Jobg8 Network Grows as Job Boards Scramble to Improve

Apr 7, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Jobg8 recently enrolled its 1,500th job board partner. Except for what it represents, it would be a milestone barely worth mentioning.

Jobg8, though, is no ordinary network. It’s a B2B service for the job board industry, intentionally keeping a low profile among recruiters. That it has survived, let alone grown, during the worst recession in modern history is evidence of how the job board industry is reinventing itself.

What Jobg8 does is to provide both broader exposure for job postings and a way for job boards to improve their delivery of qualified applicants. Think of it as a sort of business insurance for job boards, ensuring they can deliver at least some qualified applicants for every advertised position.

That job boards deliver is evidenced by the results. Consistently, job boards are among the top three sources of hire by companies in the CareerXroads annual Source of Hire survey. Throughout the industry, job boards are tinkering with the traditional advertising model, so often derisively called “Post and Pray.”

A few examples:

  • Last summer Monster enhanced its Career Ad Network to target job postings behaviorally and track the responses. Well before that, Monster invested tens of millions to improve its search and match capability;
  • Also last summer, Dice introduced a talent network feature enabling recruiters to build pipelines and profiles;
  • Indeed and SimplyHired, which in six years have catapulted into the top five in traffic, brought the pay-per-click to job advertising;
  • The JobTarget network offers pay-per-view for resume access.

And then there’s the scramble by all of the leading job boards — and others, too — to leverage social media both for job distribution and improved candidate quality. Twitter job distribution via targeted channels, Facebook profile scouring, and “friends” matching are but a few of the social tools the boards are deploying.

Jobg8 represents an effort by the smaller and niche boards of the world to keep up and address the biggest recruiter complaint: Too many unqualified candidates.

“Recruiters may not know Jobg8 even exists,” says Matt Hofner, president of Jobg8’s Americas operation (the company is HQd in the U.K.). He and I spoke today about Jobg8’s business model, its growth, and how what it does helps improve the performance of its job board customers, which translates into better results for recruiters.

Job boards with a paucity of registered users, or traffic, or that just happen to get a job posting for a unique position can opt to submit the post to the Jobg8 network. When it does, it offers a payment for every qualified applicant submitted through the network.

The originating job board defines qualified, by imposing one or more qualifying questions. (This is not a resume-to-req matching service.)

Job boards decide how much they are willing to pay per applicant. And then pay extra for every qualifying question after the first.

“As you add additional filtering questions, obviously the qualification rate decreases and the cost of the applicant increases,” Hoffner  explains. Remarkably, as basic a question as “Are you eligible to work in the country” eliminated 21.7 percent of the applicants in the first quarter of the year for jobs in North America.

“From a recruiter’s perspective, there is really only one thing I want from a job board,” says Hoffner,  “qualified candidates at the lowest cost possible and with tools that make the acquisition process simple and efficient. The tools that Jobg8 provides to a job board are designed to help them achieve that goal.”

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