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It is better
to not be on
the web than
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not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Enlarge The Pie

(August 05, 2003) -  Our industry rides the waves of the economy as a lagging indicator. Sometime after the economy starts to gain post-downturn traction, unemployment rates peak and things begin to pick up. The sense that everyone is competing for a slice of a fixed pie is rooted in this phenomenon. The size of the industry expands and contracts in a cycle that is dependent on larger economic issues.

As there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, it's a good time to think about whether or not we're going to try to level out the cyclical nature of the business one of these days. As long as the sole driver of industry performance is the demand for workers, it will be Groundhog Day the next time the economy tanks. A cyclical business with a finite size will never really attract the scale of investment required to enlarge the category.

This is Steve Pogorzelski's mantra. Every time we talk with the President of Monster, he spends nearly half the conversation talking about the need to "expand the category". A battle for Market share in a little sandbox can be fun, he thinks, but why not work the whole playground?

We agree with him. Rather than the current $6 to $10 Billion annual market revenues, there are only a couple of reasons that our universe doesn't expand to something ten time the size. Mindset is the biggest problem.

For the most part, our industry dishes up the so-called "Active Candidate", someone who is currently looking for work and has an available resume. The misnamed "Passive Candidate" is gainfully employed and not currently looking. The larger pie becomes available when we begin to serve up workers in general.

The difference between active and passive candidates is important to Recruiters and their suppliers. It means nothing to the candidates themselves. It does nothing to describe the relative value of a candidate to an organization. In other words, the very nomenclature of the industry is misleading and misfocused. All that "active" really means is "takes less work to find" or "low hanging fruit". All that "passive" means is the opposite. Both terms are focused on Recruiting effort rather than real value.

Even these two basic terms are whiny and self-centered. They do not even vaguely address the central question in Recruiting, getting the best talent for the job. They simply indicate a price point.

Beginning to expand the category means wrestling with the value of our industry to the rest of the organization.

John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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