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December 09, 2015 Challenges and opportunities facing the job board industry in 2016 Dominic Sumners, Founder of OME

Challenges and opportunities facing the job board industry in 2016

Guest Post:

It’s that time of year again where we can safely make wildly incorrect predictions on what is going to happen next year with the warm feeling that hopefully nobody will dig this piece out again in 12 months’ time to see how we did. Rather than go outlandish with job board equivalents of flying cars or wishful thinking that all the problems are going away – I thought I would outline what from my perspective (co-owner of one of the biggest buyers of digital recruitment media in EMEA) are the real current changes and opportunities facing this industry.


So first the good news – what should job board owners be excited by

1. “The Economy, Stupid” – I know it’s fragile and maybe built on sand but in general clients have more money to spend, more people to recruit and candidates are in shorter supply. And ever since the dawn of recruitment time, these factors have meant great financial news for companies who can offer the solution to above issues.

2. Content Marketing – Employer Branding – Community Management and a few other terms which mean clients are taking seriously the quality of the content they put out there and their relationship with the candidate universe. Or in other terms all other activity that is not about job posts and CV database trawls. Connected to fact that many clients have a bit more budget – they really want to improve how they position themselves and many (not all) jobboards actually have a relationship with their users that clients should want to piggy back on to.

3. Response – Jobboards work! And believe me there are plenty of recruitment media solutions that really don’t. Jobboards aren’t that cool in 2015/16 – but if it was your money would you rather spend a finite critical budget on a well-constructed job board campaign or a really sexy pilot ad launch on Pinterest/Instagram/Tinder!


OK – now here’s what would make me uncomfortable as a media owner over my 5th mince pie on Christmas Day

1. Where’s the Innovation? - This is not just about technology or brand or product– it’s really about “noise”. OME present an overview of marketplace to clients and we just don’t have that much to say about what’s going on with job boards. Therefore the bulk of conversations clients are having are about LinkedIn, Indeed, social, mobile etc. That can’t be healthy as it means you aren’t being talked about as much as you should. And maybe you are missing out….

2. Market position - I don’t believe it is as quite as simple as this but one way of looking at market is - LinkedIn are starting senior and moving down the recruitment food chain, Indeed are starting junior and moving up. What’s the middle ground (jobboards’ position) like? – how big is it? And most critically is it getting smaller?

3. Candidate Journey – In some senses Jobboards offer the simplest candidate journey possible (click apply, attach CV and Go) and ATSs are where it can go horribly wrong. But you know what, candidates don’t care where the problem is – our stats tell us they will simply give up if the user journey is too painful (and blame you and us). It can’t be beyond our skills to sort this issue out and we all know in next few years – applying via mobile devices, with digital profiles etc – will become the norm – so let’s accelerate this process.

So – hope some food for thought above – and lets all agree not to look at this next December and see how I did!

About Dominic Sumners

When Dominic founded OME nearly 10 years ago, it was Europe’s first digital recruitment ad agency and over the last decade OME have become one of the biggest buyers of jobboard, PPC and LinkedIn advertising in EMEA. Before OME. Dominic worked on both media owner and agency side for businesses such as VNU, Fish4 and Thirtythree.