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It is better
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John Sumser

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(July 17, 2001) Steve O'Donoghue, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Recruitmax is a frustrated fellow. Recruitmax, a small, bootstrapped Applicant Tracking Systems company, needs greater press visibility. On reading our recent comparison of Monster and Hire.com, he'd apparently had enough. He fired off seven copies of the same piece of email insulting us and our integrity followed by a request for coverage of Recruitmax's "amazing story".

It's a bad approach.

After talking with his boss for awhile, it's clear that the team at Recruitmax is the kind of thing we're watching for. Proud of their product, willing to bet on their performance and well developed after five years of hard, unfunded work, the company is poised for success. They've just outgrown their marketing infrastructure.

Mr. O'Donohue's gripe, along with a couple of others in the mail, was that we didn't disclose the fact that we sit on the advisory board at Hire.com. He asserted that this was a conflict of interest that boiled down to subsidizing an article.

As a matter of principle, we refuse to buy into the notion that we could possibly be bias-free. We went to school in an era when post-Newtonian physics was taught. We learned then, at a very early age, that there is no such thing as an objective observer. We're a consulting company with a partisan attitude. But, we do not sell our opinion, just our time. Winning our respect is not a short term arrangement.

interbiznet has many complex relationships around the industry. We've built a network that is extremely useful in business development for our clients. We offer deep, results oriented consulting that ranges from management advice to market tactics. We focus on developing strategies that work.

We don't take clients we don't believe in. And, we fire the ones who fail to meet our expectations. We don't allow economics to drive our view. We do take sides for things we believe improve the industry.

It's a tricky line to draw that requires constant reexamination.

You can buy favorable press in our industry, but not from us. We change our minds as the marketplace unfolds. Our recent coverage of Monster has had a fairly positive tone. This is a change from years past. We really are amazed by the degree to which they are out-thinking everyone else. Their advertising purchase did not convert us into unabashed fans (and our opinion is still consistently mixed).

We're on and off various boards and in and out of various consulting relationships. One way we try to maintain the balance is by emphasizing client independence as the outcome of our consulting. We look harder at our clients and, they get tougher scrutiny than non-clients. It's not for the faint of heart, we work with business people who are deeply committed to achieving their potential.

Expect us to be prickly, opinionated and thought generators.Our job is to be as clear as possible so that you can form your own opinion.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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