Corporate Eye

Who’s Hiring? (How to find out . . . maybe)


In a press release for LaborInsight, “an online labor market intelligence and analysis system that shows up-to-the-minute hiring trends of North American companies,” we learn that:

Using its patented web-based technology, LaborInsight searches the Internet and aggregates information on job openings from a variety of sources, including job boards, recruiter sites, educational institutions, governmental entities, and individual corporate websites. In fact, each day LaborInsight visits over 200,000 sites, compiling information on hundreds of thousands of jobs.

And the result?

Well—I’d have to say an embarrassment of riches. Or possibly a confusion of data . . .

Judge for yourself by taking a three-day free trial of LaborInsight Beta. There’s no indication of how much the service will cost going forward—but in the meantime, you can run all sorts of queries, looking at job postings sliced and diced by time, geography, industry, occupation, and/or source.

But beware! The smaller the grain, the less significant and/or reliable the information. Or at least that’s my finding, based on an hour or so of surfing their data. For example: A tiny, low-income suburb located in my own metropolitan area shows up in LaborInsight as a busy hub of high-paying jobs—in fact, it is listed as currently the third most active hiring area in the state! Since LaborInsight as of now provides no explanation of its methods for data gathering or statistical analysis, there’s not much potential to figure out this anomaly, or to account for others I found.

But (theoretically, at least) much of the local nonsense should smooth out at higher levels—and the aggregates might be indicative even if the underlying segmentation is faulty. So I asked for the top ten most active U.S. employers so far in 2009. And Petsmart comes in at the top, by more than twice the postings of its nearest competitor (Food Lion). PetSmart postings in aggregate show up as more than 11,000 to date this year.

Again, it’s hard to assess the validity of this information. But since PetSmart has about 10,000 locations, 11,000 or so in job postings is not unbelievable. And since Food Lion has about 40% as many employees as PetSmart, roughly 40% as many postings would ring true.

In any event, it will be interesting to see how LaborInsight works out. The least I can say is that a visit sparks curiosity! I know a lot more about PetSmart than I would have otherwise—and can report that their Careers site is delightful. Also very functional.

Although I’m not a fan of punning in regular life, I seem to have a weakness for it in the area of Careers branding. So I’ll close with this clip from the PetSmart site:


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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.

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