With only one day left in the public comment period, the blitz promised by opponents of the .jobs expansion plan is all but overwhelming the proponents.
Since the metaphorical shooting began Monday, 43 comments as of this writing have been posted to the forum run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. That’s the organization that will decide whether to open up the .jobs addresses to non-company names. Rules now limit the awarding of a .jobs address only to employers using the company name.
Most of the comments oppose the expansion and come from job board owners or operators.
However, among those writing in support are recruiting leaders of AT&T and Xerox and leaders of campus career centers at UCLA, NYU, and Notre Dame.
Carrie Corbin, associate director, talent attraction at AT&T, said the company supports the proposal because it “simply opens the door to drive more candidates DIRECTLY TO www.att.jobs…”
Opposition comments were equally direct. Typical is this comment from Eric Shannon, founder and CEO of LatPro: “The charter holder is attempting to extend the application of the TLD from its approved community — direct employers — into the online employment services community.”
The charter holder is Employ Media, a private, for-profit firm, run by media industrialist Tom Embrescia. Employ Media partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management several years ago to pitch ICANN on the need for a .jobs address specifically for employer job postings. (The background on the company’s plan to broaden the usage of .jobs and SHRM’s involvement is here.)
Like the comments supporting the expansion, many of the opposition letters read the same. One in particular — by Gerry Crispin, partner in the recruiting consultancy CareerXroads — stands out for its call that the entire agreement creating the .jobs domain be cancelled and the process begun anew.
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Crispin’s letter is pointed and pulls no punches: “I strongly oppose Employ Media’s history of dissembling, lack of transparency and willingness to enter into backroom deals and, am even more strongly concerned with SHRM’s inability to choose to act as a trusted referee.”
Crispin writes that, “due to misinformation, lack of interest etc. etc. it goes without saying that the community of legitimate job boards feels threatened by the proposed expansion of the .jobs top level domain.”
His letter concludes by urging ICANN to reject the expansion (which, he notes, has merit) and cancel its agreement with SHRM and Employ Media and restart the process of finding a new steward for the .jobs domain.