Job Board Industry Launches First Benchmarking Effort

Jul 6, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

For the first time in the history of the industry, a job board will soon be able to see how well it is performing compared to its peers.

In a survey launched this morning, the industry’s trade association, the International Association of Employment Web Sites, is looking to establish benchmarks for dozens of performance metrics.

How much traffic do sites get? How do job seekers find their way there? How much do the sites spend on promotion? What does it cost to post an ad? What kind of response do the ads get?

These and a host of other questions will finally have answers that the participating job boards and members of the IAEWS can use to compare how well they are doing against the industry as a whole. Job boards, regardless of size and locale, and at no cost, can participate here.

Peter Weddle, founder and executive director of the IAEWS, says the industry needs benchmarks. “Pages of very in-depth data will be collected so we can establish some benchmarks for the industry,” he explained. Professional organizations and trade associations have to have some “means of comparing themselves against others so they know how they stand.”

This survey has been on his project list “for quite a while,” Weddle told me. To be complete and to offer as much detail as possible, the survey needed to encompass not only IAEWS members, but others among the tens of thousands of boards worldwide.

Finally, a few months ago, Jobg8, the job board resume marketplace, agreed to fund the survey for two years.

Finding a sponsor was critical, Weddle said, to enable the survey to be detailed and global in scope. “We want as many job boards as possible to participate,” said Weddle, explaining there’s no cost. Participants will get back their own data and be privy to a special briefing at the IAEWS meeting in September. It will be streamed online for those who can’t make it to Florida for the session September 7.

Weddle said that in the United Kingdom, Jobg8’s headquarters, where the survey got released early, the response has been enthusiastic. He’s hoping that job boards elsewhere will jump on board as eagerly.

Says Matt Hoffner, president of Jobg8 North America, “For the first time job board operators will have real information that will allow them to improve performance and effectiveness for their advertising clients.”

Recruiters, too, will benefit from the survey, comparing its industry-wide data to their own analytics to gauge the results of their job board spending.

How much data will be publicly released isn’t clear. Weddle tells me it will be a high-altitude look at the industry, presumably offering enough information  to provide recruiters some basis for making judgments. If nothing else, it will at least suggest what metrics the job board industry considers important.

And says Weddle, just knowing a job board participated in the benchmarking speaks to the board’s professionalism.

“If I were a recruiter, I would want to know the site I deal with does (participate in the survey),” he adds. “It tells me something about how professional they are.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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