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  • Thoughts on Google Jobs
    By on May 22, 2017 | No Comments  Comments

    Well, the rumors were confirmed last week when Google’s CEO announced they will be officially entering the recruitment space with their own job search engine at the Google I/O conference. The news in recent months about their jobs API and more recently the Google Hire ATS were clues to their job search ambitions.

    commentary on google jobs by Chris Russell

    And just like that, Indeed can no longer call itself the ‘Google for jobs’.

    I have long surmised that the only threat to Indeed, which has become a large and powerful force in the industry (some might say too powerful), could only come from Google. Now a new battle for jobs is about to take place. In a few weeks we should start seeing Google’s new initiative in action as it begins to rollout here in the U.S.

    For Indeed this news is surely something they saw coming. In the past few years they launched a slew of new products like Indeed Prime and others to begin the long road towards diversifying their revenue streams. They knew their dominance could and would be challenged one day. That day has finally arrived.

    Questions Remain

    CareerBuilder, Monster and the other partners like Facebook that are part of this new Google initiative, must be giddy at the anticipation of a new source of traffic.

    According to the USA today story, here’s how it will work from the job seeker perspective;

    EXAMPLE…”when conducting a search for sales jobs in Raleigh, North Carolina, openings will soon begin to appear at the top of results. A job seeker can narrow the search by applying filters, such as jobs posted in the last three days, entry level versus management roles, full-time roles versus part-time, and roles in a particular industry such as retail. Once a job seeker spots something promising, they can click through to the website where the listing is hosted and apply there.”

    It’s unclear to me at this point how job boards and employers will be able participate in Google jobs. To be included in things like Google News you have to submit your site and be reviewed by Google in order to be verified as an actual news site. Will it work the same for job providers? A check of the Google I/O event site shows nothing. And their jobs api is still in Private Alpha with a small number of partners.

    Have they already analyzed all the jobs online using “machine learning”? We will have to wait and see. Some articles I read claim it has “millions” of jobs indexed from across the web.

    I’ve heard some in the industry think Google Jobs will be another trojan horse just like Indeed did with boards over time by stopping their free traffic. I don’t think this will be the case with Google (though I am not totally discounting that theory). Indeed is strictly a job vertical, Google is a general search engine. Nor do they have a salesforce like Indeed’s to go out and solicit employers to post. To them, jobs are just another piece of content to be indexed. To Indeed, they are a source of revenue. Google will most likely push job postings through its ATS product and the fact they are partnering with the likes of CareerBuilder and Monster is a good signal to their intentions. Job boards spend money on ads, they won’t want to upset that. But this probably means you can expect to pay more to be seen on Google since they will be pushing organic results below the page.

    Thinking Ahead

    If you care about your SEO traffic you should probably keep an eye on your Webmaster Search Console and keyword traffic in the coming weeks. For Indeed, those numbers will certainly drop as Google takes over the top spot for many searches they currently hold. With 200 million users worldwide, even a 10-20% drop in traffic wont really affect Indeed’s sales. They already have the mindshare of candidates. I am curious how else it will affect rankings for employers and well established job sites. Some employers complain (rightly) that Indeed’s results rank higher than their own. Perhaps this will right that wrong.

    Whatever the case, things are about to get interesting again for online recruitment. Welcome to the jungle, Google.

    PS…For a recap of other blog posts on this Google Jobs rollout check out RecruitingHeadlines.

  • Why Job Boards Need to Hire Sourcers
    By on May 9, 2017 | Comments Off on Why Job Boards Need to Hire Sourcers  Comments

    If you run a job board you should know that your #1 task is to generate quality applies to your clients jobs. They want candidate flow. If they don’t see at least 10 applications from your board in the first week of it being posted you are at great risk from disappointing that customer and losing them forever.

    If you already have the traffic to generate enough applies that’s great. If you don’t, you may want to hire a Sourcer.

    You need to think like a recruiting firm. Hiring a Sourcer on your staff allows you to seek out relevant candidates online using sites like LinkedIn and Indeed Resumes to reach out to that candidate and tell them a job you have might be great for them. That’s your chance to send them a direct link to the job listing and possibly convert them into an actual apply.

    This could be an especially good tactic to employ especially if your board is new. New sites have a big challenge to build an audience but if you can find the right 30-40 people online, get them a link to a job they might like you can build up the site one by one and keep paying employers happy with enough applies.

