Guests Invited to Hear of Million Job Board Plan

Direct EmployersA group of recruitment and HR leaders and professionals has been invited to a meeting in Indianapolis to discuss the Direct Employers plan to build tens of thousands, maybe even a million, of new job boards using the .jobs domain.

Although the program has been underway since October, the meeting later this month is described as an informational session. The invitation that was emailed last week says the intent is to answer questions that have come up.

In an email Q & A, Direct Employers Executive Director Bill Warren says the Jan. 28th meeting will show some of the sites, describe the analytics that are built into the job board platform, and answer questions.

Bill Warren
Bill Warren

Warren asked me not to disclose the names of the 29 invitees, but it includes many easily recognizable names of recruitment leaders, as well as several job board CEOs, a few industry writers, and others, including ERE’s CEO David Manaster.

Since industry launches and new product introductions are commonly handled by webinars and previews in advance of launch, I first asked Warren what he’ll be showing and doing at the in-person event.

ERE: What’s the purpose of the meeting? What will you be showing?

Bill Warren: The purpose of the meeting is to answer any and all questions a group of industry experts might have about the .jobs build-out. We are not so vain that we think anyone really cares about what we are doing. However, we have had many phone calls with questions about what we are doing and how we are building out the domains. We will be showing not only how the domains are being built out, but also the analytics platform and how we are integrating with social media. Two long-time, well-respected industry experts suggested that we do this.

ERE: Since your .jobs buildout is well under way and ads have been appearing on the sites for months, why do this now?

Current Boston .jobs job board
Current Boston .jobs job board

Warren: The .jobs build-out is far from being well under way. It was suggested that we invite a group of industry experts to Indianapolis to demonstrate the .jobs platform after we had a working model to show them. We should have a working model with a significant number of domains built out by January 28th. The ads have been on the sites about 30 days. Why do this now? Again, it was suggested that we do it after we had a significant number of domains up and running.

Initial version of Boston .jobs job board.
Initial version of Boston .jobs job board.

In a follow-up asking for clarification Warren wrote back, “When I said, ‘The .jobs build-out is far from being well under way’, I meant we had only built-out 200 geo-specific domains thus far. The .jobs platform is still in ‘Beta’ and ads were put on the ‘Beta’ URLs in November for testing purposes.”

ERE: The personal expense to the invitees to attend includes hotel and airfare. What’s the value to them to attend this meeting? Why is it necessary to do this in person?

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Warren: Each invitee would of course have to make their own decision as to whether or not their attendance is worthwhile. I’m sure some will not attend because they do not consider it worthwhile and I certainly respect their decision. Because of all the questions we have received, we wanted to offer these individuals the opportunity to see the same presentation, to ask questions, and to hear questions from others. It could have probably been done as a webinar; however, I thought a webinar would be too impersonal for the level of this group.

ERE: What are you expecting in the way of outcomes?

Warren: Nothing more than industry experts having an opportunity to see a demonstration, ask questions, hear questions asked by their peers and, most importantly, get answers to any questions they might have. Again, the meeting is in response to the suggestion of two individuals who have a long-term investment in this industry and for whom I have tremendous respect.

ERE: How will whatever feedback you get affect your rollout and plans?

Warren: We are always interested in being good stewards of the .jobs platform and would carefully consider any and all recommendations we receive. These individuals are experts with a tremendous understanding of, and respect for, our industry. We value their feedback and will try to work with them in any way possible in the future.

ERE: How was the list of invitees decided?

Warren: It was based solely on the recommendations of the two individuals who suggested we have the meeting. If anyone was left off the list that should have been included, I’m sure it was nothing more than an oversight.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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22 Comments on “Guests Invited to Hear of Million Job Board Plan

  1. I hope that industry leaders such as Peter Weddle, the executive director of the job board association, was invited and will attend. A little more transparency into the guest list would be a good idea because if the “industry leaders” are partners of Direct Employers or representatives of organizations who badly want to partner, then their views will likely not reflect the views of the industry.

    The whole .jobs thing is a big mess. The premise upon which it was created was that employers would have an easy way to communicate to candidates the location of their job postings. Job boards were explicitly excluded from the offering, until this secretive scheme was hatched. If I’m wrong and it was all on the up-and-up, why so little transparency?

  2. DOT WHATEVER! It means nothing to the ineffectiveness of virtually every job board. The aggregators are your industry’s only hope to stay visible. Mark my words…..print rages back if/when economic conditions improve.

  3. Millions of job boards…now if they could also invest over 200 million dollars for advertising to job seekers the traffic would visit the sites. or if they could maximize SEO and the challenge with that is .jobs in not SEO. Search engines do not reconize .jobs in search. A .jobs domain is like having a nice house with no roads to it for people to get there. It would only appear if you typed boston.jobs in the search box in google but not boston jobs…

  4. Is there a difference between being lost in the local park and being lost in the Yukon Territories? Yep. It’s far more expensive and complicated for someone to find you in one of them.

  5. Whether or not the millions of job boards are made available to job seekers it will not alleviate the employers problem of finding skilled candidates.. The employers are not addressing the lack of skill and incentive prevalent in Most HR recruiting Functions. Until all the employers truly value and respect the Recruiting function by treating it as valuable partner in creating and operating a profitable growing company 10 million job boards will not solve the problem.

