When will we see the last paid job post?

Reid Hoffman believes the classified job-posting model to be “a little absurd.” Around the industry it is known as “post and pray”.

Here's the problem:

What are the chances that the right candidate with the right talent, right expertise, right demeanor, at the right time for the candidate, will happen to come along and see this job post while the company has an opening?

Answer: Not likely.

Plus, by definition, if they're looking at job ads, are they unemployed, or stuck in dead end jobs--potentially not the upwardly mobile rising stars you really want applying.

Even if you did get the right person, they'll come in a flood of resume spam, so you're likely to miss them.

It's the same thing for most broadcast advertising--which is why advertisers are abandoning broadcast messages for search in droves.  Instead of mass messaging a potentially irrelevant audience, companies would rather target people that they know are more relevant. 

At the same time, more and more people--particularly the most innovative candidates--are exposing data about themselves on the web via their social network profiles, Twitter, blogging, del.icio.us, etc.  The best candidates are abandoning job boards and instead saying, "Come to you?  Why?  How about you come to my place?" 

It makes a lot more sense to imagine a world where everyone is searchable and open to hearing a relevant opportunity and that there are tools to find them--tools that understand the nuances of each network and application.

So when I can ask a search service to find me the top salesperson with 5 years experience that is into sustainability, and I triangulate on the combo of a public LinkedIn profile, an blog on sales that has a high level of authority, and "greentech" and "sustainability" as some of their top tags in del.icio.us, then why would I ever pay to post a job?

Certainly, we're already seeing companies bolt at the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a job posting when you can just pay Craigslist $25.  Even then, Craigslist really just charges to keep the site spam-free.  I'd bet that if you could somehow prove your reputation as a legitimate employer, Craigslist would lower the cost.  That's why they started charging in real estate--because a free rental board attracts the worst of apartment scammers. 

Indeed.com will aggregate, for free, your company's job board if you submit it--assuming they haven't found it already. 

So what are you actually paying for?  Volume?  Is it impossible to fill 200 nursing positions anywhere else?  How long does that last?  Seems to me that being "big" isn't a really sustainable competitive advantage on the web unless you have some kind of network effect--something that Monster and the big job boards definitely do not have.

Sponsorship is different.  Sponsorship means you're getting to the top, getting front and center in front of the right candidates, but also paying on a per click basis.  It's a web model with a clear ROI and it charges for what you really want, traffic, not the commodity, publishing.  The incremental publishing/hosting cost on the web for a job should be near zero, so it seems silly that it's being charged for.

Is there anyone that you can't find via search that will come to you via a job post that is any good?  Does that remain the case in five years?

Recently, there have been some predictions that printed newspapers will die in the next ten years.

Anyone want to make a bet that the paid job post dies before that?  If not, when is the last paid post?