The Future of Job Boards

In an effort to improve the overall quality—from the candidate’s point of view—of jobs listed on their board, Indeed has made the move of eliminating recruiter advertised roles from its organic search results, beginning January 2019.

Sponsored listings will still be available but for many agencies, the question of return on investment is foremost in their minds. If they’re going to have to pay for listings online, they’re going to want to see a broad range of qualified candidates coming their way to justify the added expense. This change to the online job board model will force agencies to look beyond the online listing to discover other streams for sourcing talent.

Impact of job board changes affecting recruiters

With unemployment figures at their lowest in years, it’s becoming more and more difficult to reach the right talent and headhunters have had to become proactive in their approach to locating candidates who fulfill their client’s needs.

Relying on internal databases and candidate pools can be limiting, particularly with many roles and industries experiencing skills gaps, and recruiters will always need to be able to cast a wider net in order to find the right candidate. However, casting that net on job boards that charge for listings will make the cost per placement higher.

With many job board companies merging—Recruit Holdings, the company that owns Indeed, acquired Workopolis and Glassdoor; Microsoft purchased LinkedIn; Randstad bought Monster—the available boards will be fewer in the future, making it harder for recruitment agencies to negotiate on listing rates and potentially seeing even costlier listings becoming the norm.

Steps to ensure a well-stocked applicant pool

To weather the operational changes that companies like Indeed are implementing, recruiting agencies need to work on several aspects of their reach so that instead of relying on job boards to cast that wider net, they will improve other sourcing options available to them:

  • Being the recruiting agency that applicants look to — First and foremost, building a solid reputation in specific industry verticals is an important way to ensure that there are candidates who come to them. This type of proactive branding effort is a longer-term strategy for most recruiting agencies but is worth the effort.
  • Developing a solid ATS — Without a good ATS (Applicant Tracking System), it’s near impossible to track, consolidate and identify the right candidates for open roles. A database of talent, pre-screened and pre-qualified, will always be the first and best resource that a recruiting agency has. Spending time and effort building and maintaining a database of strong candidates will contribute to their overall reputation. This leads to impressive short time-to-hire results and close matching of talent for recruitment needs: two litmus tests for many companies that use external recruiting firms.
  • Data mining and referrals — Along with the ATS is the need to actually mine the data for resources that might have previously been untapped. The existing pool of past candidates can form the basis of a solid network for finding future candidates. For example, a previous hire that was successfully placed in a very technical role that is currently open could be approached for a referral to other candidates with similar talents.

Working with agencies that have long experience in very specific industry verticals is ideal, as these companies will have already engaged in developing their applicant pools and networks beyond the slightly more hit-and-miss sourcing option of online listings.