    Think about it. It’s not hard to find the right candidates online and message them these days. Thats what recruiters/sourcers do all day long. So I say take a page from their playbook and use candidate sourcing to augment your job board apply rates. Your clients will thank me later 🙂

  • How I sold my Career Advice Site for 30k
    By on May 1, 2017 | Comments Off on How I sold my Career Advice Site for 30k  Comments

    Last week my career advice site sold at auction on Flippa for $30k.  After 5 years it was time to move on from CareerCloud.

    I originally started the site as a social resume platform, but that never took off so I pivoted the site a few years ago to be more about career advice. Eventually I added a job board component and other tools like job leads.

    It reached nearly 40,000 monthly visits but I was having trouble keeping up with its daily tasks as my consulting business is getting busier and busier. So like any good entrepreneur I decided it was time to cut ties and try and recoup the money i put into it.

    In the end, I took a loss on the business but at least I was able to salvage something for my efforts.

    I sold it on Flippa.com which is a auction site for websites and domain names. It’s not always the best place to sell your site but it can bring you needed cash quickly if that is your goal. It does attract a lot of bottom feeders but they do successfully sell higher value properties.

    I started by buying the premium auction for $249 for maximum exposure across their channels. I wanted everyone to see it. They placed the auction on their homepage and other areas to do just that.

    Then I wrote a long and detailed description of the site including its history, who I was and why someone should consider buying it. I included all the expenses, all the revenue sources and other information for prospective buyers. I also wrote who should buy the site in attempt to target the right audience.


    CareerCloud would probably appeal to;

    • Any job search or recruiting related startups who want to quickly increase customers or need another way to market themselves to their target audience.
    • An established job board who needs more channels to broadcast their jobs to.
    • Investors who see potential and want to expand on the platform that CareerCloud has built.
    • A career coach who want to create a bigger voice for themselves and additional revenue streams.
    • A staffing firm who wants access to a national audience and additional revenue streams.
    • Anyone looking to have their own internet business to work on in their spare time.
    • Blogging company who wants to expand into the career space.


    When you auction off a site you also must sync your Google Analytics account and do a 12 month breakdown of expenses and revenue which they use to display profitability (or not). I was also invited to work with a Flippa rep to show them my Quickbooks data which further proved the site’s claims.

    I set the Buy It Now Price to $95k, set the reserve to $60k and launched the auction. Over the next 30 days it picked up a few hundred watchers and several bids. But as the final day neared it only reached $10k in bids. And the site went unsold.

    Then I received an offer from Flippa to re-list the site for free and try again. So I did.

    This time I reduced the Buy It Now to $50k and the reserve to 30k. Potential buyers started leaving comments and emailing me questions. I began to have some serious exchanges with a UK buyer and another one from Seattle. There was definitely interest.

    The 2 serious bidders asked me for the reserve price which I gave them. After a few more email exchanges with the Seattle buyer he put in my reserve bid as the auction came to a close on the final day. I finally had a buyer. The following night I Skyped him so we could meet virtually and answer his questions. Then we set about transferring over the accounts like SquareSpace, Mailchimp, etc. He would simply change his billing information and credit card data to his and take over the services.

    After the auction ended he was required to upload the funds into the Flippa Escrow account. Once I had delivered all the digital assets including the domain name, he informed Flippa to release the funds directly to my bank account.

    The deal was done.

    The new buyer essentially bought it for its SEO value. Over the years it picked up hundreds of great backlinks and that is the value the buyer saw. It would take years to get those backlinks on his own from scratch. By buying the site, the new owner can immediately build on the foundation I put in place.


  • News and Notes from the Job Board World
    By on March 20, 2017 | Comments Off on News and Notes from the Job Board World  Comments

    Here’s a quick roundup of job board news and notes that have crossed my desk.

    job board news

    Indeed. I have heard that as of March 31st they will no longer be accepting sponsored jobs from job boards any longer. Sites that advertise with them now will be grandfathered in. No new job boards will be accepted. This move comes as no surprise to me as they have been focused on going around the boards for many years now. Time to give your money to the smaller players like Jobs2Careers, TopUSAjobs, Jobg8 and Juju if you want paid job seeker traffic. Indeed is also launching their own platforms to build employer sites.

    WorkHere is getting some press. They are a job board app out of Indianapolis which is hiring. I spoke to one of their founders last year if you want to hear that audio click here. I consider companies like WorkHere, WayUp part of the new crop of ‘Job Boards 2.0’ era that is putting new spins on a proven method of attracting talent.

    Randrr. I keep getting pings about this strangely named job search site, but they sure are taking forever to get it launched. Apparently they hired a boatload of people and are building a “smarter job search”.  I question however whether investing a ton of money in our mature space is worth it. Why not go the startup route and begin by proving your concept first? Perhaps they will prove me wrong. Perhaps not.

