Skip navigation

30 March 2009 6:30am

It’s far too early to be forecasting the demise of job boards, according to Destination Talent founder Phillip Tusing, but they must shift their focus and provide more value for jobseekers if they are to survive the onslaught of social media.

Up to now, he says, job boards have offered very little value for jobseekers; they have been focused on helping their income source – advertisers.

The proportion of jobseekers that finds their job through a job board could be as low as six per cent, he notes, so with social media broadening the opportunities for referrals and networking, “job boards have to refocus on the candidates they claim to serve”.

The job board model itself is not flawed, he says, but jobseekers now have hundreds of different ways to advertise their availability.

“Job boards need to work hard on what has been a very neglected demographic… [they] need jobseekers more than the other way around.”

Tusing points out, as an example, that despite the numbers of lay-offs occurring across most industries, very few job boards are catering to their audience by providing advice that’s relevant to the jobseeker experience in this market

If job boards ultimately fail it will not be because recruiters and employers have rejected them, he says, but because jobseekers have.

Market hasn’t hit its peak yet
“It’s too early to write the obituary for job boards,” says Tusing, a talent acquisition consultant. “There’s now the highest number of job boards ever in Australia so to say it’s going away is a bit ambitious.”

Despite the crowded market and high failure rate, he says, new entrants will not be deterred this year – “technology is no longer a barrier to building job boards, and we will see a wide variety of stakeholders participating in the job board business”.

The problem with most new job board entrants is that they want to become SEEK, he says. “They can’t, because they’re not at that mass media level.”

Partnerships crucial
In the Job Board Report 2009, Tusing highlights an increase in job board partnerships as one of the 10 trends he believes will dominate the Australian job board landscape this year.

Job boards should seek partnerships with professional associations – and other forums where their target market already congregates – and recruiters should focus their sourcing efforts on sites that have these alliances, he says.

Tusing predicts that job board audiences will become smaller, but in doing so they’ll provide more intimate service and better results for both advertisers and jobseekers.

Sites that fit a well-defined niche are likely to be the best source of quality candidates, he says.

Explore alternatives
Now, while the market is quiet, is a good time for recruiters to take stock of the results they get from their various sourcing tactics and to demand more from their providers, Tusing says.

Recruiters that embrace social media and newer technology now will have a distinct advantage in sourcing quality candidates, he says, because so much of the industry is reluctant to do the integration work involved before its value is proven – “there’s too much red tape and bureaucracy”.

Networking has always been a big part of recruitment, and social media sites like LinkedIn simply automate it, he notes.

There is “lots of promise” in sites like Twitter, which, while it has been around for a while, is only just now making its mark in recruitment in Australia. In the past two or three weeks “every” job board has been setting up a Twitter location, he notes. “It’s early days, but I think Twitter is quite a powerful thing.”

With any network however, he warns, “you have to give away value before you can actually receive it”.

And, crucially, there’s no point in trying new sourcing tactics if you don’t measure them, Tusing says. “If you don’t measure it, you don’t know how effective it is.”



  1. Although this post is about Australia, it is equally true about the US. It states, “The job board model itself is not flawed.” I would argue it is and in fact it is “broken” and recently has lead to nothing but frustration on both sides. The job seeker enters “the black hole” of online job applications never hearing a response and the employer becomes overwhelmed with applications unable to sift through and find someone qualified. A new method of finding and filling jobs is essential at this point. While social media is making strides towards a better model, there’s still a lot of fine tuning needed to get there.

    • Chris
    • Posted April 11, 2009 at 9:14 pm
    • Permalink

    I disagree with the comment above,

    It is not flawed nor broken, if employees are getting to many applications to be able to swift through them, they should pull themselves into the 21st century and bring in some type of candidate management system that will be able to filter.

    At least in the UK and for the previous 3 companies I have worked for have had such system, thus making my life so much easier..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: