Anyone notice the 20 x 20 employment.com booth at the SHRM conference last month? If so, before the SHRM conference, had you even heard of employment.com?
I asked a few of the folks who are in the know when it comes to the job board field. People like Peter Weddle, Steven Rothberg, Jeff Dickey-Chasins, John Zappe, and others.
And most of them hadn’t heard of the company either, at least before SHRM in San Diego, but want to know more.
Employment.com doesn’t have much information about itself on its own site, like contact information or an “about us” page clearly linked from the home page. I left a message with a customer service number, but no one called back. The folks listed as the owners of the URL — the Hamilton-Felton Family — own a slew of other domains, like Texasbeachfrontrentals.com. I called one of their numbers but it was disconnected. At another of their numbers, I left a message but haven’t heard back.
Mark Mehler, of CareerXroads, talked to CEO John Carrieri, who told Mark that half a million jobs have been posted on the site for free (employment.com will use an ad model, not a paid-listing model).
Carrieri’s LinkedIn page says he is a “serial entrepreneur” whose past ventures include the site Jokes.com. I left a couple of messages for him but the fellow I talked to said he’s out of the country, in Italy. He hasn’t called back. I emailed him through LinkedIn, and didn’t hear back, and called back again, but his coworker told me his voice mail is full.
Anyhow, maybe employment.com would like to boost traffic and sell the employment.com address. It sure seems like a good URL.
After all, sex.com once sold for an estimated $12 million, and is now for sale again. Other domains like pizza.com, business.com, wine.com, and a lot of other things dot com sold for $1 million or more each. (Sexandpizza.com, and sexandwine.com, interestingly, both lead you to adult sites, while sexandbusiness.com innocently leads you to a list of Pearson business books. But I digress, greatly.)
A nice, generic URL sounds like a good thing, but can only go so far. When I think of books, I think of Amazon.com, not books.com (Barnes & Noble). When I think of cars, I think Edmunds. When I think movies, I think Netflix, not movies.com.
When I think about shoes, I think Zappos.
Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I thought about shoes.
Although Mark Mehler says that employment.com is “one to watch for” in the future, he adds that “no job seeker in the USA is going to be putting into a search engine ’employment’ and expecting job openings to come back. They would put in jobs and a location.”
He’s right. You’re more likely to search for, say, accounting jobs in Denver, or design jobs in Boise, than search merely for the word “employment” on its own.
But that logic doesn’t explain the success of Monster.com. When you want a job, you don’t search for Monsters, but you still find yourself heading to Monster.com.
Certainly job-seekers’ minds currently think of Monster before they think of employment.com, job.com, or work.com. I don’t even think people immediately think of jobs.com; I guess Monster covered its bases, because it owns this URL anyhow.
Kristen Reed, marketing director at job.com, says that “having a URL that is easy to remember and relevant to the service or product you are offering is certainly important when it comes to driving traffic and building a brand.” But, she says, “a great domain name is still just a name unless you do something with it.”