Create, Manage, and Work With Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces.
Each week, Steven Rothberg of College Recruiter and Peter Zollman of the AIM Group, along with guests from the world's leading job sites, analyze news about general, niche, and aggregator job board and recruitment marketplace sites.
How to envision, build, and sell a diversity job board...twice
Rathin Sinha been active in the talent marketplace and HR tech industry for the last two decades building new businesses such as Monster’s ecommerce, America’s Job Exchange, and JOBfindah. Both AJE and JOBfindah diversity job boards and acquired by Circa.
Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I'm Stephen Rothberg, the founder of College Recruiter, Job search site at College Recruiter. We believe that every student in recent grad deserves a great career.
Speaker 2 (00:23):
And I'm Peter Oman, founding Principal of the AIM Group, the leading global business intelligence service for marketplaces and classified advertising companies. We consult with recruitment marketplaces, companies and publish AIM group, recruitment intelligence, and a free weekly digest. We also host the annual Global Rec Buzz Conference.
Speaker 1 (00:44):
This is the podcast for you to learn more about how to create, manage, and work with general niche and aggregator job boards and recruitment marketplaces. Hey, Peter, it's good to talk to you today.
Speaker 2 (00:58):
It is good to talk to you too. I'm sitting here in Florida in the middle of a typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm, so if you hear rumbling, it is not my stomach, it's just Florida.
Speaker 1 (01:12):
So you're not like severely lactose intolerant or anything like that then, huh?
Speaker 2 (01:17):
Actually lactose intolerant. I am not. I have many other failings, but that's not one of them. <Laugh> it's good to talk to you and it's good to talk to you too, Ra. Thank you.
Speaker 1 (01:31):
Yeah. So Peter AIM group what stories are you guys following right now? Well,
Speaker 2 (01:38):
Here are four quick tidbits from our recruitment Intelligence Digest. The New York Times had a great article about gig work and why it's so popular, even though the job market is so strong. Hi, Bob. Or is it? Hi, Bob has raised another $150 million for expansion. That's an HR tech company based in Israel the parent company of Lippin, which is the Chinese recruitment marketplace, one of several. It reported nearly 50% growth in operating profit and a significant rere increase in revenue. And finally seek, which is the Australia based recruitment mar marketplace, their number one down under, and they're also operating in Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America. They hit a $1 billion in revenue in their last fiscal year. Now that's Aussie dollars. So it's only about 780 million us, but it's still very strong growth and very impressive.
Speaker 1 (02:42):
So, common thread business is good. Are you, are you seeing that across all, all the different job boards and recruitment marketplaces that you're following? Or do you think these are outliers?
Speaker 2 (02:54):
No. Business is definitely good. It is slowing down a little bit. Zip noted, zip recruiter noted that they had slower growth, still growth still great, but slower growth due to the macroeconomics in the us. So it's slowing down a bit, but as one of our friends once told us, not very long ago, if you're not crushing it in this environment, you ought to be in a different business.
Speaker 1 (03:22):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and, and, and hopefully not a business that involves the sale of lactose or anything like
Speaker 2 (03:28):
That lactose or bitcoins. Let's stay away from Bitcoins too, you know, <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (03:33):
Absolutely. You know, what we're not gonna stay away from though is, is today's guest our mutual friend Ruthie Sinha. He has been active in the talent marketplace and HR tech industry for the last two decades, building new businesses such as Monsters, e-Commerce, America's Job Exchange. A lot of people know that by a j e and Job Finda both a j e and Job finda or diversity job boards. And they were both acquired by Circa Raan, welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast.
Speaker 3 (04:08):
Hey, thank you very much Steve, and, and thank you so much, Peter. Nice to talk to both of you.
Speaker 2 (04:13):
It is good to talk to you too. You know, 20 years is a long time in this business. You came from of all places, Kinkos, and before that you were a software engineer and so forth. What have you noticed in the job board talent marketplaces in the last 20 years? How has that translated into new business models and startups, and maybe more importantly, what's coming up that job boards slash recruitment marketplaces have to be aware of and undertake?
