June 6, 2006   view past issues

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Time-on-Site Isn’t What We Need It to Be

Time-on-Site Isn’t What We Need It to Be

WEDDLE’s has been conducting an online survey of job seekers and recruiters since 1996, amassing hundreds of thousands of data elements about their behavior and preferences on the Internet. Its most recent finding from the job seekers survey reveal that 76% of the visitors to most job boards spend less than 30 minutes on the site. Almost 7% spend less than five minutes.

That relatively low time-on-site is a problem, of course, because the less time visitors spend on our sites, the lower the probability we will deliver their eyeballs and applications to our paying customers. Said another way, our business model depends not only on how many people we attract to our sites, but on our ability to hold onto them for a meaningful period of time.

So, what should we do? In a phrase, upgrade our content. We must get beyond the resume writing/interviewing tips of first generation job boards and begin to build sites that offer a value proposition to passive as well as active job seekers. To people who aren’t looking for a job as well as those who are. To what I call “career activists” as well as people in transition.

What might this new kind of content include? The following topics will provide some food for thought:

  • Career planning: how to figure out what your next job should be;
  • Issue resolution: how to deal with problem bosses, coworkers who don’t pull their fair share of the load, and other on-the-job challenges;
  • Focused communities: a place where career field peers (e.g., engineers, IT professionals, salespeople) can find information, industry news and even gossip that is tailored to them; and
  • Meaningful dialogue: a place where those same peers can exchange views, trade information and support one another in the world of work.
  • Since 1990, employers have been telling employees that they’re on their own when it comes to managing their careers. Working for the gold watch is just no longer possible. Instead, each person will more likely work for 7-12 different employers during a career, and it’s up to each individual to self-manage that journey.

    There’s just one problem with this scenario: workers have no place to go to find the information, resources and support they need to manage their careers effectively on their own. And that’s what we should provide on our sites-a career home for the workers we strive to connect with our paying customers. A place they come back to over and over again and where they usefully spend long periods of time. In short, we should begin to provide the content that will help people be successful throughout their careers, not just when they’re looking for a job.

    Sure, it costs money to create such content, but the return on that investment is real. You’ll be able to sell more business at higher margins because you’ll more consistently deliver the two capabilities your customers want most:

  • More applicants per job posting or resume search, and
  • Higher quality talent per applicant.
  • Said another way, transform your job board into a career community center, and you’ll gain a real and sustainable competitive advantage.

    Thanks for reading,


    Advertising Costs Drop at WEDDLE’s

    No, that’s not a typo.

    WEDDLE’s is revising the format for its widely read newsletter about Best Practices in online recruiting and HR leadership. Instead of a bi-weekly publication, it will now appear monthly. The newsletter will, however, still be anticipated and read by over 115,000 recruiters and HR professionals worldwide.

    WEDDLE’s Sponsorship Program enables you to promote your organization exclusively in one of the industry’s most popular and highly regarded publications. Only a single sponsor appears in each issue, and they are prominently featured twice:

  • once immediately following the lead-off Feature Column and
  • again at the end of the publication.
  • This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to promote your brand and your product or service with an audience of dedicated professionals and senior level decision-makers in your market. WEDDLE’s readers consistently survey above the norm in years of experience and seniority of positions in their organization. No less important, while they receive an average of five recruiting-related newsletters online, WEDDLE’s is the only one they read regularly.

    For information on the new rates for WEDDLE’s Sponsorship Program, please call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888 or send an e-mail request to

    Have You Joined Your Site’s Trade Association Yet?

    The online employment services industry-what we typically call job boards-is one of the most successful segments of the e-commerce marketplace. From nothing just ten years ago, it has grown to a $1.75 billion per year industry.

    That success, however, is now being threatened by a number of challenges:

  • the new Federal definition of an online candidate,
  • the lousy job applicant tracking systems do in identifying the true source of candidates,
  • the placement of false ads on our sites by scam artists who then target our visitors to steal their identity, and
  • the low skill level among HR generalists and some recruiters in writing effective job postings and searching resume databases.
  • How can we address these potential problems and ensure that our industry continues to grow and thrive? Adopt the simple maxim that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Or, to put it another way, band together in a trade association whose mission is to bring our collective power to bear on these challenges.

    That’s what the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS) is all about. It’s your industry’s trade association.

    Formed in November, 2005, it now boasts over 600 sites among its membership. These sites are owned and operated by:

  • stand-alone enterprises,
  • professional associations and societies,
  • newspapers and other publications,
  • affinity or special interest groups, and
  • radio stations and other communications firms.
  • In addition, the companies that provide products and services to employment sites (e.g., functionality platforms, online assessment instruments, relationship management tools) are also members.

    If you’re not a member of the IAEWS, you should be. It’s the best insurance policy you can have for your site and its future success. But, what about the cost? Membership fees are very low and based on annual revenue. In fact, entry level membership can actually cost less than a single job posting.

    How can you join? Membership is available at the Association’s site (see the link above) or by contacting the Association’s Executive Director, Peter Weddle. Call him at 203.964.1888 or e-mail him at