An Industry in Change

Guest blog, from Keith Robinson.

Many thanks to Stephen for letting me write this article and doing such a great job with NORAuk.  I am a huge fan of recognizing and rewarding excellence in any sector. Having been shortlisted last year with my new launch Careersiteadvisor, I know the thrill and anticipation when you are at the event… you cannot beat it and Stephen “Thanks for setting these, up and continuing to run the NORAUK”.   Stephen asked me to write something on/about On-Line Recruitment so a short ramble;

I saw my first job board in the U.S in 1996 on a visit to my advertising agency partner in Chicago, Shaker. I was blown away with what I saw and the opportunities I foresaw with such a platform – “the internet”, and with the quick and easy ability to search a large volume of jobs from across wide geographical regions.

Only 15 years ago recruitment media was “print”; strong national, regional and trade newspapers dominated, and often had no or little competition. In reality they had local monopolies and charged accordingly.

To place a recruitment advertisement in two local newspapers Nott’s Evening Post and the Derby Evening Telegraph could cost £60 for a single column centimeter (hugely expensive), and yet your potential candidate lived in that broad geographical area.

The “job board” had the ability to go across newspaper boundaries, and to me the opportunities to “break monopolies”, deliver new and exciting channels to “passive” candidates were limitless.

My next enlightenment came a year latter when again in the U.S I saw a company careers site, wow awesome, and given at this time I worked for a Recruitment Advertising Agency again for me what opportunities, branding, jobs, interactivity, etc etc….. but as usual I got carried away with the “limitless technology capabilities” and forgot that less that 15% of UK home had internet, and those that did were on dial-up and a heavy page took hours to download.

BUT interest had been stimulated and now it was a matter of time…. Waiting for the consumer to catch up with the technology, and the infrastructure build out to lead the consumer.

By 1998/1999 we had our first print causality, Freelance Informer, a Reed Business owned trade magazine for IT Contractors which folded due to the migration of that audience to Robbie Cowling’s Jobserve.

In 2000 I joined Totaljobs.Com and my love of on-line recruitment just grew, understanding what “job seekers’ wanted (Real Jobs with Real Companies), how a poor “candidate experience” impacted on a company’s P&L. So much so, that in 2001 we decided to take the advice of an awesome strategist at Totaljobs, Andrew Findlater and share our findings.

We created the Totaljobs Seminar Program and over 3 years ran 70 plus roadshows across the UK and helped “educate” over 700 industry professional on the benefits of On-Line Recruitment, many of today’s “In-House Recruiters” attended and we shared our passion for a move towards more in-house recruiting.

Alan Whitford our regular Chairman shared is passion for the “time and cost” to hire matrices, and we even talked about “cybersleuthing” i.e. on-line sourcing. Yes, in 2001 we had Roy Everett (spiderman) talking on the subject.. we saw a bright future for recruitment, and it was on-line.

Today we are there, but it has been much slower than I ever expected. On-line has, or is just about to overtake print media, and a recession or two doesn’t help.

We now have social media, on-line referrals, ATS… a whole multi – billion pound/dollar industry has been built to support “On-Line” recruitment.

But finally I have some regrets, and I will share them.

– We have commoditized a key part of our industry – the job advertisement, and boy what a poor candidate experience most job postings give.

– We have seen great creativity, great copy writing, and great typography disappear.

– We have made it more difficult for a job seeker to find a job – search does not work, the future has to be matching.

– We have made it too easy for job seekers to apply for a job, and for a recruiter to delete a CV. My term is “the promiscuous digit”.

BUT job boards are not dead, more will launch and other versions of boards will evolve.

The future is bright, the future is On-line Recruitment… whatever that might look like.

2 Responses

  1. Pingback : Tweets that mention An Industry in Change. « www.norauk.com -- Topsy.com

  2. Total Jobs

    Total Jobs are changing according to change in the job boards and it made too easy for job seekers to find a job.