Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Yahoo vs Simplyhired vs Indeed vs LinkedIn vs HR

Yahoo to begin scraping jobs from everywhere, much discussion ensues.

I'm not sure if this really a strategically important move. I think the real problem in the jobs vertical is a coordination problem - not a search problem. That is, how do you connect job-seekers and decision-makers economically?

Why do I think this? Think about what headhunters do - it's equal parts coordination and search. Sure, they have to find the right candidates; but they also have to build relationships with the right decision-makers. So far, the basic model on the Net for jobs has only ever really addressed the first half of this equation. I've argued this many times before; archive it if you're really interested.

Matching jobs and job-seekers is fairly liquid on the net - the relative gap, and where Yahoo could build a strong sustainable advantage fast, is the coordination half of the value prop (which has been ignored for a veeeery long time, most likely because it's easier to build a few forms, a spider, and a database, than it is to build a whole new innovative coordination model).

LinkedIn, I think, gets this coordination problem, and has a particular take on it, which I think is kind of brittle and rigid (ie, transaction costs for referrals are pretty high, and expected gains aren't that high on average). If you ask me, the dominant design will be (a lot) more plastic, and it does not have to be centered around 'link to me' style social networking (but I can't say more unfortunately).

For a vivid example, check this query on SimplyHired - I think it illustrates that search costs are low, but coordination (ie, getting the right info to the right people) is incredibly costly, if not impossible.

-- umair // 2:04 PM // 0 comments


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