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Windy: what I saw and heard at the JobG8 job board summit

chicago storm

Wind, lightning, rain, and tens of thousands of soccer fans ‘sheltering in place’ at Soldier field. Just another lazy Wednesday in Chicago!

The next day, me and over a hundred other folks jammed into the downtown Chicago Hilton for the annual JobG8 North American Summit. I always enjoy this conference because of the great technical content – and I was not disappointed. Here are some highlights:

  • Dan Finnegan of Jobvite made the astute point that we’re going through the longest period of employment growth in history. And these things never last forever.
  • The client user panel said that job boards should really be doubling down on content. No surprise.
  • Stacy Chapman of SwoopTalent said that job boards could – and should – be making use of aggregated data to provide additional services to clients and improving their own candidate files.
  • There was some back and forth about better candidate data via matching vs. swipe right/swipe left for an apply. More versus less. This discussion will never go away. But it was fascinating!
  • Not surprisingly, some sad (British) faces on Friday when the Brexit results became known. Hard to say the real impact of this for our industry – too early to tell. But additional economic turmoil could make things interesting.
  • Randle Reece of Avondale Partners provided a massive amount of market data and analysis. A few tidbits: Paid online ads are going down because there is more competition from unpaid job ads. We’re experiencing the slowest rate of job loss ever – and the labor supply is contracting. Bottom line: things are pointing more down than up (although he’s predicting a 7% growth rate for job boards). So get ready.
  • A continuing thread throughout the discussions was the real role of job boards: sitting on the outside as ‘job ad provider’? Or going a bit deeper into the acquisition process (candidate short lists, screening, ATSs, etc.)? I think it’s a judgement call for each business – but I’d err on the side of going deeper, myself.
  • If only judging by the proliferation of vendors (Appcast, OnRecruit, Recruitics, Ripple, etc.), programmatic and analytics are continuing to make inroads.
  • David Bernstein pointed out that a big problem for job boards is attribution – for example, Indeed grabbing job apply attribution that should really belong to job boards. And we’re letting this happen.

And that’s just a few high points. Now the conference scene dies down for a while – which is good, because my lawn is calling.

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