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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


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

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The Market Monster

(July 21, 2003) - You could guess that a child growing up in our family would be more than a little immune to news in the Job Board Market. That's why a little alarm bell went off when the oldest daughter called to point out an article in the San Francisco paper. "Have you heard about Monster's new diversity initiatives?"

In her view, company sponsored diversity initiatives are the kind of thing that makes an organization worth considering. We've always been a bit more cynical. Maximizing the kinds and types of people in a workforce is clearly a part of the adjustment required to solve the looming demographic problem. But, we've seen far more lip service than reality.

So, we tried to explain. "Many people spend a fair amount of money on software called Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS," we told her. "These tools often lie dormant until there is an audit by the EEOC (or the threat of an audit). Most people actually buy an ATS as a defensive move. The goal is to reduce liability in the event of an employment discrimination case."

"Dad, that's really weird. I thought interbiznet was involved in Recruiting and ways to increase talent quality in companies. Now you are telling me that many big companies only care about that if they are going to be sued?"

"Well, sweetie, it's not really that harsh. But, the legal requirements do drive much of the thinking and behavior in the industry. It's really hard for most people to understand that the talent shortage will change everything in the next three or four years. Mostly, keeping their company from being sued is considered a job well done?"

She got us thinking.

Monster has devoted a good deal of critical resources to the diversity initiative. That is, we think, so that they can meet the requirements of their various (and large) federal contracts. The government requires that all job advertisements be made universally available. The government has very stringent EEO requirements in the sourcing part of the process.

The diversity initiatives must be coupled with some very explicit traffic development techniques in order to meet the government's objectives. We're guessing that there is a certification and measurement process in Monster's contract that assesses their compliance with various federal regulations. It's not hard to imagine that Monster could be certified by the government as a "discrimination-free" source of candidates for jobs. More positively spun, Monster may well be in the position to be certified as a provider of "diverse candidate flows". Or something like that.

Leveraging that certification is the most interesting market opportunity we've considered in some years.

Unlike many commercial arrangements, the government works hard to be rational. A certified source of anything creates a baseline for the next step in the process. Certified entities often have the power to certify others. Customers of certified entities can move liability back to the provider for the things that are certified.

We can easily imagine a near term Monster ad that says, in essence, "If you buy our new product and follow our process guidelines, you need never worry about an EEOC audit again."

Now that we've imagined it, someone will do it if Monster isn't already way down the road on this one.

Who needs an ATS anyway?

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.