Australia online job boards

A question was raised a couple of days ago about the number of jobs boards in Australia.  I spent a few minutes today having a quick look around to see if I could get an answer.

I found Australian Job Search being run by the Australian government listing around 100 job sites.  Now I would not classify every single one as a job board but it does give us an feel for the size of the market.

I kept looking and fairly quickly found another 10-15 sites not listed in the Australian government index.  To me this is a bit of a concern as I could speculate that we have somewhere around 130-150  job boards operating in Australia.  Now this is a fair number less than in the UK, where it is said they have 700 job boards and about 6 million active job seekers, but still way too many in my mind!

How many active job seekers do we have in Australia?  According the government’s labour market information portal we had 808,273 active jobs seekers in December 2006.

This means that in the UK the ratio of job seekers to job boards is around 8,500:1, where in Australia it is around 5400:1.   Even if there only a 100 job boards the ratio goes to 8000:1.  Seek has a majority of the market, 60% according to their web site, leaving very little for other job boards to pick up, ignoring the fact the MyCareer and CareerOne pick up a majority of the remaining 40%!

Yes I know job seekers probably visit multiple job boards in their search but this doesn’t make the numbers look any better, there are just no the number of active job seekers to support all the job boards!

Kevin Howard commented that we are about to see a couple of new entrants in to the market who have spent up big, you have to wonder what is their business plan!

6 thoughts on “Australia online job boards

  1. Michael,

    A couple of points:-

    Firstly the Australian Job Search listing includes private and government employer job boards and there would be many more of those. I thought we were talking about public job boards, i.e job boards on which anyone can pay to post a job ad. It was in this context that I thought the UK figures applied, but I could be wrong.

    I don’t think we should be counting a job boards which belongs to a recruitment agency, or an employer.

    Secondly the number of job seekers (808,273) you mention about in Dec 06 is interesting because around that time I was talking to the person responsible for buying recruitment advertising with one of our State Governments and he claimed (and told all the Gov departments in that State) that they were reaching an audience of 2 million per month through Seek. So someone has got their numbers seriously wrong 🙂

  2. Sorry, me again!

    You mention that Seek has 60% of the market and MyCareer and CareerOne pick up the majority of the remaining 40%, but it doesn’t work like that.

    Many of the jobs on the three job boards are the same jobs! What’s more, the same job is often advertised by multiple recruitment agencies, and sometimes the employer as well, plus it’s common for recruitment firms to list the same job more than once in different categories and locations. That’s why there are 169,000 jobs on Seek. Only a fraction of those would be unique jobs and the same goes for the other big job boards.

  3. Kevin,

    The 800K figure was a bit low when I saw it, but you can;t dispute the government now can you ;-).

    You bring up a good point public vs private job boards, personally I would include all but exclude corporate boards. However I looked for the original UK report and could not find a link, if you know where it is I would be really interested to see how they broken down the marketplace. If they only included public boards then it would definitely adjust the ratios.

    However the reason I would include private boards is that each organisation needs to invest in building, maintaining advertise the boards, as you said for most government depts. this is a wast of tax payers money! Each job board increases the number of options a job seeker, which is good and bad the old signal to noise ratio. At the same time reduces their attention on any one board, and there by reducing the effectiveness.

    Yes the fact that people list the same job in multiple places artificially increases the number of jobs. However looking at it from a job seekers perspective this just frustrates and confuses them, how many “real” jobs are actually out there. So yes from a number of jobs advertised the number’s don’t add up.

    But I don’t see this changing the fact the seek still has a majority of the market when it comes to traffic, an Alexa search comparing the top 3 sites shows just how far behind everyone is, http://tinyurl.com/2lqe94. There are issues with Alexa traffic reports but it gives an indicator.

    If I had the time I would do a far more detailed analysis of the marketplace, but alas I don’t so a lot is just speculation :-).

  4. Michael, unfortunately I can’t remember where I read the figure about the UK job boards, it may have been in print and it was some time ago. I just found a Google reference but it’s bad link. There are probably even more by now.

    This has spawned a new business service in the UK – companies who specialise in posting your job on the best nominated number of relevant job boards, say 20 or 30! “Pick & mix job boards”

    I don’t dispute Seek’s market domination for one minute. The people who start new job boards don’t seem to realise that they are competing for the advertising dollar that recruiters spend in addition to Seek. I can’t see any existing or emerging “job board” displacing Seek.

    Something I think many advertisers fail to realise, particularly recruitment firms, is if they support new job boards to the point where they are a viable business, they are simply creating yet another job board where they feel compelled to advertise. If I was in their shoes I would only advertise on additional products which reach a different audience to Seek.

    I believe the UK has ended up with hundreds of job boards because there was no single dominant player in the early days, like Seek here.

    Nevertheless, Monster UK manage to get 70,000 jobs and they charge approx 4.5 times what Seek charge. It’s no wonder Monster didn’t persevere with the Australian market for very long!

    However, Monster’s aggressive pricing has a great side effect for job seekers – less duplicated ads, simply because it makes it less affordable to do so.

  5. The new job board CareerSites that you mentioned Kevin which was launched late March has industry sector web pages which list relevant jobs. From what I can see the advertsiers are all specialised recruitment firms such as “legal” recruiters etc. The 60 staff nationally that CareerSites say they have would propobably include the alliances with its advertisers (the recruitment firms). This is quite a clean site. Possibly job seekers would find it convenient to have a short cut to the industry web link to search for jobs. The about us section has profiles of around 6 people which is probably the extent of the operating staff at this time. It will be interesting to watch this site. Does anyone know how the Hong Kong based Recruit.Net operating in Australia is going? I never hear anything about them.

  6. Hi – I’m trying to find out some current stats on number of job boards in Aus and globally – do you have any idea if this data is available anywhere?

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