The Yin & Yang of Two Numbers

Peter Weddle

Two recently released and contradictory numbers will set the pace for how job boards should conduct business in 2017.  The numbers were reported by LinkedIn and based on a survey the site did among recruiters.  One describes an opportunity; the other suggests a challenge.

The first number is 56 percent; it’s the number of recruiters who said their organization would be increasing their recruitment efforts this year.  That’s clearly good news, as it means there will be greater competition for talent and thus more demand for talent acquisition solutions.

The second number, however, is 66 percent.  That’s the number of the survey’s respondents who said the size of their recruiting team would either decline or stay the same in 2017.  In other words, as the demand for talent goes up and the need for talent acquisition solutions increases, there will be fewer recruiters with less time to identify, evaluate and purchase talent acquisition solutions.  To put it another way, the opportunity of 2017 comes wrapped in a challenge.

So, how should job boards respond?

Take Care of What You’ve Got

There’s always competition in the TA solutions industry, of course, but as demand escalates so too will competition, and that puts your current customers at risk.  The first task in 2017, therefore, is to reinforce your efforts at customer relationship management.  Don’t assume that just because a recruiter or employer has been loyal in the past, they can’t be romanced away by another site in the present – especially one that promises a new or better way to do more with less.

The core of your CRM effort should, of course, be communication.  Make sure you’re in touch with customers regularly and that your communication is a dialogue, not a one-way sales pitch.  Sure, you should update them on your products and services, but also take the time to ask them about what they need.  What was a highly regarded capability in the past might well be inadequate in a present constrained by fewer staff resources.

Go Get Everything You Can

Task two in this new environment should be a ramped-up sales effort, but one that acknowledges and responds to the new customer reality.  With more demand and fewer staff, recruiting teams will be looking for solutions that connect them with top talent while saving them time and effort.  That will change the dynamics of buying recruitment advertising in two ways.

Number 1: Cherry-picking individual sites for specific requirements is a luxury they can no longer afford.  For that reason, many customers will look to cover their bases by using advertising networks or, as a minimum, sites that are tied in with a job ad distribution system.  While many sites already provide one or both of these features, it’s now more important than ever for job boards to make them a central and prominent aspect of their brand and value proposition.

Number 2: Cherry picking individual sites for job posting alone is also a luxury customers can no longer afford.  They need one-stop shops that provide more of the capabilities required to source, engage, recruit, assess, and manage prospective new hires.  “Solution stacking” is not a new idea, but it’s now a precondition to site success, rather than a nice-to-have capability.

In addition, sites must now feature their stacked solutions as a core (and branded) part of their services, not as an up-sell.  In other words, the customer must believe (and it must, in fact, be true) that the site has made the investment of time and effort to truly integrate the stacked solutions so they interoperate effectively and thus deliver a measurable advantage to the customer.

This new year has a lot of potential upside and no small measure of possible downside.  To capture the former and avoid the latter, make sure to take care of what you’ve got and go get everything you can.


Food for thought,



The Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle is brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.


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