Universal Jobmatch

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Universal Jobmatch was a British website for finding job vacancies. The site was developed by Monster.


The concept[edit]

The website replaced the JobCentre Plus' Job Search Tool and Employer Services Direct, which were part of the Directgov online system set up in the UK's New Deal employment system. The service has been introduced as part of a Government campaign to assist the DWP to monitor client's jobsearch activities directly, and as part of the "Digital By Default" agenda to migrate more British citizens to subscribe to an online process when claiming benefits, both unemployment benefit and In Work (Universal Credit benefit). The service was switched prematurely live through an AlphaTesting System in November 2012, was commended as being a perfect system by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions George Iain Duncan Smith in November 2012,[citation needed] but remains a work in progress. Whereas, in parallel to the switching of Universal Jobmatch, the DWP closed its existing processes supporting Job Search and Employer Services Direct, migrating its customers to the new system, and reported that 460,000 employers posting jobs and the site receiving over 6 million searches per day. By February 2013 there were some 2 million registered users.,[1] although ambiguity remains with these figures. When Universal Jobmatch was introduced, the DWP migrated existing users of its Employer Services Direct service to Universal Jobmatch, thereby inflating the database of registered users.


However, from the outset of the Alpha Testing System being promoted as being live in November 2012, whereas Universal Jobmatch may generate a number of job leads, and whereas each Job Lead may require candidates to apply for a job through an external website, there is no guarantee that, upon visiting the web site, the Job Lead will still exist. Indeed, some jobs advertised on Universal Jobmatch result in multiple clicks and multiple tabs as they initially open a job aggregating website which links to a recruitment agency website which then links to an employers website and the application made is not recorded in the Universal Job Match necessitating the user to have to manually type in a report of their application. The Monster Corporation (which operates the system on behalf of the Department of Works and Pensions) makes it clear when candidates sign up to the system that "they do not accept liability or responsibility for any financial consequences".[citation needed]

Early teething problems[edit]

Early controversy has arisen due to people having registered with Universal Jobmatch and then finding that they are targeted by dubious organisations and individuals in financial scams.[2] Channel 4 news ran a feature, in December 2012, which explained how this new government service was being used to obtain personal details of jobseekers.[3] Instead of resolving this issue, the Monster Corporation which operates the system on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) require all users, when creating an account, to accept a number of terms and conditions of use,[4] including the clause that they "don't accept liability for loss or damage incurred by users of the website.

The Universal Jobmatch states regularly as of January 2013 that users must "Never ever give out things like scanned passports, national insurance numbers or bank account details until a job offer has officially been made." on their relevant web pages.[5][6][7][8] The site was also made a lot more user-friendly and less verbose in mid 2013.[2]

Tender Controversy[edit]

On 12 February 2014, it was revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request [9] that Monster didn't win the Universal Jobmatch Tender falling into last place on value and second to last place on evaluation scoring;[10] until the service was put back out to tender.[11]

The Government paid Methods Consulting Limited and Jobsite UK (Worldwide) Limited £950,000 compensation,[12] who should have won both tenders, when the new contract was awarded. To date, the Government hasn't specified its reason for placing the contract back out to tender but the fact it paid compensation seems to suggest it wasn't the private company at fault.

Concerns are raised how Monsters "satisfactory" evaluation score and high bid in the first tender, resulted in a near-perfect evaluation score in the second tender and a bid of under half the original which in turn made them competitive. Allegations of insider dealing and corruption has been made because of this.[10]

Mooted demise[edit]

According to a report in The Guardian in March 2014, leaked documents from the DWP indicate that the government had formulated plans to scrap Universal Jobmatch when the contract for the site was up for renewal in 2016, due to the numbers of fake and repeat job adverts posted to the site and because of cost concerns.[13]


On 26 April 2018 a message was placed on the home page saying the service would be replaced by 'Find a job' on 14 May 2018.[14] Users were advised to save their information by 17 June 2018 as logins would not be moved to the new system.[15][14]

Who can use it and why[edit]

It was not a requirement to register, and anonymous searches could be made by people looking for jobs and applications made directly to companies that had posted their contact details. However, as of 1 March 2013 JobCentre Plus advisers could, if giving a good reason, require Jobseeker's Allowance claimants to use the site through a JobSeeker Direction. If they refused to comply, they could be recommended for a benefit sanction. A decision-maker took the final decision over whether benefit should be removed, which as a consequence of the UK Governments Welfare Reform Bill of 2012, may have led to a loss in State Benefits for up to 3 years.[6][16][17]

Registered users had the option to allow the DWP to have access to their accounts. Whilst this was not mandatory, claimants were threatened with a sanction to do so to aid their jobsearch activity and to enable the DWP to monitor claimants' activity.[18]


Additionally, hacktivists have created an plug-in addition for the Chrome Browser which will allow the automatic distribution of CVs to recruiters through Universal Jobmatch.[19]


  1. ^ "Universal Jobmatch service getting '6 million searches daily'". Chartered Management Institute. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Universal Jobmatch: How On Earth Can It Work?". Ipswich Unemployed Action. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Universal Jobmatch Alternative - We Respect Your Privacy". Universal Jobmatch Plus. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Universal Jobmatch jobs and skills search -". direct.gov.uk.
  5. ^ "JobSeeker's Allowance (JSA)". www.gov.uk.
  6. ^ a b "JobSeeker's Allowance (JSA)". www.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 11 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Safer Jobs". safer-jobs.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Universal Jobmatch jobs and skills search - Help". direct.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Universal Jobmatch procurement (first tender)". whatdotheyknow.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Universal Jobmatch – Tender Scam - Ipswich Unemployed Action". Ipswich Unemployed Action. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Universal Jobmatch procurement (first tender) - a Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions" (PDF). 19 March 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Contact (for personal messages only, not advice or guidance)". refuted.org.uk. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014.
  13. ^ Malik, Shiv (16 March 2014). "DWP draws up plans to ditch ridiculed jobs website". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 19 March 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Universal Jobmatch (homepage)". Universal Jobmatch. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018. Universal Jobmatch will be replaced by the Find a job service on 14 May 2018. Important: If you have an existing Universal Jobmatch account it will not move to the new service. Save any information you want to keep, like your CV, cover letters and application history by 17 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Adzuna Wins Contract for Universal Jobmatch service – Blog". www.adzuna.co.uk.
  16. ^ "JobSeekers required to use Universal Jobmatch". Department for Work and Pensions. 4 March 2013. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Log on or stop signing on, Iain Duncan Smith says in warning to job seekers". Metro (British newspaper). 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  19. ^ Alex Hern. "Jobseekers' site spammed with CVs by activists". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016.

External links[edit]

  1. https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance
  2. https://www.gov.uk/jobsearch
  3. https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/eligibility
  4. https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/Home.aspx
  5. https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/further-information