It was an ugly, painful year. I haven’t talked to a single job board owner – not one – who saw revenue declines of less than 35 to 70 percent. Many had to lay off employees, cut benefits, or otherwise pull back. They weren’t alone, of course – almost every aspect of our economy (Goldman Sachs excepted) has suffered.
So, we’re agreed – 2009 sucked. But surely we learned a few things, right? Hmmm….
1. Bailouts are for banks, not job boards (unless you’re Monster in… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on December 16, 2009 at 9:04am —
It’s easy to do: you work and obsess over building the perfect job board, making certain that posting a resume is easier than sneezing – but then you forget about the world outside your site. Or you spend hours on backlinks, blog postings, and email campaigns, only to discover that your site just isn’t that easy to use.
Job boards have to function equally well both inside the site and outside the site. As a colleague once said, “You can build the best store in the world, but you’ll… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on December 9, 2009 at 9:19am —
As anyone who has tried to lose weight or exercise regularly will attest, changing your behavior is hard. You’re fighting years of mental and physical conditioning – and (unfortunately) many times the old habits win out.
That was the challenge that job boards faced in the mid-90s – how to change the ingrained behaviors of job seekers, to move them from searching want ads in the newspapers…to searching want ads online. It took many years, but eventually job seekers did change their… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on December 1, 2009 at 10:25am —
In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be worthwhile to give some thanks (sometimes you forget about it in the midst of everything else). So, in no particular order, here are a few things that I’m particularly thankful for this year:
* You: Seriously. I appreciate the time you spend reading this blog. I hope you find it worthwhile.
* Monster: It’s very useful for our industry to have a ‘big’ company to kick around. Plus it keeps the target off everyone else.
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on November 23, 2009 at 4:48pm —
When was the last time you asked your job board customers what they want? Not just a one-off question to a few clients – but an systematic, organized survey of everyone who uses your site? Employers and job seekers?
A recurrent theme in the ‘job boards are dying’ blog posts that I see is a feeling by recruiters, employers, and job seekers that the ‘big boards’ are out of touch. In other words, they don’t know what their customers want. Now, I’m guessing that they would argue with… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on November 17, 2009 at 9:11am —
The appeal of applicant tracking systems (ATS) for employers is obvious: they promise to bring order to the often disordered process of managing job applicants. An ATS can theoretically drive all job applicants into a single pipeline, massage their unruly information into neatly ordered database fields set up exactly as the employer desires, and allow HR to actually manage the interactions with applicants.
Sometimes the ATS works well – and sometimes (like all software) it doesn’t.… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on November 10, 2009 at 9:08am —
Branding often gets a bad rap – as if there is something inherently bad in trying to create a unique, persuasive persona for your job board. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Think about it: most of the truly successful job boards out there have built successful brands. Monster. CareerBuilder. Dice. The Ladders. RegionalHelpWanted. Of course, a brand won’t replace solid technology, good marketing, and SEO. But in combination with these, branding will help push your job board… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on November 3, 2009 at 9:09am —
As I was sorting through the usual spate of ‘job boards are dead’ articles, I noticed other more interesting types of articles: pieces that point to job board postings as indicators of the state of the economy. (Monster has published their Employment Index
Makes sense, doesn’t it? If job boards are posting more… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on October 27, 2009 at 10:34am —
At their core, most job boards are series of one-way communications: employer posts a job; job seeker responds to employer; employer does (or doesn’t) respond to job seeker. Each communication is distinct and separated by both time and method – some might even say fragmented.
Compare to a blog, social networking site, or Twitter: you send out a communication – and built into your communication are methods for readers to respond, as well as the expectation they will; readers DO… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on October 19, 2009 at 9:39am —
Once upon a time, if you visited a job board, you knew what you would get: whatever jobs the board had on that day. These were jobs that the board’s sales force had convinced employers to post, on that job board. If you clicked on a job, you went straight to that job posting. And if you applied for it, you did so through that particular job board.
Well, those days are long gone. Since the advent of job board aggregators such as Indeed and Simply Hired, it’s become so easy for a job… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on October 13, 2009 at 9:04am —
For the past 15 years, the job board industry has been dominated by the ‘pay per posting‘ revenue model: an employer purchases a job posting (and sometimes resume access or other add ons).
Yet there’s another model that has been around a while: ‘pay per response‘. In other words, you post your job, and when job seekers apply to your job, you pay for each application.
On the surface, it seems that pay per response would be more attractive to most employers – after all, if… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on October 6, 2009 at 9:33am —
Is job seeker registration good or bad? And if you require registration, how much is too much? And…how much value should you attach to these registered users?
Personally, I think a little friction is a good thing (as does Seth Godin, apparently). If a job seeker wants to land a job, why shouldn’t he (or she) give up something? After all, your site is delivering something of value, correct?
“But you lose job seekers every time you require registration,” I know some of you… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 30, 2009 at 9:43am —
Sometimes it really is all about the numbers. For instance, you know that your customers (and competitors) will probably use Alexa, Compete, or QuantCast to evaluate your site’s traffic.
Never mind that any of these can be grossly inaccurate – you have to live with their numbers (unless, of course, you’re willing to open up your Google Analytics account to pretty much everyone).…
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 24, 2009 at 9:06am —
In the beginning was the job post – a classified ad on the internet.
Then came the resume database – a collection of job seeker wit and wisdom, long and short, awful and awesome.
Employers and recruiters saw the resume database and liked it. They flourished.
Jump to now. I’m guessing that at least one-third of the job boards launched during the past year lack a resume database. What gives?…
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 16, 2009 at 9:15am —
A rule of marketing (which I learned through hard experience was in fact true) is that a prospective customer must be exposed to your message 3 to 5 times before the message is ‘received’. Why? Because they’re bombarded by thousands of other messages, and it takes that many exposures to make an impression. (This rule, by the way, should probably be updated to 6 to 9 times, given the fragmentation of traditional media).
So how does your job site keep its visibility high?…
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 9, 2009 at 9:07am —
You can’t cough these days without bumping into a ‘free’ job board, i.e., a job board where employers can post their jobs at no charge. Free job site, free Tweets, free everything. Now, there have always been a few of these boards around, but in the past year or so, it seems like they’ve been reproducing like the proverbial rabbits.
What gives? Some would argue that Free, by Chris Anderson, put a voice to a burgeoning movement: “In a marketplace with low marginal costs and many… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on September 1, 2009 at 8:48am —
I’ve built various items with wood for many years. Some resemble furniture, others…well, they were interesting to create. Yet, apart from the sheer fun of cutting, chopping, paring, and (occasionally) pounding wood, I’ve also managed to extract a few lessons that have crossed over to my life in job boards:
1. Never cut first, measure second
. Translating to the job board world, that means you should take some time – a goodly amount of it – thinking about what your next big move… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on August 21, 2009 at 9:17am —
One of the most common questions I’m asked (apart from “Are you British? Because those hyphenated names are always British“) is “How can I compete in (insert your favorite market category)? There are so many competitors!”
(And no, I’m not British).
Well…almost all market categories are crowded. Trust me, this is a good thing. This means that there is business to be had. Yet it’s true that a crowded market means that you can’t simply waltz in with a half-finished job site… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on August 19, 2009 at 9:11am —
There are an endless number of articles predicting the imminent death of job boards. Yet this one
caught my eye – it was thorough and it was re-Tweeted a number of times. (In the author’s defense, it was aimed at job seekers – and despite the provocative title, was fairly balanced. Nonetheless, CB took issue!)
But I (as you might guess) beg to differ. I think we’re asking the wrong question. The real… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on August 11, 2009 at 9:12am —
You know your job board or career site isn’t perfect, right? (And if you don’t, I’m sure you can find someone that will tell you that). In fact, perfection can be pretty annoying, particularly when it manifests itself as a ‘rule’ or ‘mandate’.
But…perfection has its place. Let me explain.
A job board (or honestly, any decent web site) is never ‘done’. It’s always a work in progress. You add that job seeker forum you always wanted – and now you need a Twitter feed. But what… Continue
Added by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on July 29, 2009 at 9:34am —