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?
Tell us at

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



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


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
Market Segmentation Math

(September 08, 2000) Imagine a matrix. It's got functions (from candidate aggregation to payroll) across the top. It's got company size (and a distinction for non-corporate recruiters) across the side. The third dimension is a complex description of the workforce in niches no larger than 25,000 people (probably divided by region and profession).

10 kinds of paying customers times a dozen repeated functions times 4,000 niches times (at least) three providers per niche. That's almost 1,500,000 describable combinations of niche, function, region and customer type. No wonder our industry resists consolidation.

Each of the 25,000 people in each niche change jobs every four years. At a minimum of $10K per job change (which is very low), each niche represents a potential market of $60,000,000 per year in cash flow. Simply divided equally among the functions, there's an opportunity for 12 $5M/ year businesses in each niche. Obviously, the distribution would be weighted towards processes that require human assistance.

At it's simplest, a very conservative description of the value of our industry, rooted in these numbers, is $250 Billion per year. What the pundits seem to miss is that this sort of potential will resist the vending machine mentality of contemporary retail oriented Internet technology.

In a market that size, there's a lot of room to pay for and deliver a lot of value.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

The More Things Change

(September 07, 2000) The more things change, the more they stay the same. We get over 20 notes each day from companies who are trying to build the number of links that point to their sites. We dug back in history a bit and found a four year old article talking about various types of inbound links.

You weave the foundation for your web enterprise from a series of links. We're very clear that the depth and quality of your inbound links constitute the commercial infrastructure, the playing field, of your enterprise. Since we're located within eyesight of the Golden Gate Bridge, it's hard to avoid the suspension metaphor. Links are the suspension and bridge that allow traffic into your site. By definition, the relationship has to be two way. You must offer some sort of outbound links as a part of your traffic development.

We think that there are several discrete types of inbound link. They vary in quality and effectiveness. Since, for all intents and purposes, your operation *begins* at the inbound link, we think that it's critical to manage them.

Imagine a matrix with one dimension being content and the other, context. Each scale runs from 0 to 9 (like the matrix management courses that I'm sure you've been exposed to).

The simplest and least effective link has neither content or context (0,0). It appears on a long list of links with no discriminating information. These are easy and inexpensive to arrange. The web is full of hot lists. We call them "Commodity Links". Like the mundane parts of a suspension bridge, you must have all of the commodity links you can get. They don't discriminate, they just keep you even.

The second type of link has content but little enduring context. (9,0). Think of reviews that run for a short while and then get lost in the review archives. They provide burst traffic with little sustained volume. The best example of this is being named as a "cool Site". The traffic spikes and your email baskets burst at the seams, little revenue emerges because the traffic source is more important than you as a destination. We call them "Feel Good Links".

The third type of link has context but little content. Yahoo! is our favorite example of this (0,9) type of link. The link endures and gets your operation identified as 1 of X businesses in the niche. We call them "Library Links".

Obviously, your ideal is to have all your inbound links well positioned with very positive reviews in an enduring place. It's why the Top 25 Recruiters list works so well as a traffic generator for the Websites on the list. These 9,9 links, which we call "Relationship Links", usually have some underlying reciprocal relationship. It can be as simple as a trade of links and a simple cross-promotion agreement to complex revenue sharing arrangements.

There are, equally obviously, many shades of link types inside the matrix. Nothing really fits solidly into any of the categories. There's also the question of the volume of traffic generated by the link. A relationship (9,9) link on a heavily trafficked site can make all of the difference to your business. The same link on a site that gets 10 visitors a week is not worth much effort.

Given the complexity of the Web in it's current form, we generally argue that the optimal approach is to create the largest number possible of inbound links. Then, we suggest that you mine that "pile" in search of the commodity links that are most easily converted into Relationship links. So, effectively, you continually refine your incoming traffic as a way of defining your demographic.

Finally, there is the question of site design and your inventory of content. On the web, you can get lots of traffic to a dumb destination. Converting that traffic into return visitors depends entirely on having changing and useful content that is easily accessible, relevant and understandable. In other words, success is dependent on both traffic and audience development.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Easy To Forget

(September 06, 2000) Part of the process of training our research team includes a minor ordeal. We try to capture their naive responses to our industry by assigning the task of finding a job using a set of 50 websites. Since we hire people who are actively seeking work, we figure that they inherently "get" the ins and outs of rudimentary job hunting. College graduates of varying ages, they have some computer experience, limited web skills (in the beginning) and an over-riding urge to seem competent (because it's their first week on the job).

The usability analysis we're developing this year depends on the experiences of these newly minted web job hunters. To simulate "real life", we hand them a set of web addresses and tell them to get going. The results are always interesting and sometimes more than mildly amusing.

It appears that it is very easy to forget that job hunters are uniformly naive. No one (in the real world) spends time getting good at using job hunting websites.

