SpotJobs grasping at short course market after change of ownership

In 2012 two young entrepreneurs started a job board called SpotJobs to compete against Seek and their niche market was casual and part time jobs in the retail sector. They also touted the VisualCV as a way of trying to make CV’s easier to read for employers.

Whereas Seek was best known to help companies fill full-time jobs this small startup, which was funded by two wealthy Australian families (Simonds and Smorgan), did what every startup does – pick a niche and smash it with advertising until they get a name for themselves. They now appear to be focusing on the short course market that many students associate with TAFE courses.

SpotED appears to sell their own Xero & MYOB courses

Using the SpotED brand SpotJob appears to be promoting their MYOB & Xero Short Courses under many different variations like:

  • Xero Accounting Certificate
  • Xero Accounting Advanced Certificate
  • Xero Payroll Certificate
  • Advanced Xero Package
  • Xero & MYOB Package
  • Payroll Administration Certificate – Xero Stream

These packages are available for what appears to be the new industry norm of $25 per week. To get information about what is included in the accounting short courses and other details the company uses a common lead capture tactic of making the information available to potential students who request the information from one of the sites where the courses are advertised.

The important question you need to ask any training course provider is WHO actually delivers and supports the training and on which learning management system. We were fortunate enough to have received their information brochure so if you’re interested in comparing their training courses with those provided by National Bookkeeping please let us know..

Dick Smith collapse & Dodgy RTO’s affects SpotED financially

Companies like Seek, who have their own Seek Education division aimed at helping connect job seekers with short courses as well as accredited courses has the funding to start any business they want to capture a market segment very quickly if they think there is a threat and their 2017 annual report talks about these businesses.

The biggest threat to SpotED and SpotJobs is where Seek mentions that they have taken control of SideKicker, which is a GLOBAL job site disruptor which “lets businesses hire temporary staff faster and cheaper than ever. All staff are pre-screened and rated & reviewed by businesses”

Another major financial threat to SpotJobs was the collapse of Dick Smith Electronics, which was a major client of the job board and the collapse occurred at a time when SpotJobs was exploring a listing on the ASX, which is when startup investors often sell some of their shares in the business. Even a founder of SpotJobs at the time was quoted in the Financial Review of saying “..the cycle of opportunity moved on”.

In the same Financial Review article it revealed the challenges for Job sites with education and short course divisions that reltaed to a Government crackdown on dodgy practices.

YOU can start you own Job board

Automattic is the company behind WordPress, one of the most popular website design CMS’s (Content Management Systems) in the world and what this website is built on. Apart from buying WooCommerce to enable e-commerce shopping cart websites like, Automattic also owns a suite of software programs (called plugins and Addons) that can turn a normal website into a powerful job board where companies can not only list their own jobs, but charge clients to list jobs.

SpotED owner SpotJobs competes against small job sites using WP Job Manager from Automattic WordPressThe Job board software is called WP Job Manager and it can even be used to “scrape” all the jobs from websites like Indeed to give you an instantly populated job site.

If you have applied for an accounting job recently you’d have had to go through the Job Application process of:

  • Deciding on the best career path for yourself (check out the Career Academy program)
  • Searching for jobs which meet that criteria (or ones that are very close)
  • Customising your Resume or CV for each job type
  • Writing a standard cover letter and modifying it for each job application
  • Waiting to hear back from each employer
  • Receiving emails to confirm that you’re not likely to get the job
  • Refining your Resume/CV and cover letters
  • Repeating the process

The arduous process of applying for accounting jobs

The really hard part about receiving job applications for employers is to go through the huge number of applications to try to filter out those applicants that are definitely NOT suitable and narrow the list of suitable candidates. This includes the process of verifying information which is a challenge that has been taken on by a new Seek business called Certsy.

SpotED is trying to make money in Short Training Courses vs compete with Seek for Casual, Temp and part time accounts jobs

This process is process driven and put a lot of pressure on Human Resources staff and often these days there are software programs which help the HR team. Even though Seek has build-in capabilities many companies prefer to use a dedicated HR program to do the job such as PageUp People.

One of the most demoralising aspects of applying for jobs is not hearing back from the employer as to whether the job has been filled, particularly if you’ve spent a lot of time and effort to create the perfect cover letter and tweak your resume for each job application.

PageUp People is to HR departments like Xero is to accounting software, a central system that enables other services, like SpotJob, to connect and share information.

Why do Recruiters stick with Seek, Indeed and LinkedIn?

In every market you have the major competitors, Optus/Telstra/Vodafone, Ford/Holden/Toyota, Google/Apple/Facebook and these companies are massive with massive financial and human resources so they are able to provide a very good product for a reasonable price. Competitors come into an established market and attempt to win market share by picking a niche or getting a major client or investor on board but the problem most hirers have is that they need to get the best possible reach and exposure to find the best employee.

Many large job boards and HR management software companies have a startup culture and they are always looking at ways of adding to and improving their services which makes it even harder for newcomers to compete.

Set up alerts and apply for lots of jobs

If you are going through the job hunting process and feel demoralised you’ll just need to focus on the fact that it is a numbers game but also a very personal decision about whether you’ll fit into the culture. The best thing you can do is systemise your own job seeking processes and use a system of continual improvement with each application you go through.

Job ads usually contain a description of what is expected of you and they’ll often contain “must haves” and when you focus on using your cover letter to show recruiters where to find that relevant experience and education in your resume or CV you’ll make their job much easier and it could mean the different between getting shortlisted for an interview or getting filtered out.

If you are looking for accounting jobs join our Career Academy and join the bookkeeper talent pool directory. It’s free to join.