What Simply Hired Closing Its Doors Really Means

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Simply Hired shutting down

With the major announcement over the Memorial Day Weekend that Simply Hired will be shuttering as soon as June 26th, the job board industry is shaken up. Although it remains unclear if an acquisition play may emerge between now and the company’s shuttering date, it is rumored that employees of the company are not likely to be included in any acquisition deal. Days after employees were informed of the company’s end, sponsors were notified via email with this letter (courtesy of TheJobBoardDoctor):

“First, on behalf of the entire Simply Hired team I would like to thank you for your partnership. We have appreciated working with you and your clients.  I am writing you to let you know that the Company is in the process of ceasing operations and winding down and, as a result, the Job Sponsorship Program will be discontinued 30-days from this notice, or on June 26th, 2016. We greatly appreciate the partnership we’ve had with your company and regret that we will not be able to continue working with you. We would be happy to set up a call at your earliest convenience to discuss your options.”

What Happened?

Many have and will theorize what caused the once-dominant company’s demise. Competition with Indeed, changing in the economy and technology, and the limitations of aggregation all likely played some part. But for job sites, like all companies, the name of the game in this highly competitive market is innovate or die in order to win the business and budgets of companies seeking to hire. In this case, the emergence of newer trends like pay-per-performance ‘network’ models offered by RealMatch, AppCast, and others, may be a ‘canary in the coalmine’ for job aggregator sites to monetize their traffic. Whether it replaces employer CPC revenue or coexists with it, the sites that last in this industry will need to focus on one thing: being able to deliver performance without putting extra work on the part of HR.

Recruitment Advertising

Is the job aggregator on its way to becoming like the highway billboard?

One aspect that Simply Hired’s shuttering displays is that when it comes to performance, aggregation alone is not the answer. Having all jobs is great, but you have to have enough job seekers too. With the changing digital landscape, being a destination aggregator might be the digital equivalent of a highway billboard – there are still plenty, but they might not be the most effective advertising units and who wants to deal with hundreds of vendors?

Alternatively, with the advent of programmatic and its entrance into the recruitment advertising market, performance is better measured and more targeted and opens the door to efficiently sourcing talent across many aggregator sites, all through one source or one platform. For RealMatch, our vision that the internet is the job board is quickly becoming true.

Quality Over Quantity

While performance is certainly one takeaway from Simply Hired’s closure, another lesson job boards, publishers, and anyone in the recruitment advertising industry need to focus on is quality. This is often the number one criticism of job boards that talent acquisition professionals make – there is plenty of quantity but not enough quality. Programmatic recruitment advertising might go a long way to helping improve quality with better targeting and bidding, but it still leaves employers having to do a lot of screening on the back end too. For RealMatch, matching technology is the key. Job sites that can deliver quality  too– through a combination of technology and services – are the ones that are poised to succeed.

The Occam’s Razor Theory

Yet sometimes, the simplest explanation is often the correct explanation. It might be that the real problems that undid Simply Hired were connecting with the right people who control the recruitment ad budgets, or for that matter the HR and talent acquisition folks across the enterprise market. If this is a struggle, then innovation, traffic, and all the other bells and whistles may not matter. At the end of the day, building brand relationships is the key to a healthy job board.

This too may also highlight the struggle of being a job aggregator. Where does the responsibility of relationship management lie? Is it on the sites that make up the aggregator or on the aggregator itself? Is it about focus on job seeker traffic or selling ads? To whom does the primary relationship fall and how can the other non-primary party ensure success without cannibalizing its relationship to the primary relationship holder? While it is likely these questions were debated through the halls and boardrooms for years at Simply Hired and perhaps every other job site, the answers remain as elusive as ever. This is another area where innovation, albeit not necessarily technological, will separate the long-lasting job sites from the rest.

No One Likes Traffic Jams

With Simply Hired shuttering, the wake-up call for the recruitment industry has been sounded. While many of the early powerhouse job sites struggle despite once being so dominant, other newcomers gain more and more traction. It should be no surprise that innovative technology may be at the core of which companies last and which do not. While traffic is certainly key, it is a warning that traffic will only last as long as the site is useful to job seekers and employers. Traffic itself can come and go over several years and simply being on top today does not mean that will be true in 1, 5, or 10 years. Traffic is not the sole laurel that a job site can rely if it wants to avoid the same fate as Simply Hired.

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Need to replace your job board site because of the Simply Hired shuttering? Get A RealMatch Demo Now.

Yoav Guttman

Yoav B. Guttman loves email, A/B testing, data and lots of other marketing buzzwords. He loves traveling, music, and seeing art, but especially creating quality, albeit humorous, advice for job seekers on the web series Quote The Raven (#quotetheraven). Follow him on Twitter @whybegee or LinkedIn.

