HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The general consensus at the International Association of Employment Web Sites meeting: Things have bottomed out, a very slow upturn has started, hiring will resume soon or in some cases already has resumed (albeit in fits and starts), but huge difficulties remain for recruitment sites…

I didn’t even hear the phrase “war for talent” once until this morning, at the start of the ERE Expo, a companion conference of recruiters that continues through Friday afternoon.

Most of the talk was about evolution: the need to compete with (or evolve into) social networks, which definitely provide the “buzz factor” in recruitment these days; the need to engage job-seekers and other constituencies with more than just listings; the growth of mobile at the expense of PC usage, and whether “the death of job boards” is a myth or reality.

Not surprisingly, the answer to the latter question was, no, job boards are not dead. And they’re not going to die. But there was clear agreement that the old ways won’t work.

“I don’t think job boards are going away, but I think there’s an absolute necessity to change,” said Don Ramer of Arbita, a recruitment service organization. “Social networks are dominating the current conversation (in recruitment), and they’re dominating the conversation because of the value of getting information from your peers.”

Joe Shaker Jr. of Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications echoed Ramer.

“As for the Internet job boards, are they on the decline? I’ll say no. I think they, all of you in this room, are on the incline,” he said. “When my grandfather started the agency, we were communicating with 5,000 newspapers. Now it’s job boards.”

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Some surprises:

— No presence at IAEWS for Monster.com or Monster Worldwide, CareerBuilder or Yahoo HotJobs. Both CareerBuilder and HotJobs are exhibiting at ERE, but they weren’t at IAEWS. (Would there have been much of value there for the Big Three? Perhaps not, so maybe they made the right choice. But there’s often great value in networking and listening to the conversation of companies that, if they’re not your peers in size, are at least your competitors and colleagues.)

— No mention of video as a recruitment tool. Not one. Since I believe video will be a major force in recruitment in five years or even sooner, this caught me off guard. Am I wrong about the growth and importance of video? Obviously, I don’t think so, but the fact that it wasn’t mentioned even once certainly makes me consider that opinion a little bit.

— “Pay-for-performance” is apparently an anathema to the job boards that were represented here. The subject came up a few times, but it was always in a negative context. Apparently the execs who were here, or at least those talking about PFP, are concerned about being held accountable for the results they deliver. A dangerous notion.

— IAEWS is surveying recruitment sites about the issues they face and their perceptions of the future. It’s raw and the results so far come from only a handful of respondents, but some of the answers so far were interesting, to say the least. Ninety percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Job postings are rapidly becoming a commodity.” And 45 percent strongly agreed, 35 percent agreed and 10 percent “somewhat agreed” with the statement, “Social media will become a primary method of recruiting within the next five years.”

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“You don’t got five years,” said Chris Forman, CEO of the recruitment process outsource company AIRS. “It is and will continue to become far easier for talent seekers to know find and deliver their own talent organically with less support of search firms, job boards and sourcing vendors.

“If we define our business as helping companies hire, rather than postings and resumes, there is a big opportunity here.”