Gumtree introduces dedicated jobs board: How will it fit into the “musical chairs” of recruitment platforms?

Online classifieds board Gumtree has celebrated its 10th birthday with a complete site redesign and services overhaul, putting more of a focus on its car sales division and unveiling a new dedicated job board.

The site, which was founded in 2000 and then acquired by eBay five years later, has also put a focus on becoming more mobile friendly, reports The Australian, with the release of a new mobile site and an app for its jobs platform.

Along with the snappy redesign, the site now has a new 24/7 live chat service for customers, and will accept Paypal for the first time.

“A little over a year ago we started looking at upgrading the design of Gumtree as we had more or less the same logo for while … and we thought that now is the time to take the big step forward,” Gumtree general manager Martin Herbst told The Australian.

“We are putting a pretty big stake in the ground and saying this is the new Gumtree, this is the design that takes a step forward and now we are unveiling a lot of these changes.’’

Herbst told The Australian the classifieds website is looking to expand beyond traditional e-commerce channels, starting with a focus on building a “very vibrant jobs board and jobs marketplace”.

This includes a dedicated ‘Gumtree Jobs’ web page, offering over 40,000 jobs across the country across a variety of sectors.

But with the presence of job boards Seek, LinkedIn, and Indeed already seeing strong use from both job seekers and advertisers, recruitment coach Ross Clennett believes the space has “a lot of competition”.

“Seek has been dominant for a long time, so other offerings are looking for ways to get a march on them and other big players, such as Google for Jobs when it formally launches,” Clennett told SmartCompany.

“It’s like musical chairs: right now the music is playing, and once it stops they’ll all be scrambling to find a chair.”

No “one size fits all” for job ads

Gumtree’s focus when it comes to jobs has traditionally been “lower and semi-skilled jobs”, says Clennett, for businesses looking to employ backpackers and other casual workers. He believes Gumtree’s offerings have traditionally been more for job seekers rather than advertisers.

The website’s current listing reflect this, with the majority of ads being offered in the hospitality and retail, and the trades and services sections.

Clennett thinks Gumtree should continue to strengthen this focus, as moving into the “white collar, middle to higher skilled jobs” offered by Seek would be a “poor choice”.

“I don’t see that as a smart way to leverage their current brand positioning. They’re a good choice in the semi-skilled area, why would you dilute that by going somewhere else?”

For businesses looking for the optimal place to list a job advertisement, Clennett warns it’s not a “one size fits all” situation, and where to advertise depends on the type of campaign, location, and the number of roles available. For businesses with a lot of jobs to fill, he believes the broader the better.

“I would have thought the more roles you want to fill, the broader you want to post the ad, but there are so many different ways to cut the cake,” he says.

However, the “big unknown” for many businesses will the the effect of Google Hire when it inevitably launches, says Clennett, telling SmartCompany in April the company was trying to create the “Holy Grail” of recruitment platforms.

“In Australia alone, there are 180,000 jobs filled each month. Every one of those jobs needs some way of being managed, so Google sees an opportunity to manage those job searches,” he said at the time.

“It’s a captured market that’s only getting bigger, it makes commercial sense to look at it closely.”

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