Recruiting & Job Search News: Spring Edition

Job Search Bot Reveals Cracks in Recruiting Process


In January I wrote about the importance of having compassion for job seekers, both the highly sought-after “top talent” candidates and the ones who don’t even make it to your shortlist. Even if job seekers follow every bit of wise advice, it’s still so often a frustrating and unrewarding process.


Well, one man decided to build a bot that would apply to thousands of jobs for him as a kind of experiment while he searched for jobs. His thinking was he might be able to A/B test different cover letters and email subject lines. In theory, he would have been able to refine the content based on the results. But he was disturbed to discover that most large companies using Applicant Tracking Software rarely even viewed his applications, and fewer still returned any response, automatically generated or otherwise.


While his experiment confirmed that applying to jobs en mass (sometimes called the “spray and pray” method) isn’t effective, it also underlines how often employers and recruiters can miss out on great talent due to the systems and processes they use. There are many factors at play here, but Robert Coombs’ experiment illustrates how important it is for employers and recruiters to look closely at their candidate experience, and whether they are losing out on great talent because of their processes and tools, or assumptions and attitudes that may shape them.


Changes to Indeed’s Publisher Program

In late March, Chris Russell reported that Indeed would be discontinuing its job search box and text links affiliate products. An email sent to those participating in their Publisher program stated that as of April 1st Indeed will no longer be compensating publishers already using those products, and “those displaying Indeed organic jobs via the the API or Jobroll.”


It sounds as though the majority of job boards who previously used Indeed backfills, or other websites who made use of their Jobroll, will no longer be able to earn revenue from the program.


The move is not entirely surprising. Indeed has widely been used as a tool for independent job boards to generate revenue and buy traffic, but has also become a director competitor to those same board, so it makes sense that they would have less incentive to maintain connections to smaller job boards.


To me, it emphasizes how important it is for both job boards and recruiting companies to avoid heavy reliance on providers of technology, traffic, and/or candidates who can claim ownership over candidate and employer data. If all your candidates pass through and register on Indeed or LinkedIn, it adds to the coffers of those companies, not yours. And if or when they decide it’s no longer in their interest to be helpful to you, they can take their toys and go home.


Job boards and recruiters should consider how they connect to both candidates and customers. If connecting to you requires they register in someone else’s system first, your hot new lead also belongs to your competition.


CareerBuilder Finds a Buyer

Last September the word got out that CareerBuilder was for sale, and now Reuters is reporting that they may have a buyer in the form of private equity firm GTCR. Over the past year or so, we’ve seen other sales and acquisitions of large-scale recruiting platforms, with SimplyHired being acquired by Indeed, LinkedIn by Microsoft, and Monster by Randstad.


Writing about the CareerBuilder sale on, Peter Zollman points out that CareerBuilder previously acquired two data-focused companies, Broadbean and Economic Modelling Specialists International.


One way to look at these companies and their acquisitions is that their data, the candidate and employer information each has collected, is where much of their value lies.
Again, I see this as another indicator of how important it is for independent job boards and recruiting companies to retain ownership over their candidate and customer data. Of course, owning that data goes hand in hand with continuing to market and provide value to those candidates and customers.

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