In the beginning, there was the job board, and the candidates rejoiced. So many jobs! So many locations! So much easier than paper.
The employers liked it, too.
But after a while, candidates realized that general boards were, well….general. They discovered that many (er, most) jobs were inapplicable to their interests. So they asked the job boards to make things easier. “Help us find just the jobs we want!”
Job board operators responded in a variety of ways:
- Improved search options (i.e., searching by location, industry, skills, etc.)
- Saved searches (so candidates didn’t have to recreate the wheel every time)
- Job alerts (instead of searching every day, candidates could set up search criteria and then let the job board email results to them)
- Segmenting the job site (i.e., areas for different industries, levels of job seeker, and so on)
But many job board operators saw another path: the job board network. Instead of trying to jam every type and level of job into a single site, why not create a network of job boards? Each board would focus on an industry, or type of candidate, or location. This path held another attraction for job board owners: they could leverage the investment in technology and candidate acquisition for their original site, and spread those investments across multiple sites.
It was (and is) a good idea. Here are a few well-established job site networks:
There are many, many more. In fact, one of the bigger job board industry stories of 2010 was the launch of the .jobs ‘Universe’ – basically, a very large (40,000 sites and counting) job board network. The only difference in this network is its scope (although Beyond’s site network is huge and better established, covering every imaginable job title).
So if job networks are so great, why doesn’t everyone do them? Well…they’re not as easy as they look. Running 30 sites, even on the same technology base, is not the same as running one site. Marketing and sales also becomes more challenging, and customer service is more significant, as you may have employers posting on multiple sites. Also, it takes a special mindset to run a network of sites – it’s a step up from a single site, and not everything can be automated.
Yet job board networks persist and thrive, generating significant income for their owners and providing more targeted job hunting experiences for candidates. I expect that they will continue to evolve and thrive for many years to come.[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.].