In the early 90's the WWF (now WWE) broadcasts in Israel also included commercials. But it wasn't cool Super Ball style commercials but one specific infomercial: The hair club for man
Similar to Sy Sperling, I am not only part of the job market (at times active while at others just enjoying being approached), but I have also worked in a company that helps to match between job seekers and companies. Oh and and I am also bald.
During my time at Gloat there was one challenge that we tried to solve that bothered me also as a user: how to define the geographical location you prefer to work at. The basic problem is that specifying a city isn't enough, because some locations in a city a user might find not relevant. This can be because those parts aren't accessible by public transportation, or known for heavy traffic etc.
The different products out there today don't address this, but I had an idea that never materialised and I want to suggest ither. Let's start by seeing the different options available today and than I will present my solution.
City based location
This is a very straight forward/high level search option: usually in the top page there is a free text search bar. The user can enter a city name and receive the matching results. The results can also include jobs in surrounding cities. In some cases you can enter a county name: In Linkedin this worked for Orange county CA but not for Queens, NY.
Radius based location
At Gloat we tried to make it simple to the user to select the location by defining a location and a radius around it that is relevant for him. The flow is very simple:
Type in a city's name
Select the city from the list
Adjust the radius bar to the relevant distance
Not only this doesn't help to exclude the less relevant parts in a city, but also can cause problems as a user might want to work 10KM to the north but not to the south. In addition, I am not sure everyone knows exactly the distance between cities in order to do the right selection.
Woo is a competitor of Gloat and took a similar approach but without the radius feature
The solution I propose looks like Woo's but is based on a hierarchy within the city. First the user selects from a predefined list the city or cities that are relevant for him
If he selects one that has predefined regions within it, they will appear as an indented selection
When selecting at least one area within a city the top level is greyed out. When not selecting an area - the entire city will be selected.
In most cities in most countries workplaces are concentrated in the same area. In case of an exception, the relevant position/company will be adjunct to the closest region.
The regions of a city will be predefined in the admin system
List will be ordered based on proximity to user current location, but can be changed by the user.
The more will also open more cities that can be selected on a high level. The idea is that these are locations that are far, and arriving to them makes the inner region selection not relevant.
An advanced feature for a system that has a significant number of users, the selection can be populated automatically based on the user's profile and selection of other users with the same characteristics.
Of course there are other features to solve the location "problem": using Google maps API for best route, to understand the duration of the commute, or others to give job seekers all the information needed to decide.
Finally, this is a solution for the job placement companies, but can be relevant for other industries like travelling, retail etc.