Gerry Crispin is an amiable guy. He is one of the gurus of online recruiting and nary a conference goes by that he is not attending or speaking at. I first came to know him from the CareerXroadsconsulting firm that he and his partner run. They used to publish a book of job board listings but gave that up after the explosion in sites prevented them from keeping it up to date.[audio:http://jobboardsecrets.em.extrememember.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/gerry-crispin-jobboards.mp3]
Anyway with all the talk about the future of job boards lately his recent comments on Peter Clayton’s Total Picture Radio podcast caught my ears. (click audio above)
I was able to obtain Peter’s permission to play this clip but you can listen to the entire interview for free right here.
Gerry says that job boards are ‘dead’ once his example of the future job board comes to fruition. I agree to a point. The boards that should fear this scenario the most are the big three…monster, careerbuilder and hotjobs. Right now those 3 are feeling a lot of heat from sites like LinkedIn which has essentially become the defacto national resume database.
To survive in this new economy these boards will have to evolve, but right now few are predicting their success.
I think the concept of job boards as lead generation tools is still a valid one. Companies will always need leads whether for sales or recruiting. Just ask anyone looking to hire engineers or nurses. No one site will EVER fulfill their needs. In the future, niche boards will become more community focused but I will write more about that later.
The other barrier to the ultimate job site are recruiters themselves. Most of them are still highly reactive when it comes to filling jobs. They get a job req and they post it online. Changing the way they do business will not be easy. I’m willing to bet that ‘reactionary recruiting‘ will always exist. Therefore so will most job boards.
As for the niche boards their value proposition has always been much different than the big 3, and that is why I dont think they are under such a threat. To me they are the answer he gives in the audio clip. For example accountingjobstoday.com lists most of the accounting jobs and if they included a backfill from Indeed somewhere in the results is that not 85% of all the jobs the seeker searched for? I would argue its very close.
But Gerry’s vision of the future does hold promise also for us niche guys. Whats to prevent someone from starting a site like newjerseyaccountingjobs.com that lists all the relevant jobs? Nothing, and I would submit to you that a hybrid site like this would be valuable, especially if you had a network of them.
In terms of the national scene, I’m wondering if this is possible…take one of those hoover databases and mash it with a custom search engine that spiders those company career pages, indexes the jobs and spits out the results. You could call it CompanyHunt: Dont Job Hunt, Company Hunt and perhaps it just might work but good luck trying to access all those ATS systems.
Who among you will start it?