June 8, 2016   view past issues

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Job Board Journalist: The Once & Future job Board

The clarion cry – “job boards are dead” – has itself expired. Exposed for what it really was – a marketing ploy by a handful of social media consultants eager to pump up their own business – the term is now about as relevant as a gum eraser.

What does that mean for job boards? It’s time to stop playing defense and start playing offense. Now’s the time to step up and step forward. Not with the tactics of 1998 or even 2008, but with those appropriate for today’s (and tomorrow’s) marketplace. Here are three that will get you started.

Get to know your customers better. In today’s highly competitive talent acquisition solutions market, robust customer relationships are the lifeblood of success. And, user group meetings are the single best way to nurture them. They enable job boards to demonstrate their subject matter expertise, improve recruiters’ use of their products, introduce new product developments, and gather feedback from their customers – all at one time.

User group meetings were prevalent in the early years of the industry, but are now used much less frequently because of their cost. So, take a different approach. Implement “cooperative user group meetings.” Partner with several non-competitive job boards and share the cost. You’ll be able to engage your own customers and introduce your site to others, all while keeping a lid on the expense of conducting a special event.

Reset your brand and your business model. Employers today have neither the patience nor the time to shop at multiple sources for the talent acquisition products and services they need. They are, as a consequence, moving to big box solutions – one-stop shops that can deliver a range of capabilities from which they can tailor a recruitment strategy that is right for their organization. They don’t expect (or even want) to get everything from one place, but they do want to deal with fewer, more capable resources.

To address this shift, job boards have to see themselves differently: they are no longer in business to sell recruitment advertising; they’re in business to provide “talent acquisition solutions” which include recruitment advertising. Expand your product line to incorporate the latest techniques in both recruitment advertising (e.g., programmatic ad buying, video job postings) and (through internal development or partnering) other recruitment products or services that are especially important to your customers.

Throw your weight around on the conference calendar. Job boards spend huge amounts of money every year exhibiting at recruitment conferences. In the past several years, however, presentations on the best practices in recruitment advertising have all but disappeared from their agendas. These events are happy to pocket job board cash, but don’t think job board-related content is important enough to feature – a notion which even a cursory review of the drivel that often passes for job postings quickly debunks.

There are numerous recruitment conferences on the calendar each year, and all of them are competing for exhibitor dollars. Use that reality to make your conference investments contingent on their providing a balanced agenda – one that includes content related to recruitment advertising as well as other aspects of talent acquisition. This is not pay to play, but rather “pay to promulgate.” You’re not pushing to get your company on the stage, but rather to get content on the program that will help recruiters achieve better outcomes when they use job boards.

Food for thought,

The Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle is brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Register for a Conference & Get a Room – that’s right, attend the only conference totally dedicated to showcasing the products and people of the talent acquisition solutions industry, and you’ll get your hotel room for free, if you register by July 15th! For more information, visit


This Week on Jobboarders

This week, Jobboarders features:

Are Recruiting Technologies Broken? A Message to Recruiters by Ane Ohm. Despite the almost constant chatter about optimizing the candidate experience, today’s recruiting technology doesn’t seem to be solving many of the most unpleasant aspects of finding, applying to and being evaluated for a new job.

Quantity of Quality by Gal Almog. Deliver quantity when a job ad is posted on your site, and the employer is likely to complain about quality. Deliver quality, and their complaint is likely to be about quantity. So, what do employers want?

Why Should You Bother With the TAtech Conference & Expo?. There are a gazillion recruitment conferences these days, so why should you be at the TAtech Conference & Expo on September 19-21 in Las Vegas? Hint, there are 5 truly unique reasons … including the fact that you’ll get your hotel room for free (if you register by July 15th).

Jobboarders Book of the Month: “The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success: Four Principles for Optimizing Operational and Bottom Line Performance in the 21st Century” by Peter Weddle. This thought-provoking book examines the challenges and opportunities facing job boards in today’s rapidly evolving online employment services marketplace and identifies four key maxims for sustained site success. It is a quick read, but one that will nudge you out of your comfort zone and into a more dynamic, more fulsome vision of what your site can and must be. Get it in the TAtech Bookstore.

So visit Jobboarders today and ready your business for a successful tomorrow.