The Evenbase Quarterly Recruitment Review: My Thoughts

I’ve just received the Spring edition of the Quarterly Recruitment Review from Evenbase. I always value this research because it is conducted independently by HPI Research, who conduct on-line surveys of 500 job seekers and 200 decision makers within corporate companies. I have found this research to offer a very good reflection of the market in the past. It’s a valuable read that anyone in the sector should look out for. The research was conducted during January and February 2012.

My first observation is that the branding has switched from Jobsite to Evenbase, reflecting the new group. I would have liked to know a little more about how the job seekers and decision makers are sourced, because this will impact on the data. It’s fair to assume that they are users of Jobsite, and as such will be job board orientated in their method of job search or hiring,. If you conducted similar research about shopping habits, by questioning the users of on-line stores, you would get a definite leaning towards on-line retail, I don;t see this research as any different, and have considered this factor in my thinking. Using samples from job board candidates will also be skewed to active job seekers who are already in the job search and using job boards. Passive candidates are less likely to be attracted to job boards and will need a different approach, and their views may not be represented in this research. This is only my assumption, contradicted by the research which lists 52% of respondents as passive. It may be that I determine a passive candidate in a different way, being a person who has not made any job seeking effort, including uploading a CV.

Despite these considerations, the trends between one report and the last makes for interesting reading. and give a great insight in to what is happening Thin this section of the market, and should be reflected in your recruiting strategy.

The following are my thoughts and interpretation of the data and hiring trends, which may vary from the findings of the report. I recommend you download the report (its free), and draw your own conclusions. Thanks again to Evenbase for openly sharing this data.

Jobs for the quarter

Reflecting the market, the average jobs open reported by the companies surveyed fell from 7.87 in the last survey to 5.74 in this quarter, a drop of 27%, with jobs advertised on-line dropping by 25% in what is traditionally the busiest period for hiring. This reflects the depressed state of the market at the moment, with unemployment in the UK at its highest level for 16 years, with over 8% of the workforce out of work, and 22% of 16 – 22 year olds being out of work.

Job search methods 

The big headline was the drop in the use of social media by jobseekers, which dropped 10% from the last quarter from 45% to 35%. I think an explanation for this might be what jobseekers regard as social media and job search. I think that they may be referring to the channels they use to search for jobs and apply, rather than following and searching for company content in social channels. Job boards have one real purpose for job seekers, to find and apply for jobs, where as social places are about much more than that. It may mean that active or unemployed jobseekers are looking to the direct route for opportunities by going to job boards in increasing frequency, where as passive candidates are being reached in the social channels. Another explanation for this result might be that Facebook and Twitter in particular has become an integral part of life. Jobseekers come across opportunities and employer branding content without  consciously searching for it. On LinkedIn, approaches and jobs are likely to come directly from recruiters, recommendations or shares. It may be that jobseekers no longer feel the need to proactively search, when opportunities come to them based on their profile.

Interestingly, companies reported a slight increase in the use of social networking, although they also recorded a much greater reliance on personal networks for hiring. Personal networks are closely linked to social networks, in particular LinkedIn.

The number of candidates sending speculative CV’s direct to companies rose by  9%. Most corporate companies do not have a process for managing speculative applications resulting in good potential candidates falling through the cracks, with the applications falling through the cracks. This result indicates that now more than ever it is important to set up a process for connecting with people who are interested in you as a company, but have no specific job to apply for. I have seen career sites that offer 2 channels for applications, one going to the jobs open and a specific mailbox or talent network for connecting speculative candidates with companies they want to work for, with recruiters to review these applications as they come in. This also highlights the need for social employer branding content and culture, as well as career sites that create the desire for speculative applications to organisations.

Job Board Use

The number of jobseekers using 2 – 5  job boards rose by 14% to 63%, and the number using more than 5 boards almost halved to 8%, the gain fairly evenly split between those who have decided to increase opportunities by using more than 1 board, where as at the`other end of the scale candidates who have been using more than 5 are failing to see a benefit to this approach, possibly as a result of seeing the same jobs multiple times.