Speaker 3 (04:49):
Okay, that's one question, Right? Okay, so let me,
Speaker 1 (04:52):
Speaker 2 (04:53):
You wrote it, <laugh>.
Speaker 3 (04:56):
Well, you know, there's a lot to, not to cover, but let just take it step by step, you know slowly but you know, not too much of talk. Number one, the major players have changed, right? I mean, used to be Monster Hot Jobs Career Builder 20 years ago. Today it's indeed Glassdoor, LinkedIn Zip Recruiter, and maybe a shadow of Monster and Career Builder, but really, the major players have changed, right? But, and the big picture, it really hasn't changed. I mean, the primary value prop remains the same. Help people find jobs that best fit what they want, and also help employers find their best matched candidates. You know, classic two-sided marketplace where one side creates value for the other. So no major shift in the core model and stuff like that, but a lot of changes in user behavior and preferences, like for job seekers.
You know, if I look at it, there are four changes, right? Number one, before people would go to, you know, Monster or Career Builder and fill up a resume and so on, most of the people today, you know, they go to Google and look for a job and then wherever they take. So I think the power of brand, I know Zip Grill talked a lot of their investment in their brand and unaided recall, but people do look for jobs on Google first, most people. So that's a big, big, you know, implication. Number two, there is a lot of appetite for information. I mean, the job by itself is valuable, but people want to know about, you know, what's the company, what kind of salary, what kind of benefits, culture and all that. So that's a big shift. Number three, mobile first, you know, you want to be able to do it on the go.
So that's a major, major, you know, theme. And then obviously after the pandemic, we have seen remote. I mean, we kind of grew up in this idea that job search is local. You know, all this niche roads and everything, they were like local, but it's like a traumatic shift. It's remote, it's global. You, you want to work anywhere. So the point is, so these are huge shifts in user preferences. The same way for employers. I mean, look at it I mean automation, right? I mean, people don't wanna post jobs anymore. They want jobs to be scraped and posted or fed automatically. So that's a big shift. I mean, they're, they want you to manage your budget and ROI almost like, you know, they want the recruiters want others to manage their media automatically. And then obviously the candidate pipeline engagement and off late there is focus on diversity and inclusion and compliance.
So you can see no major shift, but things have changed dramatically. So when I look at that, how does that really impact the job or business? So, you know, before we used to compete with newspapers and stuff like that. So really our goal was adoption. Today we are primarily competing with each other. I mean, just plain and simple. And consequently, you know, we are ma we are less profitable little bit. We are, we are, we are growing, we are big, but not as much. So there is a lot of rivalry within the space. That's huge. I, that has huge impact. We are experimenting with a lot of things. I mean, there are so many things, they sound very exciting, but, you know, we are experimenting with pricing, flat pricing or paper click, right? We are experimenting with content, you know, enhanced, you know, benefit user content or editorial content and all of that.
We are experimenting with tools and platforms and audience, geography, you know niche audience of, and then also technology. I mean, people talking about artificial intelligence, you know, machine learning. So there's a lot of noise in the space, okay? But primarily we are fundamentally, we are still the same. So, so all of this, So as a job board operator or, you know, kind of in the space as an operator it does actually have huge impact. I see a lot of change. I mean, setting up a job board used to be the big part 20 years ago. Today, that's the least of your problems. I mean, it's so easy to build something, right? I mean, the cloud technology, the coding tools, everything is there. Big pro, big change is traffic acquisition. How do you get people to come to your job site? So that's a huge, huge shift.
I mean, you know, there isn't that much of change, although e-commerce, I, I expected to become big part of customer acquisition process. It really hasn't still companies are selling. So when you look at a business, there are only two costs, right? Your customer acquisition, and then obviously delivery of that. So, you know, what's, how do you lower your cac, so-called customer acquisition cost, and then how do you increase your overall revenue from that customer? So other than traffic, those pieces have kind of stayed stagnant. But operating a job board really requires a little bit different type of expertise and focus, and that is really a result of all these evolutionary changes. That's how I look at it.
