Advice for Employers and Recruiters

How to prepare for a recession by better monetizing your job board with Martin Lenz of Jobiqo.

Shelby Konkel AvatarShelby Konkel
November 17, 2022


Create, manage, and work with Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces.

Each week, Steven Rothberg, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of College Recruiter, and Peter M. Zollman, Founder 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.

In today’s episode, our hosts are joined by Martin Lenz, CEO of Jobiqo, a leading provider of job board software and AI-powered matching technology.

Peter kicks off the episode by discussing how the Great Resignation has slowly turned into the Great Return, with a decent amount of employees trying to go back to their previous job. Steven outlines some of the many advantages of a company rehiring lost employees. Maybe an employee wasn’t a good fit at the time, but in the future after a change in interests or gaining some experience, the employee might mesh better with the company.

Martin Lenz uses his background in AI technology to share how job boards and recruitment marketplaces can utilize AI to attract the best candidates at the lowest price. By using AI to learn the behavior and interests of candidates, we can get a deeper understanding of job seekers and therefore create a better candidate experience for them. Martin discusses the impact job boards could receive from a possible upcoming recession and the best ways to minimize any losses. Finally, the trio chats about video resumes, TikTok, and other ways job boards are trying to appeal to the upcoming generation of job seekers.

Listen to the full episode here:

Subscribe here to follow the Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast and stay up to date with new episodes.

TRANSCRIPT

Steven (00:09):

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.

Peter (00:23):

And I’m Peter Zollman, founding Principle 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.

Steven (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 is great to be back with you on top of the morning,

Peter (01:01):

Top of the morning, or in your case, top of the afternoon Martin’s case, top of the afternoon, middle of the afternoon for him. So it’s good to be here. It’s been another week and things are going well, holidays. It’s all good. It’s all

Steven (01:22):

Good. Awesome. Well, good things come back in spades or sometimes they come back as boomerangs.

Peter (01:29):

Yeah.

Steven (01:30):

Or did you see what I did there? Did you see what I did there?

Peter (01:34):

It was so clever. Steven <laugh>. Yeah. One of the things we’ve been looking at is there was an article the other day that I saw about the Great resignation becoming the great return, and how many people who left their jobs want to go back to the old job or to the old company. And there’s been Boomerang employment for a long, long, long, long time, obviously, but it’s come back since the great resignation started. And it’s becoming for some people, not for everybody. The great return, and the article I was reading was talking about how there are so many advantages to a company for a Boomerang employee to bring them back. You don’t have to teach ’em the corporate culture. You don’t have to show them where the bathroom is. You don’t have to show them how people write their memos or their emails or things like that.

(02:39):

Great advantages, as long as they were a good performer the first time around, bringing people back is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a very good thing. We had two boomerangs recently at the AIM group. We had Christ Vhe was with us for about 10, 12 years, and then he returned for a while this year and John Zapp was with us for four years, and he returned for about six months before he unfortunately got ill and then passed away. So boomerangs can be a very good thing for a company and job boards, recruitment sites, recruitment marketplaces can support that by encouraging their employers to look at former employees who want to come back.

Steven (03:34):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a wise employer that recognizes that a job today may not be a good fit, but that same job three years from now might be, you might acquire better skills your kids might be older and your better position to travel, the company may have changed the job with the company that you’re looking at, may not be available this year, but might be available five years from now. And in the meantime, you’ve grown and you’ve acquired experience. Maybe you went and worked for a direct competitor and now you have a wealth of knowledge about how they do business and can bring some of those lessons into your workplace. So

Peter (04:16):

As long as you don’t bring their data and their secrets,

Steven (04:20):

Right, right. Yes. Now that stuff stays confidential, but the improvements in your skills, that’s fair game

Peter (04:28):

And the knowledge.

