This conference was a re-launch of an existing trade association conference that historically has been attended by career website (job board) owners and representatives from companies that provide services to, or partner with, job boards and ATS vendors. In this new, enlivened format, TA Tech’s CEO, Peter Weddle, invited employers (HR and Talent Acquisition Leaders) to attend for the first time as a way for core members to gain insights into the needs of their employer customers, and to promote and recognize innovation in the recruiting service provider, technology and job board industry.  

The new format was built around the theme of “Optimizing the RECRUITER Experience” which was quite innovative and included several interesting sessions that were very different from the often-times recycled topics presented at other HR or Recruiting industry conferences.  Conference session highlights included:

  • Peter Weddle’s session on “Next Practices to Target Passive Talent” which highlighted the need for a complete overhaul of how job postings are written. Throughout, Peter offered numerous tips on how to engage top talent.  A few of the more innovative ideas included:
    • Eliminating “Employer Speak”. Instead of focusing on what YOU want from the candidate, create a job posting that poses 3-5 questions to the job candidate to mentally answer with a “yes” to align his/her needs with your employment value proposition.  
    • Avoiding the “resume black hole”. To shortcut a poor candidate experience, Peter suggested stating a specific timeframe in which a candidate can expect receive an update regarding resume status. Assuming you can then deliver on that promise 100% of the time, candidate expectations are managed and they no longer feel as though they are lost in the employer’s process.  
    • Creating a positive brand connection. Post offer, Peter emphasized the importance of creating a positive connection between your new hire and your corporate brand.  He shared an example of how Starbucks hiring managers send new hires a “Welcome to the team” snail mail handwritten note with five $5 gift cards for new hires to share with family. This immediately connects the newbies – as well as their family and friends – to the brand.
  • Lindsay Stanton of  delivered an engaging session on the power of integrating video into traditional job postings to improve candidate click through rates, quality and volume of job applications. Citing that Google ranks video content 53X higher in search engine results over text only content,  Lindsay went on to explain that job candidates will spend 5 times longer on a career site featuring video that showcases culture, offers realistic job previews or other engaging information about a company’s unique value proposition.
  • Ethan Bloomfield of  presented an innovative and educational session using a ficticious job board called to illustrate how job boards partner behind the scenes with job aggregrators to “backfill” employer jobs across a vast network of job boards to drive more traffic to your postings.  The “eye opener” for employers in this session was how a whole secondary market of vendors using so-called programmatic ad buying / trading platforms like Clickcast are creating a market for employer job postings to be bought and sold in a hidden marketplace.  The value proposition is that the job boards where you spend your advertising dollars are able to drive candidate traffic to ALL of the jobs you have posted, not just the attractive, high paying jobs in major metro markets. This unveiling of the inner workings of how job boards and aggregators work together behind the scenes to ensure their paying customers are happy and renew subscriptions was fascinating.  The session opened up a lively discussion about the ethics of the brand impact and loss of control over WHERE employer jobs may be seen online when the employer, for example, thinks their jobs are only being posted on The session wrapped with questions around the viability of a future potential product that allows employers and job boards to “sell” unwanted job candidate resumes in a marketplace.

Employers interested in learning more about this new way of driving targeted, quality job candidate traffic to jobs should check out and Both of these new job board models are revolutionizing the job board industry by maximizing exposure of employer opportunities online using a more predictable and targeted approach, and by charging fees on pay-per-applicant,  performance-based pricing model. This seems to be the future of job board business models and pricing trends, according to several vendors and employers I spoke with at the conference.

Lastly, David Bernstein of Brightfield Strategies wrapped up the conference by sharing insights into the power of using talent acquisition ATS data and analytics to drive informed, strategic decisions on requisition prioritization, staffing resource allocation, investments in recruitment advertising and more. To learn more, reach out to me directly at or 773-916-6801 for a demo of a new recruiting metrics benchmarking analytics tool that can facilitate analysis of your ATS recruiting performance data.

Carl Kutsmode

About the Author

Carl Kutsmode has over 20 years expertise in talent acquisition transformation — assessing and optimizing corporate recruiting capabilities for greater efficiency and performance.

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