20 November 2008

Jobvite Customer Summit

Earlier today, I attended the First Annual Jobvite Customer Summit. The folks from Jobvite did a great job organizing and hosting the event.  We got to meet many of the people from Jobvite, including our account manager, who I'd only spoken with by phone for so many months, but had never met in person before.  We also got to meet many of the other customers of Jobvite.  It was great to see my former colleague there from my former employer, where I had also implemented Jobvite just before I left.

We learned about features in the most recent and upcoming releases, and also was presented the high level product roadmap for 2009. It all looked like good stuff. Jobvite clearly is tracking the market, following tech and social media trends, and listening to its customers.

I learned from some of the other customers that many had long ago abandoned using any of the big job boards, like HotJobs, Monster, and Careerbuilder.  I stated to the breakout group that job boards were a "necessary evil" which we probably all would still use if it wasn't for the "exorbitant" cost.  Most agreed, but a few countered that they don't even want to see job posting respondents.  I have a philosophical disagreement with that stance, in that I believe top talent still do apply directly to job postings and to ignore all direct applicants would be to neglect this potential.

I also learned that some ambitious corporate recruiters are effectively mining candidates from Facebook through persistent and tactful out reach efforts based on searches by employer, university, and region. As expected, the majority of corporate recruiters are paid subscribers of LinkedIn Recruiter.

The worsening economy is on everybody's mind.  The same time existing jobs are being lost, so too are open job reqs for recruiters to work on.  This in turn affects the viability of our own jobs as corporate staffing leaders and recruiters, and ultimately affects what kind of market Jobvite has to sell into. I personally think Jobvite's continued focus on smaller employers is a lucrative strategy, in that among the future winners of this rocky economy, most will be the small, agile, up and coming startups, in niche markets, with niche value propositions.

The attention given by Jobvite to all of us as customers is greatly appreciated. It was quite an affirming feeling from the meeting that Jobvite was the right applicant tracking system vendor for me and my employer.