IBN: Defining Excellence in Electronic Recruiting


Electronic Recruiting

Our Rate Card

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

All material on this
website is the
property of IBN
(The Internet
Business Network:
You may download
a copy for personal
use. Redistribution
without permission
is strictly
All material on
this site is
© 1995 - 2010 by IBN

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

Trend 3: Perfection Of "Do Nothing Recruiting"
(February 09, 2001) With the exception of CareerCast and FlipDog, the names of most of the practitioners of "Do Nothing Recruiting" (DNR) would draw blank stares from the customers, competitors and analysts in the Electronic Recruiting Industry. DNR companies operate from one essential principle: companies post their jobs in the Employment Sections of their websites. A DNR firm uses "spiders" to collect job openings "wraps" them and moves the "wrapped data" to a destination. All a Recruiter need do is post a job to the company website and the DNR company handles the rest.

Invented by Junglee during the first several years of online Recruiting, the technique is very labor intensive. When Junglee was acquired by Amazon.com, it sold its recruiting services to Webhire, the Internet based descendant of Restrac. While the move propelled Webhire to the forefront of the Electronic Recruiting Industry at the time, the technical integration process was very difficult.

This merger allowed the other entrants to have a clear competitor to play against. Since the Junglee Customer base had little real overlap with Restrac's original customers, the problems ranged from technical and pricing to Customer Satisfaction. Ultimately, other companies have been able to perfect the idea.

In 2000, a new Job Board, FlipDog, emerged with hundreds of thousands of job listing and no observable business model. Based on DNR technology, FlipDog is an exercise in technical brilliance with an extremely limited sales horizon. The company has managed to use the fact that it collects job postings from all over the world as a method for building macro-economic statistics based on that data.

Ezeenet, another DNR vendor, "wraps" some of the jobs posted to major websites (Monster, HotJobs, Headhunter). Using a huge team of Indian programmers and data gatherers, the company continues to seek the traction that its low price point suggests it should have.

Meanwhile, CareerCast, a California company, has taken the process to new heights. By focusing clearly on customer satisfaction and database integration, the team at CareerCast has taken clear leadership in this sector. Many of the major newspapers in the United States (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Boston Globe) use CareerCast's services to deliver quality offerings to distinguish themselves.

Even CareerCast has some difficulty with business models. Although the company has been consistently profitable, DNR methods represent a very new way of thinking. Trying to teach them to a typical classified advertising salesperson represents a challenge. Teaching that person to sell these services to an HR buyer may be more than any professional should be required to undertake.

We look for increasing automation in DNR services and see a fit between them and the emerging Recruiting Gateways.







*Excerpt from the 24 Trends In Electonic Recruiting.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(February 08, 2001) At the heart of the idea of having a brand is a single concept: differentiation. It's a simple notion. The reason that you have a brand is so that your audience can tell how you are different from the competition. In the traditional advertising world, this is a well understood concept involving
  • the identification of the target audience,
  • an analysis of the competition,
  • the positioning of brand attributes, and
  • the development of branding campaigns.
The most important thing about a brand is that it allows your target audience to tell the difference between you and a competitor. The targeting exercise is the only way to manage advertising costs (by knowing who you don't want to reach). A branding campaign built on this sort of fundamental analysis is much more likely to result in predictable and desirable results.

Unfortunately for all of us, very few players in the Recruitment Advertising universe offer meaningful brand differentiation support. Certainly, none of the job boards give their clients even the most primitive support in this regard (E-Bay style annotation of the database, for instance).

Brand Differentiation, the intellectual discipline required to define it and the budgets required to execute on it are a long way from the mainstream of recruiting. Our vendors don't support it because so few of their customers know how to ask for it (let alone contemplate the costs of paying for it).

We've tried very hard to think of a discipline that is a corollary to 20th Century Recruiting. Words like reactive and proactive shield us from the reality that Recruiting (and HR in general) are the Beverly Hillbillies of the corporate world. Years of easy candidate availability results in an incredibly low regard for the costs and processes associated with real marketing. While we found oil by "shooting at some food", the rest of our peers in the organization had to make investments in "geological surveys and drilling experiments". In other words, our industry's notional understanding of the way that marketing and advertising works is distorted by the fact that it used to be like fishing with dynamite.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Trend 2: Inventory Principles Take Hold

(February 06, 2001) Led by an incredible market push from Icarian, companies began to understand that Recruiting is fundamentally an inventory problem. Workforce Analytics, a term coined by Icarian's charismatic leader, Doug Merritt, is a system of measurements for reviewing workforce optimization, labor deployment, skills penetration and out year employment requirements. Although Icarian itself has floundered somewhat, the important trend is the introduction of longer term, lifecycle thinking into the disciplines of Recruiting.