Steven (04:29):

Yeah, absolutely. So speaking of knowledge, we have a fantastic guest here today. See, I did that again. See where I went? See where I went, say I did there, so I know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s doing the whole choking thing, whatever, But <laugh>. So today’s guest is a good friend of both of ours lives in one of the most beautiful countries in the world in Austria. It’s Martin Lenz, he’s the CEO of Job, and they power boards and career sites for different media brands, associations, staffing companies, direct employers, job boards, et cetera. And if I’m not mistaken, I think it’s in a couple of dozen countries worldwide, but we’ll get into that. So Martin, welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. Oh,

Martin (05:19):

Thank you. Hello from Vienna. Hello from Europe. Thanks for having me, Peter. Steven, it’s great to be here.

Peter (05:26):

It’s good to have. We saw you not so long ago at Buzz and Amsterdam. One of the big topics there was AI and artificial intelligence is first of all, one of those things that lots of people say they really don’t, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent and more and more important. You want to talk about job boards, recruiting marketplaces, using ai. Do they really, how does it work? How does it improve things, et cetera?

Martin (06:03):

Yeah, absolutely. So I think first of all, the concepts of AI and machine learning, as most of us use with deep learning, they exist already for a very long time. So the first concept starts in the early fifties and go back to the eighties maybe. But as of now, we now have the ability, we now have the data available to make use of those algorithms and models, and we have the computing power to make this data of use. And that opens up we just starting to understand what this really opens up. But when you ask me in terms of recruitment advertising or recruitment marketing and chalkboards, I always like to look at the funnel first. So at the candidate journey, so when you get to a chalkboard as a candidate you start, maybe you start your search on Google or any of the aggregators on social media, and then the chalkboard is trying to create your path towards the right job.

(07:09):

And here’s the first time where you can use ai. So you can use machine learning algorithms to optimize the social media spend that you have as a job board, the advertising that you spend as a job board to get the best candidates at the lowest cost. And when the candidate is on the site, you can make her click on the right jobs by learning from the behavior or understanding what is really interesting to the candidate. So she gets the best experience on the search, but also on the application. So there’s small, still small things or narrowed use cases that we are looking at. So there is not this big one, big ai, like you go there as a candidate and it just tells you where to apply into years. So this is not what we see yet, but we see this the small steps that many of the players in the markets are taking to optimize the processes and to create a much better candidate experience. So I’m most excited about using AI to create a better candidate experience and to acquire traffic, but there is many more use cases as

Steven (08:19):

Interesting. One of the other things that we talked about with you at the bus conference in Amsterdam was about how job boards could minimize the impact of an upcoming recession on their businesses. I think it’s pretty clear that there are definitely areas of the world that are in recession now but even if the particular country of the listener isn’t at this point, it will be a year from now, five years from now, whatever, it’s just inevitable. So whether a job board serves markets that are in recession right now or not, what kind of impacts do you think the next recession is gonna have on job boards?

Martin (09:03):

Yeah. Yeah very good question. So I think it depends a little bit on which market or country or continent you’re looking at. So many experts believe that the recession will start earlier in Europe because of the dependency on natural resources and the energy prices. But definitely everybody expects that there will be a recession also across the globe. Also in the US you typically always see a lag in the implication on advertising. And just yesterday in Austria, they announced that they have the lowest unemployment rate for more than 14 years. So last time the unemployment rate was that low was in 2008 before the financial crash. So it’s really interesting how this adds to the narrative that everybody’s now fearful and recession is coming and so on. And the reason for that is there will be a discontinued demand in So there will be an ongoing demand in top talent because there is more people leaving the market skill, people leaving the market that are getting back to the market.

(10:15):

So in terms of market demand on great talent, there will be a continuous demand. And that is actually a good news for CHOP boards because they’re trying to match this supply and demand side. But even if the demand side was going down you as a CHOP boards, you can find countercyclical strategies. And one of that is if more candidates are searching for a job, you can provide a great service to them and you can collect a bigger database that you can use when the market is getting back. So I believe in many experts agree with that, that there will be a continuous demand on the talent side. So there will be certain industries that may see a downside, but I think across all industries, there will be a continuous demand, at least for the next 12 month. And I think nobody there is to say what’s after this 12 month.

