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Web 3.0 and CareerBuilder

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 13th 2007

CareerBuilder founded in 1995, is owned by Gannett, Tribune, and McClatchy. It is a job site where users can search or post jobs and resumes, gather information about companies and seek career related advice from experts. The site has 400 million monthly page views and over 21 million monthly unique visitors. The site averages more than 1.5 million job postings per month.
Microsoft bought a minority stake in the company in May, 2007. The site won the Stevie Award for Highest Sales Growth Rate in 2006 and was awarded the Outstanding Website Award by the Web Marketing Association in 2005. The site is user friendly with easy inter-category navigation.

We have already discussed an overview of the online job industry. Now, we take a look at CareerBuilder’s offering from the Web 3.0 perspective.

Context
Overall, there are 3 types of users entering Career Builder : Job Seekers, Recruiters, Employers. In my opinion, these 3 Contexts are quite different, and should be separated. Career Builder separates out Job Seekers and Employers, but does not have a separate Contextual site for Recruiters, which they should.

At the next level down, CareerBuilder scores high on contextual navigation. Broad job categories like College and Interns, Non Profits, etc. are well articulated. However, CareerBuilder could have separate segments for women who want to work from home, for example, and other more niche categories. CareerBuilder’s “Hero for Hire” helps veteran soldiers search for jobs in a great niche Context.

In general, it would probably be fair to state that Executive recruitment, even though it is offered as a separate category, does not happen through the mass scale job boards. It is still a domain of human beings, Executive Recruiters, and sites like CareerBuilder have not made much of a dent in that business.

It is in the more junior positions, all the way up to middle management [Director, VP in large companies; Director in smaller companies], that CareerBuilder and its brethren have generated great efficiencies. Thus, the focus of the site reflects that segmentation.

Content
At CareerBuilder, users can search for jobs, online courses, post resumes and read articles on career and employment. The site is the largest job site in the US with more than 13 million resumes in its database and has as many as 13 categories for searching or posting of jobs for both job seekers and employers. CareerBuilder powers career programs for 694 websites, 162 newspapers and 45 television stations in the US.

CareerBuilder allows free posting of resumes for job seekers and charges $385 from employers to post job description for 30 days and $900 for unlimited job posting. CareerBuilder also has international sites for job seekers and employers for nations like Canada, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and India with regional maps for job location.

The Salary Calculator powered by CBSalary.com helps you calculate the probable range of your salary by entering the job category, preferred city and city of residence. The site provides Free Career Assessment Test in partnership with careerpath.com.

The Distribute your Resume tool allows job seekers to post their resumes with specifications for job category, industry, location, recruiter location, etc. Job seekers can select three from each category and can also specify their preferred job location from the regional map provided.

Apart from these, CareerBuilder publishes articles for both job seekers and employers. These articles may include tips on interviews or work-life balance to strategies to improve Internet marketing or corporate branding. The site also lists the upcoming job fairs, which job seekers can attend.

There is also some interesting inspirational content, like interviews with role models, which they should build upon much more aggressively. I watched a short video of a Director of Communications at NBA who talks about how to combine a professional career with his great love for Sports by going into a Sports Management job. Very nice.

Community
CareerBuilder has poor community features. Job experiences can be shared only under “hero for hire”. CareerBuilder should incorporate blogs, forums, message boards, etc. to improve networking among the users. LinkedIn is a good example of how professional networking keeps people engaged in more a “career management” mode, as opposed to simply a “looking for a job” mode.

Commerce
CareerBuilder has around 900 partners across the world including MSN, AOL, Comcast, USA Today, Google and Earthlink as well as sites such as BET.com, UNIVISION, and MSN Latino serving varied segments.

CareerBuilder, in partnership with Amazon.com, retails books. They could make this a much deeper partnership, whereby, they have contextually relevant books showcased alongside topics. Those who are looking for a job at 3M should probably read Built to Last, for instance.

CareerBuilder has partnered with ShopLocal to retail digital cameras, car alarms, i-Pods, etc., although those items seem to be vastly non-synergistic in the context of job search. The site also partners with Apartment.com and Cars.com, two sites that are contextually relevant, since while looking for a job, people also often look to find a place to stay, and a car to buy.

Personalization
CareerBuilder allows registered users to search for jobs, posts resumes, save searches, get e-mail alerts for job offers, job fairs, and career advice. The site also has a job recommendation program, which gives customized job search results to CareerBuilder subscribers. The personalization function, however, is pretty basic, and nothing to write home about. It would be interesting, for example, if the site fostered relationship building with relevant recruiters through personalized, limited access online events.

Vertical Search
CareerBuilder allows job searching by 13 categories, including keywords, companies, industry, designation, location, salary, level of experience, qualification, date, job type (full/part/contractual), place of residence, recruiter’s location. Nothing special, but clean and functional.

Business Model
CareerBuilder earns most of its revenue from commissions from career center services and subscription fees from employers. The site also offers resume services for $169 to $269. It also offers thank you letter, contact list and cover letter services from $10 to $50. CareerBuilder is a top choice among advertisers. CareerBuilder charges $200 for 30 days display ads and single position line ads.

Web 3.0 Rating: Context: A, Content: A-, Community: C, Commerce: B, Vertical Search: A, Personalization: B+; Overall Rating: A-

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