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Hope For Sale
(October 3, 2001) What do you buy when you purchase a job ad? In most cases, it's nothing more than hope and may be as little as the opportunity for hope. Performance guarantees are essentially non-existent. What you get is a place at the trough and the hope that something you want is in the slop. If you don't manage your utilization effectively, you lose out to the hungrier or bigger piggies.

Monster's disclaimer is no different from most. It is crisper and clearer:
MONSTER.COM MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH RESPECT TO ITS SERVICES OR THE SITE, OR THE FUNCTIONALITY, PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS OF USE THEREOF.
We don't mean to single Monster out on this one. The sad state of the industry is that little or no effort has gone into the development of systems that help customers solve their problems. When you buy a job ad, you are usually buying into the vendor's formula for acquiring resumes and hoping that the one you need will be there. The general experience is of settling for less than you want.

It's surprising how many of our normally customer-centric entrepreneurs leave the question of results to chance. While we are aware of some firms with quality control systems that guarantee a volume of resumes, we know of no one who is tackling the real problem.

Without visibility into future hiring needs, job board companies have no way of predicting future demand and focusing their candidate acquisition efforts accordingly. As long as service and demand are disconnected, real effectiveness in Internet Recruiting will be a fantasy.

There are a number of companies (Hire.com, Icarian, elabor and some of the Applicant Tracking firms) who are in a position to generate and utilize the demand data. We're betting that their next evolutions will include planning and forecasting tools that re-introduce the concept of customer driven demand.

Thanks to Cary Smith for the idea.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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    © TwoColorHat.
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