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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Nov 21, 2008

How and Why: Free Job Boards, Career Content, Traffic Growth, and other Essentials of Job Boards

As more and more companies offer "free" job boards, develop new tools for job seekers, and rely more heavily on internet marketing, how are they competing and why?

For employers, a job board has no value without there being a large quantity of highly qualified job seekers willing to work in their industry and region. I've seen some of the slickest job boards out there, all the bells and whistles, promoting themselves as THE location to advertise XYZ jobs. The problem is that when you open the job board, all the jobs are located in one or two metro areas.

Great. Your search engine marketing worked, and now you're attracting people that are finding no or little relevant content (assuming the norm that more than 85% of job seekers aren't willing to relocate).

With the declining number of jobs posted on the internet, the level of organic content is shrinking, hurting the SEO of job boards everywhere. PPC is great, but can be expensive if you're competing with the big boys. Banner advertising is another growing advertising service that give more bang than the PPC, but for much more buck. Are job boards spending too much time marketing to employers, and not enough time promoting themselves to job seekers??? If the number of job boards decline, won't that lead to a loss of value for aggregator sites such as indeed?

Why is it that SO many people are jumping in the market? Is this the gold rush mentality? Or is there more to it? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that all businesses who provide business services want to expand their product lines, and this is one way that can be done "easily". Just create a db, with a search function, and call it a job board. It reminds me of my State Farm Agent who continually tries to sell me retirement plans. I guess I'm old school- I like to go to insurance agencies for insurance, and investment companies for my investments, which is why I work with Wachovia for my IRA.

There is a long history of companies diversifying beyond their core competencies and failing miserably. Do people really believe the Walmart philosophy applies to business and professional services? One stop shopping at bargain rates for everything you need? There may be a dumbing of the consumer base- now more willing than ever to sacrifice quality and price for convenience (yes, it's true, only the leader priced products are cheaper at Walmart0 watch out!)-, but is it really spilling over into the business purchasing and procurment world? When businesses focus on their specialty, their HEDGHOG CONCEPT, to steal an idea from Jim Collins, isn't it better for everyone?

Nov 19, 2008

2008 Job Boards vs. 2007 Realtor

In 2003, a friend of mine had opened his own real estate office. He had worked for a national realtor for only two years, and was upset about the commission structure. Within 1 year, he had 26 agents working for him- more than any other office in the greater Portland area. The housing market was booming, as was the commercial market. In 2005, he invited me to get on board- get my license and start making real money. This time for the real estate market is very comparable to the job board market of 2006 and 2007.

I declined his offer, feeling that there were just too many others in the market right then, and that the boom had been going on for too long. I'm wary of jumping on the wave just as it's about to crash into the shore. Well, the housing market wave has hit the shore. So, what's happened to all those young, fresh, new real estate agents that were making money hand over fist in 2004 and 2005? Most have found new jobs. Many are searching for sales jobs that aren't available- selling real estate doesn't always have transferable skills into other sales professions.

As the market declined, there were fewer buyers and now fewer people are getting credit (though signs of the rebound are showing themselves this week). However, the seasoned agents, the one's who had built networks and established themselves over years, who had seen slow times before and rode them out, they are still out there, and they are getting the business that there is to get.

Between 2002 and 2008, the number of job boards in the US jumped from around 3,000 to over 40,000. Companies didn't know which way to go, so were throwing their money all over, in the "try everything" approach. Employers were pulling their dollars from the increasing rates and decreasing returns of print advertising, and moving toward job boards- good for job boarders.

Now, for the first time since "online job boards" have existed, the labor market is in decline. It will be very interesting to monitor the support, value, and success of the 40,000 job boards. Will there be 50,000 next year? Or will there be 20,000? The question facing job boarders now is how to stand out in this environment, capture market share, and stay viable as the economy constricts. Are you prepared to win in a losing economy?

Jason Blais on FoxNews

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Using Video to Reinforce Employment Brand