Employers by contrast are taking a different approach, with 69% of employers using only one board to advertise opportunities.This may be because employers have less to advertise, or because they are interested in generating less, but more specific response. Use of agencies by recruiting companies has fallen by 6% again to . I would expect this trend to continue as an increasing number of corporate companies look to bring recruiting in-house.

The inside information. 

Probably the most useful data that comes out of the report comes from Jobsite themselves because this can not be disputed and is less opinion based. The first of the headlines is that job seekers are notably returning to browsing jobs, spending more time looking. After a decline, this is back to normal levels, perhaps indicating that more people are starting to consider their options regardless of the economic conditions.

Candidates are looking for more information on companies beyond job descriptions, up from 36% to 45%. This highlights the need for social places and social features on the career site that give access to more information, and let job seekers see inside an organisation. It is likely that job seekers looking for additional or background information will go to Google to search for it. What you need to consider is what will come up in a search, and where the potential will land. The landing page needs simple navigation and content in mixed formats including video, pictures and text.

The report speculates that this, combined with the 5% increase from job seekers looking for more industry information could indicate that job seekers are looking to appear to be more informed, particularly given the increase in speculative C.V.’s being sent to employers. My own view is that this reflects the trend I’m seeing for job seekers to see more culture content in order to choose where they want to work.

Using Barclay’s Future Leaders data, visitors looked at more content and spent more time on individual pages, with visitor numbers significantly up. The result of looking at more content actually resulted in a decrease in applications. This is not a bad thing, as this has been marked by a significant increase in the efficiency of applications to interviews and interviews to hires. Potential candidates are looking for more information on culture, values and environment, and are more likely to opt out than opt in. This is being reflected in the data from this research, and shows why additional information sources are more important than ever.

The Mobile Surprise

Probably the most surprising data coming out of the research is that mobile compatibility as a feature when choosing job boards has decreased for the second month running, despite what you might read from other commentators. The reason for this could be that the mobile experience when                  leaving the job board and applying in to a company career page is poor, meaning job seekers are not seeing this as a viable option when applying for jobs, and as a result rank mobile low in their list of needs. This is made more surprising given the up lift in visiting accessing the job boards themselves by mobile. My suspicion is that as more companies improve their own mobile capability, then the link with job boards will become more important  as a feature of choice, at the moment, as most companies simply do not cater for mobile applications, the last thing companies want is candidates hitting a wall once they leave the job board environment.

Changing Recruiter Focus.

It is interesting to note that recruiters are continuing to change from passive “post and wait” sourcing and taking a proactive targeted approach to sourcing. This is evidenced by the fact that daily CV e-mail requests are down by a massive 50%, whilst access to the CV database is for search by recruiters is significantly up. I see this as reflecting a desire by recruiters to find candidates themselves, with less reliance on the candidates to determine what is the right fit. This way recruiters can set their own search parameters and change them as required. They can also target only the candidates who meet their requirements, controlling the suitability of applicants. The recruiters clearly see the job board CV database as more useful to them than other channels because people have indicated they are looking by placing their CV on a job board database. I see this trend continuing, with recruiters choosing to devote their time approaching people who fit their requirements and taking a targeted approach to those active job seekers who match their jobs. They have retained confidence in the job boards attracting talent, without wanting to spend time on response that doesn’t fit.


The interesting thing about these reports is the difference between the approach taken by job seekers to get hired, and the approach taken by recruiters to hire. This has long been the pattern, with job seekers adopting one course of action, and by the time the recruiters catch on and adjust, the job seekers change again. Recruiters need to attract talent in the way they want to be approached, rather than second guessing. Recruiters are relying on less job boards, (usually one), whilst job seekers are using more to find opportunities. the recruiters are more focussed on active CV search rather than passively advertising and waiting. Whilst mobile is not important to recruiters right now, this will change as other processes fall in line by necessity and demand. I think the 10% drop in social media use by job seekers reflects the full integration of social in to life.Having a LinkedIn profile, belonging to a group or visiting a fan page with career options or clicking a job link on twitter is no longer seen as conscious job seeking and searching, hence the result. The increased use of personal networks by recruiters, and the desire for more company and industry information all points to the important part social plays in job seeking and talent attraction. What is abundantly clear is that job boards, and more specifically the accompanying CV database play a key part in recruiting and job seeking.