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About Yoav Guttman

Yoav B. Guttman loves email, A/B testing, data and lots of other marketing buzzwords. He loves traveling, music, and seeing art, but especially creating quality, albeit humorous, advice for job seekers on the web series Quote The Raven (#quotetheraven). Follow him on Twitter @whybegee or LinkedIn.

9 Thoughts on “What Simply Hired Closing Its Doors Really Means

  1. When Indeed.com stopped being an aggregator, and stopped taking feeds from Job Boards, it didn’t seem to hurt the results that our job board delivered for employers. I doubt that SimplyHired’s absence will hurt much either. Being a part of RealMatch’s broad network of job boards means that our clients don’t have all of their eggs in one basket. We work hard to maintain a robust group of job seekers, and having job seekers makes a much larger difference than having any one aggregator site in the network. Richard Clark TriCityJobs.com

    • Yoav Guttman on June 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm said:

      Good point Richard. Definitely one takeaway is that your network (like ours) has to be powerful enough to stand on its own, regardless of partnerships with aggregators. They can add strength to your network, but at the end of the day, it always needs to fall back on the strength of your own network and ad sales reps.

  2. Anonymous on June 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm said:

    Richard brings up a great point and that is Diversification. Today, a single destination site or even an aggregator by itself simply cannot withstand the pressure and competitive incoming that exists with today’s emerging technologies. Industry leaders need to remain agile in their approach on how to solve problems for organizations so as to not become “stale” or “obsolete”. Last month Recruitment ADvsior highlighted key aspects from the latest Jobs Report as well as some key trends. There is a lot of redundancy today – so how does one know who or what truly performs best?

    Individuals tend to judge on perception vs. reality and Integration and tracking represent ongoing challenges when it comes to being able to understand ROI. This is where leveraging one of the largest recruitment ad networks, TheJobNetwork, powered by RealMatch can help recruiters and hiring managers better diversify and optimize their budgets.

    Organizations need people.
    Be Fast. Programmatic Ad Distribution, Leverage the internet as the job board quickly. With one posting or campaign, your open requisition gets to the right target audience, among thousands of national, industry, local, social and diversity sites. It doesn’t go everywhere, just where you need it to be and sometimes the best places are not always known.

    Organizations need process.
    Be Smart. Its all about Quality. RealMatch’s Real-time Job Matching Technology uses a reciprocal approach, taking into account data/analytics, education/background, skills/synonyms and profile/fit in order to match the right candidate with the right career opportunity.

    Organizations need performance.
    Less is More. It comes down to reducing the Time to Fill. RealMatch’s Dynamic Algorithms benchmark and predict how and where your posting or campaign spend should be allocated, optimizing performance in real-time, so you get more value, better results and for less.

    The Bottom-line result.
    You will be well on your way to hiring faster, smarter and for less – and wouldn’t your hiring manager just love that! 🙂

    • Anonymous on June 3, 2016 at 9:51 pm said:

      You left out one key thing that recruiters need… Proof of results. We go the extra mile to make sure that our clients get all of the proof they need to justify the spend across our network. Ay the risk of roughly quoting our friend, Job Board Doctor, the job boards that make it long term are the one that have job seekers. We market more to job seekers than to employers. If we have a great stable of job seekers, we can sell to recruiters with confidence.

      • Yoav Guttman on June 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm said:

        great point – no matter what, you need traffic and job seekers. The problem with focusing solely on that is that, to some extent through partnerships, job seekers can be found and bought. Being a great product less so.

  3. Do you think that we may see a proliferation of more bespoke, niche related job boards?

    • Yoav Guttman on June 9, 2016 at 5:36 pm said:

      Great question and Jason makes a good point – it is hard to see the creation of more niche job boards. But what I think is more likely to happen are perhaps sub- or micro-sites to well established sites, or even publishers. So, independent niche sites may not pop up left and right, but targeted micro-sites sponsored by larger companies may be one avenue that specific industries of job seekers bring traffic to job sites and publishers. Employers themselves could even get in the game. Could you imagine if REI’s career portal did not only include jobs at REI but jobs that aligned with their values, like outdoor jobs, national park jobs, etc.? That would be a creative way for brands and publishers to partner to really take advantage of the changing way people look for jobs.

  4. Jason Stewart on June 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm said:

    Not sure if there would be an influx of niche boards specifically created as there are quite a few today. Perhaps we will see applicable sites who have relevant content incorporate more ways to connect their content with career opportunities so as to reach candidates who are already engaged and subsequently come across a relevant career opportunity which perks their interest. it may present additional avenues to engage a candidate. It is all about talent acquisition after all.

  5. Pingback: Was sind Programmatic Job Advertising und Real Time Bidding

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