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My #TAtechOrlando Recap
I just got back from 48 hours in Orlando, FL where I attended the TA Tech Congress. TA Tech is the rebranded organization formerly known as the IAEWS (association of employment websites) run by Peter Weddle and his son Pete. TA Tech members represent all facets of the talent acquisition industry from ATS vendors to Job boards and more. It was my first visit to the Congress since I sold my main job board business back in 2012.
On the plane ride home I wrote down some of my takeaways and memories from a whirlwind 48 hour trip.
It was great to be back in my element again. Seeing familiar faces and getting to just ‘talk shop’ was a welcome respite for this industry veteran. I was able to speak at length with many of you but 48 hours still wasn’t enough time to reach everyone on my list. So if we didn’t get a chance to catch up you can still find me at some other events coming up such as RecruitDC in May, possibly SHRM in June and definitely HR Tech in Chicago in the fall.
I was reminded once again of the camaraderie we all share as an industry. By 8:30pm Sunday night, there was still a small group of us left at the closing cocktail party…the bartenders had left, the lights were dimmed, and the conversation was still ongoing. Finally huger got the best of us. Myself, Matt Lucas from JobMonkey and the ladies (Amy, Emma, Lauren and Carol) from JobsinLogistics/TopUSA headed to the BlueZoo for a late dinner.
What followed was just great conversation. Matt opined on the story of how JobMonkey got started when, after high school, he set off with a couple buddies for Alaska with no plan and little money to chase the idea of working on a fishing boat. That led to a book and eventually a website. It was a fascinating story. I’ll actually be interviewing Matt for my RecTech podcast so he can retell the tale for you.
We reminisced and learned from each other which is the best part about coming to conferences like this. Special thanks to Amy Noah for picking up the check. Much appreciated!
So what else what else do I remember? Well…
A few sessions stood out. The ones about the Gig Economy led by Todd Goldstein, the Next Big Idea led by Jonathan Duarte and the Star Wars panel led by the Yoda himself, Ethan Bloomfield.
Everyone is curious how the gig economy will affect our industry and the country as a whole. In the group I sat in on, the consensus was that more sites and services will spring up to support and empower the new generation of gig workers. Some in the crowd said part time jobs have always been around but its clear that the trend is only going to continue upward. I wonder if “gigs” are becoming the new entry level job?
Is there a next big idea about to hit the talent acquisition space? I see a lot of incremental evolution happening but it may be good to pay attention to things like VR (virtual reality) and chat bots. VR is probably going to take the form of virtual job simulations for training. Chat bots like what Facebook just announced may also have a place. Imagine a job seeker going to an employer site and interacting with a virtual recruiter” to help answer questions about their jobs or what its like to work there.
One of the main questions posed in this session was how is the move to programmatic ad buying is affecting the industry. Is it a good idea that we are all buying and selling traffic to each other? If you think about it from a job seeker perspective jobs are now ubiquitous. They are everywhere. So with jobs being a commodity how will your site stand out?
* Jobs2Careers: love the team they sent. Have been working with Francis, Nick, Michael and Shelly for a short time now. They bring a great attitude to sales and client service.
* I ran into Kara Duncan (former Indeed Sales rep) from JobCase . She described JobCase as their own social network of hourly workers. Based in Boston, Kara says they are building a great community for entry level workers and helping them find the right company. The more community you can build into your site the better. Giving job seekers a reason to come back beyond just jobs is an important feature.
* Cindy Songne of Hodes mentioned to me how their clients are sending them email lists of their ‘best employees’ and using that list on Facebook ads to drive clicks from people that match the demographic. Sounds rather interesting.
* Two new job board software vendors caught my eye. Talenetic and Jobarto. Keith Potts, who co-founded Jobserve has launched a new platform called Talenetic. He showed me a preview of the highly customizable platform to serve jobs. They seem to also have spent a lot of time engineering the SEO aspect by helping new customers find the long tail of keywords for their market. Their most recent client in the U.S. is the Seattle Times job section. Monthly costs after a setup fee will cost approx $1,200.
