Probably been said a million times before, but what is job hunting? It's job searching. Who's great at search? Google.
And after lots of little tweaks, the biggest recruiting boards - take your choice - Monster, HotJobs, etc. - they're all still horrible. Though, I have to admit, Craigslist is not really horrible, and they have low overhead, and community good will, so maybe they survive. But they will probably be hurt just the same.
Add-in that many corporations take to using the anti-human Taleo or some other godforsaken crapper outsourced HR solution that makes a candidate do something outrageously hokey like upload a resume in Word format, have it scanned it for keywords, tries to put your address in the appropriate 'address' field only to completely fuck it up, and you have to manually fix it - all to make sure the spammers and snail junk mailers have the greatest accuracy and cost-effectiveness in sending you information about shit you don't need. Fuck you very much.
This technology is the typical horrific stuff that was going on ten years ago. It's the same old story - look at the technology of today - it's the same as that of yesterday. And what's more - each massive corporation will have its own custom Taleo silo, so if you actually wanted to sell your soul to one or more of those godforsaken corporations - and often, it seems we must if we want to eat - then you have to upload your resume umpteen times and correct the same or different mistakes umpteen times. And Taleo is not the only crapper outsourced HR/resume service provider - there are myriad companies providing this horrible service - selling your information to the highest bidders.
So, where does that leave us? Google. Google will solve all of our problems. The only reason they haven't tackled recruiting yet is that they haven't needed to. Monster's $1 Billion market cap or whatever it is these days is nothing. Recruiting sites' revenues are paltry compared to the markets that Google is still chasing. They're staying focused on their core competencies - cross-spectrum ad market domination. But be forewarned - Google has a core competency in search, and sooner or later they're going to go after verticals with a vengeance.
It's already been happening. Have you been paying attention? You have to remember - Google moves like a tsunami close to land - very slowly. But it moves methodically and deliberately and without remorse - it just takes everything in its path. It sneaks up on you, and before you know it, it's too late.
Check out what is already going on with Google Base: search for travel info - 'sfo to atl'. Search for single soccer chicks within 30 miles of me. Search for a computer that costs between $100 and $125. Search for 'java engineer' jobs making six figures within 30 miles of me.
I don't know if Google Base is how we get to the ultimate job search, but it's worth a try.
Personally, I can't wait to see the suffering of Monster and Hotjobs and many of the other job sites that really tilt the power away from the job seeker and into the hands of the corporations - as if we didn't have it hard enough, already. I have mixed emotions about Craigslist, though. Their job listings still tilt heavily in favor of giving power to the corporations, but they seem like decent people - much too decent for this earth or at least for capitalist America, so I suspect we'll have to keep them around.
Monster, HotJobs, Taleo - goodbye, bitches!
...forgot to mention Emurse (yes, a play on 'resume'). They have this insanely slick interface and I was hoping something would happen with it, but I haven't heard anything about it recently. Maybe I'll ping one of their email addresses. I don't know the nuts and bolts of how Emurse works, but you get the distinct feeling, when uploading your resume, that this is how resume-building should work. You can add and remove sections, and automatically choose any one of several different formats based on the data you've uploaded - voila! [Is there an XML schema for 'human resources'/career/resume information, yet?] So, why can't I authorize Hotjobs, Monster, Taleo, and anyone else I choose to download my resume from Emurse? I tell Emurse which services I wish my resume to go to, and boom - it's there, and all the data is structured, so no more fuckups from backwards technology attempting to scan Word documents. And when I'm done with my job hunt, recruiters stop calling. Maybe Emurse can set up a temporary forwarding email address and phone number, so I can go back to answering my phone when job-hunting season is over. That's probably a pay-for premium service. As it stands right now - I can't go back to using my cell phone and email addresses normally. My voice and email inboxes stay filled with crap job offers from Hungary and email scams from God-knows-where until I finally change my phone number and email addresses again. Seems easy enough to me to put this together - or, at least, it seems like it can be done, if not without difficulty. Web services. Web2.0. Let's get it done!
...several typos fixed and a bit of new content in main post.
..QuietAgent.com seeks to....do something about crappy job boards, and I'm not exactly sure what it is, but at least one part of their solution seems to be 'passive job hunting', where even if you're casually employed, you can still keep an eye open. As far as I know, that doesn't exist yet. Or hasn't, until QuietAgent. I heard about these guys on Forbes - seems they have some kind of partnership thing going. Also, I talked to an entrepreneur-type out here in SF a few months ago. He told me he was going to 'revolutionize' the job board scene by doing the 'passive job seeking' thing. I don't think this company is his, so maybe we'll start to see more of these types of companies/sites very soon. It is, in general, a good idea - that part of the equation is missing. But whether it leads to greater efficiency and value for everyone involved remains to be seen. One of the great tools that employers have over employees right now is that employees have to job hunt while remaining anonymous - i.e. they hunt for new jobs in terror, always afraid of getting caught, so they can rarely do it unless they're truly committed to making a change, and can truly risk getting fired. It sounds like QuietAgent might help tilt the balance of power back towards employees - try to make things a bit more even.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007