Thanks again Evenbase for sharing this data. You can download it HERE

Breaking News: Evenbase announces acquisition of Jobrapido

In January, I blogged about the launch of Evenbase, and what this might mean for the digital  recruiting space. The Evenbase portfolio comprises of the market leading digital recruitment assets within the DMGT Group,including Oilcareers, Jobsite and 10 other niche, generalist and vertical sector job boards, the leading multi-poster and unified search provider Broadbean, and technology partnerships including NHS Jobs, Northcliffe Media and Johnston Press. Evenbase was created to encourage collaboration between the brands, and to spearhead global expansion. At the time, the Evenbase C.E.O. and Jobsite founder Keith Potts commented that each of the brands would remain independent with their own management team, and representation on the Evenbase board. Growth of the group would come about through a combination of organic growth wherever there is synergy, and strategic acquisitions that added to the capability of the group. I got the distinct impression that it wouldn’t be too long before further announcements to this effect would be forthcoming.

Today, Potts  announced the acquisition of Milan based  jobs aggregator Jobrapido for 30Mn Euros. Jobrapido were launched in 2006 by Vito Lamelle, who stays with the business as Chief Executive. Potts has spoken to me in the past of the importance of retaining the entrepreneurial individuals who built the businesses. This provides continuity, and expertise gained by building the business, whilst adding the additional knowledge and resources from the group. The Jobrapido acquisition follows this formula.
I first became aware of Jobrapido in June last year, when they launched the business in the U.S. following significant growth in Europe. The launch was promoted  through a story told on video, of an Italian ,Daniel who had moved from Italy to LA 2 years previous, and was in danger of being dumped by his love for being workshy. Using Jobrapido to apply for jobs, he was able to get 14 jobs in a month, The video stood out because it was amusing and wacky, but more importantly, it showed the range of jobs on Jobrapido. The video proved to be very popular with U.S. jobseekers, driving significant traffic to the site.

Job aggregators provide job seekers with a single site to search all job boards for opportunities, and to sign up for e-mail alerts. They derive their income primarily by partnering with job boards, and from clients who want to promote their listings. Jobrapido do nothing but job aggregation, and having tested the site, they have an accurate algorithm behind the search screen that returns jobs to a job seekers criteria. The user interface is simple, through a single screen, with quick sign up for jobs by e-mail.

All of the job board research I’ve seen puts simple sign up and accurate jobs by e-mail as the top 2 requirements of job seekers. When job seekers log on to the home screen of Jobrapido, theres 3 search options: What? Where? (By country) and Distance. Each search returns the option to set returns by e-mail. It’s incredibly simple, and as a result leads to most of the visitors signing up for the jobs by e-mail option.
The benefit aggregators offer to job seekers is enabling them to be able to search all the job boards without the need to visit multiple sites. The challenge for the aggregators is getting the technology right to avoid job duplication when jobs are posted to multiple sites. You can imagine how irritating it would be to get an inbox full of the same job notifications. I have run 20 searches to test this in the UK, as well as signing up for jobs by e-mail, and they seem to have solved this. There will always be issues with agencies who are posting the same jobs, but this is not dissimilar to the problem on any other job board or media place. Applicants are redirected to the original job board, with the only data retained being the e-mail address and search parameters. The additional traffic Jobrapido bring is great for the job boards and their clients, and the convenience of being able to search and get updates from one source is great for the jobseekers.

