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2001 Key Events part 1
(December 04, 2001) December
is the time for recaps, forecasts and summaries. Over the next weeks, you'll be
seeing lots of them. We looked back over the last year to try to understand the
pivotal events shaping our industry's future. Depending on your perspective
(Vendor, Recruiter, HR Executive, Investor), the relative meaning of events is
somewhat different. For that reason, we present the following list as an
unranked look at some of the key events that shaped our industry during 2001.
It's part One of a two part offering (seconds, tomorrow), this is the summary
level material from the 2002
Electronic Recruiting Index. In the ERI,
a total of fifty key Events (acquisitions, product offerings, management changes
and trends) will be identified to illuminate the marketplace trends driving our
business forward. Today's list covers six, tomorrow's will describe eight more.
incredible acquisition plays during the year. For the first time ever,
the Federal Trade Commission took an interest in our industry. TMP's
consistently aggressive acquisition strategy, rooted in a stock value that
is still nearly 40 times revenues, included a soon to close purchase of
HotJobs. On one level, the company has effectively consolidated all of the
old market (Search Firms, Job Boards and Ad Agencies). On another, it has
simply cleared the decks for the logical new entrants. TMP's continued
success will be increasingly dependent on word of mouth quality stories and
the development of additional revenue streams.
focus shift to financial fundamentals and ability to execute. Following
the untimely death of ISearch, which left hundreds of customers without an
Applicant Tracking System, vendors began including financial data in their
sales pitch. Clearly, the largest single beneficiary of the renewed emphasis
on business fundamentals was BrassRingSystems because of their deep pockets
parentage (The Washington Post). The next couple of years will include
increasing focus on management quality and fiscal wherewithal. In market
development terms, this trend is evidence of a "chasm-crossing" in
the web based ATS market. The next step will include an emphasis on measured
quality that will again rearrange the market.
aggressive move by Peoplesoft into the market. The Recruiting end of
Peoplesoft's business was traditionally executed by Restrac (Webhire) or
Resumix in arrangements brokered by large consulting firms. Realizing the
incredible revenue to be acquired through Recruiting oriented transactions,
the Peoplesoft Team unveiled their Recruiter's desktop in July. Simply
rearranging the existing relationships so that Webhire clients are converted
to full Peoplesoft accounts makes the move the "come from nowhere into
prominence" success story of the year. Peoplesoft is positioned to
become a major industry influence without marketing beyond their installed
release of the Personal Salary Report. Imagine a world in which salary
negotiations include employees who are armed with real market data presented
in a clear and intelligible form. Likely to be the most influential new
product of 2002, Salary.com's $30 offering will permanently rearrange the
dynamics between employer and employee. Ultimately, this product will be
seen as a critical step in bring real-world market forces into the workforce
(which has been traditionally shielded from real market pressures.) As the
labor shortage expands during 2002 and 2003, we imagine that the
compensation analysis market will explode in order to meet the requirement
for desktop access for hiring managers. This, in turn, will open the gateway
for other products that meet hiring manager's needs. Salary.com's Personal
Salary report is the first real evidence that the decentralization of HR
functions is a reality.
dramatic expansion of regional job board offerings. The
"recession" has diverted attention from a number of
counter-indicators. The unemployment rate is already beginning its decline.
Total layoffs amounted to only 0.3% of the workforce. And, very importantly,
regional job boards exploded on the scene this year. The number of micro job
boards expanded from 3,500 to nearly 10,000 with no sign of slowing growth
introduction of HodesIQ. After years of growing by simply picking up
disaffected customers from the TMP acquisition spree, Hodes set about
catching up with the market defining RecruitUSA. Led by Jeremy Shapiro, who
is one of the smartest folks in our industry, HodesIQ is an elegant product
that makes great strides in the automation of online recruiting. Finally, an
ad agency is playing as if the web were a reality. HodesIQ sets the standard
for simplicity and effectiveness in online media planning, execution and
- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved. ******************************************************************************************
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