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Postcards From the Real World

First In-Person Tech Conference In Over a Year

Last week, TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions held the first in-person talent technology conference in over a year. TAtech North America & The World Job Board Forum was collocated with the SHRM Talent Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on August 23-25. This report, the first of two, will cover the insights and information presented at part 1 of the conference: The World Job Board Forum. Think of it as postcards from the real world.

Despite the Delta variant, Hurricane Henri and forest fires, the conference was attended by representatives from Indeed and ZipRecruiter, Lensa in Hungary, Adzuna in the UK and Clinch, a PageUp company in Australia, as well as those from, Results Generation,, and, among many others.

Chris Forman, the CEO of Appcast, kicked off the discussions with a presentation on “Future Shock: How privacy and competition between jobsites and applicant tracking systems will reshape the recruitment technology market.” He reported that the job ad market is now somewhere between $5-8B per year in size, with enterprise employers representing 45% of the total and 50% of the enterprise segment generated by programmatic ad buying. Despite that healthy opportunity, however, he pointed out that job boards now face at least two new challenges. One is from ATS companies, which appear to be in the hunt for additional revenue streams, with some targeting the job ad space. The other is from the privacy policy recently announced by Apple, which if it spreads to other platforms could significantly degrade the tracking capability that is essential to effective digital advertising. Chris’s slides will be posted here shortly.

Next up was a panel of job board execs who reminisced about their experience with and lessons learned from the Covid pandemic. Josh Blumenfeld, CEO of; Alex Murphy, CEO of; Joe Stubblebine, CRO of; and Tim Rush, CEO of all felt they had succeeded in weathering the storm and effectively positioning their companies for rapid growth this year by, first, more aggressively listening to clients about their needs and, second, by accepting that their products and services can and should be revised and/or extended in order to appropriately meet those needs. In a word, they concluded, humility – a willingness to acknowledge that improvement is always possible – was and will continue to be the key to their growth.

Their panel was followed by a Fireside Chat on the subject of Job Boards, DE&I and Compliance. Peter Weddle, TAtech CEO, interviewed Shannon Offord, VP of Partnerships at DirectEmployers Association, covering topics ranging from the actual state of DE&I among employers and how enduring their commitment to advancing it will be to how non-diversity job boards can position themselves as credible sources of diverse talent. With regard to that last issue, Offord urged sites to get involved with the diversity communities they want to target. Interacting with those groups outside the job space will signal that their interest is more than simply commercial and thus make them more attractive to both job seekers and employers in those communities.

Next up was a session by Pedro Oliviera, founder of, the leading job board in Portugal and now the CEO of TalentProtocol. Presenting from Lisbon, he explored “Transforming Talent from a Corporate to a Community Asset.” He argued that the first era of the web was about how we interact with information, and Google won. The second era was about how we interact with each other, and Facebook won. The third era, which is just emerging, will be about how we interact and exchange value, and he believes individual investors will win. Using blockchain and cryptocurrency, they will be able to invest in the careers of talented workers and benefit both themselves and those workers. Imagine, he asked, if you could invest in the career of someone you think will be the next Richard Branson. A digital currency and an “Initial Talent Offering” now make that possible.

Finally, one of the hallmarks of TAtech conferences is the discussion and debate generated by the presentations, and The World Job Board Forum was no exception. Neither the mask requirement nor social distancing was able to blunt the interactions. No less important, the conversations were uniquely strategic and bottom line focused – the event was specifically designed for company CEOs, their direct reports and senior members of their teams and they kept the dialogue focused on how best to achieve business success.

Next week’s post will cover part 2 of the TAtech conference: TAtech North America. In the interim, visit to see the full agenda of the conference as well as TAtech’s upcoming events and other activities.