James Mayes

Blog: Universal Jobmatch… or UK Government vs Monster?

In Human Resources, Recruitment, Start-ups on November 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

universal jobmatchFollowing a great presentation by Tom Loosemore recently, I’ve been keen to take a better look at what’s happening with gov.uk, the UK Government’s new central portal. It aims to be simpler, faster, cheaper… and save us all from the hell that was DirectGov. That said, while the front end looks better it still requires use of the Government Gateway service – from my own perspective of submitting tax returns, that ain’t a pretty thing!

One strand of the project is Universal Jobmatch. From a Government perspective, it sits within the DWP – which from a public perspective, typically means the traditional Job Centre.  Universal Jobmatch launches 19th November. At that point, companies who had previously approached job centres to find candidates will find these roles available on this new site. In addition however, all those registered with the DWP as jobseekers will be required to register. The ONS currently records over 2.5m people as registered jobseekers.

An enforced candidate database of 2.5m on launch? NOT BAD!

The site will allow open access to recruiters and employers and will incorporate skill matching technology.  I’ve not been able to ascertain what kind of technology is being implemented for the matching, but candidates will be able to upload up to five CV’s (one public, four for private applications to companies). Auto alerts are also included, though again, I’m unclear on whether these are employer specific, candidate specific or both.

I’ve reached out for further information, but so far have had only a cursory conversation.  The line that really caught me?

“Think of it as Monster, delivered by Government”.

Following on from Jamie’s post this week on the Death of the Paid-For Job Posting, a number of comments suggested the lower end of the labour market would continue to thrive. This looks like a fairly sizeable threat to me! I don’t believe this poses much of a threat to the higher end of the market, but at the lower end, this could certainly have an impact.

If anyone has more info or thoughts, be delighted to see it. Haven’t seen anything on this in the blogosphere yet…


Been pointed to some early marketing information (text below is cut n paste)

– placing jobs and receiving a shortlist of suitable jobseekers

– reviewing the jobs you are advertising

– reviewing the CVs matched to your jobs

– selecting the jobseekers you want to apply for jobs

– explore the number of potential jobseeker matches before posting a job

– and, receive an anonymous list ranked by best match first.

UPDATE 14th Nov 2013

A couple of links have come my way, offering an FAQ sheet for both candidates and employers. Hope you find them useful!

  1. James, nice post. I think this is actually Monster technology. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/monster-signs-dwp-contract-160026022.html

    It raises some serious questions about the lower end of the employment pyramid and the people that currently profit from it. If the technology works, and knowing Monster, it will, and they have a significant amount of CV’s, which they have, and it’s free, which it is, why wouldn’t employers go there first?

    • My thoughts entirely. Does explain why my contact named Monster in the quote… was wondering about that part! Also suggests the tech may be better than expected too – Monster have certainly delivered some good things over the years.

  2. I seem to remember this being discussed in the Monster presentation at the Bristol Reconverse event back in April. Ryan Bridgman was discussing how DWP were the first place they were implementing this new tech in and the technology was called SeeMore – “a semantic search tool for talent management featuring 6sense.”
    I still have the slides Jamie sent out of Ryan’s presentation if you need any further info.

    • I hear Monster have done some PR on this, but I’ve seen very little from other industry commentators – which is unusual, to say the least! Thanks for the extra info!

  3. Monster, who’re getting paid quite a bit, are keeping things very close to their chest. They’re to launch on 19th (of November) and at this time, Jobseekers Direct (the search site) and Employers On-line (EDON), the submission site will close. This much is known. What happens internally to the vast and ancient Labour Market System (LMS); that the Jobcentres use to service these things; to track clients for JSA and things like fraud detection is unknown.

    There seems to be little more than positive press releases and no Marquette or Beta site.

    The consensus amongst my vexed correspondents is that the new site will be basically Monster with government branding, a Monster.gov.uk, if you will. And what happens to my efforts, and the people who rely on me is moot. http://www.data.gov.uk/apps/ftp-jobcentreplus-feed

    Let’s hope they don’t close the data, like DELNI.

    • Thanks for the comment Martin. The queries you raise go beyond my knowledge, but I’ll ping some Monster guys I know and see if they’re able to comment.

  4. If people are already registered on Monster and get no joy from companies contacting them about jobs, then they will have no better luck by having to sign up with Universal Jobmatch. The jobseeker agreement with the DWP works both ways, ie they are there to help you find work. How can they, when advisers have told me there will no longer be job point terminals and also they cannot do searches while you sign on? Savings for the DWP less help for those people who actually want a job !

  5. This is an insidious effort by government to monitor people claiming any kind of benefit.
    Not a jobseekers site at all. Security is very lax. All you have to do is register as an employer giving a postcode and a phone number and you have access to countless CV’s and peoples personal contact details. It’s full of holes like every other government IT program.
    This is not designed to get people back into work. Just a forerunner of a National policy to create a system where everyone has to have an online prescence to be monitored.

  6. So far it’s really annoying, because a lot of the ‘apply’ buttons are missing, so if there’s no contact details (eg ‘phone11111111111’)you can’t apply. Also, they have a nice feature for ‘building your cv online’ but what’s actually displayed is something like
    > 1 years Admin
    < 2 years Reception
    nothing about what you did, so if your job title was completely different from what you did, or you have specific skills and experience, it won't show unless the employer wants to click on each job and read it separately. You can 'create as many CVs as you want' but as you 'create' them by putting in the dates of work and study, it's hard to see how they could be different except if you lied. It isn't like if you write your own CV for a job where, in a few sentences below the date title etc, you pick out the skills you demonstrate by this that are relevant to the job you're applying for. So they can't be 'different'.

    My main grievance is that you must either allow every passing stranger to see every detail of your name, address, phone etc, which is an identity fraud charter and not safe if you're a woman living alone, or you must hide everything. You can't allow them to see your landline and email but not house number, for instance. I don't feel safe doing this, and you are liable if your identity is stolen through your putting out too much information for both your losses and the banks. Yet your date of birth, full name, address, phone number and NI number are to be displayed to any passing scam artist. I have a problem with that. Likewise the police say, if you are a woman living alone, you should not advertise the fact, e.g. have all your post addressed to 'mr' or just use an initial.

  7. Sorry, incomplete: so you must either show everything to everybody, or you must hide everything from everybody, including every part of your CV from every employer. How useless is that?

  8. On the subject, i’ve had an excellent experience with jobsite.co.uk
    of all the job sites that claim they’ll email you relevant matching vacancies, they’re the only ones telling the truth – excellent job emails! Just saying-don’t want to just complain.

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