The last big thing risks becoming the next big obsolescence.
By Madeline Laurano
Disruptive technology either creates new markets or destroys existing markets. In 1990, job boards and the advent of online recruitment achieved both of these goals by drastically transforming the recruitment industry. By 2004, market-tracking company Corzen Inc. reported that leading online job boards tripled the revenue growth of newspaper classified ads.
Clearly, job boards proved to be a game changer, but like many disruptive technologies, they soon become the status quo—sitting ducks to be targeted by the next innovation. Unfortunately, job boards never evolved. As the recruitment industry matured, job boards remained stagnant, focusing on growing larger without growing better. When it came to keeping the pace in recruitment technology, they failed in a big way.
In today’s global economy, speed and cost-efficiency are still important for organizations looking to fill positions, but when it comes to talent acquisition, quality is front and center. Very simply, organizations cannot afford a bad hire. The “post and pray” model associated with job boards has been ineffective at helping organizations identify quality of hire. As a result, job board giants, Monster and CareerBuilder, are facing increasing competition from both traditional providers and innovative startups. New providers offering more effective and user-friendly solutions are gobbling up market share and serving as a replacement to job boards.
What does this mean for the future of job boards? In the wake of these changes, job boards have two options. One is to continue down a path of self-destruction (i.e. grow even larger without innovation, as with Monster’s acquisition of HotJobs). The second is to completely reinvent themselves. Fortunately, Monster and CareerBuilder have more recently chosen the latter.
Here’s why job boards don’t work:
1. New Options: With escalating costs and few results, job boards have become a frustration for organizations and job seekers. In fact, 84 percent of the talent pool is not using job boards. Organizations such as 7-Eleven, LifeFitness, Novartis, and Dell are moving away from job boards in favor of solutions such as LinkedIn, Jobs2Web, and various social networking sites. Startups such as OneWire, MyPerfectGig, and StartWire are also providing alternatives to both organizations and individuals.
2. Tactical vs. Strategic: Job boards are not designed to help organizations facing unemployment, resume overload, and workforce demographics. All are issues influencing talent acquisition professionals. Job boards simply help organizations post job openings. In fact, many refer to job boards as the “lazy” recruiters’ tool. A study by Jobs2Web found that recruiters look through 219 resumes per job posted on Monster compared to 33 resumes on their corporate career websites. The more strategic talent acquisition becomes, the more tactical job boards prove to be.
3. Business Model: Although traffic on job boards is still relatively high, recruiting advertising has plummeted. Shares for Monster have dropped 44 percent to $13.27 as a result of poor performance and May’s disappointing job report. As more organizations turn to alternative sites, job boards will continue to face economic instability.
Monster’s 6 Sense solution set has the potential to shake up the talent acquisition market by moving recruiters away from keyword searches that offer no engagement between candidates and recruiters. Instead, through semantic search, they open up the pool of candidates and then rank them based on a defined skill set. The key to 6 Sense will come through talent analytics and the ability to give organizations a snapshot of their workforce based on all of the data they have collected.
CareerBuilder is looking to transform into a platform technology company (think Amazon or Netflix for recruitment). With 25 million unique visitors each month and 1600 partnerships, CareerBuilder is offering a new solutions set including a supply and demand portal, applicant experience survey tool, compensation portal, and talent network. When it comes to analytics, CareerBuilder has the advantage through a partnership with Wanted Technologies. This partnership offers customers intelligence into the supply and demand for data as well as labor pressure trends over a period of time.
At one time considered a low-cost, revolutionary recruiting tool, job boards are quickly becoming obsolete. Organizations are choosing alternatives such as social media and search engine optimization to attract and identify quality of hire. With decreased recruitment ads and a drop in market shares, Monster and CareerBuilder are reinventing themselves to respond to the demand in today’s market. Their success will depend on their ability to market new products, partner with innovative providers, and address the challenges of both organizations and job seekers.
Madeline Laurano is talent systems practice manager with Korn/Ferry International.