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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


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Technology Devolves
November 7, 2002) - The first word processors lived on specialized (Wang) machines that were so expensive that only secretaries had them. Remember secretaries? (They were underpaid female executives who actually ran everything.) It took nearly a decade for the effects of Moore's law (computer capacity doubles every eighteen months) to work to the point that word processors were on everyone's desktop and the secretaries were gone. By 1993, Microsoft Word 6 had achieved nearly perfect penetration of the white collar market.

That's how technology works. The stuff at the high end always flows downhill and ends up on the desktop. The relentless influence of Moore's law keeps increasing the desktop computer's power making ever larger things possible. What only big players could do yesterday, little players accomplish easily today.

The slowest part of the equation is the capacity of users to absorb the new work.Each increment of technical improvement expands the power and control of individual employees. As a result, management is often the largest obstacle to technical devolution. The situation is always compounded by the fact that the new work has never been done by the current management team. Therefore, management is always in a battle to retain its understanding of what is actually happening on the work floor.

That's the fundamental framework for thinking about the next steps in the technical development of Online Recruiting. As we mentioned yesterday, the fact that the current state of the industry is a primitive reframing of the old fashioned classified ads simply means that we're ready for the next stage. The big always prepare the way for the small.

This means that job boards, as we've come to know them, are more temporary than the executive search industry that they killed on their way to our wallets. By acquiring data faster than traditional methods, the job boards disintermediated all but the most effective third party firms. (Like secretaries, the change was not total, just strategic.)

It won't be long until Yahoo figures out that the personals are closer to recruiting than a resume exchange. Real recruiting, as Hire.com understands, is about relationships, enthusiasm and commitment, not the flow of data into lists. Turning the Internet, which is a communications toolset, into a powerful recruiting weapon is simply a question of developing control at the desktop level and the corresponding management understanding.

There is a huge and rapidly opening market for next generation of recruiting, training and services. Customers are beginning to understand their real needs (not better data, better tools). Soon, the vendors will be providing them.

-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         Materials written
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         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.