IBN: Defining Excellence in Electronic Recruiting


Electronic Recruiting

Our Rate Card



Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Recruiting News for the Human Resource Professional

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors




Click On Our Sponsors

Click On Our Sponsors







Find out more
About IBN

Got a news tip?
Tell us at

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers

Click On Our Sponsors

Sow's Ear
August 21, 2002) - Any regular reader will know that we are not members of the Brass Ring fan club. The excesses of the firm, internally and externally, have left us in the position of pointing to them as a classic example of how the newspapers are mismanaging their efforts to defend their business. We've often used the firm as an opportunity to exercise our sarcasm muscles.

Plagued by the inability to stabilize their new software release, void of leadership and consumed with internal politics, the firm has managed to take a dozen viable businesses and turn them into a single swamp. Significant attrition problems in critical account and product management roles have left customers to fend for themselves against a failing software development operation that has no embedded recruiting expertise.

We recall with fondness our experiences years ago with the entrepreneurs whose companies were ultimately merged to become this shrinking, directionless enterprise. Each of the teams had a remarkable grasp of the dynamics of their niche and provided powerful value to their customers. We met them in their offices, in our offices and on the road.

One of the central features of newspaper management is the degree to which everything becomes politicized. Although all organizations need a political infrastructure, the older and more successful a firm becomes, the more likely it is to have politics as the dominant consideration in its decision making. We're not even saying that its an inherently bad thing. Political organizations focus on the distribution of the existing pie while entrepreneurial shops focus on making the pie. While the newspapers themselves have the luxury of focusing on politics, their markets must be defended by entities that focus on customers.

Not all newspaper spawned operations are inherently failures. Tony Lee, at CareerJournal, is single handedly demonstrating the national path. Bob Cauthorn, at the SFGate, is handily addressing the real sales question for local employment advertising. The Hearst company is regularly experimenting with interesting approaches. Even CareerBuilder is exploring new turf with its attempts to integrate national and local reach.

BrassRing, on the other hand, has managed to emulate a 'black hole'. Everything it touches gets smaller. It reminds us of the old dot com joke "If you want to make a small fortune on the Internet, start with a large one." First it was a software company, then it was a job board, then it was a service company then it was a software company again. Like many mergers, the whole was far less than the sum of the parts. Political considerations outweighed customer concerns as the company tried to turn advertising businesses into software firms.

Recently, the firm simultaneously announced layoffs, restructuring and a new focus. With fewer than 300 survivors (and still not a shred of recruiting expertise), the company has committed to become a Recruitment outsourcer. Pity the poor customers who are trying to get their current software installations to work. Somehow, dramatic staff reductions and the loss (to competitors) of key account people coupled with the layoff-driven replacement of the key software executive has positioned the firm to march into a new direction.

Although BrassRing is hardly alone in their inability to manage software development and customer satisfaction (Recruitsoft appears to be setting the standards in that arena), the failure to deliver the very thing that the CEO is an expert in leaves little to expect from the firm's reincarnation as an outsourcer. You can imagine the meeting: "Now that we've screwed up those Recruiting businesses, let's do it for other people."

The real irony is that this is the direction that the newspapers should be taking. Pay for performance employment advertising is recruiting. In the long haul, the newspapers will realize this and make it central to their survival. The BrassRing team, however, is the wrong place to start.

 -John Sumser


Outstanding Services for Employers and Professionals in Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare and Science

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers

Contacting Us:
Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to consult with you about your project.

Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Electronic Recruiting News


  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper

  • interbiznet Bookclub

  • interbiznet Listings

  • interbiznet Trends

         - Bugler
           Daily Industry News

         - ERNIE
           ERN in Email

         ANNUAL REPORTS:      

  • Electronic Recruiting
         Index (ERI)
         - 2003 HCI
         - 2002 ERI
         - 2001 ERI
         - 2000 ERI
         - 1999 ERI
         - 1997 ERI
         - 1996 ERI
         - Report Pricing


  • Integrated Employment
          Branding Presentation
  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper
  • interbiznet Listings
  • interbiznet Trends
  • interbiznet Bookclub
  • Top 100 E-Recruiters
  • Presentations
         - Recruiting Then/Now
  • Recruiter's Toolkit
  • Seminar In A Box
  • ERN Archives
  • 1st Steps In The Hunt


  • Our Rate Card
  • Demographics


  • PPC
  • interbiznet Bugler
  • Investment Parameters
  • Good PR
  • 2003 Trends
  • Market Consolidation
  • Voltage
  • New Environment
  • HC Networks III
  • HC Networks II
  • HC Networks I
  • 2002 ERI
  • The Fifth Constituency



    Stocks We Watch:
    Public Companies
    in Electronic Recruiting


         © 2013 interbiznet.
         All Rights Reserved.

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