Thursday, July 14, 2005

WorkZoo, Indeed & More on Vertical Search

I had the pleasure of meeting David Hardwick, from Jobster, in person this week to get a more in-depth view of how to use Jobster’s tools. We also had a chance to discuss Jobster’s recent acquisition of WorkZoo. WorkZoo is another job search tool being classified as vertical search. I’ve been having a tough time figuring out why the industry has been calling tools like WorkZoo, Indeed, and Yahoo’s new tool as vertical search.

David helped clarify why recruiting industry pros are calling this vertical search. With tools like WorkZoo and Indeed it allows the candidate to search in their particular area of interest across all the job postings out there (on the web) in that category. So, yes, this is technically a vertical search. But when you think about it how is it REALLY different from what’s out there—is it the fact that the search is vertical? Not from what I can see. Think about it. If a candidate goes into they can choose to search for jobs in the Accounting/Finance Industry. This is a vertical search. So how is this different from a candidate going into WorkZoo and searching for jobs in the Accounting/Finance Industry—which is also a vertical search? Do you see where I’m going? The uniqueness or innovativeness in these tools isn’t the ability to search vertically; it’s actually in their ability to search broadly. If you Search Monster’s jobs then you get results from Monster’s subscribers. If you search on WorkZoo or Indeed you get Monster jobs, Craig’s List jobs, jobs posted on company websites and more. So basically these tools allow you to search more broadly across the web versus the traditional job boards. It would be like having someone pull accounting jobs from every newspaper in the country and sending them to you versus picking up your local newspaper and looking at jobs in your market. It’s really that simple—well, not quite…

Anytime you are doing a broad search across the web there are processes and technologies that will allow certain search results to appear more than others. What is interesting about WorkZoo and Indeed is that when you do a search most of the jobs that appear are ones posted on the job boards. So ultimately since the job boards are pretty good at branding and a few of them have very high volume traffic, by posting there your jobs appear on sites like WorkZoo and Indeed. In a way it’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s hard to say how well one would survive without the other. The large job boards could survive independent of the WorkZoo’s and Indeed’s of the world. I’m not sure if this would be true for WorkZoo and Indeed without the large job boards. Maybe someday they could with the increased use of blogs. This is because the more organizations post their jobs to the web, and the more views they get, the more their jobs will show up on sites like Indeed and WorkZoo. I don’t think we are there yet. I’m not suggesting this is a bad or a good thing I just think we should call things what they are. Indeed and WorkZoo serve a purpose. I’m just not convinced that I would classify this as vertical search. I believe this is an inaccurate category to place them in.

One thing I will say—if you get a chance check out WorkZoo’s use of mapping and demographics technology. This is impressive. If you search for a particular job type in a specific area it will not only pull your results but allow you to visually see where all the jobs are in this category across the country. This isn’t something I’ve seen from Indeed or other players in this category.


David Monreal said...

I have a question about this model. Why do I have to spend X in Monster or any other big job board if I can use a cheaper small one and get also listed in Indeed, WorkZoo or HotJobs?

Isn't it a thread to the major job boards?

Thanks for putting light into my doubts :-)


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