The History Of Job Boards

By: Jacob Koshy April 24, 2017

Every entrepreneur looks to utilize human capital to give a thrust to the company’s growth. You will surely want to take your business forward, ensure comprehensive growth for it, accelerate your bottom lines, and optimize your profits. But, how’s that possible without the right set of people working with you?

It’s here that recruitment, hiring, and job search play a pivotal role. You need to have the top talent aligned to your organization and that too at the right time. While recruiters are always in search of the suitable talent, highly skilled candidates too are looking for great opportunities. What they need is a common platform helping them strike meaningful conversations.

The emergence of job boards

As the biggest recruitment platforms in the digital world, job boards act as common meeting places for potential candidates and ingenious recruiters. Since both the parties have profiles on job board websites, it becomes easier for them to look for one another.

However, the entire scenario has undergone huge transformations. Job boards weren’t as they are now. Rapid digitization and the emergence of new technologies led to crucial changes. Current job board sites differ from the traditional ones to a great extent.

Right from their inception to the present times, job boards have come a long way. Let’s take a look at this metamorphosis. 

Back to history

Job boards have a historical background. What you see today is the result of evolution. Before we track these changes, it’s imperative to look into the past. The first official launch of job board sites took place in 1992 when Bill Warren introduced ‘Online Career Center.’ Initially, it was a BBS or a Bulletin Board, which eventually merged with Monster in 1995.

Job boards history

In its initial years, job boards had a generalist approach. Recruiters could find employees from across the world and vice-versa. While newspapers had a limited reach and geographical constraints, job board websites could reach out to innumerable people at one go. The promotional model was simple and here’s a short glimpse of it:

  • Presence of relevant ads
  • Coverage for numerous job listings and vacancies across industry verticals
  • No geographical constraints
  • Imitating the classified ad model on the web
  • Affordable and cost-effective

These characteristics and special features made job board sites quite popular in the recruitment world. It seemed like both employers and employees have got a way out.

Tracking the changes

With the generalist approach marking the beginning of this online job search revolution, new ways and ideas followed suit. During the early 00s or late 90s, the entire service arena came across four special types of websites.

1. Niche boards: This was a more personalized approach to job search and recruitment. Niche boards contained information about specific job roles, titles, job descriptions, and opportunities within a particular geographical region.

2. Network sites: Network sites had multiple listings. Say, for instance, recruiters and employers could hire for multiple vacancies, different job roles, and posts from the same vendor.

3. Job aggregators: You must have heard about Indeed, right? It is the perfect example of a job aggregator site. Sites like Indeed collect and collate information from multiple listings, where potential candidates can land their dream jobs through a single search.

4. Social networking: Social Job sites like LinkedIn completely changed the way recruitment took place. Candidates have the opportunity to showcase their skills in an open database, and recruiters can easily take their picks.

Right from the beginning of the 90s to the present times, here’s how job board sites changed with time. However, the prime objective or goals didn’t change much. Uninhibited resume access and job postings were of paramount significance, and these two aspects continued to be important.

Disruptive performances

Things were fine until recession hit the service sectors and human resource management. Low budgets led to limited hiring, which further created a void in the recruitment world. Some of the job board sites completely stepped out of the business arena, and those who managed to survive tried to revamp their existing models. The emergence of disruption caused a lot of havoc with a majority of job board sites rethinking their strategies.

Social recruitment gained momentum, and numerous companies opted for social recruitment channels. Compared to the conventional sites, these platforms offered direct opportunities to both employers and potential candidates. Sites like Indeed outperformed traditional job boards thus revolutionizing recruitment to a great extent.

The law of evolution

Recession, disruptive forces, job aggregators, social recruitment, and mobile devices are some of the milestones in the evolution of job boards. What we need to know is how these forces have shaped up the entire recruitment arena. While some of these job boards are still reluctant to embrace the change, most of them have joined the revolution. Here’s a quick glimpse into their revolutionary behavior.

1. Find the match: It’s a unique job search model where the site matches candidates’ profile with the employer. Both the parties meet with each other with effective mediation from the site.

2. Pay-for-applications: Employers no longer need to pay for the posting. Once they receive and choose qualified applications, they can pay for the service.

3. Socializing: Social media is an integral and inseparable part of recruitment. Job boards can share crucial info about employers via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. LinkedIn happens to be another option in this context.

4. Hyper-niche: Some of the sites contain job listings for a specific niche in a particular sector. Job seekers can breeze through the myriad of options available in these sites.

5. Mobile apps: There’s no denying the effects of mobile revolution. Job boards aren’t quite far from that and recruitments are taking place via mobile apps. Now, that prepares the ground for voice-based job searches too.

6. Multitude of options: Tweets, emails, and specific news are some of the best resources for effective job search. Employer branding, social campaign management, and proper job distribution are the crucial options in this context.

While these represent the evolution of job sites, there’s more to the story. You need to stay ahead of the growth curve, which demands a scalable and user-friendly job board site. Although job site owners are trying their best, there’s room for improvement.

Statistics speak

According to the reports published by iCIMS, traditional job sites are still ruling the recruitment arena. With a mere 5% contribution, popular platforms like LinkedIn are still lagging behind. That creates a huge void in the job search sector, which further creates the need for new strategies and mechanisms.

With data analytics emerging as a strong force across sectors, let’s find out how it can affect the job search arena and job board sites.

Benefits of Data analytics

Targeted data analytics help you gain crucial insights into the recruitment processes. With the help of analytics, you can get access to historical data which helps you develop crystal clear ideas of potential employees. Here’s how data analytics can help you stay ahead of the competition.

Crafting potential lists: Recruiters can take a look at crucial data and craft a list of potential candidates. Data will help them assign the right job roles to the right people.

Better ROIs: In online job board sites, a listing takes some time to go live. Once it’s live, data analytics will help you fine-tune them and ensure better job distribution.

Refine postings: Analytics plays a major part in helping you refine postings. As an employer, you get the chance to hire efficient candidates. You gain access to comprehensive information on candidates, their efficiency, and skills. That’s a huge benefit when it comes to refining job listings.

Perfect guidance: Creating a professional advertisement or job campaign isn’t an easy task, several aspects are involved in the process and employers need to develop crystal clear ideas of each of them. Proper guidance and professional assistance are of paramount significance in this context. With the help of performance metrics and analytics, employers will learn the art of creating attractive job listings.

Targeted results: How would you feel to receive improper job offers? Or what will be the reactions of an employer while when he gets unqualified applications. The experience won’t be quite pleasant in both the cases. Data analytics improves situations by helping you achieve targeted results. Both the parties will receive targeted applications and offers.

Data and more: Foreseeing the future

These benefits clearly explain how data analytics plays a crucial role in taking job board sites to the top. While employees gain the opportunity to locate the right jobs, employers have the chance to choose highly efficient workforce. Most importantly, job board websites prepare the ground for targeted search. Whether it is potential candidates or prospective employees, job boards have it all covered. It’s now time for job boards to embrace and leverage the power of data to level up.

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