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Tofser - 2007-11-03 18:29:06
This is a very good idea but I wonder just *who* will see my 'advert'? By that I mean this site, by its very nature, is frequented by PHP programmers - how many *employers* are going to look here to try and find a developer?
If I was a company looking to hire a developer why would I even think of looking on a site called "Welcome to the PHP Classes Repository" let alone go to the bother of creating an account?
Manuel Lemos - 2007-11-03 19:02:47 - In reply to message 1 from Tofser
Good question Dave. Let me clarify.
This PHP professionals directory was just started, so it is not yet very well known or exposed to search engines.
However, it already provides facilities to potential employers and head hunters that, as far as I know, no other site provides. For instance, it collects the professionals geographic location in order to let companies search for professionals near their region.
This is very helpful for companies willing to hire professionals to work locally, as opposed to work remotely from distant places or even foreign countries. Such companies prefer local professionals because they have more control over them, they can attend live meetings and training sessions, which is crucial for some businesses.
Other than that, later this month there will be a resource to let professionals specify which skills they have, in a way that is easy to search.
For instance, imagine a company willing to hire somebody with at least 5 years of PHP experience, has a Zend PHP certification, and knows how to build applications with Zend framework. Later it will be possible to search professionals for specific skills like this. The site will show potential employers just exactly which professionals match their requirements.
There are other features being planed that will make this resource very interesting for businesses looking specifically for PHP professionals.
Right now, just the fact that over 200 professionals submitted their profiles on the first 24 hours after launch, demonstrates that businesses looking for PHP professionals will have plenty of offer to eventually match their needs.
Another detail is that over 50% of the users that visit this site come from Google search site and go directly to the inner site pages, not the home page.
This happens because the site provides something they are looking for. They are not looking specifically for the site but for something related with the site content.
Now that the site lists PHP professionals, those looking for PHP professionals in search engines will eventually be sent to this site. In just a few days, the pages of the PHP professional profiles will be indexed and start appearing in Google search results.
There are still some unfinished developments that will be made available in the next weeks but after that the interest and relevance of this resource will be much more interesting for both PHP professionals and businesses willing to hire them.
Tofser - 2007-11-04 18:05:21 - In reply to message 2 from Manuel Lemos
I understand the aims and reasons and they are very commendable! I'm just concerned over whether it is worth me paying to be a featured professional.
You say that employers will use the site in 2 ways:
(1) By using it's search facilities, and
(2) By using Google.
So in the former case they have to come to this site first which leads back to my original point about why would a potential employer visit a site all about PHP Classes? In the latter case the Google ranking of my "professional profile" will be negligible since all it contains is my name and address and therefore none of the things that will score highly in Google's indexing.
I appreciate it's not true in all places in the world, but in the UK at least you will be competing with the established employment agencies. (You are right to distance yourself from the likes of rent-a-coder which has serious deficiencies in terms of its business model.) In general, employers will prefer to use an agency rather go direct to a freelance professional so there needs to be something that will make them change their mind. So how will you set yourself apart from the agency market? Rent-a-coder does it by offering work-for-peanuts coders - what can you offer that the established agencies do not already?
Finally the "featured professionals" are self-selecting - anyone who has paid to be a "featured professional" automatically becomes one. There is no screening or assessment of capabilities. This is not necessarily bad - it just leaves all the responsibility on the hirer to check the bona fides and qualifications of the developer. No problem, but should you then really be calling them "featured *professionals*" since YOU have no idea whether they are professional or amateur? Looking at some of the profiles already loaded on the site it is clear there are many college students and part-time programmers listed - a potential employer only has to see a few of these and they will assume the site is full of amateurs and leave, never to return. You may consider this a trifle but if you want the job site to be taken seriously by busy employers I think you should consider how they will judge it.
p.s. Please take all my comments as constructive rather than negative - I *want* this site to work. :-)
Manuel Lemos - 2007-11-06 02:05:51 - In reply to message 3 from Tofser
Tofser, thank you for raising those points. Your concerns and doubts are the same of other users.
This is a new initiative, so not all is in place to show how things will work to address the needs of either the PHP professionals and employers looking for them.
There are somethings that will take some time to be ready, so I will comment about them only when they will be available because between now and then some things may change. For now let me clarify a few points.
The site cannot guarantee that the exposure that it provides to the PHP professionals will make you get a myriad of great jobs. It will certainly work better for some professionals than others in different circumstances, different skills, different locations, etc..
The only way to know for sure is trying it. You may try it work a week for free, but admittedly that may not be sufficient to capture eventual opportunities.
Fortunately the cost of trying it for a longer period is no more than USD $5 a month. When compared to the money you can make only if you get a single job, that is less than your the average consulting hour of a PHP consultant in most places. It's peanuts. Your risk for trying is very low.
Still you will get statistics about the accesses to your profile pages, how many visitors clicked on the link to your business home page, and how many clicked to get your e-mail contact. So, you will have an idea of how much exposure you will effectively get. This will be available in the next days.
Another point is that businesses looking for professionals like you, will not necessarily be sent by Google directly to your profile. At least initially, they most likely be sent to the professionals list of your country or the top listing of countries with PHP professionals.
Once the skills interface is available, you will be able to tell the skills you have and whoever is searching for professionals with your skills in Google, will eventually find your profile, or somehow stumble in the site looking for professionals like you and use the professionals search interface to find people with your skills.
As for jobs agencies, I am in no way competing with them. This initiative was started because the site has a large audience due to its content. Currently it has in average 15.000 visits a day. Half of that comes from Google.
Once the site adds content about PHP professionals, it will start attracting people looking for them via Google and other search engines. In a few days over 300 professionals added their profile pages.
I am sure that one kind of people that the site will start attracting are from job agencies. Some agencies chase professionals and get a commission that may something like a month of salary.
If they find somebody with the skills the employers need, I am sure some will not mind paying USD $5/month to get the contacts of the professionals with matching skills because what they can make is much more than what they need to pay. So, as you may understand job agencies are more likely to become clients of this site, rather then competitors.
As for the eventual limitation of the site not being able to check the professional skills, first let me assure you that some skills will be verified with the cooperation of some partners. More on this later when the deals are closed.
The rest of the skills, it is not viable for this site to check everything that professionals state, at least for the value that is charged. Ultimately the job agencies or the employers will have to verify that by themselves their means.
This site will work more as a means to provide a base for searching for professionals and narrow the search for those with matching skills.