    Recently re-launched on Smart Job Board: Job of Mine a free job posting site, Events Work an event site out of Canada.

    Climber.com launches personal career site service. The company’s California based career team works with clients to build the career site, so there is absolutely no programming experience needed. Details here.

    Interview with Indeed’s head of tech. By any estimates, we’re looking at about a million jobs in tech — engineering, software development, design, management — that will added in the next two to five years. Read story.

    Ladders, Inc. Announces Integration with Greenhouse Software. Integration features will allow recruiters to find and source the best candidates. Press release.

    Onward we go.

  • Job Listings Need More ‘Friend’ Not Social Sharing
    By on February 27, 2017 | Comments Off on Job Listings Need More ‘Friend’ Not Social Sharing  Comments

    It has been common practice throughout the job board and ATS worlds to make jobs easily shareable with social media buttons. The thinking is people will share them and help drive traffic.

    But it doesn’t work.

    Job listings are inherently not designed to be shared. Cute puppy videos yes, but not drab job text.

    Instead more vendors should be doing this. Replace the social shares with ‘Forward to a Friend‘ functionality. I recently helped JobsInTheUS.com with this very task. We removed the social buttons and replaced with a form at the bottom of each listing.

    forward to a friend

    The idea stems from Facebook actually. On local job search groups people tend to “tag” their friends to alert them to opportunities. Forward to a Friend is the web version of that tactic. They have to know their friends email but it’s a better use of space then trying to get them to randomly share it with their entire social media following. That’s just job spam.

    More job boards and applicant tracking systems should follow this lead and think of better ways to get people to share jobs only with people who fit the job. That would be a win-win for all involved.

  • Job board revenues up 11% says SIA
    By on February 6, 2017 | Comments Off on Job board revenues up 11% says SIA  Comments

    With the job market tightening job boards are benefitting, according to a new report from Staffing Industry Analysts.

    Check out these quotes from the article.

    They remain an important — and evolving — tool for staffing firms.

    We estimate that job boards are growing at almost twice the rate of the global staffing industry.

    The research firm estimates job board revenue rose 11% in 2015, and although the large number of small providers makes an estimate of market size difficult, they believe the global market is somewhere between $10 billion and $20 billion.

    As it gets harder to find staff, job boards will see an uptick in revenue since employers need to advertise their openings more. Now is the time to boost your marketing spend. Onward we go.


  • Hiring for your job board? There’s a site for that
    By on January 31, 2017 | Comments Off on Hiring for your job board? There’s a site for that  Comments

    HR Tech Talent is my latest launch. After receiving many requests from job boards and HR tech companies about “if I knew anyone” to help them staff up, I thought a dedicated job site would be the best tool to send them too.

    The site is powered by Jobboard.io and features free listings as well as additional upgrades. Candidates can upload a resume or create a free public profile and tag themselves with skills keywords. If you are in HR tech and looking for your next gig or just want to promote yourself, you now have a place to call home. See profiles.

    After launching it last week, I received many messages about it being a long overdue resource for the industry so I’m glad its finally online. Go ahead and post your jobs…they will also be auto-distributed to the sites Facebook group, Twitter account and Linkedin page with the #HRtechJobs.

    If you would like to contribute to its blog with a post about working for your company, write it up and send it to me for some free exposure. At the very least you can create a free company profile with logo and link back to your site.


  • Software Vendor Shutting Down
    By on January 30, 2017 | Comments Off on Software Vendor Shutting Down  Comments

    A longtime software provider has shut down. Searchease which was started 18 years ago is now defunct.

    I don’t believe they were powering many sites so its not big deal in the grand scheme of things. The do own a good domain name however so for current providers of job board software I’d recommend trying to acquire it. Would be a good way to help your own SEO.


    Search message.

    Homepage message.


  • Setting Goals for Your New Job Board
    By on January 23, 2017 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    If you have plans to start a full fledged niche job board, here’s the kind of goals you should shoot for;

    After one year, your goal should be to have at least 5,000-10,000 users coming to your site every month. That is the minimum number of users you need to ensure that employers who post jobs will actually get some applicants. If you can drive enough qualified applicants to each job posting, employers will consider that site a success and will most likely post again.

    And when it comes to the question of how long should you work at your job board before deciding to give it up. The answer is at least 1 year. Online recruiting sites require a long time horizon. There are no get rich quick ideas in this mature industry.

