One Job Board to Rule Them All? Hint: It’s not Facebook.

Like many people in HR/recruiting, I recently read about Facebook making the jump into offering searchable jobs.

What took them so long anyway?

Apparently, Facebook is planning to launch its own job board later this summer, and the board will aggregate the job postings of third-party providers, making them available for search by Facebook users.

This comes after Facebook announced late last year that they would be entering into a partnership with the U.S. Labor Department to provide job-hunting resources to explore and develop systems where jobs can be posted and delivered “virally” through Facebook at no charge.

Some people think that Facebook offering job board functionality will positively affect the U.S. economy and job marketplace.

No offense to Facebook, but I’m happy to say we don’t need them to launch a job board to help put America to work.

I believe there is something that the United States government (or any country’s government, for that matter) can do to facilitate putting more people to work, without the help of any other site or company, let alone Facebook.

One Job Board to Rule them All

I’ve been sitting on this idea for a couple of years now – imagine if the U.S. government created their own job board.

Yes, really.

The United States government could just as easily replicate and even improve upon Indeed’s and Simplyhired’s model of job aggregation by pulling jobs from corporate career sites – a model which obviously works given that Indeed is the #1 source of external hire according to SilkRoad.

What company would not want the U.S. government to scrape and aggregate their jobs so that they could be searchable by job seekers?

What job seeker wouldn’t want to search the official U.S. government’s employment database?

While basic job aggregation could be free, the government could charge companies to sponsor/feature jobs just as you can with Indeed as well as Facebook PPC click ads.

The money earned from this job board could help reduce the federal deficit, which just happens to be in dire need of reduction, by the way. Or, even better in some respects, the money could go solely and directly to our education system.

I would envision this U.S. job board to essentially be both a general and a multi-niche board all rolled into one board – the MOAJB (Mother Of All Job Boards).

There’s no practical reason why you could not structure such a job board by role (e.g., sales reps, nurses, doctors, lawyers, software engineers, etc.), industry (e.g., financial services, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, manufacturing, etc.), and even diversity – just as there are seemingly 100’s of niche job boards for all of these today.

Do we really need 50, let alone 10 job boards for any given role, industry, ethnicity or gender?

The U.S. government could easily create one job site to rule them all.

I envision that this site/service could be free for job seekers to post their resume, professional profile, or whatever you want to call someone’s summary of skills, experience, and desires in a new career opportunity, as well as free for employers to search the database.

People could choose amongst several different job seeking statuses.

Active job seekers could list their contact information, passive job seekers could have confidential profiles without employer data and leverage an anonymous messaging capability, and people that did not want to be contacted could go “dark” and be undiscoverable until they wanted to be discovered.

People who have entered profiles – public or private, active, passive or not looking but interested in being notified if their dream job pops up somewhere – could configure agents to be notified of jobs that match their profiles and interests.

People could also voluntarily enter demographic information, including diversity classifications so they could be easily identified by employers working towards their diversity initiatives.

Endless Possibilities

Imagine if all active duty military personnel were urged to create professional profiles/resumes and kept them up to date so that if/when they entered the civilian workforce, they could be easily identified by employers looking to hire veterans.

Imagine if all college students created student/professional profiles – or even better yet, if people created student profiles before they even graduated high school?

The U.S. education system could heavily encourage students to register, and employers could start tracking prospects as early as high school, not dissimilar to how colleges and even professional sports teams scout high school athletes.

Interestingly, the very knowledge that companies could be inspecting performance in academics and activities in high school could conceivably boost student performance significantly.

I have many ideas as to how this service could be configured for people to more effectively find the right jobs as well as for employers to find the right people to hire, including the use of advanced matching algorithms in addition to advanced manual search.

This service could not only be used by companies and people actively and passively looking for the next step in their career, it could also be used more specifically to automatically match the unemployed with job opportunities they are qualified for and alert the job seeker as well as the employer of potential matches.

For anyone who did not own a computer, the entire site would be designed to be fully functional on all mobile devices, and for those who did not own a mobile device, computers or kiosks could be set up in post offices and other locations so even people without a phone or a computer could have easy access and use the service for free.

Indeed doesn’t accomplish these things, nor does LinkedIn or any site for that matter, and I am not suggesting that the government create a social networking site.

I’m talking about pure and simple job facilitation.

That doesn’t mean that what I am suggesting would not involve social media – of course it would.

Employers could post sharable video content, jobs could be shared across all of the major social sites, and people could refer others to jobs and employers via social media – this would all be remarkably easy to implement.

I think it would be interesting to see the government disrupt the traditional job board business model, help put more people to work faster, and help put a dent in the deficit and/or increase funding to our educational system, all without denting our wallets (increasing taxes).

How about you?

What do You Think?

I fear many of you will immediately dismiss this whole concept without giving it much thought.

A private company could try to pull this off at any time, so why couldn’t the government?

We applaud startups for introducing disruptive technologies and business models – who says the government can’t bring positive disruption to the jobs marketplace?

A new job board of some sort seems to spring up daily, and all each one does is add to the confusion for job seekers and put a couple of bucks in the pockets of a few people.

Why couldn’t the U.S. government create the be-all and end-all ultimate job board (the United States Employment Portal?), and while helping put more people to work, also help reduce the deficit & fund our education system?

And if anyone in the U.S. government happens to read this and would like my guidance on how to actually pull this off successfully, don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’d be happy to help!