The recruitment marketing industry encompasses many different types of services: traditional job boards, hybrid job boards, sourcing tools, recruitment platforms, professional networks, career hubs, and much more. What do these all have in common? They are focused on connecting candidates with employers – either as their primary business, or as their major revenue-producing activity.
Part of any online (or offline) recruitment marketing business is design – the look and feel. There are rules for site design, but it seems that many folks in the industry view those rules as an invitation to break them. That’s ok – breaking rules is a good way to discover a better way to do thing! But sometimes breaking rules can result in some funny-looking sites. The reality is that the HR tech world – just like every other industry – tends to go in certain design directions, usually based on whichever site is most successful. You can call them design fads, or you can call them ‘a new paradigm’. Let’s face it, though – a lot of times, HR tech design fads feel like a buffalo herd stampeding down the prairie, running until the buffalo get tired – or until they get diverted by something else.
So what about these trends? What does the Doctor see out there that he sees over and over? Well…
- Young and beautiful: You know the sites – they have plenty of 20-somethings with beanie caps or sort-of beards or people with cell phones working harder than you. Sometimes there are multiple people doing things. The bottom line – at least visually – is ‘old people need not apply‘. The designer is saying ‘youth = energy and success’ – which it may, but it gets kind of old after a while…
- Moving pictures: You’ll recognize these sites: you bring them up and suddenly everything starts moving around! Whoo boy! Designers really like this particular fad but it gets a little weird on a mobile device – as in, don’t watch one while boarding a bus. But the great thing about this design is – even if your product is static, your site isn’t!
- We’ve always done it this way: These sites – for whatever reason – refuse to change. Sometimes it’s because they’re printing money and have been for years, and sometimes it’s because they’re in the land that time forgot. Let us not forget those sites that believe the best UX was 1990s UX! At any rate, whether it’s success, forgetfulness, or lack of attention, these sites look just like you remember them – no matter when you first saw them.
- Non-human: The first two design fad/trends featured humans in various settings (usually). Not so for this one. Graphic designers get to strut their stuff with shapes and maps, cartoon people, and texty-computery things that look complicated. Sometimes there are just large pictures and numbers! This model is perhaps the most flexible and least likely to age – but still….do we need more cartoon people?
I’m sure I’m missing some other trends – in fact, I know I am. What fads/trends/etc. do you see over and over as you peruse recruitment marketing offerings? Let me know![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]. [Check out the JobBoardGeek podcast archive!]