But Mason’s model was dead-on-arrival. And the comparisons to the job board industry are omnipresent.
As outlined in the book “Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever,” the company found early success and grew a workforce of some 2,000 in just a few years. This was done to grab as much marketshare as possible with competitors like Yelp, Amazon and Google breathing down its neck.
The novelty of balloon rides and botox was contagious with consumers and the company turned down a reported $6 billion offer from Google and went IPO in 2011.
In an effort to increase profits, Groupon began cutting its marketing expenses, expecting its e-mail list of millions would mean a steady stream of free traffic. The decline of email’s effectiveness is probably a bigger reason for Groupon’s demise than will ever be reported, but that’s another post altogether.
What remained, however, was a large sales force. Local merchants are a diverse group, with many knowing little about technology while regularly being inundated with “silver bullets” promising to fill tables at lunchtime and sell out yoga classes.
The overhead to sustain such a people-heavy business is immense and the company has made moves to become a more scalable technology play, focusing on POS software and goods.
The pivot from a hand-holding, labor intensive agency for local merchants to a tech-centric, goods business will be painful and wrought with challenges.
The Job Board Parallel
Newspaper classifieds begat online job sites. The idea of taking a $5,000 print ad and turning it into a $99 online ad has been an effective model for over a decade. Without the cost of cutting down trees and paying paperboys, newspapers couldn’t compete.
However, in many cases, the large sales forces remained. Human resources, it continues to be argued, is a “people business.” Add “risk averse” to that equation and the perceived need for bodies on the street runs rampant.
Armed with little more than skeleton crews and server farms big enough to keep the lights on, these companies proved that you didn’t need local offices, regional VPs and Super Bowls ads to reach the heights they’ve achieved, while disrupting the traditional recruitment advertising model in the process.
Who knew? HR people really will buy stuff without holiday gift baskets, concert tickets and lunch dates. Tech companies really could out-duel armies of sales people.
The daily deals business, or more appropriately the local market business is digitally a much younger business than employment. Groupon is a victim of timing. Someone will prove that technology can penetrate the corner yogurt shop.
“Local” will get its Indeed someday. It just won’t be Groupon.
Google owns Android, the most popular mobile operating system on earth. That’s probably not news to you. What may be news, however, is realizing Google has a window into mobile usage that few could ever dream of as a result. So, when they focus on getting mobile right on one of their many properties, you should take note.
Enter their redesigned mobile career center.
It’s awesome. Responsive. Fast. Rich in content and branding. Integrates its Google Plus platform.
For Google to set such standards is no surprise. Their applicant tracking solution was way ahead of its time 8 years ago, bringing an Amazon-like ease-of-use to its prospective talent pool.
I have to imagine Google looked at traffic coming into the career center and recognized the trend of mobile visitors, which I’ll bet was also heavy on tablet usage as well, and took action.
You can argue that Google is interested in making everything on their properties mobile, and you’d be right. However, this was apparently a focus for them, as Laszlo Bock, Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, made an announcement of the changes earlier this month:
The world of HR is infamously slow to change and adoption of new technologies, often letting others blaze the trail that they’ll eventually get to.
For the most thrift-conscisous, redirecting candidates to your Indeed.com profile page might work as a mobile strategy, as all these pages are friendly to small screens. It’s a strategy with some negatives, like potentially sending candidates to your competition that’s on Indeed’s job search, but comes at a very reasonable price.
Should you care about mobile? If you’re an employer, do yourself a favor and go visit the person who tracks site traffic. Ask what percentage of users come in through mobile devices. If the answer is greater than 10 percent, it’s time to add mobile to the checklist of things to do in 2013.
We’ve added 5 new 1 click job posting options to JobScore - a little something for everyone.
With 4M+ monthly visitors Job.com is among the most visited employment sites on the web. Exclusively for JobScore customers postings are 20% off in February 2013 ($79 instead of $99) Click to log in and give job.com a try
You likely know glassoor as an employer rating and review site - but you may not not know that you can now post free job listings and sponsor your jobs. Glassdoor postings can hijack job seekers while they research your competition.
We’ve supported Techcrunch and Venturebeat for years. Now you can post to Mashable and GigaOm & let the entire tech news world know you’re hiring with just one click.
Coroflot is among the best sites for creative talent on the web. Not only is their site great — when you post your job to Coroflot it’s also listed on an entire network of creative sites. Cool right?
The Coroflot network includes:
Thanks for suggesting these sites, and if there are other paid job boards you’d like to post regularly, please let us know in the JobScore Ideas Forum.
Some of Siilcon Valley’s best and brightest shared hiring strategies at HireCamp in San Francisco. The war for talent in the world’s tech hub is fierce and is increasingly demanding out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.
