Jobs2Web and RealMatch: push and pull

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The big news in the recruiting world last week was the acquisition of Jobs2Web by SuccessFactors, which had only a few days before been gobbled up by SAP. Why Jobs2Web? Well, I think a part of the decision had to be a desire on SuccessFactor’s part to get into the online recruiting biz without necessarily getting into the job board biz.

Jobs2Web is in some ways a throwback to the good old days of recruitment, when companies like NAS ruled the roost. Large companies would use NAS to manage national or international employment ad buys; in turn, NAS would cut deals with newspapers, magazines (yes, they ran job ads too!), and other print platforms, and manage the ad traffic.. Jobs2Web takes the same model and applies it to online recruiting, allowing clients to place ads on job boards, aggregators, search engines, and so on. The difference? Jobs2Web adds a performance metrics tool that provides data on which channel was performing – or not. In essence, their service addresses a common hiring ‘information gap’: is the job ad working? For companies with hundreds of openings and dozens of places for advertising them, answering this question is non-trivial.

RealMatch tries to answer the question of job ad effectiveness in a different way. It powers a network of 600 or so sites (mostly media), and posts out to hundreds more. So some of the same elements resemble those of Jobs2Web. It also uses various performance metrics tools to evaluate where the ad performs best (whether in the RealMatch network, or on such PPC sites as Indeed). But it diverges by matching job postings to job seeker resumes (it claims several million) automatically, ranking the matches – and then offering the results to employers on a pay for performance basis. Job seekers are also notified when job postings appear that match with their resumes – again, each match is ranked based on skills, background, etc.

You could say that we’re looking at the latest iteration of two common themes in online recruiting: push and pull. On the one hand, Jobs2Web is pushing job ads out into various locations, measuring performance as it goes. On the other hand, RealMatch is pulling (matching) resumes to job postings – and employers.  Both systems are looking to multiple sites and the Internet to solve hiring problems, rather than relying on a single ‘destination‘ site. Of course there have been networks of job boards for years (think Beyond), but I would argue that these systems represent a different approach – perhaps a realization that as the web becomes more fragmented, it’s less likely that an ‘all in one’ solution will work.

The end result, as always, will come about as a mixture of hype, results, and rumor. Jobs2Web certainly has a nice infusion of infrastructure and staff to help it along. RealMatch seems to be growing rapidly. But each represents merely a small fraction of the online spending pie – for now.

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