Jobs is one of the top segments online and contribute 25% of Internet ad revenues. Job sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, and Yahoo! HotJobs are fast replacing newspaper classifieds and becoming hot destinations for job seekers and recruiters.
We have been reviewing the online job industry and have covered CareerBuilder, Monster, and Yahoo! HotJobs from a Web 3.0 perspective. The online job industry is booming and vertical search engines like Indeed, Jobster and SimplyHired have experienced phenomenal growth.
The Context for the job sites is to allow users to search or post jobs. Job sites are also moving from being mass to niche. There has been a proliferation of specialized job sites like SnagAJob or WetFeet, which cater to hourly jobs or internship openings. Project Exchanges like eLance, oDesk, and Guru have created marketplaces for freelance projects, yet another nuance on the job search phenomenon. LinkedIn and Xing have created professional networking services, as their core value proposition.
Most job sites are rich in Content and Tools. Monster allows job seekers to upload up to five different resumes while SimplyHired enables posting resumes to 80 job boards. CareerBuilder’s Salary Calculator enables you to calculate the probable range of salary by entering job category, preferred city and city of residence. Diversity Search in Monster takes account of varying user preferences and features articles on workplace or career issues for gay/lesbian or racial minority. This apart, job sites also contain career related articles and advice or self assessment tests.
Community features on most job sites center around blogs, message boards and forums that allow users to share their career experiences, exchange views or advices, post messages, rate or comment on posted messages, build networks and stay connected with other users through e-mail. Yahoo! HotJobs has the best community features among the job sites, because it leverages other Yahoo! properties like Answers.
Most job sites score well on Commerce features. These sites earn money from different career services rendered like resume or cover letter writing. Monster also sells its own brand of products like notebooks, mouse pad, cotton t-shirt, umbrella, etc through the mall section on the site. CareerBuilder too, retails digital cameras, car alarms, iPods, radio shacks, etc. through ShopLocal. i don’t find these at all compelling. Sites like Yahoo! HotJobs hold job fairs and offer recruiting software, recruitment training, and an AgencyExchange, to connect hiring managers and recruiters.
Personalization in most job sites center around personal accounts which allow posting of resumes, saving searched jobs, getting e-mail alerts for job offers and career advices. Monster’s Personal Recommendation feature shows the number of times your resume has been viewed by potential employers. Also, Monster allows users to personalize job advertisements on the blog section to have customized job advertisements to which users can apply without having to look at irrelevant search results.
Most job sites have very good contextual searching capabilities. Vertical Search in sites like CareerBuilder allow users to search jobs by keywords, companies, industry, designation, location, salary, level of experience, qualification, date, job type (full/part/contractual), place of residence, recruiter’s location, etc. The Diversity Search function in Monster caters to the multi-cultural or physically disabled job seeker.
The online job industry is booming with ad revenues worth $5.9 billion annually. Metasearch engines like Indeed with 302% growth (through 2006) are coming up rapidly. The industry has become very competitive and to capture market share Jobster is now offering free job listings and charging advertisers / recruiters on a pay-per-applicant basis.
The recent years have seen a number of acquisitions in the online job industry. Microsoft bought a 4% stake in CareerBuilder in May 2007 and the two have entered into a multi-year deal through 2013. CareerBuilder will be paying an estimated $443 million to MSN for generating traffic for the job site.
Dice.com acquired two UK based job sites, efinancialGroup and jobsinthemoney in November, 2006. The two sites were job search engines for jobs in investment banking, accounting, retail banking, and wealth management industries. There have been rumors of Google buying SimplyHired. This would fill the gap of a job search engine that Google currently lacks.
In summary, the Online Jobs vertical provides a good set of services especially for more junior jobs. In the next iteration of the industry, vendors should take more of a “career management” approach, rather than vanilla job search, which has effectively become commodity. This is where Personalization can have substantial impact.