© Crown copyright 2017
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-standards-for-government/publishing-vacancies-online-standards-profile--2
Standards to be used: JobPosting
The schema.org JobPosting schema allows the marking up in HTML a listing that describes a job opening in a certain organisation.
This profile is for the JobPosting schema as a standard for publishing vacancies online both publicly and internally in central government departments, their agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) and any other bodies for which they are responsible.
JobPosting provides a way of publishing vacancies that include salary, location, hours and other supporting information as structured data.
Read more about the original challenge on the Standards Hub
2. User need approach
The negative effects of poor quality vacancy data on people searching for work have been well documented by the 2015 Citizens Advice report ‘How bad job ads are failing job-hunters and recruiters’.
Job-seekers need to find relevant, accurate vacancies that fit their needs (location, skills, salary, etc). As a publisher of job vacancies and apprenticeship opportunities, government can help meet these needs by adopting this standard.
Use of the JobPosting schema makes it easier for aggregators, search engines and others to re-use vacancy data published by the government, in turn making it easier for users to find vacancies relevant to them on non-government services.
There is also potential for novel usage of the data by job aggregation services (poor quality vacancy data limits the ability of job aggregation services to innovate).
3. Achieving the expected benefits
The JobPosting schema will increase the quality of job/apprenticeship vacancy information, allowing users to find vacancies that better meet their needs.
This standard will enable vacancies to be more widely disseminated. It will be easier to reuse government vacancy data regardless of where it is published without maintaining multiple bespoke scrapers. This could open up new tools for users.
By government adopting a standard, especially since it is used by another government (USA) and there is some early adoption by industry, there is an opportunity to accelerate its adoption more widely (ie beyond vacancies published by government).
This will also benefit several government programs (Universal Credit, Apprenticeships) that rely on quality publishing of structured information about vacancies. Adopting this standard will also improve interoperability between services, giving government more flexibility on how it publishes vacancy data.
4. Functional needs
The JobPosting standard addresses all the functional needs listed in this profile by providing a vocabulary to describe a vacancy.
The schema is also extensible, and can therefore meet any specific needs government has. As an open standard, government can contribute to and improve the schema.
5. Other steps to achieving interoperability
Implementing this standard requires changes to the markup of web pages that publish government vacancy information. This should not require major re-engineering of existing government websites, as the existing information published maps to the jobPosting schema and basic implementation requires only changes to HTML to add metadata.
There may be contractual constraints that will need to be overcome to realise this standard across all government vacancy websites/publications.
Additionally, although adopting this schema will provide a common standard of publishing vacancy data, it does not grant other services an open licence to re-use this information. This will depend on the licence granted by the organisation publishing the vacancy data (eg Civil Service Jobs offers its data under an Open Government Licence).