interbiznet: The Recruiting News

The Recruiting News

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Recruiting News for the Human Resource Professional

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors




Click On Our Sponsors

Click On Our Sponsors







Find out more
About IBN

Got a news tip?
Jean Collins

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



(Over 60)

Company Job Listings
(Over 4000)

Email to IBN


It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall

It's better to
do a few things
really well than
than to do
a lot of things
If you can't
make the necessary
commitments of
time and energy
to your
scale back
your plan.
John Sumser

© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

Go Home

Click On Our Sponsors

Daily News. Archived Weekly. Click Here For The Current Issue.

The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers
Jammin' (From the Vault)
(March 31, 2000) To say that our staff has tortured and dissected every brand name in the space would be to miss the long afternoons of laughter as they waded through website reviews. It's easy pickings. Last year's primary pattern, at some levels of the industry, seemed to involve taking perfectly good brand names, throwing them in the trash and paying an expensive naming consultant to develop a ridiculous replacement. As is often the case when spending someone else's money, there was too much cash and not enough sense.

That's why we registered Featuring Job-Rasta-Fair-I and beach-level recruiting, we expect that our naming prowess will soon make us billionaires. We are ready to guarantee that will consistently produce the most passive candidates of any known vendor in the Industry. Our motto is simple: "Got a pulse, get a job; don't apply, just be".

If our candidates aren't passive enough, we'll bet that they know several who are even more passive.

The really good thing about the name is its dual nature. If times get tough, we can switch from a Reggae theme to a Dickensian mood at will. Imagine JobMarley, the ghost of Christmas past, meeting Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim saying "Welcome to the job board for those who are willing to work for a turkey."

Now that we think of it, we could have a Tiny Tim in either setting.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Letters, We Get Letters

(March 30, 2000) Imagine being a buyer in this market. We know of players who are getting as many as 20 unsolicited phone calls per day. None of them get returned. Meanwhile, underground selection networks are beginning to emerge as aligned, non-competing recruiters are forced to make sense out of a market that is changing faster than the vendors' offerings.

Here are a couple of direct snippets from our mailbag.

"...And future tools are not job boards. In the last few weeks I have endured a steady increase in marketing from the fee charging service providers while seeing more free to both sides services entering the playing field. At the same time, I think we're starting to see a (negative) change in our results from them. The quantity is about the same but the quality is starting to decline. We're starting to hear from prospective candidates that these cumbersome profiling systems are not popular. Sure, if they are unemployed they got lots of time to play those games, but if they're just taking a look to see what out's there, we ain't going to hear from them."
"Good thing your colleague is trying to find a cat, because there are far too many dogs out there just waiting to get snatched up..."
"Anyway, the worm has turned with the Internet. It was simpler before, you knew it was going in Sunday paper, so you didn't have to analyze and make a decision on the venue. You just concentrated on doing a productive ad. Now recruiters have more decisions to make. They have to decide among a bewildering array of jobsites where the best recruiting value is. Right now I find it a very complex analysis bordering on a crapshoot: respective costs, niche vs. full spectrum, regional vs. national players, reality vs. hype behind each site's pitch on features and statistics, etc. Then, only after making these decisions can you start to write the ad."
- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Interview With A Passive Candidate (From the Vault)

(March 29, 2000) We recently received a piece of email for a conference that teaches people how to find passive candidates. Tired of debunking this ridiculous notion, we went out to lunch at a local pub in search of a physical unit. After looking high and low, we realized that passive candidates probably all bring their lunch to work. So, we wandered into a modest 3 story office building and hunted through the cubicles for a passive job hunter.

We found him, curled in a fetal position, snoring through his lunch. Looking through his email, as long as he was sleeping, we noticed a folder called "Do Something With This Stuff". Opening it, we discovered hundreds of incoming emails that had a variety of messages that said "If you are not interested in receiving any more mail like this, complete the following instructions." Apparently, he wasn't interested enough to complete the instructions.

Since lunch was ending, we jiggled his arm to wake him.

"You're not my boss", he said accusingly. For a moment, we were worried that we'd found a passive-aggressive job hunter by mistake.

"No, no, we we're told that you were a passive job hunter."

"Well, my boss seems to wish that I were a more active one", he mumbled in reply. "I don't usually wake up until a half hour after lunch. What's so important?"

"We're doing field research into what it takes to recruit a passive job hunter", we said.

"Oh, that's nice", he replied.

"What do you think makes you a passive job hunter", we inquired.

"Uh, I dunno", he opined.

"Well, what kind of job would you like", we interrogated.

"This one's not so bad", he articulated.

"Well, tell us about your dreams", we urged.

"Uh, I wish I had a job where my sleep wouldn't get interrupted. Then I could have more dreams", he slurred.

"Hmmm", we gurgled knowingly, "did you know there's a whole conference devoted to finding passive people like you?"

"Oh", he slurped, "That's nice. Are we done yet?"

"One last question", we assured him, "What's your favorite job board?"

"Huh?", he asked drifting back to sleep, "What's a job board?"

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Cat Breeders

(March 28, 2000) We have an associate who is fond of saying "The Best Cat Breeder probably doesn't have the Best Cat Breeder Website". She discovered this particular truth while researching a pet purchase online.