Kyle Westhorpe‘s Jobarto, which I previewed prior to the conference has a big emphasis on email marketing and SMS which is built right into the platform. Think what it would be like to have Mailchimp-like functionality built into your job board and you can imagine how awesome that would be. Monthly fees will be around $1,500 according to Kyle. Jobarto is nearing the end of its Beta. The name represents the ‘art of jobs’.
* Converasation Driver – The Gutin brothers of WebScribble have teamed up with Ethan Bloomfield and launched their new sales calling service. It looks to getting some early traction and definitely has strong potential in almost any company with an outbound sales team.
* Great to reconnect with Todd Goldstein of TopResume. I’m going to become an affiliate on some of my career properties on a pay per lead basis. If you need to monetize your job seekers further consider giving him a call.
* Shoutout to peeps like Patrick Gutierrez of ZipRecruiter who it turns out, lives in the town next to me in CT. Roy Mauer and Tony Lee from SHRM who I had yet to meet in person. Peter Zollman of The AIM Group, Alan Carniol of Interview Success Formula, Renee from Droit, Suresh from Pomato, Chand from ITJobCafe, and Marceij from Grupa Pracuj in Poland were among the others it was great to meet in real life. Reconnecting with the snarky Steve Marsden from ZipRecruiter, and my fellow consultant, Jeff Dickey-Chasins was also great.
* The alliances room was popular because lets face it, we all just want to network. Hope that continues next year. The only hiccup was that some people forgot they had a scheduled meeting (including me a few times). Being able to see who is coming is a must have for any conference in my opinion.
What I’m Up To
Recruiting News You Can Use
In addition to my consulting activities I am busy launching new sites and tools for the online recruiting industry. I wouldn’t be the mad scientist if I wasn’t still experimenting. Earlier this year I launched RecruitingHeadlines.com, a news aggregator that compiles and organizes the headlines from major news sites and blogs that cover recruiting, HR and job boards. If you subscribe you’ll get an email each evening with all the days headlines from over 50 different sources. It’s one of those daily reads that will keep you informed and up-to-date. I also write some original content and the site accepts guest posts, so if you want a free back-link considering contributing your advice of 500 words or more.
Top 1,000 Job Boards
I’ve spent the past year collecting and organizing the best job boards into my own directory. Its available as a PDF download for twenty bucks. I break down job boards into 3 categories by country, by niche and by US state. Its most focused on US sites but there are at least a few hundred country sites listed. I am continually updating the list each month. Buy it here.
Lead Gen for Job Boards and HR Tech vendors
My latest project, still under development will be a web site to help recruiters find discounts and special offers from job boards, HR tech vendors, recruiting events and more. Think ‘Groupon for Recruiters’. I expect to launch it in May so stay tuned to this blog for further updates. Be sure to get on my email list.
That’s a wrap. Until next time, I remain…
PS…here’s some pics.
Snagajob now offers 60 cents per registered job seeker affiliate program
Looking for ways to add more revenue to your job board or career blog?
Snagajob is the nation’s largest site for part-time and full-time hourly jobs. Affiliate partners earn $0.60 for each valid job seeker registration (job seekers register for free). They also offer 7 day cookies, contests and incentives, along with partner support.
Their affiliate rep sent me some details to pass along;
Below please find the sign up link and commission for Snagajob.com on Commission Junction:
Snagajob Employer Posting
45 day referral period
20 day lifecycle
Job Seeker Registration
7 day referral period
Commission Junction should have some other career related offers from other sites as well that might interest you.
Q&A with Jim Purcell of TruckerCounty
Trucker Country has listings of all truck driving schools in each state. Future students can use the resources to check out schools near them and contact schools that fit their needs. Additionally, there are resources which show how to get a CDL, steps necessary to become a truck driver, and more. They recently launched their own job board and I asked their founder a few questions about the very active trucking job market.
Who are you and why did you start TruckerCountry.com?
I’m Jim Purcell, founder of Trucker Country. I’ve had a successful career as a professional truck driver, driving over-the-road 3 million miles in just over 20 years. But I had a rough start when I got started back in 1992. The truck driving school I attended gave the bare minimum of driving instruction and overall trucking education in just 2 weeks. I managed to survive, and eventually excel, but it was mostly by learning trucking “on-the-job”, or through the “school of hard knocks”.
