Are career hubs what job boards become when they grow up?

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The ‘traditional’ job board is evolving – but as science tells us, every instance of evolution isn’t always ‘successful’. There have been plenty of dead ends in nature. Same in the job board world – often because the sites in question failed to adapt.

But which path will job boards follow to successfully evolve in the coming years? As is often the case in the industry, I think it is the resurrection and expansion of an idea that has been around for years – the career hub.

The career hub is designed to be a resource that candidates use – even when they aren’t looking for work. Why? Candidates that visit the site and use the resources day in and day out are easier to monetize (think advertising, for example) and easier to retain than candidates who visit a site every couple of years (when they’re looking). An added advantage: these candidates are viewed by employers as passive – and for many, a passive candidate is more valuable. (Honestly, I’m not sure I buy this – but I’m not a recruiter!).

Oh, and there’s one more (big) advantage: the site is not a job board. It’s a career hub!

What does a career hub (also often called employment portals) include?

  • Job listings (of course!)
  • Industry news
  • Ability to interact with other candidates (forums, chat rooms, etc.)
  • Opinion (blogs, etc. – which also let candidates comment and interact)
  • Candidate Services (resumes, candidate profile pages, training, certifications, candidate marketing, etc.)
  • Employer Services (job postings, profile/resume access, targeted emails, site ads, company profiles, sponsorships, etc.)
  • Articles (industry-specific developments, professional development, how to, etc.)
  • Events (webinars, career fairs, offline events, etc.)

This is hardly an exhaustive list of features, but it gives you an idea.

I said career hubs are not new – and I meant it. MediaBistro  has been around for over a decade and is, I think, the prototype for a typical career hub. It has industry news, jobs, events, training, and blogs. There has been a new crop of career hubs sprouting up over the past few years, for the same reasons I mentioned earlier – a desire to keep candidates even when they aren’t looking for jobs, and new ways of generating revenue.These include:

There are many, many more. (Is LinkedIn a career hub? You bet!)  The common linking threads are communitycareernews, and interaction.  Maybe career hubs really are what job boards become when they grow up.

I don’t think they’re a dead end!

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Sam Eddy

    Jeff – good insight, as usual. All things considered, the success of a job board will boil down to fundamentals of blocking & tackling: usability of site, user experience, quality & relevancy of content, features & functionality, and ultimately how well users connect on the site and satisfy their hiring & employment needs.

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