Somewhat unusual in her preparations, she has everything required to have a cat except the cat itself. Bed, brush, litter box, food, toy mouse, collar and other kitty goodies are neatly organized in one corner of her small living room. She knows that the cat must be friendly, even tempered, short haired, blue eyed, dark, responsive and somewhat doglike. She wants the high end of a registered litter.

Okay, maybe she's a little more than somewhat unusual.

But, we think her experience in the search for a cat parallels many recruiter's searches for the right employee. And, although cat breeding sites are even more primitive than most recruiting websites, we think that she is more likely to discover a good fit in her hunt for a cat than she would in a similar hunt for an employee.

Temperament, behavioral learning and other soft qualities have been elusive components in the online recruiting game. By focusing on already existing data, the industry has done itself a disservice. While you'd expect that there would be an instant and interesting relationship between the solidly established selection and assessment testing industry and the job board crowd, science simply doesn't seem to be the issue. There are companies out there who provide well established cultural fit assessments and clear 'soft quality' screening with 30 years of scientific validation. They simply aren't part of our universe just yet.

Our cat fancier friend, who will spend about $1,000 on the right candidate, is likely to get a good fit. Our recruiting friends will have to do weeks worth of extra work to achieve the same recruiting results.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

What's In A Name

(March 27, 2000) It's just the primitive beginning. Pushing traffic to overly complex websites in order to extract resume data is no more than a modest automation of the unemployment office. When you consider the level of hype associated with this 'huge technical feat', it's quite astonishing, really. Demographic data, predictive events and long term relationships are just beginning their lives as recruiting tools.

As we adjust to the fact that labor shortages are a permanent phenomenon, major shifts in mindset will begin to dominate the market. Unfortunately, those changes will be driven by painful public failures of companies whose labor shortages drive poor economic performance. It's simple ... growth is driven by the number of available people. We know of a number of companies who have 20% of their desks unfilled. In the short term, staffing problems create a very negative spiral of morale problems that lead to attrition increases followed by more staffing problems.

It was easier in the old days.

In the late 1970's, the old Personnel Department (long a bastard stepchild of accounting) was renamed "Human Resources". The theory was that people were a company's ultimate capital resource and should be managed accordingly. In retrospect, nothing hurt the profession more than the name change.

During that time, the baby boom was entering the workforce with the usual repercussions of a large population wave. The boomers trampled down existing boundaries and occupied every available crevice in the organization. HR became the complaint department, the training department, payroll and benefits, recruiting and organizational development all rolled into one unwieldy organism.

It really didn't matter that the very organization of HR forced it to mismanage Human Resources. There were so many people willing to do just about anything that mistakes were easily covered. No one ever suggested that HR be measured against typical business metrics (like opportunity cost for missed hires, sunk cost for bad hires or return on investment for screening quality). The most basic financial element of recruiting, cost-per-hire, is a fluff number without a full recognition of the value of company time and expense.

All of these excesses were possible because labor was in a surplus position.

In order to manage shortages effectively, very different thinking is required. In spite of the damage done to the concept, people really are the organization's most important asset. The tools that mine, cultivate, repackage, maintain, refresh, identify, track, lubricate and retain these assets are just starting to be developed.

They don't look much like Job Boards.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

Mill Valley, CA 94941
415.377.2255 (V) 415.380.8245 (F)
Send comments to
interbiznet this week
(thru April 02, 2000)
1st Steps In The Job Hunt      - Temp Jobs
     - Net Effort
     - Net Shift
     - Procrastination II
     - Procrastination


  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper

  • interbiznet Bookclub

  • interbiznet Listings

  • interbiznet Trends

         - Bugler
           Daily Industry News

         - ERNIE
           ERN in Email


  • BlogRoll
  • Integrated Employment
          Branding Presentation
  • Trends Whitepaper
  • interbiznet Listings
  • interbiznet Trends
  • interbiznet Bookclub
  • Top 100 E-Recruiters
  • Presentations
         - Recruiting Then/Now
  • Recruiter's Toolkit
  • Seminar In A Box
  • ERN Archives
  • 1st Steps In The Hunt


  • Our Rate Card
  • Demographics


  • BlogRoll
    Last Week's ERN

    March 26, 2000
  • Demographics
  • Cruel to be Kind
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Gotta Get Smarter
  • Icarian

    ERN Archives

    Stocks We Watch
    Public Companies in
    Electronic Recruiting

    Central Newspapers
    Dow Jones
    General Electric

    Knight Ridder
    New York Times
    Restrac (Web Hire)
    Student Advantage
    Top Jobs On The Net
    US Search Co
    Washington Post

    Pending IPOs

    - None

    Public Staffing Cos

    AHL Services
    Alternative Resources
    American Consolidated
    Analysts Int'l
    Career Horizons
    Computer Horizons
    Computer Task Grp
    Consolidated Tech Grp
    Data Processing Resources
    Employee Solutions
    General Employment
    GTS Duratek
    Hall Kinion
    IT Staffing
    Kelly Services
    National Technical
    National TechTeam
    On Assignment
    Outsource Int'l
    Right Management
    Robert Half
    SOS Staffing
    Staff Builders
    Western Staff
    Winston Resources
    Work Int'l