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The decline of the job board?

As marketers, educators and parents are still scratching their heads to figure out Gen Y it seems there is already a new challenge ahead: Gen C. This time it’s not a based purely on a birth certificate but it’s a ‘psychographic’, a predisposition for all things technology. Gen C embrace tech from social networks and smart phones to intelligent appliances and the internet of things. This digital revolution enters all aspects of life, including job search, but does it spell the end for some of our favourite candidate sources?

Just as marketers need to understand and address Gen C’s needs and behaviours when creating new products or advertising, recruiters need to adapt their hiring methods. In the world of job search this has seen the rise of a new breed of candidate attraction: the job aggregator.

Who is Gen C, and what do you need to know?The rise of Gen C has been talked about by ‘futurologists’ since 2011 (see this article from Strategy + Business), and can be defined as connected, communicating, content-centric, computerised, community-oriented and clicking. But what does this have to do with job search and what makes job aggregators the answer? Let’s look at each of these terms in turn.

ConnectedActing as job search engines, job aggregators allow job hunters to be quickly connected to all available “traditional” job boards in one place. Often they offer smart phone applications to simplify usage, making them extremely mobile friendly and easy to apply wherever you are. Why would you go to lots of different sites when they can offer you all the open vacancies in one place?

CommunicatingJob aggregators can offer more than a simple job board, and have many add-ons that allow different types of communication and ways of getting in touch. Whether it’s social sharing, blog, chat or simply allowing people to comment on postings, it’s no longer a one way conversation.

Content-centricNot only do they provide lots of jobs from across the web, helping their search engine performance, but they are constantly producing other forms of content. Job aggregators are building traffic through job-related blogs and advice, industry specific information and updates, events, reviews and ratings of prospective employers, how to videos, networking opportunities and so on. They don’t just offer jobs, but give the candidate the chance to find out more about if this is the right job for them and how to improve their chances of securing it.

ComputerisedKey to the rise of job board aggregators is the fact they take all the hassle out of job search for the user. Fully automated they simplify job search by limiting efforts to two search windows: job title or key word and location. This means candidates can put in the words they want and then filter down, rather than being put into a drop down box selection from the start. It’s job hunting on their terms. Many are taking this one step further and are making the application process just as easy as search, allowing applicants to apply with their social profiles or using cloud based hosting options for files.

Community-orientedAs digital first consumers Gen C are very aware of isolation their virtual world creates as well as the many benefits, such as the chance to connect with people from around the world. This leads them to gravitate towards channels that offer them a sense of community. Job aggregators have latched on to this and some act as a social network, either by connecting job seekers to each other as a support network, or even to current and previous employees. Some include job profiles and allow for the creation of communities of people working in same area, so they can solve problems together.

ClickingWe’ve already touched on how job aggregators allow business and potential candidates to converse, but one of the key trends this generation brings with them is their preference for all things digital. Offering chats, blogs, and wall postings means not only do they have communication options but they are on the channel this generation prefers. It puts the candidate in control, driving the process with a click.

Does this mean the end of “traditional” job boards?Like many of the none digital candidate attraction tools job boards are still doing just fine, especially when it comes to niche jobs. But their role is shifting, they now provide highly relevant job results, effectively allowing the candidates to self-select their content.

However, they must evolve. Generational and technological developments, such as semantic search software, that will understand fully who you are and what you are looking for, means you can never rest on your laurels, even the job aggregators, but this doesn’t mean traditional methods don’t still have a place. I recommend constantly reviewing what is and isn’t working, and for what audience, to tweak your approach and maintain the relevance of your talent hunt armoury.

Marta Aserigadu

Marta Aserigadu
Regional Manager/ Sales & Solutions Manager, Hays Talent Solutions
With over 13 years of experience in volume recruitment projects, working as a Delivery Manager and Recruitment Consultant for the shared services and outsourcing sector, Marta has developed a wealth of expertise in the world of resourcing.

Responsible for running portfolio of strategic Hays Clients and managing Hays Talent Solutions teams across North Poland, Marta’s expertise lie in developing Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions for a multitude of sectors.

Having worked in her native Poland as well as Ireland for worldwide recognized commerce, in addition to providing advice on recruitment area green fields’ projects Marta is an experienced HR Manager and Internal Trainer. Marta obtained her Masters Degree in Political Science from Poznan University, is an academic teacher of human resources counselling and certified recruiter, with SHL approved to verify ability tests.

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