January 28, 2015   view past issues

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Competing for a Larger Slice or a Larger Pie

Competing for a Larger Slice or a Larger Pie

It’s a question that gets asked regularly whenever we stop to think about our opportunities for revenue growth and improved margins. What business are employment sites in?

Many sites would say they’re in the online classified advertising business or, in our parlance, the job posting business. That’s where we began as an industry, and that’s certainly been the engine of our success over the past two decades.

It is, however, much too narrow a vision for what employment sites can do and for what they must do to sustain that success going forward. Today and into the foreseeable future, our customers see their talent acquisition challenge as too large, too complicated, and too idiosyncratic to their organization for a single weapon to be sufficient for victory in the War for the Best Talent. As several Talent Acquisition Keynoters at recent IAEWS Congresses have put it, “They don’t need subscriptions, they need solutions.”

When you ask them to parse that statement, they tell you that they want their employment service partners to offer them a Chinese menu of sourcing and recruiting options from which they can pick and choose in order to tailor a multifaceted talent acquisition campaign that is exactly right for their employer’s unique situation.

What does that mean for employment sites?

We should stop focusing exclusively on winning a larger share of the recruitment advertising pie and instead focus on winning in a far larger pie – one that definitely includes recruitment advertising, but also an array of other talent acquisition services.

What’s that new competitive arena? The staffing industry market. Winning in that market enables us to respond more effectively to our customers’ needs AND positions us to increase both our revenue and our margins.

In 2013, for example, estimates for the size of the online recruitment advertising market ranged from $3 billion globally (by Citi’s Mark Mahaney) to $16 billion globally (by Research and Markets). The staffing market that same year topped out at $122 billion according to the American Staffing Association, and it offered margins that were far more attractive than those we typically earn on job postings alone.

What will it take to compete and win in the staffing industry? As a minimum, the introduction of:

  • new services (e.g., offering a prescreened slate of qualified applicants)
  • and

  • a broader definition of our product – talent (e.g., filling contract, temporary and even part time positions).

Sure the transition will be difficult at times and undoubtedly there will be bumps along the way, but in the end, every one of us in the online employment services industry has the potential to compete and win in the global staffing industry market. And we should.

Peer-to-Peer Networking

Survey after survey has found that, more than anything else, employment site professionals are looking for opportunities to network. They want to talk to their peers to test the validity of their own ideas, challenge themselves with new perspectives, do deals, set up business partnerships and alliances, and form friendships with those who know what it’s like to work for or run an online employment services business.

Until recently, the only way to do that networking was at a conference. There are the IAEWS Congresses, of course, and other conferences from time-to-time, but they’re not always compatible with your business schedule. And when they aren’t, you’re out of luck.

Well, not any more. The IAEWS has announced a new benefit for its members called the IAEWS Huddle-Up.

The IAEWS Huddle-Up is a quarterly virtual networking event. It gives you a way to meet and chat with colleagues in your hometown, region and around the world. Those who used the feature before the IAEWS Fall Congress last year have already learned just how engaging and useful the experience can be.

This year, the IAEWS will be conducting four Huddle-Ups:

  • 1st Quarter: March 4, 2015
  • 2nd Quarter: April 16, 2015
  • 3rd Quarter: September 15, 2015
  • 4th Quarter: October 7, 2015

They’ll add networking opportunities to those already offered at the IAEWS Spring and Fall Congresses in the real world. Those events will be held on:

  • The Spring Congress: April 25-26, 2014 in San Diego, California (just prior to and collocated with the SHRM Talent Management Conference & Expo)
  • and

  • The Fall Congress: October 16-17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada (just prior to and collocated with HRTech)

So, if you’re looking for ways to connect with your peers, join the IAEWS and make those contacts both virtually and in the real world.

Have you joined Operated by the IAEWS, it’s the Center of Excellence for the online employment services industry.

Membership is totally free and you get the best content – fresh every other day – from the thought leaders and business leaders in our field. Even better, you can join their ranks and publish your own posts on the site for your peers to read. This isn’t a static newsletter, but a dynamic center of back and forth communication for our industry!

In addition, there is a:

  • Careers section, where employment opportunities are posted for job board professionals;
  • Classifieds section, where you can advertise Web-sites, URLs and other property for sale;
  • Bookstore, where you can get the latest books about and for our industry.

So, don’t delay. Encourage every member of your team to join so they can start their day with the news, insights, dialogue and debate that will make your business strong.

Private Research Bulletin

It’s tough to keep track of what’s happening in the online employment services industry. Companies are being bought and sold, new technology and services are being introduced, partnerships and alliances are being formed, and alternative business models and strategies are being tested and promoted. All of the time.

Staying on top of it all is critical to bottom line success. But who has the time to collect and read what’s published at the multiple channels that report on such matters? And equally as important, who wants to read everything when only a subset of the information is likely to impact your business?

WEDDLE’s Research Bulletin – a private, monthly e-report – solves these problems. It uses a wide range of sources – both inside and outside the industry – to capture the latest news relevant to online employment and then curates that information to deliver what’s most important with commentary about why and what it could mean.

The WEDDLE’s Research Bulletin is a for-fee publication that gives you your own in-house research and analysis arm. It focuses exclusively on the online employment services industry and delivers exactly what you need to know in just four easy-to-digest pages.

For more information about the Bulletin and its cost, please contact Peter Weddle at

Book of the Month: Next Practices

Doing Better Than Best in Online Recruitment

Best Practices are so yesterday! They are sourcing and recruiting techniques designed for a time that has passed.

Next Practices are strategies and tactics for winning the real War for the Best Talent – the one your customers actually face today and will face tomorrow. They modernize recruiters’ approach to:

  • Job Posting
  • Social Recruiting
  • Candidate Engagement
  • Optimizing the Candidate Experience
  • Managing a Recruiter’s Career

so they maximize their success.

Written by former Wall Street Journal columnist and author, Peter Weddle, these short, straight-to-the-point essays can be read in five or ten minutes and still transport you to a whole new dimension in the state-of-the art for recruiting and sourcing talent.

So, make sure your customers avoid the dissatisfaction that inevitably follows when they recruit with yesterday’s techniques. Get Next Practices and help them achieve success in today’s and tomorrow’s competition for top talent. Click on the link to get the huge discount is offering on the book.