Interesting article from John Horton at oDesk on the Digitization of the Supply Side of the Labor Market. It covers the growing role labor supply sites such as LinkedIn and oDesk are playing in making job markets more efficient.
Historically only on the demand side of the labor market has rich information been easily available. As John points out:
"online job boards like CareerBuilder, Monster.com, Indeed, SimplyHired, etc., job posts have detailed descriptions about the nature of the work, skills required, location and approximate salary, but the job seekers—the sellers—generally do not create profiles that describe themselves."
This is changing as sites like LinkedIn, oDesk, eLance and others provide job seekers the ability to create profiles that are widely and easily accessible. As this happens the job market - which is very inefficient - will work better.
My favorite quote from the article is on how relatively little effort has been invested in this very important area:
"It’s a little sad that so far society has expended more machine-learning research effort in trying to predict movie tastes rather than job fit, despite the enormous economic and even humanitarian consequences of improving the labor market."
This article also illustrates the growing role Big Data and analytics are playing. The article's author - John Horton - is an economist with a Ph.D from Harvard. His job is to analyze data for oDesk, which sees data and analytics as a source of customer value and competitive advantage.