Dot-JOBS Addresses Could Be Opened Up

Apr 29, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The manager of the dot-JOBS domain is weighing the possibility of opening up the registry to allow regional and occupational names.

“What would you do with it if you had nursing.Jobs,” wonders Tom Embrescia, CEO of Employ Media. He says he has made no decision. But his question is not idle musing. Embrescia tells us he’s been doing a sort of informal survey of opinion as he talks to corporate recruiters and others.

“I’m just talking to people in a very low, quiet way. The way I’m talking to you. Asking them what they think,” he says.

Internet addresses could be issued for regions — say or, to use Embrescia’s example, Or, he says, “We could give anyone who has a business plan one for their zip code.”

More likely is that the addresses would go to job boards, social networks, or other organizations, he says.

Nothing is imminent, Embrescia adds. The economy is a factor, but not much of an obstacle to selling the more desirable addresses. If the address registry were opened up tomorrow, Embrescia tell us he could sell millions. “We could do it,” he says, though the company has “refrained from that.”

Up to now, the domain (to be discussed further in the June Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership) has been issued almost exclusively to companies, which use the extension with their corporate name as in Most companies appear to simply take job seekers right to their career centers, bypassing the company’s homepage and the sometimes challenging navigation. A few, like, make a greater effort to appear the site is independent.

When Employ Media and its partner in the venture, the Society for Human Resource Management, proposed the creation of the domain, they argued that it was needed to encourage the use of company job sites, make it easier for job seekers to find company-specific jobs, and provide a measure of quality assurance for job seekers that the job sites were legitimate and not some scam to collect resumes. They received approval for .jobs in 2005 and the first of the site came on line late that year.

Under the agreement Employ Media has with the agency that oversees Internet naming — Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — .jobs domain “registrations are limited to the legal name of an employer and/or a name or abbreviation by which the employer is commonly known.” There are other requirements, including one that the applicant for an address subscribe to the SHRM code of ethics.

The rules can be modified, but it appears it would require SHRM’s acquiescence. No one from SHRM could be reached to discuss the possibility. However, Embrescia insists that the overriding requirement is that dot-JOBS sites “have to be used for HR content,” which, he said, is what a address or an occupationally focused one would be for.

Recruitment consultant Gerry Crispin, who served on SHRM’s advisory panel on the creation of a dot-JOBS extension, says opening up the registry defeats its purpose.

“If this action is taken it will be the death knell of the domain,” he emailed us from SHRM’s staffing conference in Las Vegas. Crispin called it “Just another commercial effort to squeeze dollars from employers and mislead job seekers. Disappointing that resources were never devoted to marketing to the jobseeker.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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