October 8, 2014   view past issues

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Could Razor Blades Point the Way for Job Boards?

Could Razor Blades Point the Way for Job Boards?

What to do about the commoditization of job postings?

With more free sites launching every day – for example, WorkPop just launched as a “free jobs marketplace … looking to disrupt the job space with a new business model” – and pay-per-click digging ever deeper into corporate recruiting strategies, there’s plenty of pressure on the price you can charge (and actually get) for a job posting.

Sure, you can choose to ignore the issue or hope that someone will come along and buy your site before it becomes totally disruptive, but that’s rolling the dice with your future. So, what else might you do? Well, consider the experience of the lowly razor.

For years, companies like Gillette and Schick had a lock on the American razor market. They sold razors to men and women at very hefty margins. So, what happened? Dollar Shave Club and others saw an opening and began offering less expensive blades. The net result – Dollar Shave Club just landed a $50 million round of venture funding and is taking market share from the traditional companies.

As one of the investors put it in The New York Times, “The big guys are overcharging you, while smaller companies like ours can give you the best products in the world for a fraction of the price.”

So who might be the Gillettes and Schicks of recruitment? The big staffing firms. They’re enjoying a $100+ billion market (recruitment advertising is a $5 billion market) and for years, they’ve charged hefty fees for their services – 15-25percent of base salary. The former makes them interesting; the latter make s them vulnerable.

Now obviously, job boards can’t take on the entire staffing market, but there are two services for which they can compete:

  • e-Staffing – providing a slate of five or ten prescreened candidates as an alternative to all you can get applications.
  • Temporary staffing – job boards have long filled contract, part time and similar jobs, they just haven’t promoted that fact to employers.

Not only can job boards provide such services, they can generate significantly better margins than what they’re now getting from those increasingly commoditized job postings. In fact, job boards could set a price point for them that is quadruple their standard fee for a job posting and still be far cheaper than staffing firms.

Food for thought.

INC Magazine Honors Employment Sites

The online employment services industry is barely twenty years old, and yet not one, not two, but seven employment sites were recently honored by selection to the INC 5000 list of fast growing businesses.

The companies are:


All had revenues in excess of $2.5 million, while four had revenues in excess of $9 million per year! All were also members of the IAEWS.

Please join us in congratulating these companies on their accomplishment … and let’s add some more employment sites to next year’s list.

The Largest Gathering Ever of Job Boards

The number of registered delegates at the IAEWS Fall Congress has now blown past 150 and is closing in on 200+ attendees. That will make it the largest gathering ever of employment site executives.

Why is there such a huge turnout? There are several reasons:

The program – The Congress will examine the Megatrends of the online financial services industry, today and into the future. (Hint: they aren’t social media or mobile.)

The speakers – The Congress features Keynotes and panel members who are some of the most successful employment site executives on the planet.

The venue – Las Vegas, The Strip offers plenty of “diversions” making the Congress the ultimate work hard-play hard experience.

So, don’t be conspicuous by your absence. At the IAEWS Fall Congress, you’ll be able to:

  • meet more of your peers
  • discuss more of the key issues
  • do more and larger deals and
  • have more fun

than at any other conference this fall. It will be held on October 27-28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

To see the complete program and register, please click here.

Changes at Jobboarders

Change is in the air at The IAEWS site announced that it has redesigned the experience with the launching of six new regular columnists.

They are:

  • Gal Almog, the CEO of RealMatch, who will write a column on Industry Leadership.
  • Jennifer Baker, the Director of CareerHQ for the American Society of Association Executives, who will continue to write The .Org Board column for professional societies and associations.
  • Darren Brown, the Managing Director of LogicMelon, who will write a column on The Global Perspective.
  • Ken Clark, the CEO of Recruitics, who will write a column on Big Data and Analytics.
  • Ryan Healy, the Founder of BrazenCareerist, who will write a column on Niche Sites.
  • Kara Yarnot, the Founder of Meritage Talent Solutions and former Vice President of Talent Acquisition at SAIC, who will write the column called Customer Confidential.

Here’s what the site had to say: It’s an astonishing array of talent and expertise, and we hope you’ll enjoy and debate their posts on a regular basis. We’ll be introducing their first columns over the next 3-4 weeks, beginning with this week’s publication of Gal Almog’s post on Why Keyword Searching for Jobs in Broken.

In addition, we will continue to publish the posts of our regular columnists in the Board Biz Daily section on the site’s home page. As you’ve come to know over the past several months, these individuals know our business and don’t hesitate to speak their minds.

They are:

  • Ethan Bloomfield
  • Jeff Dickey-Chasins
  • Sara Fell
  • Chris Forman
  • Tony Lee
  • Ken Levinson
  • Ane Ohm
  • Tom Ricca-McCarthy
  • Kathleen Smith
  • Peter Weddle

All of them are a delight to read, and if you’re attending the IAEWS Fall Congress, you’ll be able to meet and have lunch with many of them.

Change is in the air at, but the vision remains the same: the site is dedicated to serving you and your business as the Center of Excellence for our industry. We hope you’ll make it the first site you visit when you come into the office each day.

The New Golden Rules for Job Board Success

Written especially for those who own, operate or manage an employment Web-site, The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success: Four Principles for Optimizing Operational & Bottom Line Performance is a one-of-a-kind book!

Here’s how one industry executive described the book: “The New Golden Rules offers the most original thinking about job boards sine Monster created its first Super Bowl ad back in the last century”.

Sure, you’re busy, but this book is a quick and easy read. More importantly, it’s filled with never-before-published research findings and data that are sure to get you and your colleagues thinking outside-the-box, both about where your site is today and where it can be tomorrow.

So, get your copy today! It’s available at