SHRM .jobs Deciders Want More Info

A conference call Friday on the future of the .jobs domain ended with a consensus that the SHRM group considering the issue needed more information.

The nine-member council is scheduled to meet Tuesday to consider specific next steps.

In an email sent by Gary Rubin, SHRM’s chief publishing, e-media, and business development officer, he reported that the council “determined that more discussion will be necessary, including reaching out to the HR community for input, before voting on Employ Media’s proposal.”

His email didn’t provide any details on the two-and-a-half hour discussion. Nor did it say how input would be gathered. A previous discussion period, that was opened on the site in late March, appears to still be accepting comments, although the site originally said the comment period would end last Friday. The page has been changed since.

In a subsequent email, Rubin declined to provide additional information.

“I cannot provide “texture” for you regarding the conversations that occurred during our meeting,” he wrote. ” The Council’s discussions are confidential.   When they reach a decision, we’ll make it public. You also asked about the timing and the nature of any additional information that the Council will seek from the community. We’ll also let you know when that information becomes publicly available.”

I’ve asked him why the Council’s discussions need to be confidential and who decided that. Haven’t yet heard back from him.

Rubin appointed the so-called Policy Development Process Council to consider a proposal to open up the .jobs domain to all sorts of names. Currently, only company names — as in or — can be paired with the .jobs extension.

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This issue has been a contentious one, since the DirectEmployers Association began launching job boards using occupational and geographic names with .jobs at the end. Rubin’s first attempt at appointing a council had him naming Bill Warren, executive director of the association, as council manager. In this iteration of the council, one of Rubin’s appointments is president of DirectEmployers.

Additional background is available on the ERE site.

Two of the council members told me they had been unaware of the depth of feeling about opening up the .jobs domain until just recently. One of them, Nancy McKeague, said she believed it was a fairly straightforward issue until participating in Friday’s call.

Now, she said, she is looking to hear from the HR community, and especially from “the people who are trying to use it (the .jobs address for corporate career activity).”

Tuesday’s call is to deal with how to accomplish that, as well as to decide what additional information the council members might want. I’m told that of the nine council members, two did not participate in Friday’s call.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of 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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