2001 Key Events part 2
(December 28, 2001) As
promised, here are an additional eight key events from 2001. This is part
two of a two part offering (see yesterday) 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
move to dominance in the JAD industry. By focusing on solid contractual
alliance infrastructure development, RecruitUSA positioned itself as the
gateway of choice for targeted online advertising distribution. While the
other competitors focused on data exchanges at the expense of contractual
relationships, RecruitUSA invested significant resources in enterprise level
integration, contractual certainty and performance guarantees that are not
subject to market ups and downs. The rest of the JAD industry contracted
while RecruitUSA kept its head above water because of the attention to
business development instead of technology.
introduction of a pure web services product. Get out a pencil and write
down the phrase "Gen4 Computing". Positioning themselves for major
wins in the early adopter set during 2002, Personic reinvented itself as the
definition of technical excellence in the industry. Focusing on Microsoft's
"dot net" initiative, their latest release turns industry
standards on their head and proclaims the start of the "Web
Services" business. Microsoft calls them "one of the first"
software companies (of any type) to fully embrace the new world. Web
services facilitate data transfers among disparate databases leading to easy
to customize offerings that meet the real needs of users (over 15% of the
market uses in-house solutions because our industry offers such static
products). Personic will be the first to really reach the hiring manager's
desktop and leads the pack in decentralizing HR.
destruction of the national job fair market. Sometimes, a business isn't
what it seems on the surface. As the newspapers (through BrassRing)
consolidated the National Job Fair business, they meticulously severed the
ancillary businesses associated with the companies they purchased. Print
publications disappeared, websites were spun off and job fairs were
streamlined as an events business. Unfortunately, no one asked the customers
or the sales people about these decisions. It turns out that customers
bought a "bundle" of services from Job Fair companies. Sales began
eroding last year as the result of the new policies. The recession simply
nailed the coffin closed. Expect vibrant new entrants from a combination of
old players and new upstarts during 2002.
Emergence as a public company. The small Canadian firm (with offices in
Oakland) backdoored its way into public financing during the summer. Proving
that profitable growth can be a reality, CareerExchange represents a new,
stealthier player that is able to combine multiple revenue streams into
virtual recession proofing without dreams of market dominance. We think it
is an extraordinary example of the possibilities available to the many
thousands of small operations.
of the Industry Trade Show. Although we never imagined the incredible drop-off
caused by the events of 9/11, we knew the trade show business was headed for
rocky shores last year. Perhaps better understood as the "boondoggle
business", this year's trade shows suffered from simultaneous expansion
in their number and a decline in attendance. Vendor grousing about results
reached a peak at SHRM where an army of speakers with no relation to the
industry kept attendees away from the booths of the people who actually pay
for the show. Given the examples set by Hire.com and Recruitsoft (attention
to customers first with very minimal public marketing), budgets will come
under incredible scrutiny this year. Expect a thinned down set of offerings
with a good deal more prominence for the vendors and a clearer understanding
of what customers actually want.
acceptance of the CRM metaphor. Recruiting involves relationships with
people who are more like customers than not. This simple notion is the
foundation for a broad range of offerings that claim to allow recruiters to
capitalize on the development of relationships with potential employees.
Unfortunately, no one has bellied up to the development of the analytical
tools needed to really mine those relationships. CRM is a complex tool set
with analytical engines that iterate a variety of data mining scenarios in
search of trends in the data. With the exclusive exceptions of Hire.com and
Monster, no one is really paying attention to the real power of the metaphor.
Most talent relationship management schemes are no more than integrations
with Microsoft Outlook so that correspondence may be better managed. The
real meat on this trend is, unfortunately, lost on the crowd that sells
prominence as the year's fair haired new entrant. Due in large part to
the phenomenal effectiveness of iLogos (Recruitsoft's marketing department)
and the incredible value provided by Recruitsoft's website, the company
moved from the backwaters of Canada to prominence in our industry.
Converting their status as the "charming new entrant" to enduring
market presence will be the company's challenge in 2002. Recruitsoft's broad
market success in 2001 was a symptom of the market's shift from the old
Restrac-Resumix market to a new one that features a triad of Recruitsoft,
BrassRing and Hire.com.
Industry purchase of CareerBuilder which, in turn, is purchasing
HeadHunter.net. After many failed attempts to build a viable defense of
their classified advertising business (which used to be worth nearly
$8Billion/year), the newspapers bought CareerBuilder. Claiming the emergence
of a two brand industry (what malarkey!), the company moved to buy
Headhunter.net, alienating customers and vendors in the process. Meanwhile,
classified advertising revenues continued to erode prompting our expectation
that the Newspapers will continue to invest heavily in the industry.