NatureJobs.com, our online scientific careers service, got a bit of a facelift last week, and very nice it looks too.
But the biggest change wasn’t aesthetic, it was on the money side of the operation: NatureJobs is now offering free postings for basic online science job ads, making it the first specialist site to do this. If you want something extra, like for your ad to appear in the print edition of a Nature journal, then you still need to pay, which seems fair enough to me. For anyone who wants the full story, the press release is here: PDF, 24k.
In a nutshell, NatureJobs.com has switched from being a paid-only service to using a ‘freemium’ business model. As pointed out by several web-savvy business people (including Fred Wilson, a VC and coiner of the term ‘freemium’), this approach is much more in line with the general economics of the web (which entail a shift from variable to fixed costs, lower customer acquisition costs, and so on).
More important from the point of view of scientists, we should start to see a lot more open positions appearing in the NatureJobs database. In fact, if scientific recruiters are as rational as they ought to be, all science jobs should eventually be posted there. I mean, if it’s free, why wouldn’t you?