Is it time for the Job board Obituary: Part Three

Posted on February 16, 2010 by


Following on from part two , where the recent history of the job board market was reviewed in preparation for the “Job Boards 2020?” discussion at TRU London.

In the UK there were (pre-recession) 600,000 jobs available a month. Many of these would be advertised on multiple job boards. The big job sites expose between them around 150,000 de-duped jobs. So how will the job seeker get exposed to the other 450,000 jobs?  The market fragmentation of thousands of small job boards has created a new sector – the job search engine (or aggregator). In the US, attracts similar traffic to at around 3.3m a day. Simply Hired who attract about a tenth of the traffic recently secured a second round investment of over $20m to focus on their domestic market.

These sites such as mine,, answer the problem that a generic search engine typically does not help with. They provide job based search to find the right job on the right job website. This introduces the jobseeker to the website and the vacancy, in exactly the same way as Google. This sector of sites, including does not take online applications.

Last but not least we have the Social Networks. You could say the first was Friends Reunited which went big, until ITV acquired it. Then MySpace was the fad, until owned by News International. Then Facebook blew up, with Bebo always behind biting at its ankles. More recently we have seen the grwoth of Twitter offering a different service and co-existing with Facebook. In the middle somewhere a few bright sparks recognised this social stuff could have a professional potential, amongst others and both had a go.

So social giants with 320m users could become leading job boards – although apart from LinkedIn this does appear to sit “on strategy” for them. These enormous silos of potential candidate information and users have many entrepreneurial recruiters working to increase direct candidates and save money.

So what is next? What will 2020 look like?

We now have many companies running career sections on their corporate website taking candidates direct cutting out rec con and job board. We have recruitment agencies, some small, snapping up candidates directly from the web, bypassing job boards. There are recruitment agencies so large their volume of jobs create a job board all on its own, remember where comes from?

Will social networks kill off Job Boards?

Well they are unlikely to do so by turning into job boards – that will just be suicide for the social network (not including LinkedIn).

But will access to these networks make job boards redundant?

Do job boards continue to fulfil a requirement in the market? – if not they need to understand the changes and move rapidly.

Perhaps the killer questions include:

++ Is the problem that job boards solve, changing?

++ How is it changing?

++ How can the Job Board solve these new problems?

I personally sit in the camp that the job board is needed, there may / should be evolutionary growth and some might fail, some of those might be big, but the recruitment problem is so very wide that it deserves a range of dedicated solutions. The description Job Board may change. The power and potential of Social Recruitment will force change. We at are already enjoying various benifits from Social Recruitment.  The 2020 job sites will be different but they WILL exist. And a topic that is missed frequently – it will be more mobile! The entire web behaviour will be more Mobile and outside the browser by 2020!

After all a job seeker needs to seek! And job hunting is not very social – does any job seeker enjoy it?

I hope you enjoyed my shared thoughts and found the last 3 blog posts as food for thought. I really look forward to seeing you on Wednesday at TRU London.

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