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Last week I shared our data & my views about the job seeker’s perspective on job boards, on job hunting and on recruitment. Now let’s explore the recruiter’s perspective and look at some of the job board innovations over the last couple of years to address their needs and desires.

Simplicity in a complex world

For most recruiters the world has become more and more complex, the audience more fragmented, the individual more demanding, recruitment budgets tighter, red tape and political correctness more ridiculous, software & technology more complicated and involved.  Consequently, the business audience uses mainly core services like advertising and searching CVs, but has less demand for added extras.

Let me underpin this with some research findings:

Biggest customer needs

  • Time: HR professionals are incredibly time poor
  • Good CVs: Calibre of candidates is always critical
  • Advice/Strategic insight: Either as they are young and not very seasoned, or they didn’t grow up with the web and are in over their head with technology.
  • Service: A majority are not supported/valued by the rest of the company

Online recruiting is being used for the following reasons:

  • Larger numbers of jobseekers accessible & increases chances to find suitable candidates
  • Recruitment is more convenient
  • Recruitment is much quicker

So much more than just a job board

We, job sites, are an understated bunch and one could be confused in thinking that we just put the old classified model on the web and have not evolved since our beginnings over 16 years ago. But we are so much more than just a job board. I like to think of us as recruitment retailers – closer to Amazon than to The Times, closer to Tesco than The Telegraph. Permanently connecting and learning from candidates, permanently evolving our technology applications, permanently looking to add value to our customers. And most of all we are not about ads – be it corporate or personal ones – we are about people, about the individual – we are about “helping you plan your work life, so your whole life works better.”

Let me highlight some applications a recruiter gains access to when using a job site and therefore experiences simplicity in this complex world:

Search Engine Optimization – since before Google came to prominence, Jobsite always SEOed all vacancies and all corporate pages and still does now. Recruiters benefit from the link juice of our authority site.

Social Media integration – Job sites are obviously involved with social media, for example last year we launched our jobs-by-twitter. So any job posting/vacancy that has relevance for a follower is being tweeted. We differentiate ourselves, however, by the fact that we don’t just broadcast our jobs. That might seem naïve in the first instance, but is actually based on our belief and promise of making job seeking easier, more convenient and more relevant, instead of just pushing it out into the twittersphere. I also firmly believe that it’s in-sync with the Twitter and social media etiquette. For a more detailed description, have a read of the post “Building an app for twitter”.

Aggregation – If a job seeker comes to a job site, we want to present them with a selection of relevant vacancies. The search and matching technology is obviously highly relevant here (and for me it’s the centre piece, the heart of every job site), but it’s also the number of job postings we can choose from. So at we aggregate job postings from other sites within our network. For example, if a candidate looks for “FX Trader”, but can’t deliver a match, but can, then we present the CityJobs’ one to the job seeker. Elegant, isn’t it?

Mobile – 3,5% of’s visits come from mobile devices and this will be growing. Our iPhone app has been downloaded over 120,000 times. Connecting candidates to recruiters in the most meaningful way and via the channels of their choice is our cause – and that’s why we are also at the forefront of mobile developments, so much so that we won the Mobile Merit Award for Mobile Marketing.

Behavioral targeting – That’s a really cool piece and currently my personal favorite: If a candidate comes to Jobsite and views a job posting but doesn’t apply and then moves to another site, an unobtrusive, slightly branded banner is displayed – just listing the key ingredients of the job they’ve just looked at as well as a similar recommendation. That’s cool as it takes into account dynamic behavior and the workings of the unconscious mind.

Crowd sourcing – we’ve introduced this before the term “crowd sourcing” existed – it ultimately uses data intelligently by recommending jobs based on the application of people that applied for the same job. It’s always incredibly accurate and drives around 8% of applications.

Referral – peer to peer recommendations – another job board classic.  On we have a service called “email a friend” – a candidate can send a job to a friend for consideration. In the first six months of this year nearly 300k of these peer to peer connections were made. These are significant numbers and without any prompting, without any time investment by any recruiter.

Technology – yes, we all want our search results to be more accurate, everyday we are working on it, every day we are tweaking and innovating. However, we are dealing with people, so the data is unstructured in comparison to books et al. I could also call it “user generated content” – if the cooler terminology aids the understanding. We are dealing with people, so we want to make job seeking and finding as easy and as natural as possible – and squeezing them into classifications or making them fill out long questionnaires is the opposite. As I said in a previous post, our objective is to increase the number of people getting an interview and finding a job. And just as a quick add on: 4 out of 10 regional newspaper sites in the UK are powered by Jobsite‘s technology, so is NHSjobs.

Market place instead of walled garden

This list is not extensive, but is just an example to highlight standard practises of any serious job site. There are many more bespoke practises and services that I might discuss in another post. And there are some absolutely cool things in development. So watch this space.

We job sites, obviously need to evolve and push the items above much, much further and change our culture from being a walled garden to a more open market place, embracing other ideas even more so and therefore enriching and simplifying the experience for our job seekers and recruiters. But one thing is for sure: As long as we continue to integrate, to evolve and to adapt, candidates and recruiters will increasingly use “simple” job sites in this increasingly complex world.

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