Is it time for the Job board Obituary, Part One

Posted on February 11, 2010 by


On the 18th Jan at TRU London I will be in a discussion focused on what the job board will look like in 2020.  I thought it would be good to review where the job board has come from to help prepare and put the considerations into perspective. It turned into quite a lot of thought, so I have split it up into 3 parts. If I have missed out key events then please add them by commenting on the post!

Before Internet as we know it today, BBS (Bulletin Board System) and UseNet had job adverts on them, as early as 1990. As the world wide web developed some of the leaders in the BBS space could not imagine their service being threatened by this new phenomena the WWW.  Others recognised that change was afoot, but the early entrepreneurs of the world wide web moved too quickly and out-innovated the original Job Board Systems. The losers appeared to have the experience, finance and odds in their favour – but it played out differently.

Is History repeating itself? Are we about to see the quick moving start ups within Social Networking run away with the business, killing off the large stabilised job boards of today?  I expect this to attract a great discussion on the 18th at TRU London.

By 1993 – 96 we had a number of job board websites (not BBS) as with all early web stuff things kicked off stateside first. One of the earliest was launched in 1993, Online Career Center (OCC) founded by Bill Warren and was a non-profit organization backed by 40 major corporations.

A year later in 1994, initially part of NetStart inc, Robert McGovern spent $2m investment capital which resulted in a name change in 1998 to along with a second round of funding to the tune of $7m of investment.

A year later the Newspaper industry began to feel threatened and left out. In 1995 major US newspaper groups invested in, a little while later this concept made it to the UK seeing the major regional newspapers buy into Fish4.

A recent headlining site, was flourishing by 1998 when the Super Bowl turned down its ad featuring a janitor sweeping an elephant cage who disappears after an elephant sits on him. Apparently this was a poor taste way of suggesting they could help people out of the dark smelly stuff. This ad spot was snapped up the year after by Monster who spent $4m on a 30 second spot in 1999.

August 1999 saw IPO at the time they were no. 3 in the US.

The Job Board market had arrived and now was public!

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