Enter HireCamp presenter Kenny Mendes, Director of recruiting at Box and a Millionaire Matchmaker.
Let me explain. TV network Bravo has a popular show called The Millionaire Matchmaker. It’s essentially an exercise in matching rich guys with ladies who want to be with rich guys. Sound a bit like recruiting? You betcha.
Here’s what happened:
One of Box’s founders went on the show as one of the “rich guys.” Aside from the matchmaking, the national exposure for Box as a recruiting channel was exceptional.
“The Bravo show drove a lot of candidates,” says Mendes. “I was pretty surprised.”
One of those candidates was Allie Covarrubias, who joined the Box recruiting team. Describing herself as someone who embraces risk, Allie convinced Mendes and Levie to run a sales recruiting event that mimicked the mixers from the popular matchmaking show.
“A lot of the marketing behind the event was word of mouth,” said Mendes. “We asked our employees to attend and invite peers they respected in the space.”
Box also invited candidates who applied previously and told them it was an open event and to bring friends who might be interested in learning about Box. Moreover, recruiters performing passive candidate outreach used the event to start conversations.
Instead of saying, “Do you want a job at Box?” the message was more like “We’re having a fun event and we’d love to have you come and get to know us.”
B-list actors were brought in to a swanky location. Candidates met with recruiters in a social setting that felt more like Happy Hour than an interview. They called it “Drink N Sync” - because Box helps you sync your files to the cloud.
During the event, attendees that caught the recruiting team’s attention were funneled into actual interviews. Mendes describe these follow ups as “an intimate setting, but not in the Millionaire Matchmaker sense.”
The smaller event - which Box dubbed OOBIES, or “out-of-the box interview experiences” had 5-8 candidates coming to the company. What followed were group interviews that “mimiced speed dating.”
For the first 30 minutes the candidates get to know one another. This was done to relieve interview stress. Then, the candidates were taken into a room where they each had their own table.
Company representatives sat down with the candidates in a round-robin format spending about 20 minutes with each candidate. In addition to being fun and viral, the strategy was embraced for its ability to simultaneously increase interview efficiency and quality in a high-volume hiring environment.
A differentiator? You bet. Buzzworthy? Uh-huh. Effective? The results speak for themselves.
Mendes estimates that close to a third of their sales rep hires have come from these events and the matchmaking-style interview process that followed. “It really helped us hire a lot of great reps in a short time frame without monopolizing our interviewers’ time.”
He added “It was definitely a bold move to try to hire this way, but we’re constantly experimenting with ways to make recruiting more efficient, and this experiment had a huge payout.”
To hear the presentation audio, use the player below:
There was a bevy of thought leadership on display at last week’s HireCamp in San Francisco, a new recruiting unconference. This will serve as the first of a handful of posts I expect to deliver over the next few weeks.
Of the most intriguing topics showcased was video recruiting. Presenting the topic was Jason LaBarbera of Sunol Group. Now, when the term “video recruiting” gets thrown around, most think of a Skype-type solution where a recruiter talks to a candidate over the Web, or maybe they think of an archive-like solution where answers to questions are recorded for a recruiter to review at their convenience.
LaBarbera’s angle on video, however, was much more promotional in nature. Think job opportunities as YouTube videos. Here’s one his company put together for context.
“We’ve had incredible success with video,” said LaBarbera. “Recruiting messages tend to all be the same, so differentiation is the key to breaking through the clutter.”
Videos should answer, “Why you’d want to work at our company” he continued. Top ten lists work well. And they’ve seen an increase in engagement from 5 percent to 25-30 percent.
With 22 hours of online video being consumed monthly by individuals, the numbers are in favor of video as a recruiting option. And with mobile devices becoming faster, mobile is set to explode even more.
And on the topic of mobile, LaBarbara is a fan of text messaging, saying his videos enjoy a 97 percent open rate when they’re sent to candidates in a link via SMS.
“A Flip camera-style production won’t get it done,” LaBarbera said, meaning you can’t skimp on budget. His firm charges around $5,000 per video, which tend to be about a minute in length.
I took a few minutes to chat with LaBarbera at the show in order to find out more. Enjoy.
Additionally, here’s the entire Powerpoint presentation via Slideshare:
Recruiting’s buzzword for 2013 just might be consolidation.
Intriguing, because this wasn’t an established player gobbling-up a hot, new startup. Both companies have a long history in the online employment space. So, it smelled more like News Corp buying Dow Jones than its MySpace acquisition back in the day.
I’ve known Joe Stubblebine, the now-former CEO of JobCircle, since the late ’90s when he launched the site. He’s been in the trenches, is well-respected, and wouldn’t sell his baby on a whim.
