JOBSEARCH.png

Check out TwitJobSearch, which bills itself as a “job search engine for Twitter”. They do a pretty good job using semantic technology to extract the job postings from Tweets. This was created by a UK job search engine called Workhound and you can see the potential to give the leading job search engines – Indeed and SimplyHired – a run for their money.

We tested TwitJobSearch against Indeed and speculate on how Twitter Annotations and Facebook Open Graph Protocol could change the game of matching available jobs to people hunting for jobs.

JOBSEARCH.png

Check out TwitJobSearch, which bills itself as a “job search engine for Twitter”. They do a pretty good job using semantic technology to extract the job postings from Tweets. This was created by a UK job search engine called Workhound and you can see the potential to give the leading job search engines – Indeed and SimplyHired – a run for their money.

We tested TwitJobSearch against Indeed and speculate on how Twitter Annotations and Facebook Open Graph Protocol could change the game of matching available jobs to people hunting for jobs.

TwitJobSearch Compared To Indeed

TwitJobSearch has the same simple search bar interface that SimplyHired and Indeed use (which came from Google). They have an iPhone app. They show a good number of jobs:

TwitJobNos.png

Of course many of these will come from job boards, but that is the same as any job search engine.

We tested two searches – “journalist” and “ontology” – compared to Indeed (we did not test SimplyHired as our earlier tests of Indeed vs SimplyHired indicates that these two leaders are pretty similar.

• Journalist.
TwitJobSearch: 948
Indeed: 4,716

• Ontology.
TwitJobSearch: 25
Indeed: 616

Raw numbers are not everything. Quality is what counts. All job search engines have false positives – TwitJobSearch is no exception as we will see.

TwitJobSearch needs more listings. But they might have enough for a motivated job seeker to try them out and that is all that is needed for the job poster to get some results and that is how network effects start.

I like the user experience on TwitJobSearch, maybe because I am a Twitter-head:

TwitJobUI.png

The Twitter specific features could work well for jobs:

• Follow. This is like the alerts that the current job search engines have, but simpler. And as a seeker you can build Lists and Favorites.

• Retweet. That seems a natural way to pass job opportunities to your network.

Click on “I Can Do That Button” and you get:

TwitJobICanDoThat.png

That seems a very natural decision for the job seeker and a very simple way to execute on that decision.

• I also like the Skype button. It is a simple, no cost way for the two parties to connect.

Of course, like any job search engine, there are false positives such as this tweet (clearly not a job posting for a journalist):

TwitJobWrong.png

Speculating On The Annotations And Open Graph Protocol

Job matching has a relatively small number of variables, at least to get to a basic match. How hard would it be to define some simple standards, ideally in RDFa?

There have been attempts at this in the past. There was an XML standard that a few large employers defined so that they could post jobs directly on their site that would be discovered by search engines, without having to post the job on a job board.

There have been attempts to define microformat for job listings.

The problem with these attempts in the past is that they have lacked a critical mass of listings. Twitter and Facebook could change that. The status update is ideally suited to both sides of the job matching process:

Update: “I am available for hire as XYZ job in ABC location”

Update: “I am recruiting for this XYZ job in ABC location”

All that is needed is some basic standards to define things like

- job type
- location
- salary range
- some keywords

That is enough for a basic match so that the two parties can communicate and see if there is a real fit.

LinkedIn May Hold The Key

Status update as in “I want a job” or “I have a job available” is important. But to make the match the “I” needs to be researched. In one case it is a person, in the other case it is a company. LinkedIn has profiles for both.

So, the job definition standard may have an attribute that is “location of my profile online”. That does not have to be LinkedIn. But de facto in most cases it will be LinkedIn.

Twitter and LinkedIn are natural allies. Twitter updates already post on LinkedIn (if you opt in for that). Facebook and LinkedIn are sometimes perceived as competitive; they are certainly two different sites for presenting your profile albeit with totally different style and different history.

But people will post jobs and hunt for jobs on Facebook as well. This is where Facebook’s decision to publish RDFa is so critical. A job search engine can search on Twitter and Facebook (and any other site that publishes an RDFa based job listing/resume.
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CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

TwitJobSearch Compared To Indeed

TwitJobSearch has the same simple search bar interface that SimplyHired and Indeed use (which came from Google). They have an iPhone app. They show a good number of jobs:

TwitJobNos.png

Of course many of these will come from job boards, but that is the same as any job search engine.

We tested two searches – “journalist” and “ontology” – compared to Indeed (we did not test SimplyHired as our earlier tests of Indeed vs SimplyHired indicates that these two leaders are pretty similar.

• Journalist.
TwitJobSearch: 948
Indeed: 4,716

• Ontology.
TwitJobSearch: 25
Indeed: 616

Raw numbers are not everything. Quality is what counts. All job search engines have false positives – TwitJobSearch is no exception as we will see.

TwitJobSearch needs more listings. But they might have enough for a motivated job seeker to try them out and that is all that is needed for the job poster to get some results and that is how network effects start.

I like the user experience on TwitJobSearch, maybe because I am a Twitter-head:

TwitJobUI.png

The Twitter specific features could work well for jobs:

• Follow. This is like the alerts that the current job search engines have, but simpler. And as a seeker you can build Lists and Favorites.

• Retweet. That seems a natural way to pass job opportunities to your network.

Click on “I Can Do That Button” and you get:

TwitJobICanDoThat.png

That seems a very natural decision for the job seeker and a very simple way to execute on that decision.

• I also like the Skype button. It is a simple, no cost way for the two parties to connect.

Of course, like any job search engine, there are false positives such as this tweet (clearly not a job posting for a journalist):

TwitJobWrong.png

Speculating On The Annotations And Open Graph Protocol

Job matching has a relatively small number of variables, at least to get to a basic match. How hard would it be to define some simple standards, ideally in RDFa?

There have been attempts at this in the past. There was an XML standard that a few large employers defined so that they could post jobs directly on their site that would be discovered by search engines, without having to post the job on a job board.

There have been attempts to define microformat for job listings.

The problem with these attempts in the past is that they have lacked a critical mass of listings. Twitter and Facebook could change that. The status update is ideally suited to both sides of the job matching process:

Update: “I am available for hire as XYZ job in ABC location”

Update: “I am recruiting for this XYZ job in ABC location”

All that is needed is some basic standards to define things like

- job type
- location
- salary range
- some keywords

That is enough for a basic match so that the two parties can communicate and see if there is a real fit.

LinkedIn May Hold The Key

Status update as in “I want a job” or “I have a job available” is important. But to make the match the “I” needs to be researched. In one case it is a person, in the other case it is a company. LinkedIn has profiles for both.

So, the job definition standard may have an attribute that is “location of my profile online”. That does not have to be LinkedIn. But de facto in most cases it will be LinkedIn.

Twitter and LinkedIn are natural allies. Twitter updates already post on LinkedIn (if you opt in for that). Facebook and LinkedIn are sometimes perceived as competitive; they are certainly two different sites for presenting your profile albeit with totally different style and different history.

But people will post jobs and hunt for jobs on Facebook as well. This is where Facebook’s decision to publish RDFa is so critical. A job search engine can search on Twitter and Facebook (and any other site that publishes an RDFa based job listing/resume.
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• Don’t forget to propose your startup for our Semantic Web Impact Awards. The deadline is Sept. 15.

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