I think that there is a lot to be said for having a good placement team in a department and to have good web pages to go with that.
It needn't be a lot of work to keep track. You need to have a placement administrator (who is an admin member of staff) and a couple of placement officers (who are academics).
1. The placement administrator.
This person will contact students at the start of the academic year to find out who is goinig on the market this year and create the necessary departmental web page with a list of "Candidates on the Job Market" and their job market papers, CV, supervisors, etc. This helps to improve the visibility of the PhD candidates and promote their work to prospective employers but also to people interested in new people coming onto the market and their research. The placement admin person will at the end of the year ask everyone where they were placed, and when the year is out the page is converted to a "placement" page for that year group.
2. The placement officers.
These are academics. Often there are two of these, someone senior, who is well known and respected at other schools, and someone junior, who has recently done the junior job market. These people need to understand how the market works so they can pass on advice. They should hold a couple of meetings for the year group to pass on this advice. There really is a lot of know-how in the modern job market that a good department can pass on. Should one focus on a big "killer" JMP or split over several? How many papers should one have? At what point in the year should you bring out your JMP? How to approach/get the best out of your letter writers. How to behave during the flyout etc. You really notice the well advised candidates.
Its good practice to put up a number of years of placements. These should be for people who have indicated they are going on the academic market, not those planning on other careers. The placement record of a department is informative in my opinion. Someone posted a great post earlier on this thread when she said the following, which I will post in full:
"A good placement reflects much more than just the formal efforts/mechanisms that the department puts in place to help candidates on the market. It reflect things like: is the training in methods and research design rigorous and cutting-edge (maybe the biggest added value of graduate training)? Is there good support and funding for research or conference travel (where you make connections and meet co-authors)? Do faculty co-author with students? Do they recruit other good students (which gives you a great cohort to interact with - peer effects are important)? Do they train you to teach and give you good teaching opportunities? And yes - do they help their students craft good job market papers, cover letters, job talks, and so on?
So it's not just about whether someone formally 'places' you, but whether the whole grad school experience has set you up for an academic career. Over a number of years, a school's placement record is a decent indicator of all of these things. Grad school is a program of professional training to be an academic lasting 5-7 years, and some places do it better than others."
I am interested to see the range of practice - some very good UK and Oxford departments do this kind of thing such as Trinity Dublin, LSE, Oxford Philosophy/Economics. I am sure that the grad students at those places benefit from this.