Open standards for job vacancies

02 July 2015

Open standards can be a force-multiplier: a standard voltage for electricity abstracts away how the electricity was generated, this allows companies to confidently and cheaply build everything from household lighting to MRI scanners on top of it. An open standard can enable a wider public good.

Vacancy publishing today is skeuomorphic, not in the visual sense, rather it is functionally skeuomorphic: newspaper small ads put on the web (with the addition of a basic search). Vacancies are published as text not as data.

Citizens Advice have written an excellent report about the effects of poor quality of vacancy data on the public [PDF].

An open standard for publishing vacancies online which included location, pay, conditions, working hours, companies number etc as structured data could help people trust vacancies more and enable a new generation of smarter products to help people find the right job.

There are some examples of the use of standards in the wild, but there are not yet any big employers using them. As ever, it’s a bootstrap problem.

Last year, I submitted a challenge to the government’s Standards Hub to find a standard for how government publishes vacancies online:

It has just progressed to the ‘response stage’ where people can suggest a standard. If you know of an existing open standard for publishing vacancies online, please add it as a response.