Dice’s Open Web Shines A Light On All IT Talent

Dice unveiled a new interface for recruiters this morning that streamlines the way candidate profiles are presented, adds some extra bits of data about them, and, in a handy pulldown, provides a variety of ways of contacting the candidate.

Ordinarily the announcement of a new user presentation wouldn’t merit a mention. Here, it’s that “extra bit of data” that makes today’s launch different. From now on, Dice is integrating it’s Open Web data aggregation service with candidate profiles from wherever sourced.

To put that another way, recruiters using Open Web to find IT candidates have the world to search. Open Web searches some 50 sites where IT talent hangs out, presenting those who fit the specs, whether or not they’re a Dice member. Click into the candidate summary and what you get is a dossier, assembled from the candidate’s online postings and contributions. If they happen to have a resume on Dice, you’ll see that, too.

I first wrote about Open Web in January as it was launching. Then, the search was limited to the 1 million resumes on Dice. Now, Open Web finds everyone who participates on sites like Facebook, GitHub, Gravatar, StackOverflow, and others.

As recruiter Tim Sackett put it:

Basically, Open Web is a finder of passive candidates. Thousands of passive candidates! Candidates we could not have previously found in our Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn subscriptions.  All in one place, with a ton of information you don’t normally get on a resume.

Sackett’s a 20-year veteran of recruiting and human resources. He’s president at HRU Technical Resources, a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. He demoed Open Web at HR Tech and, as you might guess from his comment, he was impressed. He ended his review saying, “It’s going to be a big hit!”

It is certainly well on its way. Last week, as Shravan Goli, president of Dice.com, walked me through the new interface and Open Web, he said the service has seen a steady increase in usage since its launch. 1,200 Dice customers now use it regularly.

What they like about it, he said, is the breadth and clarity of the content that Open Web pulls together. From the 50 social and professional sites, Open Web assembles lists of skills, interests, and a sampling of the most recent contributions the candidate has made to each site. Imagine how long it would take you to do the same thing for just one candidate.

Perhaps the most convenient new feature is a browser extension for Chrome users. Download the applet and install it, then, when you pull up a candidate in your browser window — regardless of where the name came from: your ATS, a web site, a Facebook page — click the icon and Dice will open up the person’s Open Web profile. Check out the video for more details.

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“What we are trying to do, ” explained Goli, “is really make it (Open Web) part of your natural workflow.”

Currently, it’s not a real-time compilation. Like Google, Dice indexes the various sites, gathering its data by API or spiders. So it’s possible a candidate might have something even fresher than what Open Web presents, but the difference is almost negligible. If it really matters, just click the link of the conversation that most interests you and you can see what else is there.

As Goli observed, “This product has evolved quite a bit” since it first launched. The development team is working on real time searching and aggregation, as well as other features, including some way of presenting both the quantity of a candidate’s contributions and their quality.

“We are taking the approach of continuous development,” Goli added, meaning as a new feature is ready it will be launched.

In his review, Sackett said he “found it works on much more than just IT; in fact, finding both engineering and some skilled trades types for orders we had with an automotive client.” Since Open Web is limited (for now) to searching for IT candidates, Sackett’s finds must have some tech skills or background. However, Goli says it won’t be too long before Dice broadens Open Web to search for candidates in energy occupations like petroleum and gas. Dice owns Rigzone, a job site for the oil and gas industry.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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