One researcher began his assignment by trying to find a job in England. He opened his web browser to GISAJOB (a British enterprise with a database of over 90K jobs) and began clicking away. He clicked on the home button, thinking that Home would be a good place to start. It brought him back to the same page. He clicked various buttons and banners which all took him away from the site. Finally, he asked for help in frustration. (We've provided a screenshot of the GISAJOB site for reference.)

Rather than wading in and bailing him out, we suggested that he look around the page for the word "Help" and click on it. Here's what he found:

The search terms you input do not have to be complete words.
"Wash," for example, will match occurrences of wash, washer, Washington, etc.

     - From the help screen on GISAJOB

Reading the "help" instructions, he wondered "Am I supposed to look for a job Washing in Washington?" He asked, "What is a 'search term' and How do I 'input'?"

A Better written help facility might have said:

To find job listings in our jobs database:
1. Type a word or phrase in the space marked "Search for your next job"
2. Hit the enter key on your keyboard.

You do not have to type a whole word.
For example, by typing "book", you will find any listing with words like booking, bookkeeper, booker, etc.
Typing "engineer" will show you listings for engineering, engineers and engineer.

The original GISAJOB instruction is a compact, terse, jargon laden wisp of a suggestion with an irrelevant example. Useful help facilities avoid jargon and use examples that are easy to understand.

In general, the GISAJOB site is difficult to navigate for a naive user. Its problems, unfortunately, are typical of a large number of the operations in our business. As we collect more detailed insight on the subject, we'll be certain to keep you posted.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Our Hero

(September 05, 2000) Peter Drucker is our hero. Business 2.0 (one of the neat contemporary business magazines) was lucky enough to interview him. Please read the interview in its entirety.

Here are a couple of the gems:

On Dot Coms
...I don't think they are doing anything wrong. They're just not doing anything right. It' s highly probable that the age in which you automatically got lots of money by calling yourself a dot-com is over. Many of these Internet startups were not startups of business, at all. They were just stock exchange gambles. If there was a business plan, it was only to launch an IPO or be bought. Not to build a business. And sometimes I am rather appalled by the greed of today's executives.
On Changing Markets
...if you look at the invention of the zipper this is totally irrational. The zipper could not possibly have been a success in the clothing industry. It was invented to close bales of heavy stuff, such as grain, in the port. Nobody thought of clothes. The market turned out to be not where the inventor thought it would be. And this happens time and time again. The first major war fought after the Napoleonic conflicts was in Crimea and it had horrible casualties. It was very important to develop an anesthetic that could be used on the battlefield. One of the first things they came up with was cocaine. It was supposed to be nonaddictive and everyone began using it. Sigmund Freud even. But it was addictive and had to be dropped. Around 1905, the Germans invented the first nonaddictive anesthetic, called novocaine. The inventor spent the last 20 years of his life trying to get everyone to use it. But where was it used? By dental students. And the inventor could not believe that his noble invention could be used for something as mundane as pulling teeth. So the market is almost never where the inventor thinks it will be.

- John Sumser

Couldn't Resist It

(September 04, 2000) According to an AIR's press release:
In the most competitive employment market in decades, the company that teaches other companies to find candidates is having no trouble filling its own ranks. AIRS, the global leader in training recruiters to find passive candidates on the Web, has little need for its own techniques - at least as far as finding qualified trainers and recruiting consultants goes. AIRS reports that a single recent Internet job posting yielded over 75 resumes the day it went live. Two hundred additional candidates sent in their resume by the end of the first week. AIRS attributes its success to two factors: First, there is a growing demand for recruiters with Internet search skills and the most forward-thinking recruiters are attracted to this specialty. Second, AIRS has a phenomenal reputation as a training company, due in large part to the outstanding quality of its current training staff.
Sort of tells you everything.

- John Sumser

Access to accurate information has never been more important. Order the 2001 ERI today and receive the prepub price of $2595.00 (a $2995.00 Value).

Table of Contents will include: 
Human Capital Management, The End to End Framework, Baseline Electronic Recruiting Stocks and Performance and much more...

Click here for details.          Limited Time Offer, Call NOW!

This website and its content is copyright of interbiznet.
© interbiznet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Any and all materials on the site written by John Sumser are © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

You may download a copy for personal use.
Redistribution without permission is strictly prohibited.

interbiznet this week
(through September 08, 2000)

1st Steps In The Job Hunt
     - Office Romance
     - Understanding the Shift
     - The Possibilities
     - Ask Not, Get Not
     - Using Usenet


  • 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

    September 3, 2000
  • Name Change Game
  • Layoffs
  • Vision
  • Talent Labs II
  • Talent Labs

    ERN Archives

    Past Issues
    About interbiznet
    interbiznet publications

    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