Irish Jobs Sites – what’s in the bag for 2014?

The recession had a very negative effect in the Irish job board industry. All the job boards are struggling. The number of jobs advertised in the last 5 years is lower than the number of job advertised in a single year before the recession. All that is really happening in the jobs board space is sites that really never get any mileage. Most just lack the innovation really. Publishing and marketing a jobs board in 2014 and using the marketing channels of the ’90-es, does not work as well.

Job Aggregators in Ireland

The recession brought aggregators to Ireland. Those have a benefit of a low marketing cost, so the recession suites them. They all work in some or another freemium model. The easy adoption is fuelled by the fact no manual work or investment is required from the employers. It costs nothing so why not? In Ireland, especially in the recession, we learned to like the “free”!

SPAMmers

There isn’t a month that a new Irish aggregator job site isn’t published. As an employer they email you with the link to their site that is full of jobs. You might even find your own ones, although those might be the ones you had advertised on some job site a year ago. Those sites are usually a low cost web sites with about a penny invested in the design. They usually contain links to their supposedly social media profiles. By clicking on those you will most likely find that they have about 1 (or even not even that!), followers, likes, etc. The one I got today called www.JobsIE.ie – took their ignorance to the new level and didn’t even make the social media profiles they are linking to from their page. All those are the sites bound to disappear in the darkness of the Big Data on the internet. Never to be found by the search engines, or the visitors. Their business model is based on spamming the employers and jobseekers, with an aim to sell anything on top of their fermium model. Quite often they are passing of as a known job sites, in this case JobsIE.ie sounds like the Jobs.ie by SAON Group. Some employers might be fooled and actually end up paying them thinking they are paying a known job board, with over 10 years in existence.

International Aggregator job sites

The largest international aggregator job site that shored in Ireland is of course Indeed.ie. Is it profitable here in Ireland? I am guessing not. Do they care about it? I am guessing not as well. By having their presence in Ireland they are probably using Ireland as the rest of the internationals, paying their taxes here, or .. ehm,… avoiding to do so as does Google, Apple, and the rest of the US gang here.

What is next for the Irish job sites?

It really depends on how the Irish economy develops in the years to come. If the recession continues, it is unlikely for any new job site to appear, and it effectively means a Status Quo. A handful of the leading sites will still be here, not turning any or turning a minimal profit. The shortage of proper advertising budgets will benefit those scammers and imposters. On the other hand, if the economy turns around, and especially if it does so rapidly (oh how we all wish that to happen!?), the new doors will open. There will be space for the innovation. There will be space for the entrepreneurial spirit and new projects to be launched in this space. That is simply because there is no model that actually works well for everyone in the online recruitment today. LinkedIn, we know now isn’t the answer for most jobs. Neither is a traditional job site like IrishJobs. Monster changes so many times lately that I do not know what it is any more (but a CV database)? BranchOut and all those apps sitting on top of Facebook simply do not deliver anything to anyone. We need something new for the future. What do you think it is?

Google Penguin 2 and the Jobs in Ireland

Did you hear Google released a major update to Penguin 2 on Friday? Matt Cutts (the head of Google’s Webspam team) recently confirmed on his blog that Penguin 2.0 is now live.

So let’s see how did the Google Penguin 2 update affected our Irish online recruitment industry. Here is the search result page for the word “Jobs” made in the Google.ie.

Make sure if you do this search yourself that you are not logged in into Google yourself, have removed the Google cookie, etc – so that you do not see the Google’s “Personalised” search result for you.

Here is the new google.ie ranking for the search word “jobs”:

  1. Jobs.ie
  2. IrishJobs.ie
  3. FindAJob.ie
  4. Indeed.ie
  5. RecruitIreland.com
  6. Monster.ie
  7. Fas.ie
  8. Ie.JobRapido.com
  9. JobsToday.ie
  10. Twitter.com/jobs

So what can we conclude from the list of the sites that a are on the first page for the phrase jobs? By comparing what we have used to see there before the Google Penguin 2 update we can see what sites have been affected. Let’s start with the sites not affected by the update:

The SAON Group web sites leading with the purchased Jobs.ie site on top and their original IrishJobs.ie is steadily on top.

