The Forecast for 2006: Nicheboards Group Expects Continued Growth In Online Job Seekers

Targeted employment Web sites attract more passive candidates
when employers craft strong job descriptions

The country’s leading alliance of niche job boards expects to receive a larger share of job advertisements in 2006, leading to huge increases in the number of potential applicants using their services to find work. Nicheboards.com says the increase, following a very strong 2005, will occur as more recruiters see the advantages of using targeted employment Web sites over generalist job sites and newspaper classified ads to find the best workers faster. It comes amidst a vibrant economy that has many companies boosting their hiring.

This forecast topped Nicheboards.com’s annual list of predictions. Nicheboards.com’s 11 member job boards attract more than three million visitors and list over 100,000 jobs in key, targeted sectors. Because of its overall size and expertise in these industries, its commentary on hiring trends is widely respected.

Nicheboards.com’s founder, Don Firth, says the job ad gains will be especially pronounced for hourly positions. Companies with jobs to fill at this level traditionally relied on newspaper ads. But now with more hourly job seekers accessing the Internet, targeted job boards provide employers with more qualified candidates at a much lower cost. Mr. Firth is also the creator of Nicheboards members, JobsInLogistics.com and AllRetailJobs.com. JobsInLogistics.com is the number one board for the transportation, logistics and distribution industries. AllRetailJobs serves retail chains for both management and hourly candidates.

The challenge for firms has become placing their electronic ads where they have the best opportunity to reach the widest, most talented audience. Because they have a specific focus, niche boards are attractive for organizations that don’t want to be inundated by unqualified resumes. Similarly, niche boards are attractive for job seekers who want quicker access to postings that match their skills. These Web sites also provide links to sites from industry associations and leading companies in their area of expertise. Job seekers typically go where they can easily find the richest source of employment opportunities and relevant information in their chosen field.

"We see a continued migration to Internet sites that can clearly provide the most value for recruiting dollar spent," says Mr. Firth. "Niche boards repeatedly provide the types of matches that recruiters and job candidates crave. With the economy purring along and hiring up at many organizations, we anticipate a robust 2006."

Other trends to watch: the Nicheboards group says companies will use their services to target passive candidates, people who aren’t actively seeking a new job. Companies are particularly eager to reach these potential candidates because these candidates are typically top performers, but may be willing to jump ship for the right opportunity.

Bill Gaul, the founder of Nicheboards.com member DestinyGrp.com, warns that firms will have to craft better job ads to woo these types of prospective employees. These ads should include specific information about job responsibilities, required skills and compensation, including a salary range, Mr. Gaul says. Niche boards, which provide more personalized customer service, can often provide feedback to help companies improve their job ads. DestinyGrp.com targets companies looking to hire former military personnel.

"More creative job postings are more likely to catch the eye," says Mr. Gaul. "The ones with the most ample amount of information are the ones that get the most traction. Job ads should be informative but also short, succinct and sweet."

The Nicheboards.com Story

Nicheboards.com is an alliance of North America's leading niche job boards, each one serving a specific industry, profession or companies that seek candidates with special backgrounds. The group was founded in January 2001 and has 11 members: CallCenterJobs.com, Jobsinthemoney.com, JobScience.com, LatPro.com, GreatInsuranceJobs.com, ComputerWork.com, JobsInLogistics.com, DestinyGrp.com, AllRetailJobs.com, TelecomCareers.Net and Jobs4HR.com.


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