There has been a firestorm of debate in the online recruiting industry over a new development in the job posting space. Employ Media, along with the DirectEmployers association, has been working to develop thousands of targeted “.jobs” websites ending in the extension .jobs (versus .com or .net). For example, newyork.jobs would contain jobs in New York or architects.jobs would list jobs for architects.
The firms involved with developing the sites contend that it would improve online job search and the candidate experience. Voices against the project contend that the .jobs project would do little more than duplicate content and further fragment the job search experience. Recruiter.com recently drew a parallel to another domain debate with the .XXX standard. Where some see efficiency, others see monopoly; where some see service to users, others see commercial interest.
The .jobs debate has blown up into a major battle, involving large companies, regulatory bodies, and non-profit groups. Recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued a “Breach of Registry Agreement” to Employ Media. Employ Media is continuing its defense of the .JOBS standard. Today, Employ Media filed a Request for Arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, to resolve the Notice of Breach of Registry Agreement issued by the General Counsel for ICANN against Employ Media.
Because of filing the request, Employ Media will be able to continue functioning the job sites, as it automatically stays any further enforcement action related to the Notice, which was issued February 27, 2011.
Employ Media Chairman & CEO Tom Embrescia said, “This filing was necessary to ward off ICANN’s unwarranted and unprecedented threat of contract termination. That action created immediate uncertainty about the .JOBS TLD on the Internet and caused significant duress on our business.”
If broadly adopted as an industry standard, the .jobs protocol would have major ramifications for job boards, job aggregators, and employers. Recruiter.com listed the .jobs standard as a major potential change in Internet recruiting for 2010, as it could cause potentially severe disruption to major commercial services. With such major commercial interests at stake, there will no doubt be much more debate on the subject.
Compounding the complexity of the issue are major recent changes to Internet search engines. No one quite knows what the future of online job search will be or what the ramifications of a major consolidation and duplication of job posting content would mean. No one argues, however, that the .jobs standard would not have significant impact.
With this further defense of .jobs, the debate continues.