Nothing changed there for years. In fact may years. The last change there actually when Jobs.ie overtook IrishJobs.ie. If my memory serves me correctly that was towards the end of the 2005. Very shortly after that IrishJobs.ie bought Jobs.ie.

So since 2005 the first two search results for the search for “jobs” have not changed in Ireland. So is Google doing much really with all this Panda, Penguin & Penguin 2 “updates”? Well in the last 7 years the results on top are not changing at all. Or does IrishJobs.ie & Jobs.ie have so good SEO specialists to keep them on top for all this years? It must be one of those.

The next three slots are: Findajob.ie (aka LoadzaJobs.ie), Indeed.ie and Monster.ie. So what’s new here? Nothing much really in relation to the Google Penguin 2 update. Long term there isn’t much that has changed in here in the last 10 years really. What has changed is that Loadza have changed their domain name several times. They cannot seem to get it right really. EmployIreland.com that was 4th there is replaced by Indeed.ie about a year or more ago when they came to our market. Monster is the 5th recruitment web site there for the last 10 years.
So in essence the top 5 results for the word “jobs” haven’t changed at all in the last Google Penguin 2 update.

Where the changes did occur are on the bottom part of the search page. That is the space that in the last 10 years have been occupied mostly by the Irish start up job boards or similar sites. FAS was always there somewhere. They did rebrand to SOLAS, but forgot to do it online. Hence FAS.ie is still there. Good old civil servants…

So what the Google Penguin 2 update did affect is the last 4 remaining slots the search results page fro the word “jobs”. You can say Google haven’t changed much really. What we are going to look at is if the Google Penguin 2 update was good actually. Or is it a step back in the quality of the search results?

The bottom of the page of the search results for jobs have been occupied by start-up job boards. It always was a dynamic space. In the last 10 year, about a 100 web sites appeared and disappeared from there. I can remember the first Irish Jobs Aggregator IrishJobs.ie featuring there, and a long list of site showing Irish jobs listings. There was one recruitment agency that made up there – in 2010 when the CPL.ie new web site was released. In this new update CPL.ie dropped to 128 place, while their other site CPLJobs.com landed on a much better 53rd slot. Is there a hint that CPL.ie got hit by the Google Penguin 2 update? Most likely from the way it is ranking now.

It is still quite strange that no other recruitment agency got listed on the first page for the word “jobs” there ever, isn’t it?

So what did Google Penguin 2 update replaced the Irish start-ups with?

Ie.Jobrapido.com – one job aggregator. Well it is the only .com web site here. It actually does have jobs aggregated from sites like freelancer.com and similar. Some Irish recruitment agencies as well. The overall quality of the jobs advertised (content) if poor. A large number of jobs are taken down from teh sites they are originally published on anyway, and the whole set of jobs is really poor representation of the list of active jobs in Ireland. In essence a really poor experience for a job seeker.

JobsToday.ie – a UK newspaper publisher. Note that any link you click on that site it brings you to their UK web site (.co.uk). This results driven by the backlinks from their newspaper releases is so wrong that it actually reminds of the Yahoo style paid search result placements from the end of the last century. It is pointless and out of place. It is no good to a Google visitor. There are simply a handful of jobs listed there on some UK newspaper web site.

Twitter.com/jobs – The page with the HTML Title: Jobs at “Twitter –San Francisco”. San Francisco??? A search result to someone looking for a job in Ireland in Google.ie? Google? Don’t you have a Google Maps division? Or do you want us all to emigrate? What’s the story there? What kind of a (crap) search result is that? Or did the Google Penguin 2 algorithm value a social media sites results “a bit” too much so the results from the social media are going to creep into any search we make?

So to conclude what have the Google Penguin 2 update brought us? It removed Irish start-ups and replaced them with what can be the best described irrelevant search results. In their own vocabulary they call it SPAM. Luckily for us this only affects the bottom part of the page. The “under the fold” stuff. The top part of the page wasn’t affected by the latest update.

