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Movement by the superpowers – challenges for you?

Let’s face it – most of us in the industry are NOT LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, or Indeed. We just aren’t. Perhaps we’re on the road to getting much bigger (looking at you, ZipRecruiter) or perhaps we hope we’ll be acquired by one of the big guys. But the reality is that we live in a world where our businesses – big, small, or microscopic – will be compared to the ‘superpowers’. It used to be ‘Why don’t you run a SuperBowl ad like Monster does?’. Now it’s ‘Why don’t you flood the radio with ads like Indeed?’ (and don’t forget, they have screener questions, too!).

Such is life. In fact, I recently had a conversation with someone new to the industry who asked ‘Why would anyone use anything besides Indeed or LinkedIn?’. Good question, I replied. Yet despite the domination of the ‘superpowers’, niche sites around the world continue to expand and grow. As you know, these sites are doing fine – because sometimes a superpower is not the best place to find a metallurgist, or UX designer, or park ranger, or….

Nevertheless, the superpowers do shape the lives of the rest of the industry by setting the frame of expectations. If they offer something that employers really want, then the rest of the industry is expected to incorporate this feature as well. The last time I looked at these folks, I was focused on how they don’t really care about the rest of us – which they don’t. But they’ve been busy over the last 6 months, and some of their actions will trickle down to affect us, nonetheless.

LinkedIn just added live video (invitation only) as an option for businesses to communicate with their customers. Given that their parent company owns Skype, and many competitors have similar features, it’s taken a while – but when you’re a superpower, being first matters less sometimes. The company has also combined three of its core recruiting offerings – LinkedIn Jobs, Pipeline Builder, and Recruiter – to make a more unified hiring platform. If they succeed in making this seamless enough, expect to hear more calls from your clients for something similar.

Indeed? Well, they’re putting pressure on the rest of the industry by meteoric growth and never-ending expansion. Possibly something is going on in the background regarding the integration of Glassdoor into Indeed, but if so, it’s well hidden. But…

Indeed has given a big gift to the industry as well – they’ve chosen NOT to participate in the Google Jobs initiative. That has meant lots of extra traffic for the employers and job sites that ARE participating – and a reasonable number of unhappy employers looking for alternatives to Indeed. And…

Speaking of Google Jobs, they just gave employers the opportunity to highlight remote jobs. In other words, the Google Jobs ad schema has changed a tiny bit. Plus, let’s not forget that Google ran an ad for its veteran-friendly job search during the SuperBowl. Ads for job search technology are just not something that Google does – so this was a surprise.

And Facebook? As far as I can tell, they’re plugging along, roping in every small- and medium-size business that uses Facebook as their ‘retail store’ to include ‘hiring some help’ as a new way to give them money. The SMB market has always been a tempting but notoriously hard audience to target for the job board industry. Facebook may have the key.

So keep a wary eye on the superpowers – their next ‘improvement’ may end up being your employers’ next requirement!

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