eReviews A to Z Databases | November 15, 2012

AtoZdatabases

Content AtoZdatabases is a suite of business and marketing tools designed to help patrons find information on business and people. Its most recent addition is the integration of job search functionality from Indeed.com. This functionality helps to position AtoZdatabases as a one-stop shop for patrons who wish to both find job openings and to research companies prior to an interview. The resource can also help them to research companies, create mailing lists, and discover new customers or sales leads. Patrons can download up to 250 records at a time in Excel, CSV or TXT formats. It’s possible to choose the amount of detail to download for each business or residential entry. Upon researching a company, a list of job openings appears alongside the demographic, competitor, and nearby-businesses data on the company profile page.

The job search comes from Indeed, an employment website that users can search free at indeed.com, and that appears at the top of the results list for the search term “jobs” in most search engines. Employers post jobs on Indeed on a pay-per-click basis, rather than for a flat fee as is the case with most other job sites. Compared to the other top job search engines (Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com), the Indeed search within AtoZdatabases consistently returned more hits for my sample searches (“project manager,” “librarian”), but was more likely to find duplicate entries or less relevant entries. Importantly, the AtoZdatabases job search from Indeed appears to mine both job descriptions and job titles. While this can lead to more false hits, it may also be useful for candidates hoping to identify new jobs that make use of their skills.

AtoZdatabases also includes brief, sourced articles in three categories: prior research (“Do your Homework”), application procedures (“Apply for the Job”), and interview skills (“Ace the Interview”). Articles take the form of lists such as, “4 ways to use AtoZ to Find a Job Database to Beat the Competition.” These articles provide some basic job search advice, but they are far from a complete guide.

Tools for librarians include the ability to customize with the library’s logo and easy-to-use usage statistics with useful filters, including custom date ranges, and subtotals by days, weeks, and months.

Usability The jobs section of AtoZdatabases is accessed via basic search on the homepage, or an advanced search that is available through a homepage link. Additional openings are given on company profile pages if the corporation advertises on Indeed. Basic search allows users to enter keywords and a location. A very brief industry listing allows the selection of certain keywords to begin the search. By default, the results include listings within 25 miles of the location entered.

Advanced search provides options similar to those on the Google advanced screen: “with all of these words,” “with the exact phrase,” “with at least one of these words,” and “with none of these words.” It’s also possible to search openings at a particular company; to find jobs listed as full time, part time, or temporary; to search for just recent postings; and to adjust the distance from the location entered (from 5 miles to 100 miles).

The results list is fairly basic, with no options to sort or filter the hits, though a link is provided to allow revision of a search, rather than starting over. Results are sorted by relevance; each one includes the job title, the first line of the posting description, the company, and the date posted. Users can click on the company name to see additional listings from that business in a new window on Indeed.com. Clicking on a title leads to a slightly longer job description and links to the employer’s website. Once at Indeed, patrons can create an account, save jobs, and post a résumé. Job listings can be emailed, printed, or shared on social media.

Overall, the interface is clean and easy to use. The relevancy ranking seems to work well, and job descriptions are searched as well as job titles. There are a few minor usability issues. For example, when clicking the arrow at the bottom of the page to move from the first to second page of results, the screen doesn’t reset at the top, forcing the user to scroll back up to the top.

Pricing AtoZ’s jobs database is subscribed to as part of the company’s larger product that includes information on businesses, consumers, and more. Price is based on population served or FTE; for example, a public library serving a population of 200,000 will pay approximately $1200 per month.

Verdict The jobs database is a nice addition to AtoZdatabases, but would not be the primary reason to purchase the database. Having company and jobs information in one place is helpful and convenient and may encourage job seekers to conduct more research on companies in which they are interested in working. AtoZdatabases is recommended for public libraries or some special libraries, but only if they are primarily interested in its business and marketing portion.

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Bonnie Swoger About Bonnie Swoger

Bonnie J.M. Swoger is the Science and Technology Librarian at SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library and the author of the Undergraduate Science Librarian blog, undergraduatesciencelibrarian.org. Readers can contact her at swoger@geneseo.edu.

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