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A Review Of Dice Open Web, November 2013

Dice, known throughout the recruiting industry as the best job board for Information Technology professionals, reached out to me to test their Dice Open Web product.

The following is a review of the product, which was offered as a trial.  No other compensation was provided other than free access to the product.

My first experience with Dice was back in 2000. Everyone was raving about this tech only job board that worked great in California, and my company signed us up to help us place engineers at Intel in NorCal.  The talent level was great, and I was pleased when it made its way out to St Louis later in my career (in the sense that St Louis talent began signing up).  In recent years, I've gotten used to seeing Dice at conferences, taking photos, shooting videos, and sponsoring events.  So when they asked me to review Dice Open Web, I was all in. 

My focus tends to be on digital marketing, but I get IT jobs every once in a while, and I wanted to test the tool for some obscure positions like my CNC programmer jobs.  At the same time, a prospect asked me to find a Linux Engineer in Dallas, so I ran it through the paces on live searches. I took some screen shots, but cropped them to avoid publishing private data. 

Step 1: Getting Used To Dice Search. 

There are two views on the platform.  The first is a Resume View that is your typical job board.  You search like you normally would, looking through titles, using the filters, and trying to narrow down your description.

   Dice 1

Step 2: Open Web View

My preferred method is to use the job board to source.  If I can't find what I want from a Dice Profile, I click on the Open Web View and look for additional candidates.  While speaking with the new Dice CEO, Shavran Goli, he explained that most Dice users supplement their recruiting with Open Web View. In addition to finding new candidates, you can find out more about the candidates who have uploaded their resumes to Dice.  Either way, this is the view you get.  

Dice Profile

Do you see all of those icons?  Those are the profiles on different social sites, from Facebook and Twitter, to Github, Vimeo, and Linkedin.  The social sites that are indexed are those deemed most likely to have business information, but there is some overlap into the personal world. 

The interesting thing for sourcers is you can see who has a Dice Profile and who does not.  This means you can see who was recently looking, and who might be a passive candidate. That allows you to tighten or broaden you search, based on your sourcing criteria. 

If you're working an open req, you start with the profiles, and move to the Open Web.  If you're building a list for an evergreen requirement or trying to reach someone in a passive environment, this screen gives you the flexibility to do both. 

The next step was to begin to apply it - to take a look at what silly searches turned up to check the algorithm, and then to dive into my live requirements. 



Step 3: Search Results

 The first thing I did was search Social Media Headhunter.  I'm all over the web, so if the algorithm matched up to Google or LinkedIn results, we'd have at least a baseline search. 

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 11.51.38 PM

So far so good.  I'm first.  Paul DeBettignies and Craig Fisher are three and four.  That's pretty accurate for results from other sites. Considering the number of sites scraped, it's hard to say if all of them say the same thing, of if some social results get a higher weight (this looks a lot like the LinkedIn ranking). 

So let's do some other searches.  


I tried Corona SDK, something I've sourced for my Facebook training. Very few of these developers exist, but I was able to find 553 people who had it on their social sites, but not job boards. Many of these developers have their own firms, and don't post profiles because they don't often need to look for jobs.  That's a good haul, useful for finding mobile developers and the companies they work for. 

When I did this through Facebook, Found 806 names of people who "Liked" Corona SDK, but you then have to go through each and every profile to see if there are more clues. In the case of Dice Open Web, I could right click directly to the LinkedIn profile, blog, or Stack Overflow. 


Let's try another one. 

CNC Machinist, New Britain, CT

This was a hard search on LinkedIn, because I was trying to find blue-collar workers that didn't have profiles, and who only looked for jobs through personal networks.  Facebook worked better, with over 1800 in the state of Connecticut with the title, but the geography filters for Facebook always mess with me, and I end it up with just a few names in each town.  

So I used the geographic filters to pick within 50 miles of my target town. 

CNC Machinist 

Not bad.  55 names, with a much smaller imprint than the tech guys. 



So what about IT Recruiting?  I was looking for a Linux System Engineer in Dallas.  It's  a tough req, with over 100 open positions in the six figure range. 

I went to the search screen with the following criteria. 

Refine Your Search

  • Title: Systems Administrator 
  • Skill: Linux
  • Keyword:  citrix installer
  • Geography:  50 miles of Addison

This gave me a broad search.  I then filtered the titles, as you can see on the right, down to system engineer.

There were 282 total results

Of those, the filter took me down to 59 Systems Engineers. 

And 13 of those had a profile on Dice in the last 90 days. 

I went through those names, and had pretty much exactly what I was looking for. 

But 13 names isn't a placement, so I also searched hosting companies to see who was previously an administrator, and might be ready to take the title of Engineer.  That search led me to the largest hosting provider in Dallas, which led me to 7 other firms where those engineers had moved. 

Now that's a sourcing list. 




Inside Open Web View, you have the ability to reach out through Twitter and Facebook. The messaging worked, but as I told Shavran, I would never do that.  I prefer my messaging to be clean and from a single platform I control.  He told me new developments are coming in that area, but I would be careful if you're using the system that way (primarily because recruiter are notoriously bad  at it.  The problem here is between the seat and the keyboard). 



After I did the test, I was set up with a phone interview with Shavran.  We talked for almost an hour, and he shared technical specifications, why they set things up the way they did, and how they planned to continue to upgrade the accuracy of the updates (all of this is done through API's, so there's constant change).

It's a neat tool, not because it's revolutionary, but because it extends the search capabilities of the average recruiter. If a match between Dice Open Web and a Social Media Sourcer, the sourcer wins every time.  Machine learning hasn't quite gotten to the point of beating the human brain, but in the hands of an experienced social recruiter, the tool would make you better (but that's not a new argument from me).

I'll leave you with this: 

1) I would use it. If I was in IT recruiting, I would use Dice, and I would use Open Web.

2) When I used it for its intended purpose, finding an IT candidate, the resume search delivered and delivered quickly. It's important to remember that when speed matters, job boards outperform all other search. 

If you have questions, you can reach out to me, or think about contacting Dice for a trial.  If you have Dice, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of this tool.