When you look at the leading job aggregators across the globe, there is really only 2 names that feature, Indeed and Jobrapido, and the gap between 2 and 3 is significant. On the face of it, Jobrapido are much like any other aggregator, and there are plenty of them, but if you dig under the bonnet a bit, you see what the appeal is to Evenbase. For a start, they have a significant presence in 50 countries, bringing significant global reach to the group. The site is multi-lingual, currently operating in 15 languages. Jobs are syndicated from all of the domestic job boards, and are converted for advanced S.E.O., returning them to the top of all the local Google searches. Coming top in the rankings in most job types attracts the most unique visitors. I’m not sure how the Jobrapido technology achieves this, but whatever goes on under the hood definitely works. Comscore data ranks Evenbase in the top 5 (with the addition of Jobrapido) for traffic globally. It’s great to see a British company positioned at the top of the tree.
Looking at the Jobsite figures, they achieve around 5million unique visitors a month, JobRapido have a massive 42 million, and the traffic has been doubling each year since their launch, with a current annual total of 660 Million visitors. In my opinion, it is the traffic volume that makes this such an interesting deal. When you combine the reach of JobRapido, Jobsite and associated job boards, Broadbean and the other partnerships like NHS jobs, and you are looking at accessibility to candidates on a global scale, and Evenbase as a leading name in digital talent acquisition, is really strengthened by this reach, combined with proven technology.
Hitwise, the recognised reference site for internet visitor numbers in the UK feature Jobrapido in the top 5 sites each month in the UK. They are ranked as number 1 in Italy, Spain and other European countries, and as the number 1 aggregator in the important German market. Given the restriction on social recruiting in Germany, reach in this market through traditional means is key to European coverage, as well as number 1 status in emerging economies like India and Mexico. In the U.S. they have achieved the number 2 status in a short space of time. It’s impressive growth that rivals any other site of its type.

Evenbase C.E.O. and Jobsite founder Keith Potts, told me that they have been looking closely at aggregators for the last decade, and JobRapido really stands out for their ability to attract traffic and to duplicate the model globally. Evenbase will add expertise and resources in expanding in to new territories, further developing the technology, as well as identifying opportunities to collaborate within the group, offering new products to the client base. It’s an exciting prospect.

Potts commented on the deal: ” There are significant opportunities for our existing portfolio of brands including economies of scale, entry to new markets, increased ability to capture CV’s, and attractiveness as a partner to international corporations. Take Jobsite, for example. These synergies will position that brand as the clear number one in the UK market.”

“Just as valuable to us are Vito Lomele and the Jobrapido team who are exactly the savvy, innovative and passionate people we love to work with. Their success in six short years speaks volumes.”

Commenting on the deal, Vito Lomele added:

“Our short and intense history has seen us grow from a self funded local operation to a successful international business ready for its next stage of growth.

“As Jobrapido enters this new phase, I am convinced we couldn’t find a better partner for consolidating our international reach than Evenbase with its global brand and client base.

With Evenbase we gain the backing of a global group such as DMGT, as well as the vivid entrepreneurial spirit and the deep industry knowledge of Keith Potts and his team. And to top it all off, there are market synergies that can be activated immediately.”

Keith Potts

Keith Potts

I spoke with Potts about how Evenbase has evolved since the launch in January, on his way back from having signed the deal in Italy. He is clearly excited by the prospect of what Jobrapido adds to the group. Potts is of the opinion that the future of job search will be centred on 5 channels:

Mobile. Social, Job boards, Referral and Aggregators.

The companies who perform best in digital recruiting will have a focus in each of these areas, rather than one or two exclusively. The addition of Jobrapido gives Evenbase a strong position in each in each. (Broadbean now operate a joint venture with referral technology company launching Broadbean Referral.) This range of coverage across each channel must put them in what I see as a unique position.
Further growth within Evenbase will come from a mix of organic growth, further acquisition and joint ventures, with a global focus, In particular,I’m interested in the prospect of the joint ventures that could emerge from the group. A great example of this is what has been achieved by the Jobsite brand, who now provide the technology powering the job advertising for 55 of the U.K.’s local newspapers, as well as all the on-line recruiting for the N.H.S, the U.K.’s largest employer.

What I think defines Evenbase in my dealings with them is that everything starts from the job seekers perspective. Their website describes them as a digital recruitment group, set up with the aim of revolutionising the matching of talent to opportunity, making the recruitment process better for everyone involved. When you consider the synergies within the group, the expert knowledge and experience within each of it’s component parts and the entrepreneurs who make up the board, then it is going to be interesting in seeing what evolves. Potts will be joining the Jobrapido board as Chief Executive, along with Ray Duggins, who heads up  new ventures within Evenbase. Jobrapido will be integrated in to this part of the group.

