Recently, we hosted a webinar given by job board consultant Jeff Dickey-Chasis, of jobboarddoctor.com. The webinar looks at job board industry trends identified by an annual survey of over 197 job board companies worldwide. This informative webinar reveals several highly useful insights about both the present state of job boards and job board technology, as well as the future of the industry. Here are some highlights.
Best Traffic Sources for Conversion
Survey participants were asked to rate traffic sources based on the rate of conversion from site visitors to job applicants. The survey identified eight sources of job board website traffic, which included both organic and pay-per-click aggregator sites, outbound marketing, Google AdWords, social media, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) and direct marketing. Participants were asked to rank these traffic sources from low conversion to high conversion.
Three traffic sources came out on top. Ranked highest was direct marketing, with over 30 percent of respondents ranking this as their biggest source of conversion traffic. Second was SEO at just over 20 percent, followed by SEM at about 15 percent.
The Importance of Mobile Access
Compared to a similar survey conducted in 2013, data from the 2014 survey clearly showed that mobile access to job boards is on the rise. Over 14 percent of respondents said between 20 and 30 percent of their traffic now comes from mobile sites, compared to only 12% of respondents in 2013.
The survey also showed that job board companies are trying to keep up with the rising demand for mobile. More than 70 percent of respondents said that they now have a mobile-friendly version of their job board, contrasted to only about 55 percent in 2013. Less than 10 percent admitted that they don't have a mobile-friendly site available, while nearly 20 percent said that a mobile-friendly version is in the works.
The Biggest Threats to the Future of Job Boards
When asked to identify the biggest threats to job boards in 2014, the majority of respondents identified the professional networking site LinkedIn, at 51 percent, which has added job search functionality to its list of features. The second biggest threat identified by respondents, at 37 percent, was the lingering effects of the recession, followed closely by job board aggregator sites like Indeed at 35 percent.
The webinar concluded with a 25-minute question and answer session, during which Jeff Dickey-Chasis gave his recommendations for what job board companies should prioritize in the coming year. He identified improvements in search engine optimization to increase visibility among job candidates as the number one priority.
He also recommended that companies invest time and resources in analyzing their current job board technology to identify weaknesses that might be making things difficult for both employers and job seekers.