job publishing

Author: Neil Phillips

What NEED does this meet?

It’s expensive to advertise jobs in traditional media (print, or online job boards), which means that low-wage jobs are not advertised, or are advertised only incredibly locally (a poster in the shop window).

What is the APPROACH?

I propose a project which aims to help employers either directly advertise their jobs online (at their own web presence, less likely), or directly into the projects website in a format which other sites can syndicate (I’d anticipate being able to email or phone-in situations vacant ads too). Basically, cutting out the advertising cost, and therefore incentivising people to list their vacancy.

Once job postings are available, other sites would be able to syndicate the jobs and therefore come up with answers to more local questions:

“Show me all the jobs within walking (or public transport) distance which operate within school hours, and require IT skills”

“Show me all the gardening jobs in tower hamlets”

“Show me all the jobs in a one mile radius”

I see this working with a new breed of job aggregation sites, perhaps with (eugh) value-added elements like CV screening, intial phone interviewing etc for higher job-value employers.

The intention would be that jobs could be syndicated to online and offline (e.g. local newsletters) and government agencies (e.g. JobCentrePlus).

Here’s a picture which might help explain what I mean.

What are the BENEFITS to people?

1) The cost of advertising a vacancy is reduced to nil
2) More jobs are advertised
3) More people are able to see the jobs nearest to them (travel is a huge impediment to the poorer, older, younger or disabled job seeker).
4) There is likely to be a better fit between people looking for jobs and people finding jobs.

What is the COMPETITION?

Newspapers, existing online job boards.

This idea is an improvement because it helps both ends of the job market (employee and employer) and shifts the value-added element to cv screening, interviewing and aggregation (more specific search) rather than sheer volume of eyeballs on the site.

What BUDGETS & LOGISTICS are required?

The budget for the site itself could be incredibly cheap ($10k + bandwidth), more with a call-centre type operation.

However, what this idea is really about is making something quite difficult and expensive, into something simpler. I’m relying on what mysociety does best: spreading the word.


  1. I think this is a great idea. I had a very similar brainwave some months ago, though I didn’t think of mySociety at the time, as it didn’t (and still doesn’t) strike me as sufficiently social or charitable in its aims. Having recently been through the frustrations of the agency mill to obtain a new job, I am all in favour of a high quality and inexpensive platform to challenge the dominance enjoyed by agents in certain vertical sectors.

    One only needs to see the success of Craigslist in the US to see the impact that simple and low-cost employment advertising has. My vision is similar to yours – a web based mechanism with a generous content re-licensing policy together with xml feeds for interested parties. Trust models together with a handful of administrators might be used to help the community moderate advertisements, and additional services such as CV tools and interview information could also be offered.

    I am not sure that the call-centre idea is scalable, though, and would suggest that it would be unlikely to get off the ground. mySociety may have been given cash from time to time, but they certainly don’t want to burn it (I imagine that call centres are expensive to set up and run). In any case they are usually staffed with people in dull jobs who are paid badly – which is not a great social aim in itself. Recommend that your idea remains web-based, certainly until such time as it becomes so successful that funding for other channels can be generated by the project itself.

    Just my tuppence worth 🙂

  2. I had basically the same vision as what you guys did, I have been working on a solution, it is not completly finished but the CV skills matching is very good and probably what you have been looking for. It is UK only currently but once I have completed it I will make is US and world wide.

    Take a look