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Tech deluge: do we need so many tech-focused sites?

tech-focused sitesA long time ago, I worked at the granddaddy of all tech-focused sites, Dice. It started as a bulletin board in 1990, then migrated to the web in 1996. To this day, it is the largest tech-focused job board, both in terms of revenues and candidates.

That doesn’t mean that Dice doesn’t have competition. It does – in droves. Early on there were sites like ComputerJobs, then more recently community sites like StackOverflow and super-niche sites like iCrunchData.

However…for some reason, about two or three years ago, recruiting site startups began appearing in higher and higher numbers. I take a look at these every so often. Many of these startups focus on the tech sector – for good reason. First of all, good tech talent is hard to come by. Second, tech skills are easier to quantify than other, ‘softer’ skills. And third, of course – that’s where the money is.

But it’s getting out of hand! I tag startups as I hear about them, and I just realized the other day that almost every single site in the past month or so were tech-focused sites. Yow. It almost seems like there’s a tech recruiting site for every developer. Maybe two. At any rate, look at what I’ve found:

  • Jobbox: a ‘refer someone for this job and get paid’ site. As they say, “recruitment in tech is fundamentally broken”. You tell me if Jobbox fixes it.
  • HytchAs they ask on the website, ‘what’s unique about Hytch? Conversations with companies start with salary information’.
  • breaz: Candidates post their profiles, companies interview them. Plus, ‘We’ll hide your profile from your current and past employers.’
  • Experfy: A ‘consulting marketplace’ for big data. More oDesk than traditional job board, with a bit of community thrown in.
  • Plus don’t forget InterviewJet, HackersList, Hackajob, and Potknox from my last roundup.

A few observations about these sites:

  • They all look good – usually much better than the older (and more profitable) job boards they are competing against.
  • They really aren’t doing anything unusual – but they are packaging what they do well (ala ‘LinkedIn is not a job board’).
  • Revenue models vary – but several are what I call a ‘modified recruiter’: they are taking a percentage of the candidate’s salary, either in a lump or in bits

So does the tech industry need dozens of tech-focused sites? Obviously some investors think so. Perhaps the best test will be to revisit these sites in 12 months – and see which are still in operation.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I think it is less about tech and more about what they can do in early stages to show traction for investors. Tech development is a hot problem spot so it can produce some results quickly even with only a few dozen candidates on the site. This gets investors excited to put money into the company and, as they expand, they can move beyond tech. is a good example of this. There are others as well, but just wanted to add my opinion on why there are so many tech focused startups.

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