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February 09, 2006

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Joel

Well put.

Colin Kingsbury

Jeff,

Some good thoughts here but I'm going to ask a few Devil's Advocate questions:

1. If "amenity-filtering" like dog-friendly becomes popular, what prevents Monster from offering it? Their marketing budget is a lot larger and can put a lot more money in affiliate pockets.

2. After dogs and working mothers, how much deeper does the well of "specialty" categories go? My suspicion is that while there are a lot more pools out there, they quickly get a lot smaller, which raises a lot of complications. For instance, I'm a pilot, and I'd be a lot more interested in an employer who allowed me to fly my plane on business when appropriate- many companies' risk management policies don't allow it. There are perhaps 100,000 active pilots in the US for whom this might be a real draw, which means at any time you're talking to perhaps 10-15,000 people, which seems to me like too small a population to merit much attention. Part of the point here is that a lot of the potential categories require serious cultural and policy changes to reach out to. This seems like a long tail play, and for a lot of companies, covering all but one or two spots on that long tail isn't going to be cost-effective, and the secret of long tail businesses is they figure out how to cover all or most of the spots cheaply.

3. How do the vertical engines figure out who offers which "amenity" benefits? My sense is that in order to be effective this would require direct contact with the employer, which puts them in a mindshare game with the fee boards.

I think you're dead-on that unless the verticals do some kind of category-changing, they're bound to get swamped by the 800lb gorillas in Round 2. I'm just not sure whether the pitch you describe above is a real category-changer.

Marc Drees

Job boards and vertical search engines in the traditional space will always be ill-equipped to attract passive candidates. Simply because they have nothing to offer. The core experience is invariably poor and relevant content is just not there. It seems a very naïve thought to expect deals like SimplyHired-Dogster will have any serious impact beyond a couple of dog fanatics.

I visit Amazon on a very regular basis. Why? Because it provides me with an excellent experience when I’m actively looking, and I just like to visit from time to time to browse, find interesting new books/CD’s or just kill some time.

Likewise, over time I will change between active and passive jobseeker states. But the job board and vertical search engine experience is so extremely poor that I will never visit a job board when in passive mode. That will only change if it will think and act on my behalf and allow me to go through my different states. Amazon does, job boards don’t.

DaveMc500Hats

hey jeff -

nice post, and thx for the kind words :)

my comments on joel's blogs addressed the "active" candidate angle, primarily because i thought peter's original post sounded a bit too high-brow... altho i do understand his perspective, i don't think anyone should be dissed just becase they aren't ashamed to say they're looking for another job. not *everyone* who's looking just got fired (but if so i know a site they should visit ;)

as for "passive" candidates and communities of interest -- you're correct we've been a little quiet about what we've got cooking, but we do have some ideas on how to engage those folks as well. and maybe we just will create a community for like-minded job seekers who believe the truth is out there...

more to come soon,

- dave mcclure
www.SimplyHired.com

Jason Gorham

Jeff, just a couple of points and thoughts and I do believe that you hit the nail on the head. We are currently are partnered with both Simplyhired and indeed and do value and trust their partnerships as this was my model when I first started out...thus the name metasearch. As with any home page site and or search engine including monster careerbuilder etc you need to market to get these people engaged and get them to visit the site. Whereas our Push Posting utilizes the ppc model to push our ads out to where people spend time online, thus this is more of a methodology than it is a job board, because you need the right ad, right time, right candidate (Our R3 methodology)then you need to capture them and consistently engage them. Remember they aren't looking for a job so even after we have lead the horse to water we need our employer to make them drink. So we have been working on this system and should be due to launch this year. If you don’t believe that this works Hotjobs just reinforced our model…read my blog at jasongorham.com to learn more.

Internet Inc

Here is a list of the vertical job search websites. Please let me know if I've missed any appropriate boards!
http://www.internetinc.com/job-search-verticals-list

Emily

Another great job search engine to help job seekers look for jobs: http://www.careerjet.com

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