If you read this blog, then you have at least a passing interest in job boards – so it’s likely that you saw the news last week that Monster is laying off 400 employees and missed its quarterly earnings/revenue targets.
Now, this is the type of news that many pundits of various stripes will take as endorsement of their belief that job boards are heading off the cliff, soon to vanish forever. It is not good news – particularly for the affected Monster employees.
But is it indicative of the job board industry as a whole? I don’t think so. Here’s why:
- It’s a single data point: Yes, Monster is big. But so is CareerBuilder, and they seem to be doing quite well, thank you. They’re both big, general job sites. One is up, the other is down. Monster had a bad quarter.
- Monster has some baggage: As in a HotJobs acquisition that might well be weighing their results down.
- It’s public: A good chunk of the job board industry is privately held. In fact, the number of publicly-held job boards is quite small – Dice, Monster, and a few others. What is happening in a single, quarterly-goals-driven public company probably does not represent what is happening in the vast majority of sites out there.
The reality? Monster had a bad quarter. Some of that can be attributed to weak employment growth in general – but as we know, demand in certain segments (tech, healthcare, skilled trades) is growing rapidly. If you’re a niche site focused in those areas, you probably had a good quarter. Likewise, if you’re a niche site rather than a general site, you probably had a good quarter (or year, actually). Recruiters have found that niche sites typically yield fewer but higher quality candidates than the general sites – thus improving hiring efficiency and cost.
The recruitment sector is big and complicated. Job boards are part of the picture – as are ATSs, RPOs, social recruiting vendors, and others. Each are competing for their share of the recruitment pie – and each would like to see their slice grow while others diminish. That’s just the way the world works.
But if someone tells you that job boards are tanking…take it with a grain – no, a shaker of salt.
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