Thursday, August 02, 2007

Is USAJobs enough?

Check out this article that came out recently on It's about how the federal government may need to branch out and start using other advertising venues besides, which it relies on heavily.

Some individuals quoted in the article, which happens to include a manager at CareerBuilder, point out that:

- Opportunities are not automatically posted on other career sites, like CareerBuilder, Monster, and HotJobs.

- Job openings are not "typically" searchable through search engines like Google. (Although look what happens when I search for an engineering job with the federal government).

- You can't expect people to automatically look for jobs on USAjobs.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the fed's HR shop, fires back:

- USAJobs gets 8 million hits a month. This compares to CareerBuilder's 1.2 million searches a month for government jobs.

- USAJobs is well known and marketing efforts have been ramped up (e.g., last year's television commercials, which unfortunately didn't work with my version of Firefox).

So who wins the argument? I don't think the feds need to panic just yet. But it can't hurt them to investigate other posting opportunities, particularly given how much traffic the heavy hitters like Monster and CareerBuilder get compared to USAJobs:

By the way, don't overlook the comments on that page; in some ways they are more telling than the article. Readers point out that the application process is overly complicated--to the point that one of the readers makes his/her living guiding people through the process (reminds me of a guy that does the same thing for the State of California). My bet is the application process is equally, if not more, important than how the feds are marketing their opportunities.

I would also be willing to bet that it isn't just the feds that have this issue. As more organizations implement automated application and screening programs, they risk falling in love with the technology at the expense of the user experience. I may love the look of your job, but if it takes me 2 hours to apply, well...I may just look elsewhere.

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