Rememberwhen driving candidate traffic to the open jobs at your company was simple? The formula was basic when two or three job boards dominated the scene.
HR leaders everywhere used to enter into an annual contract with either Monster or CareerBuilder to give us all the postings we needed to fill our jobs, plus access to their résumé database — just in case our recruiters were feeling frisky and wanted to act like “hunters.” It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
When the annual contract renewal came around, we’d pit the incumbent giant job board against the other big competitor to get the best deal we could. Good times.
Those were the good old days. They’ve been on the way out for a while, and a recent news release by Monster underscores how gone those simple times are. Monster outlined new initiatives for aggregating jobs beyond what clients pay for and collecting candidate profiles beyond what candidates upload directly to Monster servers.
The strategic shift by Monster underscores what you already knew. Recruiting’s future vendor scene won’t be driven by job postings, and there’s three macro-trends that are vying for your budgeted recruiting dollars.
Those trends are “search,” “social profiles” and “reputation.” The companies that best represent these trends are Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn — the three horsemen of recruiting’s future.
To understand why these trends matter, all you have to do is follow candidate behavior.
1. Let’s start with search. The big job board model no longer works because candidate behavior has changed. Ten times more job seekers start their search on Google than anywhere else, and only 4 percent start with a specific company in mind. Candidates no longer go to a site like Monster or CareerBuilder to start their search. They Google it by job type and location.
Indeed was an early mover to aggregate as many jobs as possible from all sources for free. It fine-tuned its SEO and turned the broad aggregation strategy into a powerhouse. Through that aggregation, the new chain of command for candidate job search goes like this: go to Google, which takes you to indeed.com, which then takes you to a company Careers page.
As a result of that broad aggregation strategy, Indeed is now the No. 1 source for hires across corporate America. Indeed makes money by selling pay-per-click campaigns and premium placements seen by candidates when they come through indeed.com. Remember, the new path is “Google to indeed.com to your career site.” Turns out, by becoming a way station of recruiting via aggregation, money can be made.
2. What about social profiles? LinkedIn is the golden child of candidate databases, now claiming to have 300 million unique profiles. It’s the database of choice for recruiters, and while the service represents the biggest database of potential candidates, it’s not without issues.
LinkedIn’s biggest issue is the delicate balance to represent itself as a professional networking site while attempting to realize its revenue potential. We’ve seen countless tweaks and experiments to LinkedIn’s model.
Overall engagement is LinkedIn’s biggest challenge. As it continues to find the sweet spot of revenue generation, it has gradually started to limit information.
3. Reputation is the last macro-trend that’s changing the recruiting scene. Back when Monster was in its heyday, Glassdoor was offering jaded employees a place to rant anonymously about how poorly a company treated them. HR pros didn’t get it and didn’t trust it.
In today’s user-generated review world (think Amazon and Yelp), the Glassdoor model of offering employee-drivencompany reviews, CEO ratings and salary reports seems acceptable. Glassdoor’s drive to become the destination of choice for company reputation is an attempt to aggregate eyeballs — just like Indeed and LinkedIn have done — with a different model.
Look at the trends of search, social profiles and reputation and you’ll see why traditional job boards are struggling.
The irony? Indeed makes most of its revenue off a pay-per-click model/remix of job boards, and LinkedIn and Glassdoor will undoubtedly continue to look for ways to successfully market job postings.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s just harder to spend your money in one place.