Job Boards Gone Wild!
Ok, it was cute and cool when 37Signals came out with their job board. Hey, jobs focused to people who appreciate 37Signals way of thinking... that makes sense! But then others realized, wait a sec, they are making money hand over fist for doing almost nothing at all! I can do that too! And so Joel came up with a job board, TechCrunch came up with a job board, DailyWTF, and now even Slashdot. I'm sure it's only a matter of time for Gizmodo, Engaget, digg, and any other tech blog/site out there to add it's own job board.
The problem is that these job boards no longer provide any value at all. You see the same jobs cross-posted already, and as they gain attention, this will only happen more. Tech people arn't really finding jobs that are posted by employers that think like Joel, or think like 37signals. Employers arn't really targeting any one audience apparently, since they post on multiple sources. And presumably the end user here is a job seeker... how has this made his/her life easier? Instead of just hitting Monster.com or Dice.com, there are now 5+ boards to visit.
Not only that, but there are so few postings for individual cities, that if I were looking for a job in say, Chicago, IL there are barely any at all. So what seems like a lot of jobs is an illusion, because most people are not open to moving anywhere in the world for a job. The quality of postings is no better then Monster.com, and in fact the text is usually just copy/pasted from some other listing. At least Joel added the Joel Test, although this is optional which is unfortunate.
As an employer, I would also be let down by the recent numbers Joel posted. ~300 people looking for jobs in DC? I don't know how that compares to Monster's audience, but it seems kind of low to me. The odds of getting more then 5-10 applicants seems very slim. Of course presumably you'll get a higher quality applicant, but then again, the people who apply are the type of people who read forums during work and look for other jobs in the process.
What's my point? Just that it seems like the only people benefiting from these boards is the blog owners. There's nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice if they tried to add as much value to the job postings as they add to their blog postings.
*Free mISV Idea*
Hopefully someone will come up with an aggregator soon, and maybe a way to rate employers and jobs. It would be interesting to see people's results from various job postings, and maybe who previously worked for the company.