Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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Can we make a value add model for online recruitment

First, apologies to those who come her regularly for the lack of posts over the Summer.  I have spent most of the time honing a model for how b2b might look in the future and this blog has not been front of mind.  But the Summer is over and it is now business as usual.  There is still pain all around us.  Results from Centaur Media, where revenues have dropped by nearly a third in a year, will come as no surprise to anyone who works in this space.  More cost cutting has been announced at Emap and RBI.  The downturn in revenues is now affecting events as well as publishing and the online world remains challenging operationally commercially and strategically.

Nowhere is this more  important than in recruitment.  I went sailing last week with a recruiter in the finance sector.  He was telling me how tired he was of job board offerings.  Where is the innovation he pondered?  For publishers the price point on job boards is very challenging.  With the market thinking that £150 a job is a lot of money, it is hard to see how small publishers can compete with the mainstream job boards.  The volumes that are needed to create a viable business are very large.  You need to sell more than 500 postings a month to create a £1m business.

How can niche publishers add value both to compete with generic boards and to justify a higher price?  One answer comes from an interesting US business  

This solution offers employers an application which plumbs vacancies into its employees social networks.  Vacancies are posted on employees Linked In or facebook pages creating a viral access to audiences of potential job applicants who may not be actively searching for a post.  This tackles one of the main weaknesses of the job board solutions.  Their model requires potential applicants to be active.  In our old print model we could push recruiters messages at possible applicants who had not considered themselves active. Reruiters will pay a premium to access these potential applicants.

Although I can see some real challenges for the jobvite model (getting employees to agree to using their personal networks for their employers interest is the obvious one), this represents a an innovative step forward.   So much of our old model profits came from recruitment, we ignore the challenge of innovating new solutions for the online world at our peril.  The question we should be asking ourselves is,  how can we add value to the recruitment offering?

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September 21, 2009 - Posted by | Advertising Sales, business media strategy


  1. Hi Neil,
    Welcome back to the business-media blogosphere. We’ve missed you.

    Comment by Paul Conley | September 21, 2009

  2. Thanks Paul. Good of you to drop by.

    Comment by neilthackray | September 24, 2009

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