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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


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

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Fast Food
(March 18, 2003) -
-  We speak of  "the candidate" as if it were a one-size-fits-all frame of reference. Even McDonald's recognizes that in the 150,000 or so customers it takes to make a franchise work, some eat fish, some eat salads, and that there are many variations for hamburger. While we think that fast food is a fairly low bar to jump, even those high-volume operations make some distinctions. We treat candidates as if the only difference between them was an abstract set of 'qualifications.' 

They all get the same hamburger.

Although it is not obvious today, the web's greatest strength is its ability to be tailored for particular demographics and audiences. After all, the same job is not the same job if the two candidates are a twenty-something single and a mid-thirties mother of two. Each will have different puts and take in the application process and on the job. The web can be tailored to meet the needs of each of the relatively predictable sets of demographic cases that it encounters.

That would at least expand the menu to Big Macs, Bacon and Cheese, Fish Sandwiches, and Chicken Tenders.

Niche websites (like TaxTalent ) and companies that hire exclusively in one specialty have some advantage here. They need only attend to the demographic differences in a group that has essentially come to a very specific kind of restaurant. But those demographic differences will be very important. The under-30 set expects a certain range of technical sophistication and design, while the 50-year-olds might be forgiven a bit if they haven't pulled down all of the menu items on their browsers. Benefits packages, living conditions, working conditions, training are all tailor-able based on demographic factors. In fact, what makes the job itself interesting probably varies with the demographics.

The rest of us, who feed a broad range of diners at our employment sites, have to be concerned with broader issues (that's why it makes a great deal of sense to work with niche sites to improve their offerings - and they usually need it). 

A job is not a job. 

If you treat it like a piece of fast food, you'll get predictable results ... bad fits, rapid attrition, missed expectations, and no chance of filling it with a real high performer. While we know that most applicant tracking systems encourage you to spit out job descriptions as if they were hamburgers, remember that even McDonald's will let you have one with only catsup. 

For bigger fish, the baseline job description needs to feel like hand made food. To really get it right, several different job ads must be written to spin the offering to the right demographics. These days, the understanding of the work we do is so far ahead of the systems that serve us that it's almost intolerable.



John Sumser

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

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         Materials written
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