Speaker 1 (10:52):
We'll be back right after this break.
Before we jumped on Peter and I kind of had a, a virtual flip the coin as to who gets to ask which of the two major questions of you. I don't know if I won or if I lost, but I'm gonna talk to you about mergers and acquisitions. So you created two different job boards a J E and Job Finda, both of them in the same niche of O F C C compliance, both of them sold to Circa. So for the benefit of the listeners, especially those outside the us, maybe you can first tell us, you know, briefly, what is O F C C P compliance? And for those who are still awake, at the end of that you can explain, you know, creating two different job boards, selling both of them, and even selling both of them to the same buyer.
Speaker 3 (12:03):
Yeah, I mean, so let's take one step at a time. I mean, this is not really a primer on web is a bit confines, but it kind of really tells you that evolutionary nature that I was kind of alluding be before. One of the thing that we have seen quite a bit of focus in the last couple of years is diversity inclusion, you know, last two, three years. But it was there before. It was just not so prominent, right? So for me, doing these two businesses were just part of that, you know, response to that evolution many way where, you know also the opportunities came. So ajee was truly you know, it, it's an, it, it's a, it's an opportunity that came because the US government, you know, department of Labor, which really does <inaudible> compliance, and I'll come to that, they had this mechanism in place, and then in 2006, they kind of said, Okay, we're gonna shut it off.
Okay? And so what happens is, but the compliance, that diversity, that inclusion efforts that were needed, it needed a platform to do that. So we just built a solution for that. I mean, there are a couple of us, but the point is that's how the opportunity landed. And and, and we did that, and we can talk a lot about it, you know, how was, so what is so great about building that, right, the first mover and all that. The second piece is JobFinder was really, again, an opportunity of building like a better mouse trap, you know, a better solution. So once I did the aje, the context was building something new. There was nothing there. There was no regulation, no solution. You know, a couple of companies fighting it out thinking what's the right solution? And so on the second time, you know, kind of learned everything we heard from all these people, primarily, you know, I was not trained to be a web compliance.
Frankly, I didn't know. Everything I learned is from the industry, the experts, the partners, my competitors, my customers. So the more you learn, the more you do, you kind of feel like, Oh, what did I do before? That doesn't make any sense. You know? So maybe, so I think it was the opportunity to build something 10 times better, so to speak, then before, by leveraging that experience. I mean, you know, as a, as a entrepreneur, one of the key things I always think about is your ability to listen and learn and doing something and learning it from others is I think is a virtue. I don't, I'm not too good in that, but I try to be. And many ways I would say that that was the context. Now, what exactly is Y C P compliance? So as I talked about those four themes, one of the thing is diversity and inclusion.
And when you go back in the past the whole goal of this thing is to make sure that companies, you know they are proactively engaged in efforts to reach, attract, recruit, and nurture people from traditionally underrepresented groups. So what does that mean? All it means is like veterans, people like minorities, women, people who are disabled, I mean, we kind of make that assumption that job search is on the internet. So everybody's on the internet and they're coming and looking for jobs, and you get all these fancy features, but that's, now, that's not how the world operates, especially the people in certain groups. They do not have access, they do not have the skills and so on so forth. So what do companies do, you know, to attract them? And that is the solution. So all they did is, in tactical terms, it means posting your jobs on job boards that are specifically for niche audiences of these underrepresented groups. Then proactively reaching out to these groups, wherever you find them. There is no like hard and fast rule, but wherever you find them. And then most importantly, keeping track of that, Like what do you do? What kind of results you got, whom did you reach? So it becomes a continuous journey for the company that they are increasingly getting better and better and better in attracting these people. And it shows in results.
Speaker 1 (17:04):
And O F C C P is maybe for the listeners, what it stands for, What, what does that acronym translate into? It's, and it's part of the US Department of Labor, correct?
