Cool hunters are often depicted as shallow wannabes who lack enough individuality to face the world on their own merits. To that I say, damn straight. But that’s just one side of the story. We also associate cool hunters with people looking for an edge, either trend spotters or drivers of important business, consumer, or social change. These are the individuals Malcolm Gladwell writes about in The Tipping Point, the connectors, mavens, and salesmen of our world.
You might be interested to know that psfk, a web site and community often associated with the words cool, hip, and innovative has just launched a vertical job board or blogboard. It makes me wonder if the world of filling jobs, building employer brands, and recruiting, are somehow finally making a move to a new address somewhere along Hip Street?
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psfk’s Piers Fawkes (left) and Simon King (right) scowl and smile their way into the future. That future now includes a community job board.
Piers Fawkes and Simon King, founders of psfk.com are both A-list bloggers and Cool Hunters (yeah, the good kind) who started their site as a way to talk about what was happening in London and New York. Today, they’ve grown their stable of sites to seven and feature content ranging from interactive marketing and fashion, to architecture and business. psfk was among the early adopters of social media, their sites typically feature blog posts, comments and significant interaction from other writers and community members all centered around interesting stuff. psfk has a strong creative bent and that certainly is manifest in the high-design present in all their web sites.
Piers sent out an announcement last week soliciting job content from the interactive marketing community we are mutual members of. Piers extended a free job posting to the community as a trial for the remainder of the month. Disclosure: I sent Piers a posting for Shannon for a job she’s recruiting for on her own team at Hodes Interactive in the Bay Area. Shameless plug for Shan: here’s the job posting for an Interactive Solutions Manager.
I thought you would be as interested as I was to see an innovator’s take on a job board from someone outside our recruitment space. My suspicion is that we could both learn from each other. So I asked Piers to answer some questions for our blog and he obliged. Here goes:
First the press blurb to set some context (I feel that it is additive):
“PSFK the popular forward thinking innovation team, launch a new jobs listing service targeting emerging media, creative staff, employers and head-hunters. PSFK appeals to an audience of switched on creative professionals seeking inspiration in their day-to-day work place. Now users will have the added bonus of an international jobs list (jobs.psfk.com), which is targeted to professionals in companies driving the next wave of design, branding and media.
jobs.psfk.com is the first ever jobs site that uses a map function to help prospective candidates find jobs quickly in neighbourhoods they want to work in and provides an RSS feed for every type of category – plus email alerts. Listings are updated daily and companies at the launch include hip ad agencies, web publishers, video game makers, architects and design consultancies. Although the job site is international, the focus is on London, New York, LA, Berlin, Tokyo, Shanghai & Sydney.”
Now let’s have a conversation with Piers Fawkes of psfk.
exceler8ion: what spurred you to pursue this strategy?
Piers: “2 reasons. (a) we’ve been featuring quite a few jobs on IF! (http://if.psfk.com/if) and wanted to put them in a specific section to make it easier for people to find and (b) as we move towards a publishing business model, revenue from jobs listing will be a pillar of our success.”
exceler8ion: why now?
Piers: “There seems to be all these emerging and exciting companies and agencies but I don’t think it’s easy for people to find jobs in these agencies. We just wanted to put people in touch.”
exceler8ion: what do you hope to accomplish?
Piers: “Help inspirational people work in imaginative jobs.”
exceler8ion: Do you see the site being used to post mostly for full time positions? Or, would you hope for an equal mixture of freelance postings and users given the large contingent of freelance talent common to our space (interactive marketing)?
Piers: “We’ll see how the market reacts. I’m not too sure. In the past, we have featured full time jobs that we’d love to have.”
exceler8ion: how much does a job posting cost?
Piers: “$250 for a month”
exceler8ion: how firmly do you intend to manage the niche job content aspect of your job board?
Piers: “We want to list jobs we’d love to have. Adding jobs to the site is much like the content we put on one of our sites. We only put stuff up that interests us. By doing so, hopefully we’ll maintain a useful service to job seekers and recruiters.”
exceler8ion: Have you seen any pent up demand with your advertisers for targeting this new area?
Piers: “Maybe, it’s noticing an increase in numbers of jobs posted on blogs by recruiters who can’t find people through the regular channels.”
exceler8ion: With the highly virtual nature of our space, how do you think the location based Google maps will play with users?
Piers: “It’s about speed of access. People judge jobs on their location: for example, do you think people consider ad agencies in SoHo more forward thinking than midtown agencies. Location at a micro-level is very important to people in their job and it’s something that’s been long overlooked.”
exceler8ion: Would you like to use the expertise and experience you gain from this to roll out more job boards for your clients?
Piers: “This is just something we want to offer our readers. Maybe we’ll do something around each site – e.g. a fashion one for fashion.psfk (http://fashion.psfk.com). We’ll see. It took us a couple of days to build and prepare for this launch. We’ll go for it and see what the market says.”
exceler8ion: Can you confirm (because I think it’s quite a noteworthy accomplishment) that you put this together in a couple of days? Like as in 48 hours from a) hey I’ve got an idea to b) hey, here’s the finished site.
Piers: “48 hours from the time I decided to code it. Have been sitting around on it for a month or so.”
Did any of those answers turn your head? Sound off, tell me what you think.
Here’s a sample job posting (note the Google Map – I thought it was apropos considering that it was for a Google Job)
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A sample job posting on jobs.psfk.com. Note the google map.
Where’s a functional keyword job search? There are two search boxes on the page (both powered by Google) but I couldn’t get either one to work with any reliability. Search engine indexing seems the likely cause resulting in delays between postings and valid search results. Then again, I searched for ‘hodes’ for Shannon’s job which posted on January 9th and had no luck. In another search for ‘TBWA’ I got a hit but then I was taken to the site’s index page showing all the jobs and not a specific job, or jobs, for TBWA. A search function connected to a psfk jobs database would seem much more useful here.
In contrast to this search issue, I love the simple craigslist style (or blog) reverse chronological order of the job postings. Simple works for me – as does the drop down box showing key cities for Interactive marketing jobs. I would add one called “Virtual”. Oh shit, they already thought of that. Not surprisingly, the design is clean, attractive and inviting, something the big boys like Monster, CareerBuilder and other careers sites would do well to mimic. Since psfk has a strong community, I’d love to see some interactive features added to the jobs section. Employer ratings or interview experiences for example, or a comments section where the job seeker or recruiter could ask questions of the job poster. All in all, with the exception of the job search, the psfk blogboard works, and the site’s base strikes me as a solid one to build on.
[tags]Piers Fawkes, Simon King, psfk, jobs.psfk.com, if.psfk.com, Cool Hunters, Blogboards, Job Boards, Niche Job Boards[/tags]