The talent acquisition solutions industry has now entered the Age of FLIG – Facebook, LinkedIn, Indeed and Google. Much of what happens from here on out will be influenced by their technology, their market strategies and their business development tactics. So, how does a small or mid-sized job board survive AND prosper?
It ain’t by wishing for “trickle down revenue.” That’s the notion that the talent acquisition business is so big that even the giants can’t consume it all. So, after they’ve had their fill, what’s left over will inevitably flow to those lesser organizations beneath them. As was demonstrated by trickle down economics in the 1980’s, however, what’s more likely to happen is quenched thirsts at the top and parched throats at the bottom.
So, what’s a small or mid-sized company to do?
Compete. Yes, it will be an unfair contest. Yes, it will take enormous determination. Yes, it will require true innovation. And yes, it will probably also depend on a bit of luck. But, any company outside the FLIG only has two choices. Stand back and let events happen to you or do what you can to shape those events to your advantage.
Now, to be clear, I think it’s important to play nice with the FLIG. As we know, however, not all of the FLIG are willing to play nice in return, so go into any potential relationship with your eyes wide open, but where’s it’s possible, get along. For example, participate in Google for Jobs so your postings are indexed on the site for job seekers to see. Similarly, sign up for Google’s Cloud Job Discovery so you can enhance the search results of the job seekers that visit your site.
What else should you do? Well, as I suggested in a previous post, one important strategy is to build a strong brand, especially among job seekers. It’s all fine and good to have your jobs listed on Google, for example, but if your site isn’t well known or doesn’t stand for anything special (at least among your target demographic), the job seekers you seek are likely to choose someplace else to apply for those openings.
In addition, if your site isn’t already the member of a job ad distribution or programmatic ad buying network, consider joining one. The candidate reach of such groups compares well to the reach of the FLIG. Indeed, it’s plausible to argue that the reach of these groups is even deeper than the FLIG because many of the sites in the network are niche job boards and/or associations – sites that are especially good at tapping into the passive candidate population.
Finally, integrate your organization into an end-to-end talent acquisition solution. Yes, I realize those words trip lightly off the tongue, but are a heckova’ lot harder to put into practice. Nevertheless, it is possible to build a consortium of best-in-breed solutions that offers employers an all-encompassing, top-of-the-funnel-to-the-bottom capability.
There are two requirements to forging such partnerships successfully, however. First, it has to be a true business development partnership, not an agreement on paper that has all the staying power of a New Year’s resolution. The partners need to establish KPIs for evaluating their individual and joint performance and a mechanism for remediating shortfalls. Second, the partnership must be branded and marketed as a stand-alone solution. In other words, it has to have a presence in the marketplace because that’s the only way it can be positioned as an alternative to the FLIG.
I realize there are some who say that the recent arrival of the FLIG will change life as we know it on planet Earth. I’d prefer to believe that, as with most science fiction, what seems at first to be an indomitable force is actually susceptible to the genius of everyday folks (or job boards).
Food for thought,
TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.
Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:
• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment. See you next year!
• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. See you next year!
• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities. See you next year!
• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying by both publishers and advertisers.
• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the Global Economic Forum of recruiting, this event brings together thought & business leaders from job boards and all other talent acquisition technology solutions companies around the world.