In earlier days, Recruiting was practiced as a reactive art. The employment requisition, itself a highly politicized instrument, is issued following the agreed upon determination that a need for a new or replacement employee exists. Given typical organizational functioning, the "req" was traditionally released between 6 days and 6 months after the requirement became clear. As a result, a professional recruiter was on the receiving end of the organizations slowness to respond to market conditions. This created an environment that was failure prone and layered with "ass covering".

In Icarian's approach, managing current and future requirements simultaneously allows the organization to spot its own hiring, attrition and retention trends while maximizing the output of each individual in the company. Training and assignment rotation get folded into the Recruiting process. Icarian's contribution has been to expand the language of Recruiting.

In the immediate future, all Recruiting Operations will be required (by market forces) to view their efforts on a five-year horizon line. The operational question has become: "What are your employment requirements over the next five years?" In order to guarantee the availability of an adequate (and adequately trained) workforce, Recruiting Organizations will increasingly build broad talent pools that can be drawn from over time.

In more physical settings, the American inventory system has undergone radical changes over the past 20 years. From balance sheets that were drowning in excessive inventory, industry has tamed the beast with Just-In-Time practices that require tight communication between departments within a firm and their vendors. Built using Enterprise Software systems from Peoplesoft, SAP, Oracle, Lawson, Baan and others, these 21st Century inventory practices have streamlined capital structures while making firms more productive and able to adapt to changing market conditions. The central component of inventory practice is a firm's capacity to adequately describe production requirements over both long and very short terms.

As HR Departments (or their successors) move towards more fully grappling with the Labor Shortage, they discover that some of the answers can be found in these approaches. Knowing which human assets are required when and where allows the cultivation of value-based relationships. It also fosters a climate of feasibility in the HR Departments that take a longer view.

During 2001, the language of HR Departments will evolve to include Human Capital Management, Human Inventory Management and Minus 30 Recruiting (the idea that a candidate can be in an orientation program in advance of the physical requirement). The realities may catch up with the language in 2002 or 2003. The Peoplesoft Recruiting Village is a step in the right direction.



*Excerpt from the 24 Trends In Electonic Recruiting.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Supply Management

(February 06, 2001) You'd love our greenhouse. The standalone conference facility is a multimedia-rich glass walled tool for strategy and planning. We've discovered that very large (wall sized) displays make exciting levels of agreement possible. The nice thing about the greenhouse is that it doubles as our executive dining room. We see clients, vendors and other members of our network in the greenhouse over a range of times during the workday and social hours.

Last week, we had the privilege of hosting the executive management team from Hire.com for a dinner and review. (We've covered the company frequently and still consider Hank Stringer to be one of the all-time heroes of the industry.) If you've followed us over the past year, you might remember that, while we thought the Job-Board-In A-Box business was well targeted, it suffered from an inherent flaw in traffic development. Believing that all Recruiting Is Local, we've wondered aloud about the viability of a pure technical infrastructure play.

It's rewarding to feel like you've been heard.

Hire.com is one of those companies that is so focused on creating customer solutions that its marketing materials lag well behind its actual performance. This is a good thing (and clearly the result of CEO Jim Hammock's decades of experience in building new markets). Rather than producing vaporware, the company tends to the needs of its customers and uses that experience to build new product and service lines. The reward is a promising 400% growth rate over the past year.

So, what are they doing?

A look at their offerings doesn't begin to tell the story. in order to understand whether or not your corporate website is achieving the results you need, you have to begin by measuring the traffic. Anyone with even marginal experience will tell you that this is a black art, practiced by knowing wizards and populated with "monkey numbers". But, understanding the native traffic to a website is the foundation of building a focused supply of talent to your offering.

