Disruption, chaos, and job seekers: just another week of fun!

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hands on a stock market

Ever wonder how the financial markets might affect your job board? Well, wonder no more – Monster, Dice, and 51Job all experienced double-digit drops in the wake of S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. government. (And this was after reporting some very strong Q2 earnings a week ago). Kind of makes you glad you’re not a publicly held site, eh?

Let’s not forget another disruption: LinkedIn added the ability for employers to insert a LI ‘Apply for this job’ button to their openings. It doesn’t play well with ATSs (yet), but it’s another sign that LinkedIn is really another (very big) job board. Which means it will continue to be competition for just about every other job board in some form or fashion.

Still not shell-shocked? Well, let’s see: ICANN told the .jobs folks that indeed they actually overstepped their charter by creating the ‘.jobs universe’ – but that story isn’t over yet, I’m guessing. And let’s not forget that Monster moved its 6Sense technology into the cloud – a smart move that may signal a new direction for job boards in general.

So what’s the purpose in regaling you with all of this? Simple – there are things that affect your job board that you simply cannot control. Kind of like life in general – you can (and should) plan ahead, but don’t sweat the stuff you can’t affect.

Conversely…there are things that you can control, like:

  • the technical quality of your site (search tools, speed, accuracy, etc.)
  • creating services that your clients actually want and use
  • the quality of your job seekers
  • the way you present your services (think: branding)
  • your own openness to new platforms and technologies (do you have a mobile app for your site yet?)

It’s worth reminding yourself that job boards can be very efficient, effective tools for connecting candidates to employers – but they can also be supplanted by other tools and techniques (just ask Athenahealth). There is no special protective halo that will ensure job boards’ survival for another 15 years. If your board works, it will survive. If it doesn’t, it won’t.

Let me leave you with this very interesting analysis by Glen Cathey of Boolean Black Belt. He compared social media, search engines, ATSs, job boards, and internal talent databases for their effectiveness in locating talent. Job boards came out looking pretty good – easy to search, lots of depth and focus.

But you know what? Your clients won’t know that unless you tell them. So…read about the disruption, work on the things you can control – and make sure your clients know exactly how good you really are.

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