I’ll sum up the JobG8 Job Board Summit in a single phrase: ‘big picture’. Sure, there were some nuts and bolts sessions and plenty of useful advice (some of which I will pass along), but Kevin Wheeler really set the tone with his opening session on the future of work. So let me give you my Cliff Notes on the meeting:
- Kevin Wheeler laid out a picture of the future that saw workers as free agents, traditional jobs becoming automated and roboticized, more free time, and the rise of a new worker – the ‘Career Mosaic’, a person that puts together multiple jobs and streams of income. He called on the job board industry to create new sites that focus on projects, not permanent employment, and that allow for crowdsourcing and collaboration. He also foresees a future where text-based job descriptions are a thing of the past. Yes, by the end my head was spinning.
- Gerry Crispin focused on the candidate experience during the job hunt. You are probably somewhat familiar with his work at CareerXroads on this – but Gerry said something that I think bears repeating because too often it is forgotten: “The candidate’s interests are different from the employer’s interests.” If a job board can’t get inside the candidate’s mind and motivation, it will have a tough time delivering a positive candidate experience. Another great question posed by Gerry: what is a candidate? When do they become a candidate? As he said, “the candidate knows: the moment they apply.” Great data!
- Dr. Steve Carter of eHarmony ran through a fascinating session on how their matching system works – and how it might apply to any job board (of course, eHarmony is in the process of creating their own!). Why and how people make bad decisions about mates appears to have relevance for the work world as well. eHarmony has a goal for their new job board: double the proportion of highly engaged employees and cut the churn rate in half. Big goal – but I suspect they’ll reach it.
- Michael Marlatt deluged us with a lot of statistics on the mobile world. Basic takeaway: candidates expect to be able to search for jobs anywhere. That means every job board should be mobile-enable – not in a few years, but now. I agree.
- Ratko Vidakovic introduced me to real-time bidding (RTB) – a computer-controlled ad process that gives advertisers access to specific audiences…if they wins the bid. RTB offers a lot of precision in terms of demographic and geographic targeting, plus the ability to retarget (show your ads to your customers). Definitely worth a look for those job boards spending money on Adwords and CPC.
- Joel Cheesman discussed how social media (which is ever-changing) has to be part of the marketing mix for any job board. He was – of course – very amusing, and chock full of good ideas. The core message? “The more you do, the more you get.” Yep, I buy that.
So you can see that the future is kinda confusing – but you also have to notice that job boards (in some form or fashion) will be a part of it. As with the IAEWS conferences, this was a great place to meet and network. I also had the chance to meet many email/Twitter/LinkedIn acquaintances ‘in real life’. Definitely worth the trip to Chicago, and a good addition to the job board industry!
[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]