How did your site ranking feature in the Google Penguin 2 update last week? If you are stuck give the SEO Consultant a shout!

National Employment Week 20th-24th February

National Employment Week is a forum focusing on the major social and economic issues surrounding employment in Ireland.

The weeklong series of free breakfast briefings features a broad panel of speakers presenting current thinking and new ideas to promote sustainable employment and raise the skill base across Ireland.  Each day focuses on a different employment theme, with the aim to highlight the prime sectors of our economy that are ripe for job creation and to promote job creation initiatives.

The week kicks off on Monday, 20th February with the launch taking place in the Convention Centre Dublin.     Officiated by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, SME Employment Day will focus on “enabling SME job creation”.  Speakers include Jim Power (Chief Economist, Friends First).

Graduates take centre stage on Tuesday, 21st February, with Louise Phelan (VP EMEA, PayPal) and Julia Davenport (Fidelity Investments), discussing the skills gaps present in the Irish market and the solutions to bridge these gaps.

Wednesday the 22nd is Mental Health & Employment Day will focus on creating workplaces where people can be open and positive about their own and others’ mental health.  Speakers include Dessie Farrell (Chief Executive, Gaelic Players Association) and Dil Wickremasigne (Newstalk).

Thursday 23rd, Self Employment and Entrepreneurship Day pushes our entrepreneurs into the spotlight.  Ireland needs more entrepreneurs to help us return to economic prosperity, so this day has an excellent range of guest speakers across entrepreneurs, contracting experts and franchise experts which include Vincent Browne and Minister Richard Bruton.

Finally to wrap up the week, – Foreign Direct Investment will promote the concept of “Team Ireland” and what we all can do in bringing FDI to Ireland.  Speakers on the day include Barry O’Leary (Chief Executive, IDA) and Senator Feargal Quinn

Click to Register

Monster CV database vs. LinkedIn free Public Profiles

For the most European recruiters Monster used to perform the best as the CV database. The quality of candidates was on average higher than the average quality of the applicant who would apply on a job site in. Monster advertised this as a ‘Passive Candidate’ as opposed to the ‘Active Candidate’. They claimed that a CV is their database represents professionals that are in a search of their career progression (passive) as opposed to the unemployed person who is simply looking for a job (active).

LinkedIn came into the picture and have let anyone create a free personal ‘Professional Profile’ on their site. In the years to come the LinkedIn recruitment social network web site grew at a fast pace and the inevitable has come true – it’s number of users profiles outgrew the size of the Monsters CV database. Each day passing that difference is growing rapidly. LinkedIn is rapidly expanding while the number of CV’s in the Monster’s CV database in most cases does not grow at all.

Monetisation of the CV database

While Monster still uses the ‘old fashioned’ model in selling access to the CV database and charging per certain number of CV’s downloaded, LinkedIn sells you their packages where your credits are number of internal messages in the LinkedIn web site you can send to the potential contacts. Both approaches have their advantages. With a Monster subscription you actually end up with a few good CV’s. That is if you figure out how to use their CV search and do not waste all your credits in the process. LinkedIn on the other hand lets you see far greater amount of candidates. Again it is all up to you if you will find a way how to interact with them and intrigue them to engage with you via that brief message you can to a few them. More often than not a recruiter ends up with nothing at the end of the LinkedIn subscription. No CV’s added to the internal database or any other longer term value.

So Monster or LinkedIn?

There is no clear answer. There is far more recruiters who are proficient in searching the Monster CV database. For them it is hard to go wrong on Monster. LinkedIn recruitment packages have a far greater failure rate. Quite often a recruiter will after the subscription activation ask – What exactly is the difference between the free and this paid account?

There is a third option there as well. As opposed the investment into Monster or LinkedIn, you can also invest in yourself by getting yourself trained into what is mostly referred to Boolean Sourcing techniques. You can teach yourself by reading various resources online, or get the course that will bring you up to speed within a day! The result is that you have the whole LinkedIn opened in front of you without the limitations their recruitment packages are putting in front of you. If you are into the recruitment for a long haul – that is the best route for sure.