Why the European job board market is on the verge of a major transition

The European job board market is in a Golden Age: for active job seekers in Europe it is still the most dominant way of looking for a job. But for how long will its reign continue in a market that is undergoing change at a rapid pace?

Geert-Jan Waasdorp on November 09, 2022 Average reading time: 3 min
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Why the European job board market is on the verge of a major transition

In September and October of 2022, the most important global job board conferences took place in Amsterdam (RecBuzz) and London (Job Boards Connect). During the two events, global marketplaces that trade millions of clicks and hundreds of thousands of applications per day come together. It is a true mecca for staffing agencies which, weirdly enough aren’t the one attending.

Despite money being earned en masse due to the shortages within the labour market and the general dominance of this search and orientation channel, the European market is on the verge of a major transition.

The European and global job board market has entered its heyday. Despite money being earned en masse due to the shortages within the labour market and the general dominance of this search and orientation channel, the European market is on the verge of a major transition. The battle with Indeed in particular, and to a lesser extent with LinkedIn and Google, has been settled and more ground is being lost. Whereas Indeed was the market leader in only one European country three years ago, it is now the market leader in 6. That includes Germany, England and France. And their dominant position isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Market share/dominance by the market leader. Source: Intelligence Group

Uniform blockchain-supported CV’s

The market share of the current, traditional and profitable job board market is under pressure in many areas. The development of programmatic, cost-per-click and cost-per-applicant – see Indeed’s new strategic choice – seems to slowly become the norm. At the same time, a new phenomenon is making itself heard: ‘fake applicants and fake clicks’. Troll armies click and apply to earn extra money from the programmatic model.

Uniform blockchain-supported CV’s would be a transferable phenomenon, which can be used to apply for a job and/or enter into a contract.

A development that will eventually lead to a uniform blockchain-supported CV, which will likely be owned by the candidate/employee. And, at least as interesting, it would be a transferable phenomenon, which can be used to apply for a job and/or enter into a contract. A kind of employability passport, of which SkillsCV is a frontrunner in the Netherlands.

A new generation of ‘job boards’

And that shouldn’t or won’t be all. We’re slowly seeing an emergence of platform technology as a replacement for the existing job board technology. This technology is faster, smarter and matches better. This type of tech focuses on the wishes of the candidate, such as time, payment, duration of the assignment, and flexibility. Europe has its fair share of these types of platforms, most notably YoungOnes, jobandtalent.com and Nowjobs are marking a new generation of ‘job boards’.

YoungOnes, jobandtalent.com and Nowjobs are marking a new generation of ‘job boards’.

Related to the growth that these types of platforms are seeing, there are more companies rapidly gaining ground within the sector. There’s staffing agencies such as Randstad and Adecco, but also several specialised, data-driven and automated agencies. Then there’s educational institutions, that, based on the increasing shortage of skills, skills gaps and the gap between education and the labour market, will take control with an aim of closing the gap.

Gig workers, digital nomads and freelancers will become more important part of any labour market.

As a result, you’re going to see business models for (commercial) educators, in which candidates can grow within compounds of a company – and are taught for specific positions to create a better, more sustainable connection between education as a whole and the job as a direct result. Finally, gig workers, digital nomads and freelancers will become more important part of any labour market. Platforms that can attract these types of workers will likely leave more traditional parties scrambling to find motivated potential employees.

Who’s able to understand the candidate?

When analysing the current European job board market, not much has changed in the past 20 years. The primary focus is still on employers that sell their jobs with traditionally bad vacancy texts, incomplete information (a lack of salary and employment transparency) and an often discriminatory and non-transparent process.

Earn Hire: earn while you apply

Rather than assuming the value of a match to the tune of thousands of euro’s for intermediaries and employers – Earn Hire chooses to pay the owners of a resume when their resume is viewed.

While the labour market is scarce, the job board industry still doesn’t quite take the candidate seriously. Paradoxically, some platforms do. Take a company such as Earn Hire, which could be viewed as the onlyfans of job applicants – which may very well lead the new generation of understanding candidates. Rather than assuming the value of a match to the tune of thousands of euro’s for intermediaries and employers – Earn Hire chooses to pay the owners of a resume when their resume is viewed.

If you can add more value for the candidate, through vacancies, skills, training advice, real advisors, insurance, payment conditions, and so forth – you have entered the new generation of job boards.

That doesn’t only bring the ownership to where it belongs, firmly with candidates, but also serves as the driver behind creating value for them. And so, the candidate is taken seriously, with actual value being put on CVs. If you can then add more value for the candidate, through vacancies, skills, training advice, real advisors, insurance, payment conditions, and so forth – you have entered the new generation of job boards. A Netherlands-based start-up such as verloning.nl, which operates for gig workers, is another fantastic pioneer. Their business is built on a hassle-free experience: no administration or VAT number is required for gig workers, while taxes, benefits and income is all taken care of.

Who’ll be the new winner?

Taking everything into account, it’s very strange that a multi-billion-euro industry in Europe treats candidates so traditionally and conventionally, while candidates are the scarce commodity. Job boards are just one example of this. The real problem lies with employers, clients and agencies. It appears inevitable that a ‘gamechanger ‘ will reset that market in the coming years. The data is there, the money is there – and candidates are dying for it. Who will be the new winner?

Want to know more?

The author of this piece is Geert-Jan Waasdorp, the CEO and founder of talent intelligence data pioneers Intelligence Group. During Job Boards Connect, he presented Status and trends in the European Jobboard market: Who’s in the heart of the candidate? That presentation is downloadable here

 

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Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Entrepreneur and Investor at Intelligence Group, Academie voor Arbeidsmarktcommunicatie, Werf&, Arbeidsmarktkansen, Recruitment Accelerator en Recruiteverywhere.com
Geert-Jan Waasdorp has been active in the world of job market communication and recruitment since 1999. He started his journey as an analyst, and grow into an entrepreneur, business owner, investor and innovator. Waasdorp is a guest speaker, blogger and author of several books on recruitment and employer branding.
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