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Tool Decay
(May 22, 2001)With any tool, the quantity of results declines to a normal level as the number of users increases. Proven true from crossbows to shovels, the tendency of a tool to give early adopters a tremendous advantage while merely leveling the playing field for the bulk of all users is a predictable part of. Not surprisingly, this has proven to be the case with the early generation of Electronic Recruiting tools. As the number of recruiters using a specific tool increases, the quality and quantity of results declines to a stable level.

In the early days of job boards (five years ago), it was unsurprising to hear that a Recruiter had been overwhelmed by the number of qualified applicants for a specific job posting. The ratio of the number of job hunters to the number of job listers was skewed incredibly. In those days, marketing and sales professionals form the job board industry often described their challenge as "educating the customer". Stories describing those early results have taken on urban legend proportions and still are a part of the sales kits of many.

In today's market, results more closely approximate the realities of the labor shortage. The RecruitUSA team suggests that no poster of a single job should have any reason to expect any results whatsoever. They propose that their combination of intense media targeting and broad network distribution is the most reasonable response to current market conditions.

Talent Markets represent highly effective investments for users who adopt the strategy today for exactly the same reasons.

Over the coming year, the early adopter advantage will accrue to users of alumni networks, community recruiting, referral networks, Employment branding and some of the other trends mentioned in this paper. Then, as predicted, the results will fall off to a more normal level.

This broad understanding of the life cycle of new tools will turbo charge the adoption of techniques in coming years. When the return on investment is so significantly higher for early adopters, there is a solid stream of rationalization available for early buying decisions.

For a Recruiting function to maintain its competitive advantage, it will have to have a portion of its resources devoted to the discovery of new tools. Staying abreast of the marketplace, the underlying trends and new entrants is critical to honing a meaningful market edge.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


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