An employment website is a web site dealing specifically with employment or careers. Many employment websites are designed to allow employers to post job requirements for a position to be filled and are commonly known as job boards. Other employment sites offer employer reviews, career and job-search advice describe different job descriptions or employers. Through a job website a prospective employee can locate and fill out a job application or submit resumes over the Internet for the advertised position.
Jobserve was launched in the UK as the world's first Internet recruitment service,, closely followed by the Online Career Center in the USA in 1993. The Online Career Center was developed as a non-profit organization backed by forty major corporations to allow job hunters to post their resumes and for recruiters to post job openings.
In 1994 Robert J. McGovern began NetStart Inc. as software sold to companies for listing job openings on their Web sites and manage the incoming e-mails those listings generated. After an influx of two million dollars in investment capital  he then transported this software to its own web address, at first listing the job openings from the companies who utilized the software. NetStart Inc. changed its name in 1998 to operate under the name of their software, CareerBuilder. The company received a further influx of seven million dollars from investment firms such as New Enterprise Associates to expand their operations.
Six major newspapers joined forces in 1995 to list their classified sections online. The service was called CareerPath.com and featured help-wanted listings from the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and the Washington Post.
The industry attempted to reach a broader, less tech-savvy base in 1998 when Hotjobs.com attempted to buy a Super Bowl spot, but Fox rejected the ad for being in poor taste. The ad featured a janitor at a zoo sweeping out the elephant cage completely unbeknownst to the animal. The elephant sits down briefly and when it stands back up, the janitor has disappeared. The ad meant to illustrate a need for those stuck in jobs they hate, and offer a solution through their Web site.
In 1999, Monster.com ran on three 30 second Super Bowl ads for four million dollars. One ad which featured children speaking like adults, drolly intoning their dream of working at various dead-end jobs to humorous effect were far more popular than rival Hotjobs.com ad about a security guard who transitions from a low paying security job to the same job at a fancier building. Soon thereafter, Monster.com was elevated to the top spot of online employment sites. Hotjobs.com's ad wasn't as successful, but it gave the company enough of a boost for its IPO in August.
After being purchased in a joint venture by Knight Ridder and Tribune Company in July, CareerBuilder absorbed competitor boards CareerPath.com and then Headhunter.net which had already acquired CareerMosaic. Even with these aggressive mergers CareerBuilder still trailed behind the number one employment site Jobsonline.com, number two Monster.com and number three Hotjobs.com.
Monster.com made a move in 2001 to purchase Hotjobs.com for $374 million in stock, but were unsuccessful due to Yahoo's unsolicited cash and stock bid of $430 million late in the year. Yahoo had previously announced plans to enter the job board business, but decided to jump start that venture by purchasing the established brand. By August 2002, Monster.com posted a loss of $504 million forcing COO James Treacy to resign.
Features and types
A job board is a website that facilitates job hunting and range from large scale generalist sites to niche job boards for job categories such as engineering, legal, insurance, social work, teaching as well as cross-sector categories such as green jobs, ethical jobs and seasonal jobs. Users can typically deposit their r sum s and submit them to potential employers, while employers can post job ads and search for potential employees.
The term job search engine might refer to a job board with a search engine style interface, or to a web site that actually indexes and searches other web sites.
As of February 2011 and according to comScore Media Metrix, the most visited job boards were Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster.com, Hot Jobs, and Simply Hired.
Metasearch and vertical search engines
Some web sites are simply search engines that collect results from multiple independent job boards. This is an example of both metasearch (since these are search engines which search other search engines) and vertical search (since the searches are limited to a specific topic - job listings).
Some of these new search engines primarily index traditional job boards. These sites aim to provide a "one-stop shop" for job-seekers who don't need to search the underlying job boards. In 2006, tensions developed between the job boards and several scraper sites, with Craigslist banning scrapers from its job classifieds and Monster.com specifically banning scrapers through its adoption of a robots exclusion standard on all its pages while others have embraced them.
The largest employment site in the world is Indeed.com, a "job aggregator", collecting job postings from employer websites, job boards, online classifieds, and association websites. Simply Hired is another large aggregator collecting job postings from many sources.
LinkUp (website) is a job search engine ("job aggregator") that indexes pages only from employers' websites choosing to bypass traditional job boards entirely. These vertical search engines allow jobseekers to find new positions that may not be advertised on the traditional job boards.
JobCentral.com (website) is a site owned by the non-profit Direct Employers Association, an association of several hundred employers who post their jobs on this site as well as their own sites. JobCentral also accepts job postings from other non-association member employers as well as from recruiters and other non-members.
Industry specific posting boards are also appearing. These consolidate all the vacancies in a very specific industry. The largest "niche" job board is DICE.com (website) which focuses on the IT industry. Many industry and professional associations offer members a job posting capability on the association website.
Employer review website
An employer review website is a type of employment website where past and current employees post comments about their experiences working for a company or organization. An employer review website normally takes the form of an internet forum. Typical comments are about management, working conditions, and pay. Although employer review websites may produce links to potential employers, they do not typically list vacancies.
Pay For Performance (PFP)
The most recent second generation of employment websites, often referred to as Pay For Performance (PFP) involves charging for membership services rendered to jobseekers. The PFP category is expected to expand as consumers become more sophisticated and the universe of employment sites has become more cluttered.
The success of jobs search engines in bridging the gap between jobseekers and employers has spawned thousands of job sites, many of which list job opportunities in a specific sector, such as education, health care, hospital management, academics and even in the non-governmental sector. These sites range from broad all-purpose job boards such as Monster, to niche sites that serve various audiences, geographies, and industries such as exec-appointments. Many industry experts are encouraging jobseekers to concentrate on industry specific sector sites. With the increase in popularity of niche sites, other sites have begun to rank them in order of quality.
Venture capital, mergers and acquisitions have been active in the job board industry for more than a decade. In 2008, several private equity firms started the process of piecing together large job board networks while other firms attempted to expand through acquisition.
Many jobs search engines and jobs boards encourage users to post their resume and contact details. While this is attractive for the site operators (who sell access to the resume bank to headhunters and recruiters), job-seekers exercise caution in uploading personal information, since they have no control over where their resume will eventually be seen. Their resume may be viewed by a current employer or, worse, by criminals who may use information from it to amass and sell personal contact information, or even perpetrate identity theft.
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