As is traditional in December, there are all sorts of blogs and articles reviewing the last year, and predicting the next. I’ve fallen for that before, and won’t do so again.  I’m not saying they are useless (they are), but you do need to take them with a giant pinch of salt. Instead, let me tell you a little about what I want to happen in 2012, and what I think is technically possible.  I’ll try to be concise.


  1. The established platforms will probably not be challenged anytime soon. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and in the recruitment world Monster, Jobsite, Totaljobs etc etc.  Whilst they are not unassailable, they have built up a critical mass, which would be very difficult to overcome.  I believe these sites will only fall from grace if they cock it up themselves, rather than competitors launching new products. And we do know that they CAN cock it up themselves.
  2. I want the API connectivity between these established platforms to get better.  Standardisation of data connections. We need a SCART socket for social media, which enables an individual to seamlessly integrate the building blocks of their own social media presence.
  3. I now view job boards as being akin to social media platforms.  Look at the content they hold on individuals, and the interaction they enable.
  4. Whilst Oauth goes a long way towards cross-platform mobility, more imagination is called for.  Oauth is the validation and authentication process, which is supported by most social network platforms. I’m not looking for more new platforms, but innovative better uses of the existing ones.
  5. A year ago, (as a side project) I set about developing up a service called MyChunes. This was unfortunately derailed by lack of funds and developer availability.  The idea was to match individuals by the contents of their music libraries (mainly focusing on iTunes and Facebook).  The plan was to connect people using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Yahoo. We would analyse and match the music collections of individuals with each other, and suggest that they connect with each other via their preferred social network.  In essence, the idea was to bridge existing platforms and take advantage of their immense existing memberships.
  6. Given this, why can’t a job seeker use the same authentication to login to every job board?  We already see many sites with “login with Facebook or Twitter”.  This should be a no-brainer for job boards.
  7. The candidate experience is being short-changed by many currently employed applicant tracking systems (ATS). Travelling through some application processes is like getting the train to Bristol, and having to switch to a replacement bus service at Swindon.  You may still get to your destination, but it’s unnecessarily arduous, and you feel frustrated and resentful by the end of your journey. It’s no surprise that only the most determined candidates see it through.  If companies are going design a modern and stylish website, which reflects their brand values, then it should extend right through the application process.
  8. Far too many recruitment agency websites fall flat because they are trying to emulate job boards. Doing so ignores the fact that agencies are staffed by recruitment experts, who will deal personally with candidates, and give them the benefit of their market knowledge.  Job boards cannot do this.  Agencies, personalise your websites, promote your recruiters, and engage with real people.  As a brilliant example look at
  9. I want, and expect, candidates to use their collective muscle to assert their needs, and exert pressure on online recruitment services for the better.


These are some of the things I’d like to see in 2012.  I think it’s impossible to make predictions for next year, because so many elements are in a state of flux.  2012 will not be dull, I’ll tell you that much.

Stephen O'Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer.

Related Posts

Smash & Trash

If you really want my opinion on any given topic (mainly recruitment), you'll almost certainly find it here.

Please browse and search my blogs at will.

Blog Categories