  6. I’m in favor of this meeting and publicly encourage anyone invited to go to go and anyone who wants to go but doesn’t have an invite to call Bill Warren directly.

    John, you caught folks attention with the title but seems to me given all the discussions over the years that your article simply misdirects. -which leads to the responses you’ve seen so far.

    The first statement Bill made about the purpose was to “answer any and all questions”. That is different than your “show and tell” theme. Let’s hold Bill to his promise and see what kind of a conversation we can have. I have a conflict that day and if I can’t resolve it plan to go at a different time.

  7. Great stuff, Gerry. How about if Bill attends the IAEWS (job board association) meeting being held in conjunction with ERE so he can “answer any and all questions” from a far larger number of industry leaders than just a couple?

  8. @Steven – I agree about the lack of transparency in the .jobs/DirectEmployers deal, and IMHO holding it in Indianapolis instead of in an online forum of some sort is a mistake. I’ve spoken with a few invitees about the event, and so far everyone that I’ve had the chance to speak with has schedule conflicts. (I do too – I’ll be on vacation!)

    One thing I can assure you though – having seen the invitee list, it is definitely not stacked with DirectEmployers business partners in any way.

  9. That’s great news, David. Can the invitee list be shared so that we can all better understand who will be representing our interests?

    As for your vacation plans, Indianapolis isn’t at the top of your list in January? 🙂

  10. Steven, not my call. Ask Bill directly. Not like I haven’t weighed in on theses issues since the day .jobs became a reality. But, even at my advanced age as a student of staffing, I’m still learning to go direct (no pun intended) to the source to listen before deciding on my position. If they won’t take my call, that is another thing but Bill has been accessible. I think he is trying to have one long conversation with lots of folks in a reasonable time frame rather than 100 spread out. IMHO

  11. There are other resources, education that we could be spending our time on, then creating yet another “jobboard” extravaganza hoopla…seriously? Charles Murray awesome response!

  12. I asked John Zappe NOT to include the list of invitees out of respect for individuals who were not on the list but think they should have been included in any list of “industry experts”. Any publically posted list of “industry experts” is going to offend someone. I’m sure there were some glaring omissions to the list and if that is the case, it was purely unintentional and I apologize.

    You don’t invite 30 industry leaders to a meeting where you offer to answer “any and all questions” if your intent is to not be transparent in all you do or plan to do. As I said, we greatly value their feedback and will make every effort to work with them in the future.

    Anyone who feels they should have been included is welcome to attend the meeting and we have gone as far as to add a second day (Friday, January 29) if that is more convenient for anyone. The meetings each day will start at 11:00am and end no later than 4:00pm. If others plan to attend, all I ask is that you send an email to me stating which day you will attend so we can plan our lunch and conference room schedule. My email address is: bill@directemployers.org.

    I will respond to your email with a list of local lodging possibilities and other details to make your visit as easy as possible.

  13. Thank you, Bill, for participating in this discussion. I’m sure that you appreciate that a week’s notice to travel to Indianapolis is not feasible for most of us who may have been inclined to participate and it is unclear to me whether the experts will just be informed about what is happening or whether their feedback will have any substantial impact on your plans. What if the consensus amongst them is that this is a bad idea for the industry? Will you scrap your plans to use the .jobs domains or will you forge ahead?

    Also unclear to me is how many of the 30 are attending. It appears from this discussion that at least a couple of very logical attendees are unable to attend due to conflicts so perhaps the notice they received wasn’t terribly long either.

    Finally, do you plan to open this up for discussion at the next IAEWS meeting? If not, why not? It seems to me that would be the perfect forum at which to be transparent with the largest number of industry leaders rather than in Indianapolis in January.

  14. “What if the consensus amongst them is that this is a bad idea for the industry? Will you scrap your plans to use the .jobs domains or will you forge ahead?”

    The individuals we invited are all senior-level experts with lots of experience and a tremendous understanding of, and respect for, our industry. We greatly value their feedback and hope to work closely with them in any way possible in the future for the betterment of the online recruiting industry. At the same time, We should all remember there are many stakeholders in the recruiting industry other than job board owners and operators whose opinions and concerns must be heard and considered — such as hundreds of thousands of employers and an even greater number of job seekers.

    Everyone of the invitees received the same notice at the same time. Based on the responses we have received, I would be surprised if, for various reasons, we have more than 6-8 attendees at the meeting. Peter Weddle informed me today that he plans to attend representing IAEWS — of which DirectEmployers Association is also a member.

    Unfortunately, I am scheduled to speak at another employment conference March 15 and will not be able to attend the IAEWS Spring Member Congress in San Diego. I will be available in the future to discuss the .jobs project at an IAEWS Member Congress if invited to do so by Peter Weddle.

  15. I have serious concerns about the legal and tax status of the Direct Employers Association- I’m no anti-trust zealot, but it seems to me that these for-profit organizations could be building the ability to collude, manage, and control a vast labor market. A complete data model of who is hiring, for what skills and attributes, and for what amounts of money, and who is and has talked to whom, across firms and over time….well that could be a pretty useful tool in the right hands.

    I won’t go so far as to suggest that effect would be intentional at this point, but nothing I have seen yet says otherwise.

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