Ding dong, the recession’s (not quite) dead! Every day I hear from another job site that their numbers are up, that more jobs are being posted, and that the general feel from employers is positive. Folks are breathing a little easier.
So what effect has the recession had on the job board world?
- Fewer competitors: Those job boards who were overextended, underfunded, or just poorly run have gone by the wayside – which is ultimately a good thing.
- More competitors: Huh? Yep – cash-starved recruiters and HR pros have spent the last 2 years looking at lower-cost alternatives to job boards (think: Twitter & LinkedIn & just about every other social media recruiting startup). For some, the jury is still out; for others, they’ve either moved into stage 2 of their social media experiment – or they’ve gone back to job boards. Maybe even a little of both.
- Lower margins: Many sites were forced to cut prices – a change that will probably become permanent.
- More experimentation: When times are bad, the smart get thinkin’. I’ve seen plenty of interesting experiments by job sites in terms of new services, new products, and technical innovation. I expect these experiments to continue.
- Fire sales: Some job board owners have been in the mood to sell after 24 months of battering economic winds – and industry bargain hunters have been happy to oblige. Prices will stay low for a while, but then expect to see them start climbing as the shortage of skilled labor reasserts itself.
- Renewed desire for growth: When you’ve been down, up sounds pretty good – and the fastest way to climb out of a recession can be growth. Expect more new sites and services, and some consolidation among existing ones.
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