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Why don’t employment sites have these features? Curious minds want to know

employment sitesAs noted in previous posts, I’ve been thinking lately about what makes employment sites good – or not. Below are a few questions to that effect – and yes, some employment sites have these features, but most do not. Maybe there absent features you’ve wondered about?

  • Voice input for search: Hey, if you’re like the other 40-50% of job seekers who use their mobile device for job hunting, you probably dislike thumb-typing (and its attendant typos) as much as me. So why not, in the age of Siri and Google Voice, do the mobile job sites fail to offer voice-based search? It would be great! Please, do it, yesterday.
  • Targeted job distribution: I’m not talking about simple cross-posting, folks; I mean the kind of micro-targeting pioneered by Google that puts an employer’s jobs in front of potential candidates whether they’re sitting at a desktop, playing Angry Birds on their iPhone, or watching a webinar for extra CEUs. In other words, using BigData to big advantage – because not every qualified candidate visits your job board.
  • ATS neutralizer: Yes, ATSs are remarkably good at scaring away candidates; yes, job boards get blamed for ATS failures. But some job boards have figured out how to provide employers with ALL of their candidates – even if the candidates DIDN’T make it through the ATS. You know what – all employment sites need this kind of ‘ATS neutralizer’!
  • Recommendation engine: Amazon pioneered a remarkable (and occasionally spooky) ability to gather data on your behavior when on their site, then determine what you might be interested in. Now a new generation of recommendation engines have surfaced, utilizing additional data from your social interactions. So…why aren’t we seeing this on employment sites? No, not the simplistic “I noticed you have the job title ‘owner’, so you must want trucking jobs, since they are ‘owner/operator’. I’m talking about an employment site that looks at your profile, your resume, your search behavior, the data you put into your job alerts, your social connections, and any other scrap of data it can find to serve up useful, targeted employment opportunities – whether they are companies or actual jobs.
  • More employer options: So what if you’re an employer and you don’t necessarily want to post a job or search through resumes? For the vast majority of job boards, you’re screwed, because that’s it. How about some more options, like targeted job distribution, social media management, career site management, pre-screened and vetted candidates, talent community management, or a mobile career site/app/and more?
  • Rewards programs: Why don’t employment sites and job boards have ‘frequent flier’ programs for both employers and job seekers – the more you use us, the more you get? Perhaps a job seeker could apply for a particular job via an aggregator – or via your site. Wouldn’t a rewards program tilt the odds in your favor? What’s more, you can offer rewards that make sense – a resume rework, a Starbucks gift card, or an interview fashion makeover.

I’ll be the first to admit that the above aren’t particularly earth-shattering or new – and that’s the point. These all rely on existing models, tools, techniques, what have you – and you should think about whether any of them make sense for your audience. What’s your idea for employment sites?

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. One other idea is to incorporate company reviews into the job board software. It’s often easier to find reviews about a hotel you’re thinking of staying at than it is to find reviews about what it’s like to work at a company you’re thinking of joining – ironic given how much of your life will be spent at that job/company. It looks like Indeed started incorporating reviews, and of course there’s Glassdoor, but I’m still surprised it doesn’t really show up in most job boards. You’d think with the popularity of sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor it would be different.

  2. Todd, it would be a great feature. I think it hasn’t been implemented much because companies pay the bills – so they may not use a job board that has negative comments about them posted on the site.

  3. […] Why Don’t Employment Sites Have These Features? Jeff Dickey-Chasens is the preeminent expert on job boards, their functionality, marketing and business strategy. Her, he outlines some useful functionality that would improve job board effectiveness and reach. He missed the voice-only option. What if there was a job board that could only be reached thru Siri? Ah! What if Siri were a two way deal? […]

  4. I second the recommendation engine. LinkedIn does a decent job, but could be vastly improved. And where the industry should really go is internal recommendations: not just what positions you think your company needs, but what positions you actually need, AND who in your company network could fill them.

    I’d also add mobile compatibility: there’s no real reason why job postings can’t look great and be easy to apply to on a mobile device.

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