So, I set-up an interview to find out a little more about the deal and what the future holds:
JobCircle had gotten good at putting on brick-and-mortar job fairs throughout the northeast, and even put on a well-received social media event in Philadelphia, so I expect Beyond’s presence in the physical world to benefit as a result.
“Partnering with Beyond.com gives us the opportunity to bring our proven track record of developing engaging recruitment and enrichment events to a much larger audience,” said Stubblebine.
When you look at the advantages traditional job boards have over tech-focused players, face-to-face relationships come to mind. It’s a relationship that’s typically hard to scale, but it looks like Beyond is going to take a shot at making it work.
It’s that time of year again. So here are my predictions for 2013:
- Monster finally gets acquired. With its growth days behind it and an economy that should remain challenging - as in recession challenging - Monster’s stock dives enough to be too juicy for a bigger fish to gobble-up.
- LinkedIn buys Simply Hired. If you think Monster and CareerBuilder are LinkedIn’s biggest concerns, think again. It’s Indeed. And buying Simply Hired, who already runs LinkedIn’s posting backfill, is a relatively inexpensive move to strengthen their position in the job search landscape.
- Craigslist mobilizes. I know, the company is synonymous with “stubborn” and has done little in its 18 years to get with the times. That said, not being able to surf the site comfortably on a smartphone is ridiculous, especially when you consider how important mobile is to local search.
- Rise of the domains. If you thought .jobs was an unnecessary addition to the Web, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. ICANN is opening the floodgates, which will open the door for .career and being able to throw “jobs” into everything from .accountant and .ibm.
- Facebook makes a serious push against LinkedIn. Maybe the app was supposed to take attention away from the real strategy. Facebook is starting initiatives to generate revenue like their hair’s on fire. Going public will do that to you. And I think LinkedIn is in the crosshairs. Testing pay-to-contact at $1-per-message is a potential blow to LinkedIn’s cash cow, InMail, which charges $10-per-message. Now Facebook just needs to enhance their search engine in order to find qualified candidates.
For anyone who pays attention to this space, it should be an interesting year. Startups are again a serious part of the landscape while established players continue to face the challenges of an ever-evolving world led by increasingly powerful companies looking to get into the game.
Happy New Year!
Like it or not, .jobs domains aren’t going anywhere.
A letter republished by DomainIncite shows how a recent breach notice by ICANN had been rescinded. The breach allegation was originally set forth by a lobby of job board interests in 2010 known as the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition.
It included the likes of Monster and CareerBuilder.
“DirectEmployers Association is pleased that Employ Media and ICANN have reached an amicable resolution and we are extremely proud that Employ Media has always acted in a very professional manner throughout the process,” said Bill Warren, executive director at DirectEmployers Association, the caretakers of many .jobs domains like nursing.jobs and us.jobs.
If you’re not familiar with this soap opera, it goes something like this:
When the .jobs domain opened itself up to non-corporate destinations like boston.jobs, as opposed to only corporate sites like att.jobs, the job board community wasn’t very happy about it. A major fear, for instance, was that Google search results would be littered with .jobs domains and make life tougher for job boards to rank for targeted terms, as well as tougher for job seekers to make sense of all the Web pages.
“Resolving this dispute with ICANN means both existing and future registrants of .jobs domain names have won the right to own, operate and invest into their Web sites on the Internet with certainty,” said Ray Fassett, founder and EVP operations & policy at Employ Media, the organization that oversees the .jobs domain.
And here’s why all the hubbub doesn’t even matter:
- Google. It’s the search giant’s job to serve up the best results based on its algorithm. The .jobs domain is no silver bullet to top rankings. You still have to block-and-tackle like everyone else.
- ICANN. If you haven’t heard, the keeper of the domain game has opened up the floodgates for all kinds of domain extensions. Get ready for dot-everything, making .jobs just one of many that will exist alongside .shop, .music, .movie and whatever else marketers dream-up (and pay handsomely for).
- New world. You can argue to the degree that it’s happening, but social and mobile are changing search habits and how consumers get answers. This will continue and domain’s mean less as a result.
- Hard times. Job sites are struggling. Just ask Monster. Dot-jobs is the least of worries when you can’t pay the rent and LinkedIn is stealing your lunch money.
Employ Media’s organization has also applied for .career, in light of ICANN’s new open door. Other extensions filed for approval by the organization include .realtor, .home, .med, .casino and .hot. Click here to peruse all the applications.
I’d add unnecessary too.
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Multiple sources are telling me a lot of people were laid off at Monster today. The axe fell at around 3 p.m., EST. Apparently, all departments, worldwide, were hit, with the exception of sales.
The number of workers who were cut is being quoted at 800, which is said to be about 7 percent of the company. In January 2012, 400 employees were terminated, so this is a significant increase from that, if true.