By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech
It’s certainly not a new idea. Some job boards have offered “career services” for years. They’ve seen only modest pickup, however, not because of the caliber of the services, but because the vast majority of candidates just didn’t see or appreciate the need. That’s now changed, and what was a “nice to have” product barely a year ago, has now become a strategic business opportunity.
Now, to be clear, when I use the term “career services,” I am not talking about resume writing support or interviewing skills development. Those are job search services, and they remain both important offerings for job seekers and a potentially significant additional revenue stream for a job board.
What I mean by “career services” is a portfolio of products that enable a person to improve their career self-management capacity. Sadly, it’s long been an area of development that the vast majority of high schools and colleges simply do not address. They educate their students for classroom excellence and ignore preparing them for work-life success. As a consequence, the vast majority of today’s working men and women are woefully incapable of building a career that is both fulfilling and rewarding.
The facts! In a talent market that is more competitive and less understood than at any other time in history, it’s the facts that matter most. And TAtech’s biweekly podcast Start Smart focuses on the facts. Join me and my cohost, Shelia Gray, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Quadient, as we examine the findings from the latest talent acquisition research and explore their implications for recruiters and job seekers. This week’s show looks at a report by Aptitude Research on “The Power of AI in Talent Acquisition.”
What kind of help do they need?
Career services include but are not limited to:
• Assessments to determine an individual’s:
o talent (i.e., the intersection of what they love to do, what they do best and what they do well enough to earn a satisfying standard of living);
o work style preferences (e.g., the organizational culture in which they thrive, the way they most like to be managed); and
o life priorities (e.g., the relative importance of work, career, family and other factors).
• Skills development for:
o Setting near, mid and long-term career goals;
o Identifying and evaluating their own capability gaps and opportunities;
o Speaking up for themselves with peers and managers;
o Networking and developing a strong personal brand; and
o Dealing with any career or personal setbacks that may occur.
Why has the time come for job boards to add these products to their inventory?
Because the outlook and circumstances of candidates have changed dramatically in the last year, and those changes are likely to persist for some time. Specifically:
• Millions of women have left the workforce and at least some are now considering how they can and should return.
• Millions of Millennials have found themselves frustrated and unfulfilled by their jobs and are now trying to determine what they want from their careers.
• And, millions of workers who quit their jobs to move to a new employer have found the grass isn’t greener there and are now searching for ways to resurrect their careers.
More than at any other time in decades, candidates need career assistance. Therefore, a job board that rebrands itself as a source of employment AND career support has a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In effect, they deploy the job board equivalent of recruitment marketing. Their career services capability enables them to attract and hang onto what employers call “a talent pool.” For the job board, however, it’s a steady, recurring flow of those who are actively looking for a job AND those who want to be prepared for what they know will almost certainly be a career reset at some point down the road. That flow, in turn, represents a new and recurring stream of high caliber candidates for its talent acquisition customers. It differentiates the job board and sets it up for increased revenues.
What might preclude this happy outcome? There are several factors, but the two most significant are:
• Lousy services. To be a credible career support provider, a job board must offer services that are high caliber, impactful and engaging.
• Lousy branding. To be recognized as a career support provider, a job board must fully rebrand itself as such and aggressively and continuously promote that capability among job seekers
Job boards have remained a fixture in online talent acquisition for over twenty-five years now, largely because they’ve been willing to adapt to new market dynamics and opportunities. It’s now time to adapt once again … by offering first-class career services for today’s candidates.
Food for Thought,
Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can download his latest book – The Neonaissance – FOR FREE at OneStoryforAll.com. And, if you don't have time to read the entire book, just download a short excerpt of his inspirational message.