What’s the Next Evolution for Job Boards?

Innumerable new technologies have been released for job boards just over the past couple of years, and the overarching goals of all of them are to make hiring more efficient and provide a better job candidate experience. But actual “one-stop shopping” for hiring will probably never come about, and perhaps it doesn’t need to. Hiring people is complex because it deals with humans, so what works in one industry or geographic location may not work in another.

The recruitment industry is expected to be worth over $8 billion by 2015, and if you use a custom job board to monetize your digital publication or trade publication website, you can’t afford to ignore technology advances. Employees expect workplace technology to be as advanced as the technology they carry around on smartphones every day. Here are some ways job board technology is evolving.

SEE ALSO: 5 Problems Even the Best Job Boards Face with Big Data

The Evolution of Applicant Tracking Systems

Much has been written about the applicant tracking system (ATS), good and bad. The applicant tracking system that works, however technology evolves, is the one that humanizes job candidate selection. When an ATS makes it too hard for job candidates to apply, or when it locks them into selection options on applications that are irrelevant to their situation, it’s not good for the job candidate or the employer. Fortunately, the ATS is now adopting simpler ways for people to apply, and even custom career portals. ATS usability will be a continuing area of focus in coming years because when ATS usability suffers, hiring is less efficient. Moreover, job candidates are turned off when an ATS can’t even rival the sophistication of the personal apps they use every day.

Narrower Niches, More Widely Disseminated

When employers are able to more accurately target applicants, and when job seekers are able to find and apply for positions that match their exact career needs, everybody wins. Today’s job boards allow increasingly narrower targeting, and at the same time these targeted job listings can be delivered to more people than before. When job listings are combined with social and mobile recruiting options, and when analytics are used wisely, the results include higher “granularity” in searches, and better tracking of job candidates. Sara Sutton, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs, predicts 2014 will see “recruiters moving to niche job boards to find high-quality candidates for particular jobs, rather than using the traditional big job boards.”

More Screens

“Go mobile or go home” could be the catchphrase for those who count on job boards in 2014 and beyond. People want to use job boards on more screens than ever, and multi-screen recruitment answers that aspiration. Job boards that allow for a complete user experience on all types of devices provide better service for job seekers and employers. Even wearable technology may become part of recruiting. Imagine a hiring manager streaming a job interview from his Google Glass while using a laptop or mobile device to score that interviewee in real time. Today, that’s possible.

Big Data and Job Matching Algorithms

Big data may hold answers to questions employers have long pondered, such as locating the best job candidates, and even creating succession plans for the workplace. But only a few employers believe they’re using big data to its full potential. In 2014 and beyond, employers will have to learn how to use big data to produce important hiring insights and find better candidates more quickly. This can be done with performance-based job matching algorithms that match applicant experience and qualifications to hiring criteria. These algorithms are becoming more sophisticated as big data enters the mainstream.

Shifting Social Platforms

For several years now, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have been used in conjunction with job boards to extend employer reach and locate passive candidates. But other social channels are gaining in importance, including YouTube and even Instagram. Those who list on job boards, or who include custom job boards in their website monetization strategy would be wise to learn about smaller and more specialized social networks in the years ahead. In particular, Google+, though much smaller than Facebook, is emerging as an important talent source. That’s because it’s less geared toward personal socialization and more toward sharing of projects and ideas.

Some job boards look just like they did when they first launched, and those are the job boards that are less likely to still be around in the year 2020. Today’s job boards are evolving with more sophisticated search and filtering systems that help attract the right applicants more quickly. If your website includes a custom job board, it’s critical that you understand new services like social recruiting, contextual searching, AdWord optimization, job-matching algorithms, and the importance of targeting job seekers based on factors like profession (or specialty within a profession) and geography.

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