I posted a link to a Reddit convo for this project in my introduction, but if anyone’s game, I’d very much like some feedback here. I started a job board side-project a couple of years ago, and this year I’ve done about six months full-time on it. I now have to switch to something income-generating, so it’ll get incubated on the side for a while .
There’s quite a few job boards out there, so this is what (hopefully) sets mine apart:
- Search engine robots operate in the background to retrieve job data every day, one for each employer, direct from employer’s careers pages
- All jobs are geolocated and plotted on a map as a primary UI
It’s a tech board at present but if I can get some traction here, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be used in other professional areas (law, finance, etc) within any geolocatable area (I basically need a lat-long database for the area covered).
Fancy kicking the tyres on the prototype? The popup tab UI notes all sorts of interesting project info at the moment, for a fellow entrepreneur audience.
What you can see on that site probably represents 10% of the work that’s gone into the project - the bulk of the effort is the scraper engine and its administrative interface. It’s built so that a new scraper can be brought online in about 15 minutes. I tend to clone an existing one and tweak it using a point-and-click interface. I’ve got 40+ employers and 200+ jobs, all refreshed every day. The scrapers are pretty stable, though part of my play is that this will hold true for 1000 employers - that might be a different matter!
The project does not have a name yet (I have about 100 ideas on a Trello) and I need to do a complete frontend refresh (not my forte). It also needs a brand identity, which I’ll probably get someone else to do (definitely not my bag).
The purpose of the project was to scratch an itch a few years ago, when I saw that a lot of roles were being handed to recruiters, and thus the quality of online job search was very poor. I sense there has been some backlash against recruiters recently, with many smaller firms deciding to do their own acquisition process, and many niche sites popping up that cater for particular technologies (e.g. Rails), working formats (remote) or audiences (Stack Overflow). The quality of recruiter data IMO tends to be harmed in two ways: (1) duplication and error in feed systems that push to Monster, Indeed, CareerJet, etc, and (2) being unable to publish the employer or exact location for fear that the recruiter will be cut out of the deal (or they’ll be usurped by another recruiter).
The first two parts of my monetisation strategy is to use a plug-in ad partner initially, and then to offer manual/enhanced job postings for direct employers. Far in the distance, I envisage offering an API for the data, and a few other things.
For those of you who use the big recruitment sites (Monster etc mentioned earlier), do you see the data freshness as a convincing USP? Do you find being able to see office locations on the zoomable map as useful? (One great bit of feedback I’ve had so far is to add nearest rail stations to each job detail view - I think this is open data, so it would be quite easy to add). What attracts you to the job boards you use now? Do you prefer the “real employers only” format, or do recruiters offer you an advantage?
Any other feedback is welcome, of course.