Steven (11:18):

We’ll be back right after this break. Welcome back to the inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces podcast.

Peter (11:35):

Because of demographics, obviously a lot of people who have been in the workforce have retired or are retiring and there aren’t as many young people coming in as there were going out. How does a recruitment site play to that capitalize on it, and what kinds of things can a recruitment site do to help fill the gaps and also help those younger workers who don’t necessarily have the experience?

Martin (12:13):

So many of the chalkboards I would say, are mainly in CHOP advertising, and they’re typically very transactional. So if you just continue to provide your service the way you do, it can be fine, but you may miss out a big opportunity to reach this new audience of young people or genset. So those are people that are on TikTok and they have different values when they go to a job. So it’s totally different than if you talk to someone else. So I think finding a way to make your side or your experience appealing to those young candidates and to convince and consult your clients, your employer clients how to present themselves, because you can have the best candidate experience on your chalkboard, but if it’s a bad job, nobody will apply on it. And it’s actually, it adds to the bad experience, and in the end, it makes the site feel bad. So understanding which channels you need to address understanding what it means for young people and the next generation to use online services and job boards and how you can advise employers how to present the job to them, I think that’s critical to at least take some of the potential.

Peter (13:42):

Two quick things. First, I’ll tell you a story, then I’ll ask you a question. Dr. John Sullivan, whom you may be familiar with, he’s a recruitment guy, been around for decades. Dr. John sullivan.com wrote a great article about stories and how companies need to tell stories about the people who work for them and what they do for the people. As a great article, and we’ve summarized it in our recruitment digest, it reminded me that job boards, recruitment marketplaces can help their employers develop those stories and include them in the employer branding, either for the employer on its own site or for the employer within the job board. So you mentioned TikTok. TikTok is not going away, even though they have at least temporarily given up on the TikTok resumes experiment they have right now they’re working with Indeed in Singapore of all places on recruitment is TikTok. And the broader question, the video resume, is that ever gonna matter?

Martin (15:03):

Well, so starting with your anecdotes on the storytelling, I would definitely agree. So storytelling is a very much underrated skill and those folks who come out of the marketing space, they know what you’re talking about. But if you go more like to the technical space, okay, why do I need storytelling? So we actually have a storytelling initiative within the company. So there’s people practicing storytelling and getting people out of their comfort zone to have a presentation or to tell stories. So we’re also working with an expert on that because we truly believe that whatever you wanna knowledge, you wanna transition within the company or you wanna share within the company, it’s always easier if you steal it in the right story or if you find a good way of telling the stories, the video resume, I think it’s an application of what can be done.

(16:04):

So definitely everybody agrees that TikTok is a big thing for the set at least. But I talk to many chalkboard owners and the biggest success so far that they had is using TikTok as a channel to create more awareness about the brand, but they never really got good conversions out of it. But what really excites me is that no matter on what big search platform or social platform you’re looking at, everybody at some point takes a look at the recruitment vertical. There is no way around it. So Facebook did it, Google did it TikTok does it, LinkedIn is in the game anyways, but every, it’s such an important thing in your life and in the world that you get ideas on those platforms what you can do. So we have clients that run apprenticeship platforms, for example, like people of fif 15 to 16 years old, and they use these storytelling mechanisms to talk about the job in a way that is appealing to those candidates. So they kind of discover the use it as a discovery.

Steven (17:15):

Interesting. Well, I guess there’s some hope for me watching TikTok videos of dogs, including Huskies being divas and trying to convince my family that that’s work related. But one of the reasons that I was excited to talk with you, Martin, is that because you are involved in powering what hundreds of different career sites, job boards, et cetera, in couple dozen different countries, you’ve got a unusual ability to see what works in certain markets, what doesn’t work in other markets learn from something happening in Bulgaria and bring that to the UK or whatever. Let’s talk for a minute or two about monetization. And I think you’ve published a book that people can download it at java.com/playbook. But from that book or other ideas, what are some of the things that job boards and recruitment marketplaces should be doing and some of the pitfalls that they should be avoiding based on your experience in all these different job boards and all these different markets?

