Back in the day – say, 3 or 4 years ago – if you were looking for a job, you typically visited a big job board like Monster, an aggregator like Indeed, a few niche sites, and a few company sites. The large ‘destination’ sites like Monster did everything in their power to draw Mr. Job Seeker to their URL – Superbowl ads, wacky web promos, and even cartoon figures. Aggregator sites flew under the radar – they depended on search engine visibility to entice their visitors. The niche and company sites focused on being visible to the people in their particular industry.
Jobs are widely distributed across multiple sites, in ads, via Tweets, Facebook status updates, and more (much of this driven by search engines and aggregators). Nowadays, first stop for most job seekers is a search engine. If they’re adventuresome, perhaps they delve into the wild west world of Twitter. But more and more, the expectation is that (a) any job can be found if you search the Internet long enough; and (b) jobs should come to you.
If this is indeed true, what does it mean for destination sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, TheLadders, and other heavily marketed, generalist sites? Has their time come and gone?
I see it playing out as a decision on the part of job seekers about efficiency and emotion. Is it more efficient to go to a big general site to find that perfect job? Or is it more effective to rely on Google to ferret out the jobs? And which do they trust more?
There are several factors that might sway job seekers one direction or another:
- Laziness: After all, doesn’t Google index everything? So why should I need to use anything else?
- Fear: What if Google missed something – maybe a perfect job that only (insert job board name here) had? I’d be a fool not to check.
- Belief: As in ‘I believe that the jobs on (insert job board name here) are fake and junk. I trust Google – surely none of the jobs it finds are fake.
- Disbelief: As in ‘It’s too easy to search for jobs in one place. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything. My job search has to be better if I use multiple sources.”
The bottom line: if enough job seekers decide – no matter how much marketing is directed to them, no matter how many white papers are written – that they would rather use search engines, social media, et. al. to locate their jobs, the destination sites are toast.
I might add, that’s a big if. Why?
1) Never underestimate the power of marketing.
2) Never underestimate the difficulty of changing millions of job seekers’ deeply ingrained habits.
But it’s something to think about, eh?[Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]