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    Yahoo II

    (December 14, 2001) The various online recruitment markets and some related components of the HCM industry are poised for significant growth in 2002. At the same time, Yahoo's unanticipated bid for HotJobs shuffled the playing field significantly. You can tell that our industry is still primitive by the simple fact that a single acquisition play can reorient so many assumptions and expectations.

    At the core, the Yahoo move is interesting because

    • It reestablishes industry valuations at five times revenues while threatening TMP's continued ability to field an acquisition engine, thus forcing TMP to immediately reexamine its growth strategy.
    • It focuses attention on HotJobs strengths as an enterprise software developer placing BrassRing, Recruitsoft, Lawson, Peoplesoft and SAP in a position of having to escalate their development schedules.
    • It highlights the power of the Hire.com model which delivers real recruiting functionality as opposed to the enterprise players reiteration of unused, low value Applicant Tracking functionality.
    • It removes the crown jewel from the CareerBuilder play through the elimination of resume database development on Yahoo forcing the newspapers to dig deeper in their "save the Recruitment dollar" tactics.
    • It underscores the strategic importance of RecruitUSA as a gateway (although HodesIQ is nipping hard at their heels, RecruitUSA maintains a contractual lock on the middle of the playing field).
    • It illuminates the value of stand alone revenue sources (like salary.com).
    • It reaffirms the growth vectors in the HCM industry overall and recognizes the value of deep relationships with candidates.
    • It puts SAP on notice that the battle for corporate relationships will be fought department by department suggesting that the time to move their HR business forward was indeed yesterday.
    • It indicates the likelihood of a comprehensive AOL entry in the arena that utilizes the entire integrated set of media properties and distribution.
    • It virtually forces Microsoft to make a large investment in the arena.
    • It underlines the timidity of the newspapers investments in the arena.
    • It forces Peoplesoft to question its commitment to HR vision and consider a deeper investment strategy.

    In general, the move reinvigorates the investment climate by pointing to the real payoffs (which are still several years away). 

    Obviously, we'll be investigating the next couple of levels of implication in the 2002 Electronic Recruiting Index.

    - John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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