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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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(April 17, 2003) -
- As you might imagine, we have been looking at a ton of employment websites as a part of the Candidate Voice endeavor. The deeper we look, the less easy it is to generalize. Often great features are paired with ill-mannered interfaces. Just as often, the recruiting context is complex and driven by current events.

One surprise. Wireless notification of job availability is here. As many as 5% or 6% of the sites we've reviewed recently have wireless notification. It's a head scratcher, in some ways. The folks on the receiving end of the wireless message must have better cell phones than we do. But, the wireless revolution is spreading quickly and, it's clear that a great deal of innovation will happen on that end of things.

We've noticed another difficult to manage dynamic.

Somewhere between 5% and 20% of the traffic that goes to a corporate website comes from a search engine query. The level depends on the strength of the overall company brand and the desirability of working there. For savvy web users, it's far easier to go to Google and type in "CompanyX Jobs" than it is to find the teensy weensy button on the company home page.

It's a good news, bad news thing.

Generally, the same query that produces a link to the company's job page produces links to news stories about jobs. So, the first ten search results on the Google Page might look like:

  1. Layoff
  2. Jobs Page
  3. Layoff
  4. Lawsuit
  5. Layoff
  6. CEO Pay Issue
  7. Layoff
  8. Lawsuit
  9. EEO Settlement
  10. Jobs Page

In other words, a large percentage of users arrive at the Jobs page with fairly negative impressions from the search engine. We have yet to see a decent page that really addressed the current state of events at the company. You might imagine a pitch like:

"Things have been quite tough here at Enron over the past year. It's created a remarkable opportunity to participate in the Renaissance of the company." or,

"We are still hiring here at American Airlines. We can't guarantee that compensation is stable. But, joining now creates the possibility that you will be on the ground floor of the revamped industry."

This level of transparency is currently being learned throughout the enterprise. It's a mistake to not figure out how to get there. The visitors already know before they reach your site.

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
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
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