Joel's announcing it now:
- $99/year to post a CV and link to your Stack Overflow profile
- Introductory DevDays price of $29/three years
- Students can post for free
Blog announcement / background:
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Joel's announcing it now:
Blog announcement / background:
Not quite sure I understand the appeal of paying to post your CV/Resume. Most career sites charge the employers for the luxury of searching, not the potential employees for the luxury of being searched.
$29 for three years I could do just because it is that damned cheap, but I really don't see how/why it would be worth it when Monster and Dice don't charge a penny.
One of the first pieces of advice I received was, "Never pay anyone to help you find a job."
My skepticism of this boils down tp that the intersection between the set of great developers and the set of developers willing to pay to be listed on a job site is not a very large set, and would indeed be dwarfed by the set of poor developers willing to pay to be listed on a job site.
So the "velvet rope" of the entry fee, designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, will, in my opinion, have the opposite effect.
But then, I've never build a successful product or website, so what do I know?
Regarding the "charging the job seeker" issue.
StackOverflow already has a lot of programmers, so they don't have to market it to potential job seekers as hard. But they don't know many employers; they'll have to work much harder to attract them. That means they have to think about this first from the point of view of the employer. Make the site work the them.
So I'm an employer. Why would I check StackOveflow? There are plenty of qualified and interested applicants already available to me at Monster, Dice, etc... especially in this economy. I already have a good relationship with the established players Dice and Monster, and all the users at SO are likely to be on those sites as well. Why should I give SO my time, let alone my money?
Linking to your SO profile doesn't really add value to the employer, so in the end SO is left competing with the other sites on price alone. Even if they can win that battle, it's likely not many employers would show up, because the alternatives are now well established. SO has to do something different or this is a non-starter.
Now think about what happens when you add the fee to "list" your CV. Suddenly the signal to noise ratio at StackOverflow changes dramatically. Dice and Monster are well known for also having plenty of unqualified or uninterested candidates. Those unqualified or casual candidates are less likely to be listed here. Now StackOverflow Careers can offer something to employers that Monster and Dice can't.
The risk is that the site becomes a ghost town from the other direction; you lose too many potential job seekers. That explains the initial discount; it needs to be cheap to populate the initial database.
But what about going forward? As a seeker, why should you pay vs a free listing elsewhere?
I think they're hoping we'll see value in showing up in a more selective or elite listing. That SO Careers will somehow get you hired faster because you'll be in a group with less competition. (Also, they somehow think showing off your SO profile will mean something to job seekers; I'm not convinced).
I think the idea is sound if they can get past several challenges:
$ 30 is a bit too high for someone from India. 30 dollars converts to 1400 rupees. And 1400 bucks in India is a lot of money.
I can understand charging the job seeker to be displayed. It assures employers that they're not wasting time searching through uninterested people.
However, the cost to value ratio seems high. I pay $100 for a year of appearing in ads. Here's where I miss the appeal: once I find a job, I'm not really interested in being searched for the rest of the year.
When you post the value that I'm getting by ammount of time in search, I immediately think: If a year is 100 bucks, well I only want to appear for 1-2 months, so can I pay $15?
I think paying to list a CV is a great idea. As I said in a comment:
Ninety-nine dollars is nominal. If you get a job making $1k/year more -- or the same job, but negotiate a better salary because hiring on SO is relatively cheap -- that's a 900% return. If you're out of work and land a job one day sooner you'll probably recoup your cost.
Yes, that's true. And if your current income is $0, isn't that all the more reason to do everything in your power to land a job ASAP? Let's say that having a listing on CSO will get you a job on average one day earlier. If that's the case, it makes sense as long as you'll end up making more than $99/day. If you make $100/day, you'll end up $1 ahead on average. If you make $200/day (about $40,000/year), you'll end up $101 ahead. (Have fun playing with the formula. What if listing helps you get a job a week earlier and you make $300/day? (1))
I'm not sure if Joel meant to imply that in addition to no income, the job-seeker has no savings, or so little savings that he has to choose between CSO and prescription drugs. If that's the case, I would expect you to ask a friend, family member, charity, the government, or even a businessperson to foot the bill. Depending on the nature of the relationship, you may pay them back, possibly with interest, once you have the job, and would probably still come out ahead. (2)
But you're not paying for help finding a job. You're paying to get in a position where a job can find you. You still have to have a good enough CV / rep / body of work on SO to get a phone call. And then you have to pass a series of interviews.
I don't know for sure, but I imagine most low-caliber developers who post on Monster don't end up getting jobs. At least, they don't get jobs with companies that have smart hiring practices. But if the cost of posting is zero, even the most miniscule chance of getting a job means you're averaging an infinite return on investment.
If he has any sense, a so-called developer who doesn't have a good chance at getting a programming job won't waste his money on CSO. That's especially true if he realizes that CSO isn't Monster. Its clients are looking for the best developers, not just warm bodies.
