The evolution of job boards

The evolution of online recruitment, as with the growth of the digital landscape in South Africa, has been buoyant over the last few years. Over the years the basic online job board has evolved into so much more in order to meet a bevy of complex recruiting needs. Here is a breakdown of the current job board terrain.
Marc Privett
Marc Privett
The all rounder: A career portal

Shifting away from a purely transactional jobs/applications model, The all rounder or career portal is a site that provides content, courses, job opportunities and events around a particular industry.

Users visit the site for different offerings at different points in their career, while a complex lifecycle campaign uses the data collected to grow audience engagement and target individuals with opportunities and services.

This evolution is one of the most exciting outcomes, although in some cases probably one of the hardest to achieve due to the change of identity. Success means the business opens up new revenue streams, such as sponsored content, career services, courses and more, which in turn provide data to help strengthen their core recruitment offering.

At Careers24, our South African focused content offers support that covers all job seeker needs from using online tools to find jobs, to the interview process and understanding the dynamics of the corporate environment for those who have not been exposed to it. We recognise that job seekers in South Africa, and in particular first time job seekers, require guidance.

The trafficker: A CPC model

The trafficker takes advantage of recruitment aggregators and networks that pay for traffic and applications. This type of job board has no sales team but instead focuses on marketing to drive traffic to partners, which in turn boosts their click revenue.

It’s a model we’re seeing used in conjunction with pay per post at the moment, but one that isn’t without risk. The control and power sits with the provider of jobs, rather than the job board.

The South African market prefers the all-you-can-eat approach to recruitment advertising and candidate sourcing. I believe, however, that as our market matures and recruiters become more sensitive to ROI on their recruitment marketing costs that we will see increased adoption of this model in the future. International job sites have entered the SA market along with this model as it is preferred in mature markets.

The transmitter: A broadcast and optimisation service

The transmitter focuses on getting jobs promoted across different channels and collecting the applications. It sits within the pay per post model but plays on being a one stop service for an employer.

The emphasis is on optimising and transmitting your job outwards from the job board, so for example it could include components like publishing a well-constructed promoted tweet, sending segmented email campaigns, running banner advertisements or posting your job on to aggregators.

This is a move away from the concept of your job board being a single point of access to a professional audience. There are certain job boards that offer this service as an upsell currently, for example Monster.

The South African online recruitment space is relatively small, so I do not believe that there is much space for this type of business yet in our market.

The collector: A loss leader data collection point

The collector doesn’t monetise a recruitment offering via pay to post or CPC, instead the job posting might be free and it may operate at a loss. The benefit is the amount of user data collected via applications or profiles. This data is then fed through to a larger data management platform (DMP) and used to power other parts of the business.

This is an interesting model as there are only a few systems (dating, recruitment) where you get so much rich data about an individual. This data can be used to target individuals to attend events, partake in courses, subscribe to content sites, or buy certain products.

While Careers24 does offer some partnership exposure, our core business will always remain helping candidates find their next role, and helping recruiters find the ideal candidate. I feel that baiting candidates with jobs in exchange for their personal data is unethical, and against everything that Careers24 stands for.

The hybrid: A recruitment consultant

The hybrid is a job board that has crept up the recruitment value chain and started to offer services more akin to a recruitment consultant. There is a “guaranteed response” offering and a "CV screening service", allowing the employer to be confident that they’ll receive a good ROI for their recruitment spend.

There are some examples of job boards moving in this direction but challenges remain about being a neutral partner to other recruitment consultants and having the right skills within the business to perform those services.

In the less formalised Nigerian recruitment market there is a need for candidate response handling and interviewing. Careers24 in Nigeria has adopted this model successfully where we have built a team to deliver this service on behalf of our clients.

23 Jan 2017 11:20


About the author

Marc Privett is the General Manager of Careers24.