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Understanding your role in the recruitment value chain

Jan 27, 2016

Whatever I do, I always like to remind myself of the fundamentals. That is my way of making sure that I focus on the most important items and it really served me well when running Jobsite and developing it from a tiny startup to a world beating force.

The first thing everybody needs to understand are the drivers of recruitment and how they apply to both job seekers and recruiters. A job board (and it is the same for aggregators and CV sources) is a two-sided market place and they only thrive when there are benefits for everybody involved (more about this in a blog post at a later stage).

Recruitment and job seeking (and finding) is driven by speed and relevance. Job seeking is – for most parts and for most people – a stressful and confidence-zapping experience, as there is limited control over the process and outcome and maximum impact on self-esteem through rejection and probing. A job seeker therefore wants to get over it as fast as possible and this can be done by finding jobs that are relevant on skills, experience and culture.

This in turn is also beneficial for the recruiter as they receive more relevant candidates, therefore need to spend less time filtering and screening irrelevant ones and through the higher probability of success fill the job faster. Time to hire and cost to hire are two performance indicators used to assess the recruitment process.

So relevance aids speed. Speed on its own can also be enhanced by giving recruiters priority access to candidates, through easy and automatic integration with multi-posters and other point solutions in the recruitment and screening process. Vito Lomele, my good friend and founder of Jobrapido described them very fittingly as “productivity engines”.

For some aggregators, relevance is often a hindrance to revenue growth: If they would show only the most relevant organic jobs and a tight search, then they’d receive less sponsored clicks hence less revenue. That’s why you will find that sponsored results are often so much more accurate than organic inclusions – after all the candidate is supposed to click on the job that earns money. A couple of years ago it reached a climax when, especially in the USA, aggregator linked to aggregator linked to aggregator and it took up to four steps before a candidate reached the destination of the job. A rather awful user experience, driven by short term gains.

This will change over time; the more job boards and aggregators will expand and include recruitment agency services into their offering (see this article about Indeed) the likelier that the performance model will mirror that of recruitment agencies. Additionally, job seekers are not as loyal as one might presume and will move on to the one source that gives the freshest and most relevant jobs, hence make job seeking as speedy and smooth as possible.

And – this has often been said and still holds true – without job seekers there is no business. This can be refined further, without giving recruiters relevant candidates that they can’t get anywhere else (increased value) and/or you are better integrated into the recruiter workflow (decreased cost), there is no business.

The recruitment workflow is best understood in the four stage model:

Stage 1: Sources candidates by advertising and other methods

Stage 2: Screening of potential candidates through tests and/or interviews

Stage 3: Selecting the deserving candidate based on the test and/or interviews

Stage 4: On-boarding and training – equipping the new employee with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to become effective organisational members.

(Source: Koncept)

Job boards and aggregators generally sit in stage 1, but as mentioned above with Indeed, plus increased focus on automating stages 2 and 3, they will delve deeper into the value chain. Obviously any job board owner can also expect that some of their recruitment clients will increasingly compete directly with them on stage 1.

Success is mainly measured at stage 3. Keep this in mind and act accordingly. The size of your user base isn’t important, but can you find relevant jobs for those users and therefore make the recruiter happy.

Reminding myself and my team about this was the cornerstone of our success at Jobsite and Evenbase and continues to be at the heart of all our developments now at Talenetic.

Next week’s blog will be about understanding the world we operate in – this backdrop is crucial for understanding the audience, developing the right tech and choosing the right messaging.