Martin (18:28):

Yes good question. So we are currently running about 200 job boards in about 20 countries globally. The majority of those job boards are in the tech regions, or German speaking region, UK Island and the us. So our biggest regions. But there’s also clients all across the globe, even in Africa or New Caledonia. And there’s a lot of similarities in there in those countries. So that’s why it’s possible to have a platform that works for all of these countries. But in the end, it always depends a little bit on the main competitors in those markets. What drives the most successful business model? So to say, in the US and the uk, we see much more trends towards performance marketing. So PPC advertising and programmatic, at least for some industries or high volume recruitment for example. Whereas in Germany, for example, this is still, there is a huge potential, but the incumbent main players like StepStone there is still so much protecting the paper post model that still works for them.

(19:45):

So everybody follows a little bit, has lower prices, and the paper post for them is still the best model to look at. So when we segment the market, we try to understand how can we create value with our platform. That’s why we came up with job board model playbook that you can download on our website. And we looked at those segments in a way of say, Okay, there’s traditional job boards, there’s advanced job boards, and there’s leading job boards, but it’s not in terms of a valuation, so to say. But depending on the market and the target audience you are working with and the clients you have, there’s a certain demand of more traditional post or maybe even print integration advertising other than some markets or some niches or some spaces with high volume. They’re already very data driven. Clients want to see analytics, they wanna see the performance, and they see it more like an eCommerce.

(20:46):

And they will say, Okay, what’s my cost per per higher? What’s my cost per click? And they track this along the funnel. But definitely one of the fastest growing models is the PPC model. So the programmatic or performance based model. And also we see a lot of hybrid models arising. So it’s shop boards that try to add the performance based model on aside the traditional paper posts model, if you wish to still stay in control what is happening, because it changes a lot in terms of cash flow and ability to sell those packages. What we did not see yet so much we are also talking about monetization of candidates. So there is just a very low number of sites, a very limited number of sites. One of the most successful is I think executer in Germany that also asks candidates for a subscription fee and a recent trend that we see in some very highly demand markets, also called reverse job boards. So this is basically, you could see it as there’s kind of a database of candidates and employers apply with those candidates and trying to present themselves in the reverse way of what you would say is happening on when a candidate applies for a job. Cool.

Peter (22:24):

Peter, those are two things. I had not heard of that German site. So do me a favor, repeat it and I will write it down and we’ll take a look at it. What’s the name of that site in Germany again,

Martin (22:38):

That’s ex expert here, Expert here, like the expert and Oh, yes.

Peter (22:44):

Okay. I have heard of expert here. Yes. So Martin, if people wanna learn more, where do they find you?

Martin (22:51):

Yeah, so they find us on our website job.com. They can download our playbook, job.com/playbook. They find us on all relevant chalkboard conferences in Europe and the us. So I don’t know, Peter, if you wanna give a We just been to the rec bus was great, and it’s always worth going to one of these conferences. You can also find us on LinkedIn, just type in Choco. You will find me and you will find our company profile. Yeah, so we are a growing team of hungry chalkboard experts I would say. And challenge us with your ideas, challenge us with what you think makes a great job board and we try to make it happen. Awesome.

Steven (23:43):

And for the job board and recruitment marketplace, listeners that are out there that are looking at potentially using software provided by a Java or others, every single Java client I’ve ever talked to, just praises the customer service and also the ability to add modules. It’s not a one size fits all solution, which is something that some of the others suffer from. So Martin, it’s been a pleasure. Again, I look forward to seeing you at the next job board conference. Peter, as always, stay safe and talk to you in a week.

Peter (24:25):

Inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts College Recruiter and the AIM group.

Steven (24:33):

Please subscribe for free on your favorite app, review it. Five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people who wanna learn more about job boards and recruitment marketplaces.

Peter (24:45):

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 marketplace’s annual at aim group.com/reports.

Steven (25:10):

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@stevencollegerecruiter.com.

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