Policy options for getting wider adoption of the jobPosting standard

The UK government has adopted the schema.org jobPosting standard as the format that it will use to publish job vacancies on the web.

Better job adverts are important for a lot of reasons, as pointed out by Citizens Advice. In response to a tweet from Phil Rumens, below is a list of possible ways to get wider use of the standard beyond government.

Make it easier

  • Write and opensource low-level libraries that make it easy to manipulate / generate jobPosting data structures.

  • Fork or contribute to opensource software for publishing jobs, such as Simple Job Board for Wordpress, so that it meets the jobPosting standard.

  • Lobby the providers of back office HR systems to adopt the standard.

  • Lobby the big job boards to adopt the standard.

Change the law

  • Government mandate that all job adverts published online conform with jobPosting, probably with exceptions for small companies.

  • Government mandates that all jobs resulting from a government contract over a certain amount are advertised on websites that use jobPosting (think Crossrail), probably with an exception for contracts under a certain size. Local authorities could adopt this unilaterally.

  • Government creates an API end-point that conforms with jobPosting and mandates that, regardless of where else companies advertise jobs, they must also post data to that end-point so that the data can be used as part of the Universal Credit service. The API could also be run voluntarily under the 'make it easier' approach.

Make it desirable

  • Make the publishing of quality job adverts an issue of corporate social responsibility. Encourage big employers like Tesco, who publish their own jobs, to adopt the standard for the wider economic health of the country.

  • Create a 'better jobs kite-mark' that publishers who adopt the standard can use.

  • Create a website that celebrates publishers who use the standard and invites people to ask others publically to adopt it, much as Two Factor Auth List does for 2fa.

  • Create a validator that gives job adverts a rating for jobPosting and possibly other useful checks like the use of potentially discriminatory language. Francis Irving built a version of this at a recent Cabinet Office hackday

Intervene in the market

  • Government adopts jobPosting as the standard to exchange information about apprenticeship vacancies.

  • Government creates an incentive for publishers to use the standard by disproportionately recommending jobs that meet the standard to jobseekers.

  • Government publishes NHS and Civil Service jobs using the jobPosting standard, entrenching the standard in the market.

  • Educate jobseekers to favour websites that clearly publish wages, locations etc.