What the European Job Board Market Looks Like in 2018

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Oct 5, 2018

There is no single European job board market leader. There are 24!

Below, I examine the use of leading job boards in Europe, including Monster, StepStone, Indeed, LinkedIn, and more. It’s based on the Global Talent Acquisition Monitor, a European recruitment study conducted among nearly 60,000 respondents from the European workforce in June/July 2018.

  • On average, 1 out of every 3 Europeans looking for a job uses a job board.
  • The use of job boards for recruiting employees in Europe varies strongly per country and is not necessarily a given in recruitment procedures, even when looking for active job seekers.
  • The use of job boards is virtually non-existent in Sweden and Estonia.
  • Job boards are prevalent in Finland and Lithuania.

Nowhere in Europe is the percentage of job board usage as low as in Sweden (19 percent) and Estonia (19 percent). This rate shows an enormous difference when compared to Finland and Lithuania, which are tied for the highest European job-board usage rate at 52 and 51 per cent. On average, one out of three Europeans in the workforce uses a job board when looking for a new job. The remaining two out of three don’t! That means that using job boards to post a vacancy is not a guaranteed recruitment strategy in Europe — especially not in those specific countries with a very low usage of job boards. On the other hand, it is for example good to know that in Estonia and Sweden respectively 48 and 38 percent of the workforce uploads their CV to a job database. The leading job board is not without a reason called in Estonia. To recruit effectively in those countries, recruiters should use other strategies such as sourcing, personal networks, social media, or agencies. Local data is necessary in order to operate effectively in local European markets.

Besides Finland and Lithuania, we see a high rate of job board usage in the Netherlands (47 percent), Hungary (47 percent), Romania (45 percent) and Belgium (44 percent)  Huge differences may exist between neighbouring countries.

Rate of job-board usage when looking for a job among the European workforce, by country

Uses job boards/job websites when looking for a job
United Kingdom37%
Czech Republic23%
  • The Portuguese and Belgian job board markets are the most diversified job board markets in Europe, while Estonia is the least diversified.
  • The most prevalently used local job boards can be found in Bulgaria, Norway, and Denmark.

In addition to the adoption of job board usage, there are interesting differences in the concentration of job boards in individual countries. The Netherlands, for example, has 2,400 job boards and 12,600 agency websites listing vacancies. One job board/job website exists for every 60 actively-looking candidates. leads the market in the Netherlands. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents mentioned Indeed (a top-tier score). The top three job boards (Indeed,, and were mentioned by 60 percent of respondents from the Dutch workforce (this a third-tier score). If you compare this to the rest of the European market, you can see that the Dutch market is relatively widely distributed. This means that recruitment needs to use multiple job boards in order to reach a reasonable portion of the active job-seeking population.

The countries where the top job board has the smallest margin of dominance are Italy (, followed by Germany ( (19 percent) and Lithuania ( (19 percent). Besides looking at the dominancy of the No. 1 job board in a particular country, it’s interesting to see how diversified the job board market in that country is. This score indicates the number of job boards that are needed to use to reach the workforce in such a country. The lower the score, the higher the degree of diversification in that market. This indicates multiple job boards are needed to reach the workforce.

The top five countries with the most diversified job board markets 

  1. Italy 36%
  2. Belgium 44%
  3. Portugal 46%
  4. Germany 50%
  5. Lithuania 51%

Italy, followed by Belgium, has the most diversified job board market in Europe. If we take a more in-depth look for instance at Belgium this diversified job board market is not surprising. Its job market consists of specialised job boards for the Flemish-speaking, French-speaking, English-speaking (Brussels), and German-speaking portions of the already small workforce population. For each language segment in Belgium, a different job board leads the market and a different website exists for the government. In addition to Italy and Belgium, there is a great deal of diversification among job boards in Portugal, Germany, and Lithuania.

The top five countries with the least-diversified job board markets 

  1. Estonia 90%
  2. Bulgaria 86%
  3. Ukraine 84%
  4. Norway 81%
  5. Denmark 81%

In comparison to Belgium, it’s much easier to reach the entire workforce in Estonia, Bulgaria, or Ukraine. If we look at Estonia, for instance, using, or will allow a recruiter to reach 90 percent of all job-board users in Estonia.

European Job Board Market Leaders

  • Across 27 countries, there are 24 different market leaders.
  • ‘Jobs’ is a great name for a job board (as demonstrated by three market leaders).
  • Only,, and lead the market in two countries.
  • LinkedIn is not considered a job board. If it were, its best market position would be No. 1.

In the 27 countries included in the study, I’ve found 24 different job board market leaders. Only (UK and the Netherlands), cv (in Estonia and Latvia) and (Spain and Italy) lead the market in two different countries. While the domain name ‘Jobs’ also scores well, it has different owners in Ireland, Bulgaria, and Switzerland. An employer wishing to use job boards to recruit employees across Europe by using only the best local sites would need to use 24 different job boards!

The only name missing here is LinkedIn. As a job board, LinkedIn is ranked third in Denmark, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Yet LinkedIn is also a social media platform. Here are the the market leaders listed per country





Czech Republic          






















United Kingdom       


How Strong the Global Job Boards Are

In 24 of the 27 countries measured, LinkedIn has a top-10 position, followed by Indeed in 19 countries and Monster in 12 countries. Other global job board players are StepStone (five) and Xing (three) and those of employment agencies Adecco (four) and Randstad (three). Monster has an average rank of 3.8 in the top 10, followed by indeed (4.3). LinkedIn comes in at 5.9. No single global brand dominates the European job board market. LinkedIn maintains visibility in almost every European country but holds no leading position. is preferred more often and operates in a large number of European countries. Monster has a narrower focus: it operates in 12 countries and has, on average, the strongest positions in those countries. This could yield vast opportunities for Randstad, which owns Monster.

Local brands tend to dominate the national markets in the European job board market. When you use job boards to recruit talent, it appears to be more effective to use local champions (sometimes the global leader) rather than a single job board for the entire European market.


image from bigstock

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