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The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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    (May 08, 2002) This has got to be the most interesting moment in the evolution of the online job board/recruiting business. Even as the advertising industry, newspaper trade press are trumpeting Monster's mauling of the newspaper's franchise (registration required), TMPW's stock price hit a new 52 week low. Meanwhile, newspaper industry insiders are quoted as saying that the Internet is responsible for "only 20%" of the problem in their worst recession ever. Our favorite external analysis describes HotJobs and CareerBuilder as "second tier and underfunded". Meanwhile, CareerSite, the jobboard wannabe came from out of nowhere to sign a deal with the McLatchy newspaper chain. The headhunting firms, unable to gain real traction as "HR Consultants" are floating trial balloons about becoming talent agents. Monster has launched so many new initiatives that one is left to wonder who is going to pay.

    The chaos will continue for a while.

    As we speak, we are entering the next stage of the game. While larger national job boards were an interesting phenomenon, a sort of automation of the local unemployment office, the next steps are not amenable to broadcast media style operations. Whether or not a given service is the biggest has no meaningful relevance for this or that assignment. In fact, one is tempted to argue that big means mediocre.

    Recruiting, as we've been saying, is all about relationships with the right people. We're certain that none of the big players are advertising the promise that they will deliver that sort of quality. Somehow, the response volume associated with large media companies got dragged into the Internet era. It's about to die.

    For the next several months, you can expect that the National scene will continue to be crazy. Monster will have to adjust to the financial realities. CareerBuilder will have to search for another traumatic internal plot. Yahoo will have to figure out how to put additional investment into what it thought was a cash cow. 

    Meanwhile, RecruitUSA is in the process of launching the first real full measurement system that allows recruiters to understand exactly what happens with their job postings. This opens the potential for meaningful use of the thousands of nichey operations that are more likely to provide quality. The center of the playing field, once obscured by the noise from the big National companies, will come into focus again. When you decide to advertise online, it's all about control and quality, not bigness.

    Soon, we think, the companies that provide meaningful relationship management for recruiters will start to dominate.

    -John Sumser

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    Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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