, well…it didn’t affect your perception of how things were.

This is a very long preamble to the real subject of this post: BIG CHANGES IN THE JOB BOARD WORLD. (Notice those fear-inspiring uppercase letters?) Let’s take a look at some harbingers of doom:

  • Google PANDA yanks search engine rankings up and down, based on (we think) duplicate content. Yep, it affects job boards.
  • LinkedIn adds (or is said to be adding) an ‘Apply’ button to job listings – making it just like a job board.
  • The .jobs Universe still isn’t dead.
  • Dan Schwabel says job boards are dead – and that LinkedIn will replace them.
  • Monster is failing to close deals because of the Federal government’s hesitancy
  • Aggregators say ‘take a hike’ to many job boards.

You get the picture. But ask yourself: if you didn’t know about the above, would it affect your business or your decisionmaking? I doubt it. After all, Google has arbitrarily done things in the past – and in a world ruled by Google (as it once was by Microsoft), you simply adapt. Aggregators? Hey, if you’re ‘hooked’ on their traffic, you should already know you’re vulnerable. LinkedIn adding an Apply button? Ahem – I think we all saw this coming, didn’t we?

Yes, it’s fun to follow every scrap of news, to ruminate on how XYZ Company’s ‘revolutionary’ service might affect your own business – nothing wrong with that. But be sure to put on your ‘long term perspective’ glasses before you act. Focus on your customers. Focus on solving problems. If you do that, you’ll be the one making news – and making your competitors nervous.

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