Who would have thought that I would ever refer to the age-old riddle of the “chicken and the egg” in everyday business; but I do. Especially when it comes describing something I call the Job Board Paradox – let me elaborate…
The Job Board Paradox is essentially a vicious recruitment cycle between the recruiter and the candidate. Any business will know that job boards are valuable for recruiters and candidates. Ideally, a job board would have a balance of employer presence and a candidate pool in order to maintain a harmonious cycle.
But if either; (a) Recruiters aren’t posting jobs or (b) Candidates aren’t attracted to the job board, then you can kiss that harmony goodbye and welcome The Job Board Paradox.
Job boards rely on candidates just as much as they rely on employers to continually attract one another. Lose one, and the job board begins to crumble under the pressure of not being able to meet the demand of their users. After all, what use is a job matching service if there’s nothing to match?
So, how do you avoid The Job Board Paradox and make an impact in an already crowded market?
In truth, it’s a balancing act – but the job board has to have an edge…that special something, that keeps both businesses and applicants coming back for more! The job board market is crowded with recruitment services for both the masses and for the niche; so for a job board to survive in a 21st century job board market, they need something that will make their offering hard to ignore.
Take a note from fellow American job boards such as Jobsminer.com who have already turned to social media to create bespoke job matching services (something that is creeping into the UK market now). Companies are now leveraging their social network to access more candidates; a novel idea, except for long term success you need a constant stream of applications and new candidates entering the cycle and that’s the tough bit.
There are only so many people in my social network that will be looking to change careers. Crack that and you’ve got something. There are lots of other initiatives that innovative boards are coming up with, but you must look at the sustainability of those initiatives – will that method of attracting candidates to your board last six, twelve, eighteen months – or will it falter after the first quarter?
Like most things in life, if you have the money, you can spend your way out of trouble – and that’s exactly what the big boys do. Their deep pockets keep them at the top of the search engines, broadcast across the media and have their brand popping up all over the place. I accept it’s not quite that simple, but it does help!
So unless you have deep pockets to spend on advertising or want to buy your way to the top, an ‘edge’ will help you establish yourself in a competitive market. Just make sure it can last or you, like the others, will soon be reaching for the cheque book to keep up – and that can become an expensive game to play.