“You say you want a revolution, well, you know, we’re all doing what we can.” – The Beatles
“We’re pinheads all, jocko homo.” -DEVO
These lyrics really get to the two extremes of what recruiters, employers, and job seekers think might happen with job boards. On the one hand, there are those who think job boards are on the way out, ‘devolving’ into lowest common denominator sites that carry fake jobs and offer little value.
On the other hand, there are those who think that only a revolution (think ‘social media’) can save the industry. Tear down the barricades and march in the street!
Me, I’m more a Darwinian kind of guy – job boards are evolving. Some will do so successfully (and thrive). Others will fall off the evolutionary ladder and end up in the dustbin of history. I know there will be a whole lot of morphing going on. That conventional job board you knew (and sometimes loved) picks up a new Web 2.0 skin, adds a bunch of content, and calls itself an employment portal. That blue and white aggregator suddenly decides to act like a job board. And that monstrously big job board starts popping up in places like Facebook.
So, if I’m right, then what are some of the ‘evolutionary’ behaviors we should see?
The thing about evolution is that it happens slowly and is by definition an adaptive process. That means that other things that are flashier and noisier can seem more important, more vital, more, well, revolutionary.
Yet what often happens is the revolution falls apart and others swoop in to pick up the nuggets of ‘usefulness’ left behind. I think smart companies instinctively know this – thus the saying ‘it hurts to be bleeding edge’. Consider the iPad: tablets had been around for quite some time, but Apple improved the hardware and software, applied their marketing genius – and suddenly tablets were ‘the new thing’. Revolution? Nope, more like evolution.
Now (with apologies to DEVO and the Beatles) I will return you to your regularly scheduled program….