    It takes time to grow and nurture your client base and sales. The first year is more about getting users than it is getting sales. You need to build a foundation before building the house.

    So I tell all my new clients to be prepared to lose money in the first year. Your main costs will be marketing and software hosting which can range from a few dollars per month to a few hundred dollars per month depending on how you implement it. That means you might spend upwards of $3-5k if you use an online job board software company. Or considerably less if you go the WordPress route. In any case, it may be a while before you can recoup that money.

    Marketing costs will vary depending on your budget but with no audience you will NEED to advertise your business. Use pay per click advertising via Facebook, Google and aggregators like Jobs2Careers to get your traffic. For every click expect to spend .25 – .50 cents.

    This post is an excerpt from my ebook: The Essential Guide to Launching Your Job Board.

  • Employers Want to Hire, Is Your Job Board Ready?
    By on January 9, 2017 | Comments Off on Employers Want to Hire, Is Your Job Board Ready?  Comments

    I’m currently working with a new client to get their job board optimized for posting jobs. As we enter a new year 40% of employers say they will be hiring full timers this year. Is your job board ready? Now is the time to go through your settings, update your pages, look at your sales copy and double check your order process. Does everything make sense? Can users accomplish their tasks with ease?

    It’s always good to review your site each year and get it updated. Things change over time and you may forget to update pages and fix things that need fixing. I came across this hiring survey which points to good news for online recruiting sites. The leads are are out there, now go get them!

    CHICAGO and ATLANTA, Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – The hiring outlook for 2017 is the best the U.S. has seen in a decade with 2 in 5 employers (40 percent) planning to hire full-time, permanent employees over the next 12 months, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast. Three in 10 expect to hire part-time, permanent staff while half of all employers anticipate adding temporary or contract workers.

    The national survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 6, 2016, also indicates that employers will offer better wages, place emphasis on candidates’ soft skills and reach out to candidates via texts to invite them for job interviews. It included a representative sample of 2,391 hiring managers and human resources professionals across industries and company sizes.

    “Three in four employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “Following a divisive election season, employers are entering the New Year with a watchful, yet optimistic approach. One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers.”

    Trump Administration’s Impact on Jobs
    When asked for their opinion on how the Trump administration will impact hiring in 2017, 23 percent of employers said the new administration would increase jobs while 27 anticipated no impact. Seven percent said they expect jobs to decrease while 43 percent were undecided.

    Full-time and Part-time, Permanent Hiring
    The amount of employers planning to hire full-time, permanent staff in the New Year increased four percentage points from 36 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017. Employers in information technology were the most likely to say they were adding new employees at 56 percent, a notable 12 percentage point gain over the prior year.

    Eight percent of employers across industries expect a decline in staff levels in 2017, an improvement from 10 percent last year. Forty-four percent anticipated no change while 9 percent were unsure.

    In terms of part-time employment, 30 percent of employers expect to increase their number of part-time, permanent employees in 2017, up from 26 percent last year.

    Temporary and Contract Hiring
    The demand for temporary labor will continue to be strong as employers strive to have more flexibility in their staff levels. Fifty-one percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2017, an increase from 47 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of employers plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2017, up from 58 percent last year.

    Five Trends to Watch in the New Year
    Among key trends shaping the job seeker experience in the coming year are:

    Companies will be under pressure to offer higher pay – Two-thirds of employers (66 percent) plan to increase salaries on initial job offers; 30 percent of all employers will increase it by 5 percent or more. Nearly half (47 percent) of employers expect to increase the minimum wage at their organizations and, of these employers, 44 percent will increase it by $3 or more; 20 percent will increase it by $5 or more.

    -Job seekers will need to emphasize their soft skills –When evaluating who they will hire in 2017, 62 percent of employers rated the candidate’s soft skills as very important (ie, skills associated with one’s personality such as positive attitude, team-oriented or dependable).
    -Employers will communicate with candidates via text – 41 percent of employers said they will follow a recent trend and reach out to candidates via text messages to schedule interviews.
    -Workers in general will need to become more savvy on social media – 63 percent of employers said they expect employees across job functions to have some experience with social media.
    -More companies will be open to hiring workers who are short on experience – 55 percent of employers said they will train workers who don’t have experience in their field and hire them in 2017.

    Hot Areas for Hiring
    Of employers who plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in the New Year, the top five areas they will be recruiting for include:

    • Information Technology – 28 percent
      Customer Service – 27 percent
      Production – 26 percent
      Sales – 25 percent
      Administrative – 24 percent