I have been thinking a lot over the last couple weeks about Randstad’s acquisition of Monster for a reported $500M dollars.
The price was pretty surprising (it was very low) given that Monster, at its peak, had a market cap of over $7B. But, it was another indication that that job board market (as a business) is dead.
Now, both Indeed and Monster are owned by two of the largest staffing firms in the world. Indicating that a powerful job board is probably not a viable as a standalone profitable business at scale (niche, specialty job boards will still stay alive).
This is an interesting and unexpected development, and it has massive implications for job boards and job seekers.
Technology significantly disrupted job boards. Job board aggregators, web scrappers, and modern ATS systems embedded in company websites have given employers more channels to recruit candidates in a shorter period of time.
In many ways, the job board and sourcing industry suffered from a race to the bottom – as recruiting resources competed to offer employers the “best experience”.
Unfortunately, for these employers, the “best experience” was defined by the highest number of candidates delivered for each position. Job boards and aggregators delivered in volume with little emphasis on value. While employers continue to use hiring resources, they have moved to other strategies to recruit talent. Social recruiting, referral recruiting, and word of mouth recruiting has dominated strategies over the last five years.
The impact on the job seeker
Looking for a job is harder than ever before. The emergence of the previously mentioned technologies means job seekers have to juggle dozens of resources each time they look for a job.
Head-hunters and recruiters know this. This is why Randstad and Recruit have purchased Monster and Indeed. They know that job seekers struggle looking for jobs purely online and that the job board market is diminishing. These acquisitions appear to be technology plays, looking to harness sourcing technologies that job boards have put in place, to bring more candidates into their recruiting operations.
So.. if job boards are no longer working for a job seeker, what will?
Structured and focused job search management
To be effective, a modern job seeker needs to deploy a balanced approach to looking for a job. They need to source opportunities online, deliver high quality job applications, while also looking for jobs offline and building meaningful relationships.
A decade ago, a successful job search may have been an 80:20 split between online job applications and offline job search, but now, as companies place more of an emphasis on hiring through referral, and existing relationships, I would argue that it is a three way split.Job seekers need to leverage online job postings, to find out companies are hiring, while submitting applications online.
Then, a job seeker needs to network in a targeted way. Building relationships with hiring managers and employees who may be able to offer you an inside track to jobs that the job seeker has applied to online – or opportunities yet to even be posted.
That said, while employed, job seekers need to be consistently building professional relationships without a specific goal. Individuals who have strong relationships will be able to find jobs quickly, as they will receive inbound opportunities from their peers. Since job seekers change jobs every couple years, building your professional network on an ongoing basis is a must.
The job search has changed – and the job board industry has been disrupted – it is time that universities and colleges deliver a product to their students to help them manage their job search productively and efficiently.
Universities and colleges are using outdated technology that the hiring industry have already moved on before. They need to step on the gas and give their students a competitive advantage, because having a degree no longer ensures a seamless transition into the labour force.
CareerJSM helps students manage all of these goals, helping job seekers manage their job applications, while also helping them strategically network and build relationships. More importantly, as the workflow to our application improves, our software teaches job seekers skills relative to career management that they will carry with them for the rest of their career.