- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
State of the Web: Jobs – where are we, where are we going
With the news today that Monster has signed a deal with the newspapers that make up The New York Times (NYT, Boston Globe, etc.), I thought it might be a good time to take a look at the State of the Web with respect to jobs. Let's take a look at the players in the job space, who is winning, who is losing, what are the current trends and what will 2007 look like for jobs. And I want this to be an open document, please add your views in the comments so we can create a holistic view of the current state of the jobs industry online. And we will focus on the computer industry when we look at a niche and lastly I understand that a good bit of the jobs are found through networking.
But before we begin, let's take a brief trip back in time. All hands in the capsule! The time is now 1995 and Allen has just graduated from college. The Big 6 didn't take me with three of them telling me that I was "too computer focused for our firm." HA! Anyway, when I returned to NYC to look for an accounting position, the routine was the same that was a ritual for many people before me. Sunday morning you grabbed the New York Times, a scissors, my notebook, two highlighters, a stack of good bond and envelopes and a large cup of coffee. The process then began from there. Positions which were fax-only got blue highlighter, those that were mail-only got yellow highlighter. You had to think about when to fax so that your resume would appear on the top on Monday morning! And then you had to print the envelopes out one by one, print the resumes, and get to the post office first thing on Monday. Phew. And then there was the daily ritual of going from agency to agency with each one telling me they had the job for me.
Fast forward to today. Fancy bond is meaningless, you want a resume that contains the key terms that a recruiter will search on. Fax? What's that? And last Sunday, I checked the NYT to see what their jobs section looks like today. It is about 5-8% as thick as it was 12 years ago. I guess some still rely on the paper to get the word out.
Probably the biggest trend today is that we have moved from a push to a pull jobs market online. With the new crop of niche job boards coming into the spotlight, these boards require you to submit your information rather than the old standard of posting a resume and letting the employers come to you.
The current major players
In my opinion there are three sites which still dominate when the general public discusses job boards. Those are Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs.
Pros: They are the biggest and the majority of employers will have an account with each. Registering with these sites is almost required when you are looking for a new job. Large companies still use these sites to find resumes and most employment agencies use them as well. And these 3 sites are also utilized by most of the newspapers in the U.S.
Cons: These sites are like Microsoft in the early '90s. No need to change because of their dominance. I haven't really seen any innovation from these companies in years. Using their systems is clunky and riddled with advertisements. For example, as an MBA graduate, do I really need to see adverts for a non-accredited trade school? Half of the time I never know if the submission went through because of all of the advertising.
The rest of the larger players
These sites include ComputerJobs and Jobster.
Pros: ComputerJobs could be considered a niche site but is really bigger than just basic computer positions. ComputerJobs uses a local site process which is good for finding a position in your local area. Back in the late '90s, ComputerJobs was the sh**. Jobster has just announced a plan to remove all costs with posting jobs.
Cons: When the cost was removed to post jobs on Jobster, so begins the spam. Cost is usually a way to avoid tons of spam. I have requested information from Jobster regarding the spam but have not heard back. My concerns with ComputerJobs is that back in the day the computer recruiting firms used their site a lot to find qualified applicants. There were days where I would have 2-3 calls from my ComputerJobs resume. With fewer computer recruiting firms around today, can the site survive?
The biggest aggregator currently available is SimplyHired. I have interviewed them here and here.
Pros: Post your resume here and get it on all of the sites they partner with (which includes the three listed under major players above). Search one site for jobs on the major sites plus 1000s of corporate sites. RSS Feeds by SimplyHired are great.
Cons: I can't really think of many negatives except that you are relying on the data to be current and correct in SimplyHired's system. And the other concern is that they do not aggregate the niche sites noted below.
Joe made a good point in the comments that I left out Indeed.com from the aggregators. According to Hitwise (Jan 2007), Indeed has 1.89% of the vertical market share where SimplyHired has 0.32% of the market share. My apologies for leaving Indeed off the list!
As I have discussed before, there is no lack for niche job sites. These job boards are here to stay because they focus on a specific area or niche and are not (currently) plagued with the overwhelming advertising that the major players are. We have created a Job Hub which aggregates many of the top niche job sites.
Pros: In the web area, two of them stand out above the rest. Krop and Crunchboard have a lot of fresh jobs, Krop has new jobs daily, Crunchboard about 2-3x a week. RSS Feeds make these sites easy to view from anywhere.
Cons: These niche sites require you to push your resume/CV to the firms. Unlike the sites above where companies can search for you, here you must search for them.
I know I left out the corporate web sites. Naturally you can search on any company on their own web site. But that is very slow going if you want to search on 100 or more companies. I think the job market online is really starting to pick up the pace. With the new niche sites starting to take a stronghold over their areas, the major players are going to have to start to innovate again. We have basically reached Jobs 2.0. The major players will need to innovate to stay at the front while sites like Jobster and SimplyHired begin to eat their lunch. Actually, I take that back. They have already started to eat their lunch.