I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today about the former President of Monster.com, Bill Warren, who is now working as the Executive Director of DirectEmployers Association, an organization that intends to utilize a network of domain names across the .Jobs domain extension. The effort could give a boost to the .Jobs domain extension, which has been around for a while but hasn’t made inroads in consumer awareness.
According to its website, DirectEmployers Association is a nonprofit HR consortium of leading global employers formed to improve labor market efficiency through the sharing of best practices, research and the development of technology. In total, over 500 large companies such as AT&T, IBM, American Express, and Johnson & Johnson are involved with this organization.
DirectEmployers Association plans to combine its software with regional and career-related .jobs domain names. The article used Atlanta.jobs as an example, and that domain name was registered on February 4, 2010. The domain name currently resides on WowEmployers.com name servers, which are registered to DirectEmployers Association. A reverse IP search of the Atlanta.jobs IP range shows other names such as Florida.jobs, Health.jobs, Europe.jobs, and many others.
According to the SMH article, this is how the organization will work:
Companies that belong to the association pay a $15,000 annual membership fee and will receive prominent placement on the “.jobs” Web sites. Smaller companies can purchase a “.jobs” domain name for about $125 a year and then post jobs for free. They can also work through their state employment agencies, which post jobs online at no charge.
At those prices, the new “.jobs” system could be another online innovation that undercuts what currently exists _ much as the invention of job boards themselves undermined newspaper help-wanted ads.
If this becomes a popular job search tool, it could provide a boost to future gTLDs. .Jobs is a relatively unknown extension, but it has much more actual meaning that extensions like .com, .net, .mobi…etc. It could train people to use actual words such as .Jobs when they are browsing the web.
Of course there will also be major obstacles to this. It will require human resource departments to ensure their listings are placed on the appropriate .jobs websites in addition to their own corporate sites. I am sure they will also use proven websites like CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, in addition to other sites like TheLadders.com. Likewise, they will also have to get web browsers to visit .Jobs websites, which is something to which most people are unaccustomed.
This is going to be a very interesting project to observe, and it could provide a glimpse into the future if and when gTLD domain names are approved by ICANN.