Recently, I had the privilege of attending Jobg8’s job board summit, in which my team and I were the only FE specialist job board present. It was a day full of learning and networking, and I left feeling a lot more knowledgeable about the sector. There was a range of keynote speakers delivering thought-provoking presentations on different aspects across the job board industry.
Day one opened with a welcome from jobg8 CEO Louise Grant which then lead nicely onto Devyani Vaishampayan’s presentation on the future of the recruitment industry. Her speech was distinctive to me because she was talking about the need to upskill, due to how much the job marketplace is predicted to change in the coming years. My current job role was non-existent 15 years ago, and the same thing will continue to happen as we move forward; many job roles have yet to be thought of and will start to emerge with the change in environment and technology. I think this is something that we need to grasp as early as possible to that when real change does start happening; we aren’t caught off guard. She went on to explain what the market for talent will look like in the next few years and how digital and AI (artificial intelligence) will play a more prominent role in the talent acquisition process.
Following this was a presentation from Kasia Tang and her subject title was ‘Ensuring your job board thrives in the sourcing era’. She is a Social Recruiting & Sourcing Trainer, and her point of view was refreshing as she is a young person (millennial) and is standing firm in what she believes is the way forward in recruitment. Kasia helps train recruitment teams to hire, and she shared her inside experience of how job boards remain an important partner but need to evolve to stay relevant in the evolving HR space. During her presentation, I listened to and noted down different strategies about how to serve both sides of the recruiting world (candidates and recruiters).
With a much-appreciated refreshment break under our belts, we returned to see the HR buyer’s panel consisting of Rob Garner, senior talent partner at Oliver Agency, Sophie Grant, Founder and talent partner at Augmentti and finally Theresa O’Brien, global talent resourcing leader at CBRE global workplace solutions. The panel were talking about the challenges they face when recruiting and how job boards can meet those challenges as well as how a job board would look to them in an ideal world. I was paying close attention to them as it was a chance for me to note down some changes that my own company could make for the better so the experience for users would be more impactful.
After our delicious lunch, a few sessions took place including: How to get the best from Google for jobs presented by Mike Woodrow and Andrew Hryhorashchuk from Aspen Technology Labs; as well as how to secure your future relationship with staffing agencies in the new recruiting world delivered by Janine Owen, marketing director at Search Consultancy and Thomas Price, co-founder at Talent Nexus and just before the coffee break Stephen O’Donnell, founder of NORAs and RECex, conducted his presentation on Understanding and engaging with the modern jobseeker. The highlights from this group of presentations for me was the Google for jobs talk as this is a commonly used tool throughout the industry and it was good to get some insight on challenges seen that impact performance and how to best optimise postings for improved success.
Four more sessions took place before the end of the day with ranging topics from 2020’s job board recruiting trends to employability to using machine learning to get better results for candidates and clients. All were informative and made excellent points and suggestions on how to improve the job board sector. Overall the day was delightful, and I walked away feeling well connected and informed.
Onto day two of the event, and again we were welcomed by Jobg8 CEO Louise Grant. Just like the day before there were so many fascinating presentations that were delivered on topics like data justice, ATS integration and gamification. There were two that stuck with me, and they were Derek Jenkins' presentation about the adoption of video in the industry, which is something I think should definitely be more widely used in the recruitment process. It is not only more engaging, but it’s also more interactive and can allow the candidate to make a more well-informed decision around whether or not that is the place for them based on what they can see of the facilities, culture and staff through video.
Another thing that stood out to me was VERCIDA CEO Morgan Lobb’s presentation on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a minority, this is something that is very important to me. I believe it is essential for a company’s workforce to reflect how diverse the job seekers of today are. His presentation highlighted the things that his company have done and are actively doing to make it truly inclusive. From accessibility on their website designed to help people who are blind, deaf, have dyslexia or dyscalculia etc. to staff wellbeing centred events like men’s mental health month, black history month and pride. This approach to being inclusive is excellent as they have thought of and represented so many different types of people in work or seeking a job.
Overall, I really appreciated the emphasis on adapting the candidate experience to accommodate to Gen Z as they begin to enter the workforce. This is something that resonates with me as I am a part of this generation and understand the importance of evolving workplace practices to be up to date with current employee values. I think the main thing being conveyed was that we should be looking to the future and continuously evolving to keep our businesses fresh and current; as well as advancing with technology and implementing it into our processes to make the most of its appeal to Millennials and Gen Z job seekers.
Bring on next year!