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It is better
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John Sumser

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Attrition Bomb
(January 03, 2003) - 
We've always enjoyed the prediction time of year. Chastened after a number of hopeful New Years, we're going to stick to a couple of things we're certain about this year. Mostly, things are going to get more complicated and detail oriented.
  • This will be the year Hire.com comes of age. After all of our cheerleading, others are taking real notice of the firm's deep and differentiating accomplishments. The Hire.com offering is a real alternative that gives recruiters a range of capabilities available nowhere else.
  • Our customers will experience a problem that no one is planning to meet (as usual). Years of fear and layoffs have created a ticking 'attrition bomb' that will go off as the economy inches its way into recovery.
  • The industry, as a whole, will experience stronger than anticipated growth driven by the attrition bomb. There will be surprise winners and losers as a result.
  • The very same customers who complained about getting 'too many resumes' last year will be scrambling to get more this year.
  • Employment Branding will evolve into a discipline that has a less scary name. The attrition problem will make systems that communicate with current, potential and former employees all the more attractive.
  • John Sumser will finally launch the business everyone's been wondering about for the last ten years.
  • Arbiters of the mid-ground will emerge to manage the performance of the job boards. Measured performance effectiveness and customer by customer accountability will be the path to increased revenue for  the boards.
  • The staffing industry will perk up. Now that the only ones left are the pros with staying power, a broad range of new initiatives will emerge locking customers into arrangements with new sources.
  • The massive turnover in the HR industry (some say 70%) will create opportunities as the surprising workload from the 'attrition bomb' creates new HR positions faster than they can be filled externally. We'll see an infusion of former marketing types.
  • As we begin to digest the real attrition in HR, someone will start to wonder just exactly who is really on all of those huge spam mailing lists.
  • Once and for all, there will be a mass recognition of the fact that HR is about communications and that the industry provides communications tools, not Tracking Systems. Tracking Systems companies will be scrambling to change their collateral materials.
  • HotJobs will discover that customers really do want the candidates that make up Yahoo's base of users. It turns out that this is the same crowd that will be in short supply. A campaign to enroll Yahoo users, built on a 'aren't you tired of your job' campaign, will boost the Yahoo product into a close second place.
  • The newspapers will start to realize that there never really was a need for a centralized national operation. As local customers become sophisticated enough to want local results, the stream of discounted traffic they are giving to CareerBuilder will become its Achilles heel.
  •  Economic stimulation from the Bushes will have slower than expected results. If there's a war, assume that we're still in 2002 until it's over

The surprising news about 2002 is that it was a tremendous year for business formation in our industry. It's a great time to get started and the early phases of the attrition bomb will be about people who just decide it's the right time to get started.

- John Sumser

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