Job Boards' Demise Greatly Exaggerated, at Least for the Moment

There have been reports that some firms, including staffing companies, are cutting spend on job boards in favor of social media sites such as LinkedIn. But at least one career site  begs to differ.

Monster Worldwide Inc. CEO Sal Iannuzzi said in a conference call with analysts on Jan. 27 that one large staffing firm actually increased spend with the company by 150 percent last year despite reports of it cutting back in job board spend.

"One of the biggest, if not the biggest, staffing companies in the world indicated earlier in the year, and it was re-reported a couple of days ago, that they were pulling back and going to different, either professional media sites or social media sites, to do their recruitment, and indicated that their spend and reliance on job boards, if Monster indeed is considered a job board, was being diminished," Iannuzzi said. "That same company increased their spend with us last year by over 150%."

Iannuzzi also said someone from a different company, this one a large consulting firm, was quoted as cutting back on the use of Monster and other job boards. However, that customer increased its activity with Monster by 87 percent in the last year, he said.

In September, Reuters reported that Adecco SA cut its spending on job board in the U.S. to $2 million in 2009 from $6 million in 2007. Adecco was turning toward LinkedIn, according to the article.

Still, LinkedIn does eye job boards, as well as staffing firms, as competitors. LinkedIn is planning an initial public offering. It cited as competitors Monster and CareerBuilder as well as "traditional recruiting firms" and talent management software such as Taleo, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Will social media one day eat the job boards' lunch? Potentially, but it's well to remember it was also once predicted that job boards would spell the end of staffing … instead, job boards became one of the staffing industry's closest allies. The end may not be nigh after all.

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