I wish Keith and all at Evenbase all the best with the new addition to the group. They’ve always been good people to work with, and have an attitude to job seekers I admire, Jobrapido adds to the 5 channel approach, and as the first acquisition, provides the foundation for growth.  It will be interesting to see what comes next on the Evenbase journey.





Broadbean Referral

Keith Potts

Guest Post: David Walliams Social Community – Elkie Holland


It’s been amazing to watch David Walliams swim the Thames in aid of international charity sports relief. As much as his physical feat has been awe-inspiring, it’s also been incredible to see how people have used social to connect, follow his progress and ultimately raise money for the cause.
Whether it has been following his progress on twitter via a hashtag, leaving words of encouragement on Facebook or donating via a dedicated page, people felt a part of it much more than watching from the side-lines on TV.
Listening to the post event interviews, Walliams has commented on how surprised he was by the number of people who turned out on the river banks, swam in the river, partied in riverside houses and gave their support, as well as the speed at which they gave money, and the amounts at which they gave.
It is another real example of the reach and power of the social channels to mobilise people behind a cause that they want to be a part of. Nobody formally tells people where to be or when, they tell each other and the crowd gets swept up and joins in. Because people have access, they can take part.
This is my video of my day on the river cheering on David Walliams:

David’s epic swim has done a number of things

Looking at the things he has had to overcome (aside from a very long swim.)

  • The aches and pains of swimming from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to the edge of London
  • Battled diarrhoea, vomiting and low energy levels from “Thames tummy”.
  • Struggled with a painful rash where his wetsuit has rubbed his neck
  • Rescued a dog – Cookham Lock in Berkshire
  • Walliams’s wife, model Lara Stone, had to be  from a support boat which became stuck due to the movement of the tide yesterday. She had to be picked up by a boat operated by challenge sponsor BT .

Walliam’s finished the epic swim at Westminster Bridge yesterday  and so far has raised over £1 million. He has also made a lot of people smile in difficult times.

Walliams, 40, said of the support he has received: “I never expected this to catch the public’s imagination like it has – there seems to have been a real carnival atmosphere around. It which is lovely.”

What’s he done ?

David Walliams has done a lot:

He’s raised over £1 million for Sport Relief. He anticipated raising £200k!

He’s created a fantastic buzz and united people in his efforts by giving them something to take part in. Everyone taking part in the streams, sharing his news, progress and updates or adding words of support, had an opportunity to touch and share in his awesomeness. Everything had all the component parts of a real “community” where those involved could contribute by donating their own reach and networks to the cause.

With a very simple call to action, asking people to donate to the cause, there’s a simple end result. The message gets spread and people feel inspired to give. People gave because they got the message, shared in the exploit and most importantly, had a very easy way of doing so. All social needs a simple call to action.

On my part, I’m  humbled  to have witnessed part of David’s epic swim and to have cheered him on, hung out of a tree paparazzi style to take pictures, and paddled alongside him in a kayak. It’s been a lot of fun, and great to be a part of this community.

Walliams made the effort and a great effort that was, and the people, enabled by social took it to a whole new dimension.

(Oh: and Walliams klout went from 36 – 53 over the last week!)

You can find out about Sports Relief and donate HERE

Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger used to summon mobs (the headline you won't read!)

The suggested solution. Not mine!

It has now been proven that social media channels, particularly twitter, Facebook and Blackberry messenger has been used to spread messages summoning mobs to hot spots around England. Some of these mobs included youths, some even wearing hoods. Facebook groups and hashtags have sprung up across all these social channels encouraging these mobs, fully tooled up with hammers, brooms, spades and other implements to gather in fixed places at fixed times for the purpose of wreaking havoc. Havoc on the mess left behind, and to stick 2 fingers up at those who caused the destruction.
This is a small selection of the 1000′s of tweets that have been sent:!/AdmWks/statuses/101064146501640192!/iamphiliplee/statuses/101081767137652736

From the FaceBook Group Post riot clean-up: let’s help London which has gained 18,000+ fans in 36 hours:

“Any Clean Ups Happening In West London, Ealing? Please Let Me Know ASAP. Thank You.”