But my early struggles inspired me to start Trucker Country and to help truck drivers succeed. I have an idea of what they’re going through, and what’s needed to make each one of the those miles the best it can be. I know the areas you may need help – from deciding if this trucking life is for you, to getting the knowledge and training you need to become a professional truck driver, to up to date information and resources to help you do your job every day and every mile you travel down the road.
How long has the site been online and what are your monthly traffic numbers?
Trucker Country’s been online since 2004. For the month of March, 2016:
Pages / Session
Avg. Session Duration
Why are truck drivers so in demand?
You might have heard that, “If you got it, a trucker hauled it”. Or, “Without trucks, America stops”. These are not exaggerations, by any means. Many goods, at least in part, get transported by cargo ships, airplanes, and trains, but trucks are the only form of transportation that can deliver them (most goods, in large amounts) to and from a business’s front doorsteps.
Trucks are everywhere in our nation and move just about every product you can imagine! There are over 3 million truck drivers in America today, according to the latest statistics. There may never have been a better time to start a career in trucking. Because of the present driver shortage, as well as the usual additions needed just for replacements and turnovers, trucking companies are now offering more to attract new drivers; more money, better benefits, newer equipment, etc.
How long does it take to get certified as a truck driver?
Generally, the process is as follows.
Prepare for and pass the official state CDL written exams. This can be before or during attending a truck driving school. Passing the exams gives a future driver a CDL permit. This permit allows them to get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer during training. Successful completion of truck driving school usually required passing the official state CDL Skills exam. This is demonstrating the ability to drive a tractor trailer; first on a closed skills test, then out on a road test.
Depending on the truck driving school, training can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks.
What is the typical salary of a first year truck driver?
If the driver graduated from a high-quality truck driving school, and the trucking company doesn’t require on-the-job training (in which case it’ll be much lower for up to 8 weeks), he’s probably ready to get out on the road right away. A brand new driver can make $.25-.30 per mile, driving between 2500-3000 miles per week. This equates to somewhere between $600.00 to $900.00 per week, not counting any extras like extra stop pay or bonuses.
Based on these numbers a new driver can expect to make about $25,000 – $35,000 for their first year.
What do you hope to accomplish with the new job board?
A large percentage of visitors to Trucker Country are those interested in becoming a truck driver. Therefore, it seems likely the best performing category will be “student truck driver jobs” or “jobs with CDL training”. There are many companies out there that will put someone through CDL training without an upfront cost of a private truck driving school.
We could focus on helping connect future truckers with these types of companies. Then, as Trucker Country grows with; more material for current drivers, e.g. “How to Find the Best Truck Driving Job”, “Should You Be an Owner Operator of Company Driver?”, increased traffic and social outreach, I’d hope we could become a top resource for all truck drivers.
New Ebooks Coming!
With the launch of my first ebook recently (Job Board Software & Directory) I am busy at work writing more for my readers.
I have at least 3 more in the works for;
- Marketing your job board. I’ll detail most of my main marketing and promotional tactics to drive traffic and grow your business.
- Starting your job board. For newbies it will teach you how to pick a niche and start your site including the basics such as which platforms are best and how to launch.
- Alternate revenue ideas beyond job postings. I’ll explore all the ways you can add to your bottom line.
The books will cost between $20-$50. For those of you that cant afford my hourly consulting services yet they’ll offer a less expensive way to get access to my best advice.
3 Well Designed Job Boards
Design plays a key role in the success of your job board. Well designed sites make it easier for customers to “trust” doing business with you. A client recently asked me which job boards have the best designs so here are three such sites that came to mind. Got other suggestions? Leave a comment.
1. AuthenticJobs.com for designers/hackers. It has a clean black/blue/gray color scheme, features a responsive site design that looks equally great on mobile. Homepage displays most recent listings with logos.
2. MyCNAjobs.com for caregivers. I love the simple zip code search box. As a niche site there really isn’t a need to use keywords. Nice logo, big lettering and imagery make it great to look at.