With TalentAcademy, TalentCast, TalentPath, TalentProfiles™ and TalentSource, Hire.com provides the beginnings of a fully featured supply network. The Virtual Talent Network utilizes the results of AIRs style research to further populate the candidate pool.

In the old days (about five years ago), Recruiting was a reactive sport. Once a Requisition was issued, a pool of candidates was gathered and then, a hiring process initiated. The web's first innovation was to allow candidate pool development to precede the requisition. No small, feat, this change in the process allows huge slugs of cycle time to be removed from the overall Recruiting process.

Hire.com is onto the next level. By integrating candidate sourcing with a communications system, they've laid the foundation for a real Potential Employee Relationship Management System. (PERM), the first, we think, of its kind. In this next level approach, traffic can be developed to satisfy planned Recruiting Requirements over long periods of time. It takes a system like this to achieve the goal of "minus 30 recruiting".

Finally, Hire.com is moving around the country to establish Talent Villages. With the first project operational in Houston, the company is learning how to participate in what we'd call Regional Economic Development. In the old days (again, five years ago), this was the province of county planners. The protracted labor shortage creates a real incentive for regional competitors to collaborate in a single talent pool. Without clever branding, Hire.com is leading the way with these initiatives..

We'd say that Hire.com is the first company in the industry to offer the foundations of a real Labor Supply Management business. Obviously, there's lots of room for improvement. Recruiters need to learn the social skills required to operate these systems; advertising copy writing skills are notoriously scarce, full deployment requires a broader level of offering and more predictability; and, scale will produce a number of unanticipated problems. With those things in mind, however, our hats are off.

Hire.com is publicly demonstrating an approach to Recruiting that fits the needs of a 21st Century Market. For our money, they are in the catbird's seat and defining the ground rules. Anyone who wants a long term future in the industry ought to track their movements extremely closely. They are defining the game.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

21st Century Recruitment Agency

(February 05, 2001) Advertising is a tough word. For some reason, it conjures up an extraordinary array of emotional baggage in our industry. Really, one look at the incredibly low quality of the ads we produce would make an outside observer take pause. "Maybe," we think she'd say. "they don't like to talk about advertising because they are not very good at it."

In an earlier time, classified advertising was referred to as the "tombstone" business. This was a reference to the fact that newspaper employment ads look more like the writing on a tombstone than anything else. To this day, the advertising industry looks down its nose at Recruitment Ad Agencies. Although there are marvelous exceptions, our industry does not attract the best and brightest advertising talent. The perspective, we believe, is that there is little in the way of room for creativity or innovation in our dreary little universe. The funny thing is that as insiders, we all can see the room for fun, improvement, quality work and profit.

There is a real problem caused by not wanting to think about advertising in a disciplined way. On "the other side", advertising is undergoing a profound shift. Increasingly, companies are understanding that "customers are people". In order to build a long term relationship with those people, they are inventing incredible new technologies and concepts. Over on this side of the advertising business, we seem to want to reinvent those tools rather than absorbing them as fast as the other guys will pay to develop them.

We profoundly believe that the future holds an incredible place for an advertising agency that operates differently. (If you can think of a better word than advertising to describe what we're talking about, send us a note.) By combining employment branding, recruitment training, assessment, communications technology and the willingness to help customers constantly improve their results, we believe that really powerful businesses will be built in the industry.

One of the chapters of the 2001 Electronic Recruiting Index describes, in detail, the component pieces and business models of such an organization. As we've been saying, we're extremely proud of our new baby and urge you to download a copy of the Executive Summary and order your copy of the 2001 ERI today.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Click Here!
© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

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

interbiznet this week
(through Feb. 04, 2001)


  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper

  • interbiznet Bookclub

  • interbiznet Listings

  • interbiznet Trends

         - Bugler
           Daily Industry News

         - ERNIE
           ERN in Email

         ANNUAL REPORTS:      

  • Electronic Recruiting
         Index (ERI)

         - 2002 ERI
         - 2001 ERI
         - 2000 ERI
         - 1999 ERI
         - 1997 ERI
         - 1996 ERI
         - Report Pricing


  • Integrated Employment
          Branding Presentation
  • 2003 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

    Last Week's ERN

    February 04, 2001
  • In-Depth Database
  • 2001 Executive Summary
  • Perspective
  • JobHead II
  • Jobhead

    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