Once upon a time, jobs were advertised in the newspaper. If you wanted one, you rang the number listed, or submitted an application by post. The hungry among us would sidestep all of that and front up with CV in hand to say hello to the manager personally, shake hands and, all going well, make an impression lasting enough to supersede all others.

Then came the Internet.

In what felt like lightning speed, job-hunting strategies of old curled up at the edges, withered and turned to dust before our very eyes. The World-Wide Web grunted its way into New Zealand schools from the mid-1990s, and by the early 2000s was a (painfully slow, creaky) fixture in most Kiwi homes. Slowly but surely employers followed the trend, shifting job ads from their carefully worded, strategically placed (often very bloody expensive) roots in newspaper classifieds to bright, modern online job boards. Accessible from anywhere, to anyone! (Provided you had an internet connection and the patience of a saint.) SEEK was first onto the scene, launched in Australia in 1998 and winging its way across the Tasman not long after; holding firm to its monopoly until the advent of Trade Me Jobs in 2006. Others have come and gone since, to no great avail – international giants Monster, Indeed and CareerOne all launched in New Zealand with great fanfare but not a lot after… a bit like a Christmas cracker missing its party hat.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why these job boards, each prominent and successful globally, failed in little ol’ NZ. Misguided patriotism? Mismanaged marketing? Or (my guess), were we simply spoiled for choice? After all, harking back to one of my all-time favourite adages – why fix what’s not broken? SEEK and Trade Me are perfectly good options, thank you very much; and let’s not forget LinkedIn, who kicked off internationally in 2003 but didn’t gain good traction here until much later. Three job boards for a modest little island nation feels like plenty, dunnit.

Or does it?

The current offering might be plenty for old folk like me, but I am no longer the future. (I turn 30 tomorrow, and I got engaged last weekend – I think I might finally be an adult. Ew.) This year, kids born in the year 2000 can legally drink, vote, and visit the same bars as you and I – scary, eh?

Much has been said about capturing the attention of millennials. Gen Y are often stereotyped as being transient, flippant commitment-phobes on a never-ending quest for instant gratification (#FOMO, anyone?) but that is the world we live in, and like it or not these are the leaders (and worker bees) of our future. And so it is increasingly important to be of appeal – many say that developing an effective marketing and lead generation process tailored to millennials is vital for future-proofing business profit and success.

This may very well be what drove the launch of YUDU, New Zealand’s newest job board, developed by NZME and launched yesterday in Auckland at a function that felt distinctly more media than recruitment. (Kings played, guys. He’s famous.) Or it could be that media as we know it is dying, and the industry as a whole is scrambling to diversify and remain profitable – who knows? [Insert innocent shrug here.] Either way, YUDU have arrived with a bang and intend to stay, proudly stating themselves as THE job board that “attracts and engages the very best talent for your business.” Their “innovative platform is set to change the employment game.”

But how?

Well, as well as catering for active job seekers, YUDU reckon they will target the 43% of the workforce that are passive job seekers. For years research has shown that while not actively looking for a job, those passive candidates would be open to opportunities if they came up; something we as recruiters are all too aware of – passive candidates are our best bread and butter, the elusive gold that more often or not is the deciding factor in securing assignments.

But how?

Simple – target millennials. As well as job listings, YUDU contains industry-specific news, practical advice and tips, trends and insights for both employers and candidates, as well as information on events within each industry. Users are able to complete a personality test that highlights their personal values and strengths, and enables them to find companies and careers that best fit with this. There’s no “swipe right”, yet, but it’s as good as. Candidates are also able to use a salary tool on the website to find out what particular jobs or industries intend to pay, to help them make informed career decisions – similar to info we’ve been able to find at careers.govt.nz for yonks, but more current and relevant (apparently).

Does it differ enough from current options to cement a place in the market? Only time will tell, but for now we’re firmly on the bandwagon. We already have ads live and don’t see any reason for others not to, with all job listings on YUDU free until July 1st 2018. The blended family of Rice and Joyn have long been advocates for change and hold a soft spot for market disruptors. After all, that’s exactly what Joyn was launched to do; change the recruitment landscape as we know it. That can be scary for competitors, but only if they have reason to be scared.

Come along to the next #RicePowWow on Thursday 29th March to sate any further curiosity. YUDU will be there to tell us just how they plan on changing the world of work here in New Zealand, alongside the usual mix of recruitment networking, music, laughs and general letting-off of steam. If you are a part of the NZ Recruitment or HR industry then our doors (and bars) are open to you. Come join us for some pre-Easter festivities, round off your financial year in style and stay ahead of the curve. We will be.

Natasha Foster

Natasha Foster

Recruitment Consultant at New Zealand firm Rice Consulting, shaking things up in the HR world. Photographer on the side, Te Reo student, rock climber and learner surfer. Most happy off the grid.

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