Sunday, May 01, 2005

A new job board

A new job board - so what? Well I thought that this was an interesting development as it initially seemed to be a move in the wrong direction.

Last week DirectEmployers Association, a non-profit employers organisation, announced the launch of JobCentral.com, what on the face of it seemed to be another yet another job board. A lengthy press release is available.

DirectEmployers has provided an employment search engine for some time. On it you will find all jobs currently posted by the organisation's members. It seems to be the only job search site that is truly global, though the focus is the US. It directs the job seeker to the employers website so the application process can be the same.

I have written before on why I think that job search will eventually replace job boards as search is currently replacing categorised lists. Why then could one of the pioneers of job search be moving in the 'wrong' direction?

One of the issues for a job search site is how to balance the quantity / quality issue. Job seekers are going to want to go to a site with the highest number of relevant jobs for them. So to be successful you need to have a large number of jobs (quantity) but you also need to have a low amount of 'noise' (the quality side of the argument).

DirectEmployers.com has always been very high quality, probably the highest level of any large search / job board. It has a good level of quantity but to shine in needed to raise the quantity. How to do this? Increase the number of jobs without adding 'noise'. How to significantly reduce noise? Charge, even a minimal charge. You could also ensure that posters have to be the 'owners' of the jobs (that is not a third party agency). From the site I'm not sure if this is the case.

What got my initial 'Why are they doing that?' to a 'That's a smart move' is that quickly I realised that they haven't replaced the search, they've given a way for non-members to include their listings at a very low price (around 10% of a traditional job board) so as to increase quantity but without increasing noise. This will increase the power of their search.

It gets better. Along with Simply Hired, DirectEmployers has announced a partnership with LinkedIn. LinkedIn obviously seem to get where job hunting is going. What is great is that they talk about
LinkedIn will tell you how many people in your network can help you find out more about the company and get the job.

That is, an acknowledgment that the network might be better served to help the candidate research the company rather than finding a 'backdoor' through the company's referrals scheme.