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

delugeA long time ago, I worked at the granddaddy of all tech recruiting 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 focused on tech. 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 new recruitment 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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