I don't think CSO will be flooded with pretenders. Most of them won't even find the site. Of those that do, most will balk at the idea of paying for listings (bots certainly will). Of the few who are left, many will look at the cost/benefit ratio and realize their money is better spent on good resume paper. We can compete with with the few who are left.
And it's not just about competing with a smaller pool of CVs. It's also about being better than the competition job sites, so that top employers will come looking for us in the first place.
Yes, it's stupid to pay $1.50 for a bottle of water when you can get it for free out of the tap. But as I've argued above, CSO claims to offer something better than the free alternative. It's more like paying $1.50 for a glass of wine.
I think some of your thinking is clouded by what's known as the zero price effect. The question you should be asking isn't, why pay $99 for something I can get for free, but rather, is a listing on CSO worth $99 more than the other sites? If it cost $1 to list on Dice and $100 to list on CSO, what would you say then?
To put it yet another way: If listing on CSO was free, but I offered you $99 to stay off the site for a year, would you take my offer? Who's more likely to take that offer? You, or an unqualified slacker?
(1) And what if the job you get via CSO pays better than the job you'd otherwise get? What if it's closer to home so you save gas money, etc?
(2) If you're not resourceful enough to figure that out, you're probably not the kind of person I want on my team. Which means the system's working.
When we were working on Hidden Network, we came across a small handful of pay-to-play job sites. They all seemed to have their own niche (The Ladders, for example, was $100K+ jobs) and a common philosphy that's reflected in the SO-Careers FAQ
[Employers] need to know you that you're serious about getting a great job.
That's a big one. As an employer myself, I've been amazed at the quantity of crap that comes in the door, even long after the job has been taken down. We're talking, Tales from the Interview bad.
Obviously, to make sense for you, the programmer, to sign-up, there have to be jobs and recruiters actively searching the database. That's not happening yet (but it probably will)... but for $29 over 3 years, it's a pretty solid bet in my book.
I can see advantages and disadvantages of charging job seekers to post their resumes. But making it free for one class of job seekers and non-free for a different class of job seekers is going to significantly skew the pool of job seekers in favor of the former. So employers will come to view the site as "the place to recruit possibly job-seeking students." Experience tells me that students tend to take advantage of things which are free, whether they need them or not.
I'm not sure that's what you want. If you intend to charge job seekers, you should probably charge all of them, even if it is just a nominal ($1? $5?) fee for some.
One of the hassles with CareerBuilder/Monster is I get weird skeevy spam-like emails from people looking to hire Java devs. I'm not qualified for what they are looking for(5+ years experience, etc), even if they weren't skeevy-sounding(and some 3 years since I last touched those sites....).
Is there going to be a filter to try to keep the employers from not being sketchy-type operations?
Your appear to be targeting people who are very actively and deliberately seeking a new job. Which is fine. Maybe they are currently unemployed, or have had enough of where they are.
But what about people who are fairly settled, but still interested in hearing about any really "great" opportunities come up in their favourite technologies in the right location & working environment. Is this site intended for them too?
I do like the idea of integrating career advancement opportunities into SO, but I'm curious about how this is any different or more advantageous than posting my CV on a free site and simply including a link to my SO account? The FAQ for careers.stackoverflow.com says this:
We keep a plethora — a plethora — of live statistics on how your Stack Overflow Careers CV is actively working for you...
Is that the advantage? Do they keep stats that other sites don't?
J&J - Congratulations! I hope you make a ton of money and help a lot of people!
But I won't be one of them, on either side of the equation:
I don't want a job, I already have one: running my own consulting company. I'd be delighted to get more clients, of course, but that does not seem to be what y'all are targeting. And I don't pay for leads, anyway ;-)
As a potential employer, I can already cross-reference anyone who uses their real name on SO with their CV, so I don't see the attraction of the service [Note to those who don't use their real names: sorry!]. And to me, paying to list your resume doesn't indicate that one is "serious" about finding a job, it indicates that one is desperate to find a job, since there are so many free CV listing sites.
Just my opinion. These are not the words you're looking for. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along...
I dislike the idea.
It is the same rip off as they paid dating sites do. You pay just for the hope, to obtain something that in 99% of cases never comes. Many wait for years.
So far the careers site looks interesting, if the percentage complete algorithm seems to be a bit off. However, I do agree with everyone in regards to the annual pricing. One suggestion though, instead of having the $99 a year payment, why not have a shorter $9 a month style plan? That should still allow employeers to know that the CVs are from serious job seekers while at the same time not running the risk filtering out candidates who might have extremely tight budgets when they are looking for a job.
Spending $99 on something may be a bit too much given someone's current situation; however, you might be able to scrape $9 a month together when money is tight if careers.stackoverflow.com gets a good reputation of landing people good jobs quickly.
