Security continues to be an important topic relating to all things digital, both for individuals and online businesses. Breaches in security can happen through a variety of means, and one recent ransomware attack that affected the UK National Health Service has a lot of people asking how they can protect themselves and their businesses.
While the impact of recruiting technology is widespread, it’s still something of a niche when it comes to mainstream news headlines. But that’s not the case when big companies with household names make a move in the recruiting tech arena.
Google recently released more details on its Google Jobs initiative, and it has everyone in the recruiting industry talking. TechCrunch has a good summary of what it’s all about:
In a few weeks, Google will begin to recognize when U.S. users are typing job search queries into Google Search, and will then highlight jobs that match the query. However, Google is not necessarily taking on traditional job search service providers with this launch – instead, it’s partnering with them.
What makes the service interesting is that it’s leveraging Google’s machine learning smarts to understand how job titles are related and cluster them together.
So what does it all mean? And what does it mean for recruiting and job boards?
If you’re starting a new job board, you’ve hopefully been making use of Careerleaf’s resources for job boards, and now you’re starting to think about how you’ll price your services.
To do this, you’ll need to know your overall costs and your business model, including what products or services you’re selling, and any other sources of revenue.
Many entrepreneurs may start off with dollar signs in their eyes, dreaming of all the cash they’ll have once they get their new business off the ground. The reality is many businesses take the time to become really profitable, so it’s important to set milestone goals for you to meet along your journey.
- Your First Sale – The first goal is proving out your business idea by making a sale, or a few initial sales, and learning from those early customers. Was the price right? Did they get what they wanted? Will they recommend your services to other people? You might experiment a little during this early stage to find the prices that match the value your customers expect and experience.
- Break Even – The second milestone is making enough money to cover your costs. How much do you spend to operate your job board in the first place? What do your monthly costs for software, hosting, marketing tools, and hours of labour (yours or that of an employee or contractor) add up to?
- Make a Profit – The third goal is generating enough revenue to cover your operating costs and make a profit. Once you’re profitable, you may invest that profit into growing the business further.
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.
I’ve said before that I think you can compete with Indeed. Yes, you.
I don’t say it because I have blind faith in you (although I’m sure you’re great), I say it because I know that a job board or recruiting platform with a value proposition that resonates with and delivers for its target market can, indeed, compete with Indeed.
A focused target market and unique content can define what makes a job board valuable and preferable for job seekers and employers/recruiters to use over using a site like Indeed. Unique content (candidate profiles, blog content, job posts, landing pages, etc.) can arguably come in two forms – original content that is found nowhere else, or content that is curated in such a way that your organization and delivery of it is unique and valuable. In many cases, unique content is a combination of both original content found and unique curation of content that was first published elsewhere.
Search Engine Optimization is never going to truly be a “set it and forget it” tool for getting traffic to your job board or turning up on the first page of Google search results.
Ideally, search engines like Google and Bing want web search to be a meritocracy. Websites and pages that are relevant to the words or phrases you search for and have proven themselves to be valid and valuable should be what rises to the top.
Websites new and old have challenges in managing their SEO, often for different reasons. Old websites usually struggle with updating or cleaning up the structural and technical components of their site’s content, design, and its organization. New websites usually struggle to figure out how they can be unique and valuable enough to differentiate themselves from existing sites, and build up credibility.
There is a view, which stems from the early days of SEO, that making a website turn up on the first page of search results can be achieved simply through technical tricks and hacks. Google, in particular, is known for its evolving search algorithm – the way Google applies your search terms to look for appropriate search results today is not the way it worked last year, five years ago, or ten years ago.
Maybe it’s the magic of reverse-psychology, but our most popular blog post has consistently been 5 Reasons Not to Start a Job Board since it was published.
It’s not that I don’t think people should start job boards. In fact, it’s kind of important to our business that people do run and start job boards. But, there are things that can cause problems for a new job board, and I’m interested in helping you avoid and overcome those problems.
So, back by popular demand, here are 6 more reasons not to start a job board!
1. You Don’t Know What You’re Selling
Why should anyone use your job board? Why should job seekers use your board, rather than using Indeed, LinkedIn, other large aggregators and job boards? Why should employers use your job board either, for that matter?
If you can’t answer those questions, you have a problem. This is usually the first thing to trip up a new job board. If you can’t think of what your board offers that other competitors (big or small) don’t, you’re going to have a hard time selling it to employers and candidates.
One of the reasons why job boards with a focus on a particular niche or regional market are successful is because it makes it easier to identify the problems of finding great talent and great jobs, and then work to solve them.
Make sure you know what you’re selling so you can communicate it to the people to whom you’re selling.
January is almost over and it seemed like a good time to have a look around at what people in the recruiting and job board industry are talking about right now.
The Job Board Doctor has a nice round-up of events and conferences relating to recruiting, job boards, and HR technology. If you plan to attend one of these events, it’s an opportunity to network, learn from peers and experts, get excited and inspired about your own projects.
The events listed include events by ERE, TAtech, SHRM, JobG8 and more. See the full list here.
Whether you’re starting a new job board or you’re giving yours a fresh coat of paint, it’s important to think about your branding.
For some people “branding” just means a logo and a name, but it can encompass a lot more than that. Visual graphics and their placement, as well as messaging and content all contribute to the brand of your job board or recruiting platform.
The following list may cover more (or less) than what you really need, but it should help guide your process. If you already have everything you need, let this list help you to organize it all into a cohesive branding package that makes it easy to use your branding as you create new content and promotions.
A recruiter is angry at job boards.
Because he pays for the service of advertising jobs on a platform that will get him the candidates he wants, but the candidates he gets are subjected to job advertisements and offers from every other recruiter who uses that job board.
They’re all fishing from the same pond.
Most recruitment companies have an ATS (applicant tracking system/software), and use multiple tools to advertise jobs and engage talent. One side effect of using multiple tools and platforms for recruiting is that you sometimes wind up fishing from the same pond as everyone else. Australian recruiter Simon Cox writes:
The online advertising employers and agencies pay for and spend hours preparing is being used to build databases of candidates for the benefit of job boards. Applying for a job on SEEK, CareerOne, Indeed.com and many other job boards, means being encouraged/cajoled/funnelled towards setting up a personal profile on that platform. Everything is about trying to get you to say ‘yes’ to employers being able to search your CV. Indeed.com and CareerOne are actually contacting those candidates directly to offer them recruitment services.