Contrary to popular belief, the job board industry is expanding faster than ever. The supposed dominance of generalist big boards such as LinkedInÂ and MonsterÂ actually pales in comparison to the thousands of niche boards that open up every year. In fact, according to one job board expert, 2013 may have been the best year for niche job boards ever.
"Itâ€™s a different industry than it was 10 years ago certainly, but it is definitely growing," says the Job Board Doctor Jeff Dickey-Chasins, a veteran of the job board, publishing, and e-learning industries. "About a third of the clients I work with are start-ups, and I see new ones every week."
He says he has been to two job board conferences, both here and abroad, in the past month, and at both of them people were saying they just had their strongest year.
So why the rosy outlook? There is lots of evidence that shows niche job boards are the most effective way to find the strongest job candidates.
Niche job boards are the most effective way to find the strongest job candidates.
"The aggregated response rates for niche boards are oftentimes lower," said Dickey-Chasins in an exclusive Staffing Talk interview. "But that can actually be seen as a plus, because the quality of the responses tends to be higher, and they also tend to be from people who arenâ€™t necessarily active on the big job boards."
AsÂ this postÂ inÂ US News & World ReportÂ details, smaller companies in particular often prefer using niche boards to find applicants.
"The quality of the responses tends to be higher, and they also tend to be from people who arenâ€™t necessarily active on the big job boards."
Dickey-Chasins says if you are for example looking for a senior accountant for an open job req, it makes a lot more sense to work with a board that is purely focused on accounting professionals, as opposed to a general board that literally goes anywhere and everywhere.
He also says the niche job board business continues to evolve.
"We are now seeing second and third-generation sites that are going from mere job boards into fully formed, focused, professional communities that have social aspects and specialized content."
And Dickey-Chasins says that presents an opportunity for recruiters and staffing pros.
"Donâ€™t just use these niche boards simply as job posting sites; there are many other things you can do to connect to candidates."
"Donâ€™t just use these niche boards simply as job posting sites," he says. "There are many other things you can do to connect to candidates such as targeted emails and sponsorships and things of those nature. Think of them as a means to create community around you and your brand, as you are connecting to candidates."
There is another way staffing companies can take advantage of the vibrant - and vital - job board board industry. Clients of TempWorks are able to leverage this by integrating job board software fully with many job boards, including job board distribution services like Broadbean.
"Our clients continuously get great candidates through the TempWorks Applicant Portal," says David Dourgarian, President & CEO, TempWorks. "It's like having your very own job board on your website. With our online Applicant Portal, staffers can post job openings right from their desk, and because it'sÂ web-based, candidates can apply to jobs through any device that's connected to the Internet."
Obviously those devices increasingly involve smart phones. In Jeff Dickey-Chasin's latest blog post, he saysÂ SimplyHired reports their mobile-based job search traffic jumped from 2.3 million in 2012 to 9.3 million in 2013. Mobile traffic now represents about 30% of the siteâ€™s total job search traffic.
Regardless of how, when, or where candidates access the niche job boards, or the varying ways recruiters and staffing pros utilize them, Dickey-Chasins predicts their growth will continue.
"Everyone is trying to solve the same problem, and that is how to connect candidates to employers and employers to candidates in the most efficient way possible. Niche boards continue to be able to offer a cost-effective, high-quality solution to accomplish that and there is no reason why that will change or go away."