Speaker 3 (17:15):
Right. So it's really a program. It's called the Office of the Federal Contractor Compliance Program. And what that means is, again, ideally every company should be doing it, but the government can only mandate that for companies that are getting federal government money. I mean, you know, there has to be a sort of a catch. And so, okay, if you are doing a government contract, you are essentially getting paid by the taxpayers. So you gotta make sure your recruiting is really targeted for all sorts of people, not just the educated or, you know, the computer savvy, but everybody, they're having an equal footing, so to speak, to come and get a job from you. That's
Speaker 2 (18:08):
You. You mentioned, you mentioned learning. What, what have you learned while you built these companies that other entrepreneurs and professionals might find helpful as they build whatever companies they build and whatever, in whatever areas, whatever niches. What, what can you, what advice can you give people to say, Here's what I learned that I would recommend you take home with you?
Speaker 3 (18:41):
So the number one thing, and you know, there will be like two or three points. I don't want to get, I mean, this can be a book, but that, Right? I think the important thing, number one, I mean, which, like the AJ really taught me the power of being a first mover. Okay? Being a first mover, but in a concept that is already proven to have a need. So the need of that compliance was already there. It, but he won't be the first one because a lot of times when he won a first one, you were going into an unproven field, right? So I think unfair advantage is if you're the new one, you were the first mover, but in a proven field, right? Number one. So always try to find a business that's where you can operate. Number two, John Finder was really building a better mouse trap, right?
But then it is really, really leveraging what you learned, most importantly, what you learned from your customers. So when I build your finder, you know, I really, really try to incorporate everything that customers told me as feedback in the past. Okay. So that was the second piece. So learning and listening I think is a very important part. The third part, which I actually want to say it's very basic, I think, but you know, a business I, what I learned, and that is like the big reckoning. A business must be able to create value for its customers or users. I mean, that's a must. And more importantly, it must be able to communicate that value. You know, it's, it's, it's concisely, clearly, and with conviction. So, so the biggest learning is one has no reason to be in business, you know, in a business, if one can't create value, I mean, that's the number one thing.
Number two, there is no chance of winning if you obviously can't create more value than your competitor or reasonably more value than your competitor. But there is absolutely no chance of winning if you can't articulate that value. It's, it's just so critically important. I think, I think that's the biggest lesson that I learned because obviously it was not a smooth smelly sailing, right? So, and, and you don't need to be the best to be able to build a profitable business, you know? But again, you must create a very specific, measurable and important value for your target customer, and you must be able to articulate that value. Everything you do, everything you say, must back up that value. I think that's my biggest learning.
Speaker 2 (21:16):
That sounds great. I would love to go on for another 20 or 30 minutes, but since we <laugh> agreed that this would be about 20 minutes long I'm going to suggest that a, we thank you very much for joining us today and for people who wanna learn more about what you're doing or tap you for advice, or they can find you on LinkedIn, you're pretty easy to find on LinkedIn, but what's the best way to get in touch with you?
Speaker 3 (21:43):
Yeah, I mean, just message me via LinkedIn and some of you already know, or if they don't find me, they just reach out to you, Peter, or to Steven. I think we are in touch anyway, but thank you so much for the opportunity. Obviously we can spend a lot of time, but I wanted to just highlight the key three learnings. Those are very important for me, I treasured them.
Speaker 1 (22:03):
Speaker 2 (22:09):
Inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts College recruiter and the AIM group.
Speaker 1 (22:17):
Please subscribe for free on your favorite app. Review it. Five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people you know who wanna learn more about job boards and recruitment marketplaces.
Speaker 2 (22:29):
Special thanks to our producer and engineer, Ian Douglas. I'm your host, Peter Oman of the AIM Group, the leading global consultancy in the field of marketplaces and classified advertising. Find out more about our reports on recruitment marketplaces, job boards and classifieds, including our new recruitment marketplaces annual at aim group.com/reports.
Speaker 1 (22:54):
I'm your host, Steven Rothberg of job search site college recruiter. Each year we help more than 12 million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach me at email@example.com.