It was about time I made a review of Jobster.com, the new emerging Portal for Jobseekers and Recruiters. I seemed to good to be real: free adding of vacancies for recruiters and unlimited access to potential candidates. On top of it all, they offer a Networking solution integrated with it all.
So I had a close look at it and had some pleasant and promising surprises and some that where less promising.
<span style="font-weight: bold;">First the overall impression:</span>
It is centralized again! You need to go to the Jobster site but are not able to use the functionalities from a decentralized blog or portal. Sure it has a 'view my profile' button which you can place elsewhere but no cross-portal communication and jobpostings like we have on the <a href="http://opennetworkers.info/">Open Networkers</a>.
The strategy is thus once again focussed on getting as much as many people in, making the system more attractive by numbers. That isn't a bad strategy, just not too flexible.
But what do you get once you are there? Well you can add your profile and your resume. The latter always makes me a bit suspicious because there is a lively trade going on in resumes, very shady indeed. So if you can just make a good profile without adding a CV document that is always better and safer in my opinion. But having said that, I have no indication that Jobster is doing anything unpleasant with our CV's.
After I added my profile I checked the search tool which is limited, not up to the standards of LinkedIn. Basically it works with tags, once you have tagged your profile it searches based upon the tags. But it is free and surely they will be able to improve that functionality in the future and move to an environment in which all the content in a profile is indexed instead of just the tags.
The networking part however is absolutely nonsense. It only shows you the people who are directly connected to you. I use Plaxo for that, that at least has a export functionality. Jobster doesn't have that, it wants to get people in, not out...
So the network part is only a Jobster marketing front which will not additional functionality to your network at all.
OK but how is the Jobposting? Frankly, that isn't bad although they promise more than they can offer. It seems very valid, not having to pay anything for vacancy postings but I tried it out and in normal life the adding a 'free' vacancy will not get you noticed. The 'paid' vacancies are supposed the noticed a lot better. I have no experience in that area, but here is how that system works:
Paying for an ad, will make it visible on the matching candidate's page. You just pay for every candidate who clicks on the ad (it charges 2$ for each 'candidate' click).
But a 'click' isn't a good candidate yet, especially if the same matching system (using limited tags) is applied. <a href="http://about.jobster.com/jobpost/faq#featured">On the Jobster site</a> they explain that out of 10 possible 'clicks' there are about 2 good (qualified) candidates. That isn't true, I can tell you that, especially with this matching system. It is more like 1 in a hundred!
Furthermore the benchmarkdata we have of multiple Jobboards show that you can be lucky if the vacancy itself will be viewed 50-100 times. The quality of the qualified clicks and after that, the candidate reactions are thus very important.
One thing they are right about, the extravagant prices for the traditional Jobboards are very much over the top. From that perspective Jobster is a great leap ahead although you shouldn't expect too much from your job-postings, it will probably just add you work and the quality of candidates is doubtful although it will cost you 2$ for each click.
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Summary</span>
It sounds very promising but it isn't as cheap as it looks. The free service...well don't look for that, waste of time. It also has nothing to do with real networking. The paid jobposting service isn't really as cheap as it looks. It is far better than what we see present in the market like Monster and all the other board with their ridiculous prices, but the qualified results per click isn't really getting you what you expect.
So for now the Open networking is sticking to <a href="http://opennetworkers.ning.com/group/onjobs">the current Jobboards</a> on which you can add your vacancy for the lowest possible price (29$)and which are automatically republished on popular sites like Simply Hired and Edgeio.
Those sites probably will not ring a bell with you either but if I tell you that the content (vacancies) of these boards are being used (republished) within LinkedIn, Myspace and dozens of other popular sites you can see that you will get much more for your contribution. Search-ability on LinkedIn, Simply Hired, Edgeio and Myspace alone will give your vacancy a reach of hundreds of millions of candidates. Better yet, people there <span style="font-weight: bold;">Want</span> to be there, because there is a real networking functionality on Myspace and LinkedIn. That is not the case with Jobster. You only go there if you really have to...
Furthermore, we like the freedom and decentralization tools. The widgets can be added anywhere, on your own company website, portal or blog ensuring also localized visibility.