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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Worth It?
November 6, 2002) - Yesterday's piece on spam (see the archives on the right) got us to thinking about what a job board really is. Is it really any more complicated than a "list generating tool for direct marketers"? Is it, as the newspapers seem to think, simply more classified advertising?

We've been looking at the various product offerings from the top three job boards and are left wondering just how far forward the Internet revolution has really taken us. As we've said before (with the possible exception of the Hot Jobs product for the staffing industry) it looks like we've succeeded in automating the classified ads.

While it shows our complete lack of imagination as an industry, it is interesting that Employment ads are, by far the  most successful part of the transition of old stuff to the web. Jupiter Research views the advertising market as follows:

Online Classifieds Spending by Industry, 2001-2007, U.S.
(in millions) 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Recruitment $683 $799 $923 $1,057 $1,207 $1,354 $1,498
Automotive $97 $115 $135 $157 $182 $206 $231
Real Estate $209 $241 $274 $310 $350 $387 $424
For Sale $8 $10 $12 $15 $17 $20 $23
Personals $48 $59 $71 $84 $99 $114 $130
Other $16 $19 $22 $25 $29 $32 $36
Total $1,061 $1,242 $1,436 $1,648 $1,884 $2,114 $2,343
Note: Sum of categories may not equal total, due to rounding.
Source: Jupiter Research

Although we see the estimates as quite low, we understand that they assume that little changes but the adoption rate. If we're sure of anything, it's that the market is about to begin a real change. Our recent article about "Size" pointed out that the companies currently known as ATS providers actually own a significant part of "job board traffic" although they manage it from an entirely different perspective from the job boards themselves.

When all is said and done, the job boards provide lists of leads. One of the first changes we expect to see is a pricing rearrangement. Currently, the bulk, commodity providers receive a price premium while the niche (and more targeted) services somehow cost less. The next step will be phased purchasing and highly measured outcome expectations.

As the uptick continues and the market leaders stumble, a revolution is possible. More about that in the coming days.

-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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