Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Are paid job postings sites dead?

Running Personforce has caused me to think about whether employers will continue to pay money to post jobs in the future. There are a lot of reasons to think they won't. That has significant implications for the recruiting industry and means that sites like CareerBuilder and Monster might not be around in a few years.

1. All job postings are available through Google for free. If a company can post a job to its own site and people can find it through Google, it is less likely to pay money to post a job to a big site.

2. All job postings are available through vertical search engines like SimplyHired or Indeed also. Companies can post jobs to their own websites and they'll show up in vertical search engines as well as a google. Another reason not to pay to post jobs.

3. Any job site can offer an index of all the jobs on the web through Indeed, SimplyHired, or Google's API. On Personforce you can find all the jobs on our network + about 2 million more posted on the web. This means almost any site can offer more job postings than Monster.com or CareerBuilder.

4. Big job sites don't offer the ability to target specific population. Sites like Facebook or TechCrunch give you a much better ability to target exactly the kind of jobseeker you want. Big sites might offer applicant flow, but don't really offer any way to target desirable audiences.

5. Craigslist is free or mostly free.

That's not to say that paid job postings are definitely going away. However, I can't really think of any countervailing forces that will prevent these trends from further growing.

9 comments:

Govind Kabra said...

This is great observation... The vertical search engines are clearly the next big change in Search industry.

In many domains, current services simply rely on submissions by vendors, e.g., jobs (companies put ads on monster), or apartment rentals (landlord post ads on rent.com or craigslist), or even online shopping (vendors put feeds on nextag or pricegrabber).

At Cazoodle, we are building technologies for enabling vertical search using organic crawl from all over the Web. Try our first product in rental search market: http://www.cazoodle.com

SiliconMBA said...

Govind, thanks for the comment. I think if you can pull off building vertical search in these markets, it could be pretty lucrative and scalable.

Most vertical search sites (at least in the jobs space) are really just SEO plays that rely on Google for most of their traffic. I'll be curious to see if Google ever decides to shut them out for somewhat questionable tactics.

Anonymous said...

I think one big flaw in this argument is that sites like indeed and simply hired are still pulling the majority of their jobs from paid job sites like CB, Monster, Dice, and even local niche sites...if these go away, the "free" services mentioned won't have anything to put on their shelves...

SiliconMBA said...

SimplyHired and Indeed actually get quite a few of their jobs directly from employers' applicant tracking systems.

Over time, i think the percentage of jobs vertical search sites get directly from employers will only grow.

Anonymous said...

Larger company sites do show up at times on these aggregators, but for small to medium business who may not update their website as much, or have the resources to run an effective jobs page, this really isn't the case.

The bigger boards give companies like these a better standing amongst their competition when broadcasting open positions. If they shut down overnight, a majority of the aggregators product would be lost...

SiliconMBA said...

Sure, so eventually small companies will just post directly to Indeed or SimplyHired.

It's not that paid posting sites are going to go away completely, but the trends are not in their favor.

Anonymous said...

But then that would require indeed and simply hired to host the postings themselves...which would require a large allotment of servers...and those cost would be passed on to whom? The employer! It could fluctuate, but advertising is a cost, regardless of what you're promoting...

And in today's job market the trends for ads aren't giving any site real favors...

Atif said...

It is getting easier these days to syndicate your news. Digg, Twitter, Friendfeed and even Facebook make it easier to get the word out to the right community. And for sure it is way too easy to send a job alert out to the community through one of those services.

The next decade will see dramatic changes on how we find jobs and how we get recruited. Social Media and mobile technologies will be at the forefront. While big job portals of today will be but dinasaurs from the dotcom boom era. A legacy of the past.

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