This is really cool to bring this all together. So it is completely free to students looking for work? That is very helpful.
But, I am not sure I agree with charging people looking for a job. I thought most job assistance sites charged the employers looking for hires, not the other way around. Maybe convince me otherwise?
EDIT: I think this was a good idea no matter what you guys decide to charge. From the FAQ...
And remember, there's always our unconditional 90-day money back guarantee if you are unhappy for any reason.
What makes SO so successful is not any property of the site, but the community. There's a network effect. It attracts lots of intelligent and knowledgeable people who like helping others while showing off, so it's a good site to ask questions on, so it's a good site to search, and so forth. (I don't know SF nearly as well, and I'm still not sure SU will succeed - too many dumb and/or noob questions will overwhelm any forum.)
So, the question for the careers site is who it can attract. It needs to attract jobseekers to be attractive for employers, and employers to be attractive for jobseekers. The cost has to be potentially worth it, and I'm not just talking about money cost. If employers look at the careers site a few times fruitlessly, they may well forget about it. In many cases, if they can't have recruiters search the careers site (and Jeff said in a comment that he wanted hiring managers), they either won't bother or would be in conflict with company policy.
There are a great many scams involving charging jobseekers, and in any case people will be reluctant to spend money listing themselves without some assurance that they're more likely to get a job they like. The introductory rate is a step in the right direction, but the site will have to prove itself to be trusted enough.
Potential employers will find that people spending money to list themselves are not so much the highly competent ones as the ones who really want to get a job, possibly because they're incompetent. If the careers site is better at filtering out the good people for whatever reason, it will work in its favor, but we'll have to see how that goes. It will need to show some sort of statistics to give jobseekers reason to trust it.
So I'm not at all confident this will work, but if I were in the market I might consider the introductory rate cheap enough to try. I wouldn't put down $99 unless I had reason to think it might be worth it.
I noticed this line on the page to associate your stackoverflow account:
All account matching is by OpenID. For best results, please sign in to careers with the same OpenID that you use on Stack Overflow.
Does that mean they've solved the problem with google generating unique openID's per site?
I'm afraid that many people will now more aggressively try to gain more rep because suddenly this could become important for finding a good job.
Someone who has made use of a call-girl service has demonstrated he is serious about getting laid.
That doesn't mean that a woman looking for a husband would be well-advised to start with a madam's client list.
I thought about it way too much, and reasoned out a way to evaluate the price of a CSO CV listing.
When you go to find a job, you will get offers. You may not get offered every job you want, and you may not accept every offer you receive, but you'll probably get at least one offer. Without a doubt, you'll get at least zero offers. :-)
If you list on CSO, you'll get more offers. In fact, you'll get at least zero more.
Each offer you get has a value. It's the sum of the total compensation package and all of the intangibles: location, type of work, team chemistry, etc. (It's hard to put a number on the intangibles, but you should be able to come up with a reasonable estimate.)
Now let's figure out how much a CSO listing is worth. If you end up accepting an offer through the referral of a friend, or a recruiter, or another job site, or you didn't get a job at all, then CSO is worth nothing to you. Its value is $0.
If CSO does connect you to your next employer, you can determine how much the site was worth using this formula:
CSOListingValue = theOfferYouAccepted - theNextBestOffer;
In my very limited, anecdotal experience, the difference between the best offer and the next best offer tends to be quite significant -- at least $5,000.
Remember, I'm not just comparing salary. I'm assigning a value to intangibles for the purpose of being able to compare two offers and make a decision. If you think $5,000 is way off-base, please substitute your own number and follow along.
So let's assume the value of CSO is either $5,000 (if it connects me to my next job) or $0 (if it doesn't). If that's the case, I would need at least a 1/50 chance of getting the best offer via CSO to justify spending $99.
But I happen to think that StackOverflow is a great brand, it's a great way to showcase my talent, the Careers site's design is very well thought out, and the best employers will show up. So I put the odds at more like 1/10. Thus a $99 listing is in fact worth 1/10 * $5,000, or $500 to me. Even though, IMHO, I'm using very conservative figures, it works out to quite a deal!
BTW, if I didn't have a very impressive CV and StackOverflow profile, my odds of success would be much less, which makes the listing worth less. While $99 is a bargain for you and me, it's a rip-off for someone who doesn't know anything about programming. So there should, in theory, be a very high signal to noise ratio. It's worth at try at least. :-)
For the introductory 30$ for 3 years (10$ a year) instead of 300$ for that period, I will definitely join most likely, I feel that one thing that could hurt me a little is all the competition because there are SOOOO many users who are more qualified than me but at the same time, I really think this is a good idea to help support the Stack Overflow family I feel obligated to contribute.
Another thought as well is that employers looking for good qualified computer/programmers/IT whatever field will most likely find the BEST candidates on this site!