My 2 Cents on Hotjobs Scraping

matt marshall, charlene lie and others have all talked about the implications of hotjobs scraping and presenting job listings from other sites. thought i’d add my own perspective having spent many months analyzing this market opportunity for tribe. (btw, matt is becoming quite the blogger celeb in his own right with his recent wsj story. congrats to him.)

firstly, it is somewhat comforting to see the world actually move in this web 2.0 way when we’ve all been predicting it:) beyond ego gratification (which doesnt pay any bills), here’s a few thoughts…

  • what drives audience? i’ve never seen any proof that most comprehensive is a key driver for jobs or dates. in all our focus group studies at tribe we never found this to be true. popularity of sites like craigslist for jobs and jdate for dates proves opposite.
  • people want to connect with people – job seekers have always told me they use CL because they can get to the actual hiring manager (via email) and avoid recruiters and hr people. this makes me think the winning site will have a perception of connecting people more directly.
  • what drives listers?  every job lister on craigslist will tell you, ‘omg, i got 10 responses in the first hour’. they do seem to care more about the immediate gratification. from this perspective aggregation is a good thing in driving more widespread viewing and responding.
  • its all about brand – i believe the reason monster and careerbuilder can persist and charge such high prices is that they have brands.  brands take a really long time to build in classifieds where your audience may show up once a year or once ever. for this reason, i dont see any scenario where the aggregators win on better mousetraps. my bet is on craigslist, monster, careerbuilder and of course tribe🙂

5 thoughts on “My 2 Cents on Hotjobs Scraping

  1. Hotjobs Scraping= webwhacking

    A lot of noise in the blogshere on this one.
    Former Tribe CEO Mark Pincus drives a good point home:
    here’s a few thoughts…
    * what drives audience? i’ve never seen any proof that most comprehensive is a key driver for jobs or dates. in al…

  2. Marc – I agree with some of your points, but disagree with your notion that comprehensiveness doesn’t matter for job search. We have found comprehensiveness to be a critical factor in user satisfaction. Since Indeed launched in November last year, we have been deluged by feedback from job seekers saying they love the fact that they can access jobs from all their favorite sources in one search.
    Paul Forster

  3. hi Marc –
    agree on some points, but if “it’s all about Brand” then tribe is in the same tough climb as the rest of us hungry startups — so i hope for both your & our sake you’re wrong there 😉
    in fact, on that point: i’d certainly disagree with your assertion & suggest that better mousetraps can DEFINITELY beat brand.
    several notable examples:
    – Google over Yahoo
    – PayPal over Ebay Payments (aka Billpoint)
    – Craigslist over Monster / eBay
    – LinkedIn over other business social networking services
    obviously, Google, Paypal, and Craigslist, and LinkedIn all became larger entities later, but none of them started out with huge marketing budgets or spends (slight exception: PayPal initially spent $5-10M for $5-10 bouns payouts for customer acquisition, but later caught an even bigger wave on eBay and ratcheted back the payouts on those offers).
    on your other points — what drives audience & listers is certainly based on other existing user activity, however RELEVANCE and GREAT FEATURES are an initial driver in building audience.
    so i’d agree that larger players have advantages, but as eBay is discovering big portals certainly can’t afford to sit on their laurels.
    startups with better mousetraps CAN gain ground, and HAVE made big impacts in the past… they can certainly do so again.
    – dave mcclure
    (and former PayPal/eBay alumni)

  4. I agree with the comments of Paul Forster, while relevancy is a key factor for users, most users to our websites, Biohealthmatics and HealthCareerNet, have also indicated that comprehensiveness is also a big factor for them. But I also agree with you that great features on the site are needed, so hats off to SimplyHired for the GoogleMaps idea – nice one!.

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