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Online Job Hunt 10 Years Later – Still Sucks

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NYC-based Indeed.com, a niche search engine, has announced a partnership to power Mamma Careers. I’ll be the first to admit, this specific instance isn’t big news, but they are on a partnering spree, alongside their primary competitor, SimplyHired. SimplyHired powers MySpace Jobs, as well as LinkedIn Jobs (to name a couple). Both Indeed and SimplyHired are securing as many partnerships as possible to power the job search functionality on various websites. Employers can submit URLs to job listings, but can’t directly post jobs on Indeed or SimplyHired — that is still left to the established job sites including Yahoo’s HotJobs (insert link here), Monster.com, and CareerBuilder (insert link here).

Newspapers have long been the place to go for jobs — then the job sites (and Craigslist) popped up to provide an online version of the same service electronically. Now specific vertical job search engines (including Google Base) have evolved to aggregate and index job postings from online listings.

Enter social networking. The next evolution of online job searching would seem to be within social networking websites where users could refer friends to a job. As of now, Facebook and Friendster don’t have job searches yet. Look for partnerships in the future.

Jobster is a start-up that is heavily funded and focusing on adding some social networking aspects to the job hunt process. Another stealth start-up looking to “revolutionize” the online job search is itzBig, which we are told is backed by an investment bank and is being run by CEO Hank Stringer (founder of Hire.com) and Chairman Jim Hammock (former CEO/Chairman of Hire.com).

Online job websites have been around for 10 years now — they haven’t made much change since originally launching to improve the process of candidates looking for jobs, and recruiters looking for candidates. Recruiters have to paw through tons of resumes (that lack format consistency), and candidates have to search through multi-level marketing scams and other spam.

In all honesty, finding a job online sucks. Indeed and SimplyHired have taken it to the next level by aggregating all jobs into one search, but I want to see a company come out and eHarmony-ize the job market. Make it so candidates go through a 15- to 30-minute application process that might include various tests related to their claimed skillsets. Allow recruiters to specify what skillsets are required and make them somehow rank the importance of the required skillsets.

I’d also like to see some social networking aspects along the lines of LinkedIn — allow people to refer their friends to jobs. Yahoo! could integrate HotJobs with their 360 service. Monster.com could integrate with the Facebook API to add some social networking. IAC has put a hault on acquisitions, but a jobs website seems like a good addition to their extensive consumer portfolio — their own Ask.com search engine doesn’t offer a vertical job search. Possibly an Indeed or SimplyHired acquisition?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Steve Poland, a guest contributor. Steve is the founder and web strategy consultant for Vested Ventures, a firm specializing in website consulting, internet marketing, and high-end custom web development.

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