Let’s turn on the wayback machine to 2005 – the year a new beast was born: the aggregator.

What is an aggregator? Simply put, they are job search sites that gather listings from other job board and company career sites into a single location.

The advantage for job seekers? One stop shopping and the perception that they won’t miss a single job out there.

Job boards viewed aggregators such as Indeed and SimplyHired with some skepticism – after all, they were competing directly for job seeker attention. In fact, some in the job board industry viewed aggregators as bad.

On the other hand, job seekers and career coaches thought these sites were great. After all, they promised to save time and prevent lost opportunities. What wasn’t to like?

Over time, job boards (most of them, any way) accepted aggregators as another way of getting new traffic to their sites. At the same time, job seekers began to complain about aggregators – the user experience was not great (click on a job listing, pop to another site, click again, go to another site – you get the picture).

Now let’s move the dial to 2011. Are aggregators good, bad, or just another player in the online recruiting biz? Well…

  • Indeed has overtaken Monster as the most visited job site online
  • Aggregators still rely on job boards for a large portion of their listings – a strong incentive to ‘play nice’
  • Job seekers are still frustrated with the ‘site bouncing’ user experience
  • Search engines are moving into the aggregator territory, acting as job ‘meta-search’ engines

Conclusion? Aggregators are good, bad, AND just there – it depends on which perspective you take!

Tags: Monster, Indeed, Technology, Job Boards, Job Seekers, Simply Hired, Aggregators