Last month I posted about the craziness of the computer science academic job market due mainly to the decentralized nature of our field. Here are some ideas of what we can do better. I've stolen some of these ideas from other fields such as math and economics.
Single Job Market System
A single website that every CS department uses to advertise positions and accept applications. Easy for applicants to apply to multiple places and, if they wish, make their materials open for any department to see. Recommenders need only upload their letter once. We could add some additional controls, methods for applicants to indicate say geographical preferences or two-body issues.
We could have an opt-in site for candidates to list where and when they have interviews. It would make coordination of job interview dates and offer timing that much simpler.
A meeting in early January that brings together all the subfields of computing so we can work as one community instead of twenty. As part of this meeting, members of recruiting committees and job candidates come and schedule short interviews with each other to make preliminary choices for on-campus interviews. CS hasn't had annual meetings since the 80's but math and econ still do.
Every time I bring up annual meetings, people complain that we already have too many conferences in computer science. So if no physical meeting, we can set aside days to have a virtual meeting with recruiting committees and candidates talking over Skype.
Have some common fixed dates, just a couple of times in the spring, when departments can present offers, and when candidates must make a decision. That should reduce how long departments have to hold a position before it settles.
These last two ideas require no centralization, just willing job candidates.
Job Market Paper and Video
As the recent CRA Best Practices Memo suggests, candidates should choose a single paper to highlight their research. Each candidate should also post a short (3-5 minute) video where they describe this research at a level that any computer scientist could follow. The job talk should cover this paper only, instead of trying to wow with multiple works.
Candidate Web Page
If you are publicly looking for a job, set up a web page, linked from your home page, to your job materials: CV, research statement, teaching statement, list of references, pointers to all your papers with links to PDFs, with the aforementioned job market paper and video highlighted. Also give a pointer to your Google Scholar profile page and make sure that page is correct and up to date.