September 10, 2014   view past issues

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The Megatrends of Online Recruiting

The Megatrends of Online Recruiting

If you look at the conference presentations and blog postings over the past eighteen months, you’d have to conclude that social and mobile are the key challenges facing online employment Web-sites in the next couple of years. They aren’t.

In most cases, the commentary about mobile has been about transferring traditional functions to a new, albeit more convenient platform – not a trivial task, to be sure, but hardly an existential challenge – while most of the commentary about social has been about new functionality on platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook … take your pick – that more often than not act like traditional job boards – a boon for stockholders maybe, but in no way a great leap forward in online recruiting.

To put a point on it, the underlying assumptions to most discussions of both mobile and social are that:

  • online recruitment will continue to be a service driven by outbound messaging to candidates (whether you call it job posting on a job board or networking on a social media site) and
  • the way such messaging is financed will remain much as it is today (whether you call it a subscription or a seat).

Both of those assumptions are wrong.

Now before you rise up in righteous indignation, I’m not saying that mobile and social aren’t important developments in the online employment services industry. They obviously are. What I am saying is that they aren’t the most significant forces that will shape the industry going forward. Those forces are job aggregation, people aggregation and evolving business models. Those three developments are the Megatrends of the next 1-3 years.

Here are the key questions which must be addressed in each trend.

Megatrend #1: Job Aggregation

  • Is “all jobs in one place” a complementary development for traditional employment sites or an existential threat to them? Does convenience always trump brand in today’s hectic, fast-paced culture/?
  • If it’s a threat, what can job boards and other employment sites do about it? Are there high caliber employment prospects who aren’t motivated by convenience and if there are, how can they be attracted to a Web-site? And, are there new services for employers – for example, content advertising, bio-targeting – sufficient to enable these sites to reach those high caliber prospects effectively and thereby blunt the threat?

Megatrend #2: People Aggregation

  • Is a database of “composite records” – that is, an amalgamation of work and social information posted online – a new service segment in the industry or an existential threat to traditional resume and profile databases? Does more data always trump less data on the Web?
  • If it is a threat, what can those sites with resume/profile databases do about it? Does the aggregation model have a gap? Does it, for example, collect information that is necessary but not sufficient to make a sound hiring decision? Can other data that are not currently found to any great extent on the Web – for example such individual career insights as preferred work modalities and aspirational goals – be used to re-imagine traditional databases and reestablish their value proposition?

Megatrend #3: Evolving Business Models

  • Do pay-per-click, pay-per-view, pay-per-applicant and other alternative business models simply offer customers more choice or do they spell the end of the traditional pay-to-post business model? Does risk-free or reduced risk advertising always trump the ingrained habits of recruiters in today’s challenging business environment?
  • If it does, what can job boards and other employment sites do about it? Should they try to position themselves as the high quality provider and thus not subject to price elasticity? Or, should they remake themselves along the lines of staffing firms and focus on customer service? Or, should they evolve into more complete talent acquisition solutions providers, offering a fulsome kit bag of sourcing and recruiting products and services? In other words, can the alternative business model be blunted by an alternative business strategy?

These issues are obviously complex and their solutions may well be idiosyncratic to each organization. That said, there’s much to be gained from wrestling with them collectively. That’s why they are the central themes for the IAEWS Fall Congress on October 27-28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We expect 200+ employment site executives to be there and dissect, discuss and debate all three.

For the complete agenda and to register for this Mega-conference, please click here. All employment service sites worldwide – IAEWS Members and non-Members alike – are welcome to attend.

The Association Career Center Seminar Redux

If you missed it this spring, here’s another chance to take in the seminar on Best Practices in Association Career Center Management, brought to you exclusively by the International Association of Employment Web Sites.

In these days of constantly changing employment prospects, a well designed and operated career center is a key value of membership as well as a significant potential source of non-dues revenue.

How can you avoid the pitfalls and capture the potential of your organization’s career center?

Attend the FREE half-day seminar on the Best Practices in Association Career Center Management, organized by the International Association of Employment Web Sites. It will be held from 1-4:00 PM on September 24th at the J.W. Marriott, Jr. ASAE Conference Center, 1575 I Street NW (Lobby Level), Washington, D.C. 20005.

The seminar program will explore key trends, best practices, challenges and opportunities among society and association online career centers and will identify ways to maximize member value and non-dues revenue. It is open only to association professionals who manage or work with their society or association’s online career center.

The IAEWS is the trade association for the global online employment services industry. Its members include commercial job boards and social media sites, society and association career centers, aggregators, job ad distribution companies, applicant tracking system vendors, recruitment advertising agencies and the vendors which work with and support them. Collectively, they power or operate over 60,000 sites worldwide.

The seminar agenda follows:

1:00-1:30 PM

Coffee & Networking

1:30-2:15 PM

Results of the 2014 IAEWS Global Benchmark Survey

What are job boards and career centers doing today?

2:15-2:30 PM

Break & Networking

2:30-3:15 AM

The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success

What must career centers be doing tomorrow and into the future?

3:15-4:00 PM

The A+ Solution

How can associations help solve the nation’s workforce skills crisis?

4:00 -4:15 PM


Seating is limited, so reserve your association’s seats today. Email your reservation to or call 203-964-1888.

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

New Employment Site Channel

Looking for resources and information designed specifically for online employment service sites? Well, look no further. Check out the dedicated channel at

Here’s what you’ll find on the site:

    Books & Tools for improving site operations and the bottom line
  • Site Success Resources including webinars and an unique industry award program
  • Plus much more!

There’s something there for everyone, whether your site is a startup or a seasoned veteran of the online employment services industry, whether it’s a niche job board or a general purpose sourcing and recruitment site.

So, drop by and check it out. Visit today!

Be At Your Best With the Best Tools

Customers often ask employment sites either to recommend additional tools they can use for sourcing and recruiting or for the sites to provide them with additional sourcing and recruiting support. What’s the best way to answer these questions? Recommend or use WEDDLE’s Books – the only resources published specifically for the online employment services industry.

WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This is the 11th edition of the Guide the American Staffing Association called the “Zagat” of job boards and social media sites.

The Talent Sourcing & Recruitment Handbook. This is Shally Steckerl’s tell-all guide to his sourcing secrets and cybersleuthing for hard-to-find talent.

WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. This book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations.

Finding Needles in a Haystack. This one-of-a-kind guide lists over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.