A Job Board Nightmare? 5 Comments

He thought (and hoped) it was just a bad dream.  Little Johnny just wanted to find a job, but he got lost in a universe cluttered with a million new job boards.

He woke up, it wasn’t just a dream, as 25,000 will go live this week.


While I have never claimed to be a “jobs” SEO expert, I’ve had several conversations the past couple of months with recruiting industry peers and there continues to be a lot of confusion and questions about what goals Direct Employers is trying to accomplish with the .jobs domain.

More specifically, people have expressed concerns, I’ve been asked, and I’ve heard:

  • Supposedly, DEA already offers some sort of SEO solution for employers.  Any recruiting organizations goals should be to get the candidates direct.  With the new .jobs galaxy, there’s more competing with “more of the same”.
  • Users can now upload their resumes and create accounts on JobCentral.  What part of “direct” to the employer is missing here?
  • Why would candidates want to register here? What’s the benefit?


  • DEA members desperately wanted to avoid job boards years ago, and yet this looks like the same footprint of one.
  • Didn’t Direct Employers offer SEO services? What happened there? Did that fail too? Is this a replacement?
  • Why can’t they FOCUS, and either make JobCentral, the job distribution network, or their SEO services work vs. moving on to the next cool thing?
  • Where’s the proof that anything they are doing drives a return, other than “visitors are up”?
  • Do members understand they are being taken along for a ride?
  • Why does JobCentral give candidates a choice to move onto aggregation sites? There is nothing “direct” about sending people to sites with millions of jobs from sources including job boards and other companies sponsoring jobs to coerce candidates to register with them first?


  • What’s up with this so-called meeting to clear up confusion? With 12 people? What about the thousands of users?
  • How can they actually convince members this will work? What about the last 3 initiatives that failed? Where’s the accountability?
  • What will we see next after .jobs? Internet job fairs, video interviewing, or ATS systems?

You can also see additional comments from readers on 2 previous posts:

Based on all of the information outlined – and as anyone would expect with any vendor – there’s enough questions out there to ask some pointed and specific questions before considering yet another investment.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, February 1st, 2010
  • This Post Has 5 Comments

    1. There is an interesting article on ERE.net about the demonstration last week of the .Jobs plan: http://www.ere.net/2010/01/29/jobs-universe-project-explained-in-meetings/
      Gerry Crispin gives it his blessing. I’m still wondering how they’ll change job seeker behavior enough to make the sites popular. I’m not sure SEO is enough.

    2. Mark Hornung says:

      Most of the research we do about job seeking indicates that job seekers take a dim view of job boards. Too many “phantom” jobs, no responses from employers, etc., have tattered the credibility of the medium. Then there’s the well-documented dilemma of having too many choices. Experiments have shown that if you give people 20 flavors of jam to choose from, they freeze up and choose none. Give them only five flavors and they will make a choice. Hundreds, thousands, or *gasp* millions of job boards become mind-numbing and the job seeker says “fugettaboutit.” Employers would be better served paying attention to optimizing their own career sites so that they appear as high as possible in organic search results, or–barring that–pursue an aggressive SEM campaign to ensure visibility on the biggest job board of them all: Google.

    3. cheryl says:

      I would have to agree. WAy to many job boards out there. Plus, you do see the same jobs listed at various site that is repiticious.

    4. Mark says:

      I agree with Mark, most candidates tend to settle on using 2 or 3 jobsites and ignore the rest. They end up seeing the same job over and over again. Services like Broadbean fuel this.
      The problem with seo is that it takes too long to get the jobs listed in Google etc. As most Job seekers know, a role over c.3 days old is usually already a long way to being filled.
      A .jobs domain is never going to stop fake jobs, most agencies at some time whether they admin it or not put out a feeler for a particular role just incase they get the position to fill.
      Resources litle Twitter are a double edge sword. Great for agencies, free advertising that can link right back to their own website. Cause its free even more fake jobs will appear.
      The answer? not sure yet, but thinking about it :-).

    5. Nicole Bodem says:

      Quote from the ERE article “next week 25,000 of the sites will go live” I am curious about what kind of linkbuilding strategy there going to have in place to build all of these sites as trusted sources of information.

      Linkbuilding is a pretty big factor in a successful SEO campaign, not to mention the most time consuming. It’s going to take more than just linking all the .job sites together, especially if the domains are all owned by the same company.

      Without a linkbuilding strategy in place and unique quality content, they could possibly run the risk of having search engines see these domains as “spammy”

      I’m all for company’s owning their .jobs domain – not quite sure about how I feel about more of the same though…maybe I can be proved wrong.

      And I agree with Jeff (above) SEO is not enough. It’s just 1 tool available.

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