3. BubbleJobs.co.uk – Though its a more traditional job board design, the color scheme really draws you in to this tech job board based in the UK. Yes its a “busy” homepage but it’s just really well done. The bubbles background image offers a nice touch. I like the icons for diving into job categories.
My Favorite New Widget for Job Boards
FeedWind is my new favorite tool for burning RSS feeds for job boards.
It’s a great way to embed your jobs or blog posts on other non-job sections of your website. Embedding their widget helps you cross-promote your jobs or content across your entire website. It will help to drive more page views.
You can see it in action on the sidebar of CareerCloud. The actual board is located on a subdomain so I use the widget to drive traffic from the main site.
The tool is free but you can remove the small piece of branding text by contributing a yearly fee of $50.
Got traffic? Get a Job Board
There are thousands of small communities online that can benefit by adding a job board to the mix. Case in point, TruckerCountry. Run by a former truck driver, the site offers CDL practice tests and resources that help people become truck drivers. The site reaches 100k users each month so when the owner approached me about if he should add a job board my answer was a resounding YES!
Trucking jobs are hot and show no sign of slowing down as we head into an era of delivering everything we order online. Somebody has to get those goods to your doorstep and truckers are the main reason that happens.
So if you know anyone that has a niche blog or site like the above that has an existing community (and traffic) tell them to add a job board. It will increase page views and eventually add more revenue to their business.
Sales Prospecting Tip for Using Google
Leads are the lifeblood of any job board. You need to find like minded employers who are hiring. Your competitors are a great place to find them but so is Google if you know how to look for them. Here’s how I find leads of companies I want to target.
Enter this in the search box;
“email resume” AND (airline or aviation)
The phrase “email resume” is often found on job listings and company career pages. With a little boolean logic I can find niche employers who are hiring quite easily as you can see below. So for your niche just replace the airline/aviation words with your own and give it a try. Other phrases to try could be “send resume” or “email your resume”.
2016 Job Board Software Directory
I have a new list of job board software vendors and the top 1,000 national, niche and local job boards across the web.
The report contains six sections;
1. Hosted software vendors. Only contains viable vendors that have active clients. I also show basic pricing and other details.
2. WordPress plugins. Complete list of job board themes you can buy.
3. Aggregators. List of the web’s biggest job aggregators.
4. Country by county job boards. Huge directory of national sites by country.
5. Niche boards. Huge list of sites for almost every possible niche.
6. Local job boards. State by state (not including Craigslist)
The file is a downloadable PDF file available for $19.95 on my Gumroad page.
Buy the Directory Today
Job Boards and their Emails
I have talked to 20+ job boards in the past few months about helping them with their marketing efforts. One thing I have learned in those discussions is that many of them are woefully behind the curve when it comes to email marketing.
Sites that have been around years and that have accumulated thousands of email via signups have not been marketing to those people. That means their email lists have lots of dead, cold emails that are no longer valid. One board I talked to had 100,000 emails from 10+ years ago and had never sent any kind of newsletter or other campaign. What a waste.
I can tell you this job board owners, if you do not clean up your email lists and get started with a simple monthly newsletter your job board is going to struggle. At the very least it will be a huge headache if you ever want to sell down the road.
But in order to get there you need to clean up your email lists first and get rid of the dead weight. How do you know if an email is bad? Well, if you upload your list as it exists now into a service like Mailchimp and try to send something you will get flagged and possibly suspended if a large portion of those bounce off mail servers.
So you need to use an Email Cleaning Service. These services let you uplaod your email list and they will verify them with mail servers across the web if those accounts still exist. There is always fee for this service (usually $250 and above) depending on the number of emails you want to check. Some of the services I found online are below.
- Neverbounce – claims they will be integrating with services like Mailchimp soon. Interesting stat: 30% of emails go bad in first year.
- DataValidation – self-service platform provides free reports, multiple ESP integrations, and daily monitoring.
- Mailbox Validator – They have free trial as do most of them.
- Listwise – When you acquire new lists, you rarely have any clues what percentage of those email addresses will bounce or end up as invalid.
- Verifalia – web-based email validation service that lets you upload and validate lists of email addresses simply and easily.
Running a job board today means you have to keep pace with internet marketing tactics. Email is still king.