“Once the embarrassing rioting has ended in London let’s all show the world what we’re really about by helping rebuild and clean up so it is better than it was before. Invite all of your friends! Let’s see if we can get London looking like a new city by the end of the week”

“Any clean-ups anywhere near Muswell Hill going on tomorrow?”

“Is there anything happening in Ealing at the weekend for the clean up effort?”

“@cleantottenham on Twitter tells me that help is needed to handout fliers to commuters at Silver St train station in the morning if anyone can assist with that…?”

” clean as, and quiet. Glad to see you have reclaimed it! It’s our London and across the city we applaud for the efforts and bravery shown today. x”

“Clapham Junction saw some scary looting last night. .What was great today though was about 200 locals with brooms all waiting to help clear up and reclaim the streets. When the last fire engine pulled off there was a big cheer of thanks with lots of brooms being waving in the air.”

A few pictures i’d like to see on the frount pages in the morning!

And on YouTube, a little creativity!

And the video story of the “cleaners” in action. You can see both the devestation, climate and the real spirit in this video:

My last hat tip goes to one of my Facebook friends Stuart Gibson who left this messageagainst a picture I shared:

“We were there. We raised our brooms with hundreds of others. We even did Mexican waves with brooms. Finally, we were able to help council workers clear up the damage. It was very moving.”

Good job Stuart and everyone involved. This is as much a part of the social media story as the part Twitter etc played in the riots. Please share these story’s.

Sorry for moving away from my usual recruiting/social media posts, but I felt a strong desire to share this social media story of good! Business as usual tomorrow!


Brave New Talent Secures Funding For Growth

#trulondon sponsor and social recruiting evangelists Brave New Talent have secured significant funding for growth from venture capitalists Northzone Ventures and angel investors Pierce Casey and Mike Bourne.
Along with the cash, co-founder and partner of Northzone, Bjorn Stray will be joining the board, bringing with him extensive experience of the online recruitment sector.

Bjorn Stray said of the investment in Brave New Talent: ““The evolution of

Bjorn Stray

online recruitment from the job board model to a social recruiting model is something I have expected for some time. I have considered many opportunities both from Stepstone’s perspective and Northzone’s perspective, but BraveNewTalent is the first one I felt had real potential to change the industry. It is our aim to fully deliver value to employers and job seekers, and in doing so develop BraveNewTalent into a billion dollar market leader.”



Pierce Casey (on the right)

Angel investor Pierce Casey, current Chairman of Norman Broadbent also commented : “From my experience in the recruitment sector it is clear that Global HR Directors are seeking a social media tool that is now being offered by BraveNewTalent.”


Thats a lot of confidence (backed up by hard cash) in Brave New Talent and its founder, Lucian Tarnowski.

Since the launch of the Brave New Talent Facebook app last year, they have been growing steadily and winning business with global brands such as IBM, Tesco, L’Oreal and McAfee.


Lucian Tarnowski

The original concept behind the business, which the effervescent  Lucian Tarnowski launched whilst still a student at Edinburgh University, was to bring the traditional milk round from off-line to on-line, allowing Students to follow and engage with companies via Facebook.


The business has moved on considerably over the last 12 months, growing in size and stature. The real benefit to users is that they can sign up via Facebook and control what is open and accessible on their profile. Unlike rival networking tool Branch Out, there’s no spamming on their wall, it is a closed environment.

Brave New Talent are looking beyond recruiting with further plans to encompass education, (another area Lucian is very passionate about.) Given the story so far, and the increased investment and stewardship, i wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen quickly.

The company is hiring sales staff and increasing product capability. If your working in that space, they are well worth looking up. I will be following the launch of new features to the app over the coming month. I know the focus is on really opening up the engagement channels between job seekers and hiring companies. The plan is to expand globally starting with the US., social-media removing the barrier of geography.

Good luck to all the team, your dream is one step closer to reality.


Brave New Talent