More on Doostang

I wrote a very short blurb on Doostang awhile back. For those of you who are not familiar with Doostang, it has been profiled on TechCrunch and here. In a nutshell, Doostang is a very cool website that allows you to post jobs that you think might be of interest to people in your network. Aside from dating, job hunting (and helping others find jobs) appears to be one of the best use for social networking online. I have been playing with a lot of services that allow you to combine social networking and jobs and have finally been able to figure out what it is about Doostang that I like so much.

Aside from the high quality jobs that I tend to find on the site, it meets a need for me that no other service does today. As a member of several academic and professional alumni networks, I hear about lots of jobs every day. I can generally clasify them into three categories:

Category 1 – Jobs that I know would be interesting to a specific person (or persons) in my network
Category 2 – Jobs that I think would be interesting to people in my network
Category 3 – Jobs that I think are probably not interesting to anyone I know

I have a good solution for Category 1 — I just forward the posting on to that specific person or people with a note. I also have a good solution for Category 3 — I just hit ‘delete’ and move on. However, the vast majority of jobs that I hear about really fit into Category 2 — they are good jobs that I think are likely of interest to at least 1 person I know. Bombarding their email boxes with emails every time I find one of these Category 2 jobs would be a good way to annoy people. Plus, what I really want to be able to do is to make these opportunities known to people so that they can follow up if it is of interest to them. For me, Doostang is the best tool that I know of to accomplish this task. It doesn’t cost me, as the job discoverer, anything to post the job. It is also pretty simple — I generally just do a cut and paste and then move on.

Most of the social networking + jobs sites I see are aimed squarely at the needs of one end of the spectrum; they either are focused on the needs of recruiters or job seekers. The thing I like about Doostang is that it gives some good tools for the 3rd role that people play in job search — the job discoverer (who is often neither the hiring manager/recruiter or the candidate). This so-called “3rd role” is really important in helping connect people with jobs and most of the tools I have seen don’t really have a good solution for people who find themselves in that role.

For all of its goodness, Doostang is still a fairly new service. There are some obvious opportunities for improvement, in terms of UI and functionality. My “wishlist” includes the ability to specify a contact person as one of the fields I submit a lot of jobs where I am not the recruiter and really don’t want to be the intermediary in the process. The ability to direct candidates toward the actual point person would be nice.

For the time being, I think Doostang meets a really strong unmet need for me and I am a big fan of what they are doing. If you are a Doostang user and want to connect networks, feel free to email me.