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

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Blogless, Finally

(October 07, 2003) - After 10 days of bloggishness, it's time to return to more mundane interests. It looks, from here, like the 'jobless recovery' has still got legs in it. Companies trying to build their businesses based on labor demand are in for another rough year or so. The widely watched National employment statistics will continue to offer baffling information as the economy stutters along.

While we're treading water, we'll see a number of initiatives like the recent HotJobs international network. Playing the 'continue to invest in infrastructure' game, the Yahoo subsidiary recently rolled out a complex agreement with Stepstone and TotalJobs. The moves create an international syndication network for jobs driven by the Yahoo engine. While this may make Yahoo slightly more attractive to big business concerns, we wonder if the small business clients who are the vast majority of HotJob's roster will ever know or care.

Nonetheless, a broader net will catch more money if it ever rains.

There's a larger question here and it is smart that the Yahoo team understands it. Network distribution of job information can allow, in the cases that require it, jobs to be percolated through a system until they reach the right job hunter. Every significant job board player (except Monster) has a network of affiliated sites that help a customer reach the right audience (Monster owns all of its network properties). The upsell can generate marginal cash for everyone involved.... That is, if there's some reasonable level of demand.

In the tug and tussle for recruitment advertising dollars, one thing is clear. More and more of it will be spent on electronic media and less and less will be invested in print. Savvy owners of job advertising franchises will work, as HotJobs has done, to strengthen observably weak elements of the distribution equation. It's a great way of increasing revenue while decreasing the sales cost per transaction.

Unless you are a customer.

When we think about networks, we think about our Sprint Cellphone.

Driving through San Francisco last week, we lost a critical call. As we lost the conversation in mid sentence, the guy in the car next to us continued talking. He was using Verizon. If we were only making calls from that intersection, a Verizon account would be important. You can not make a Verizon call from our offices, however. So, we rely on Sprint, knowing it is less than perfectly effective.

It is inevitable that the network idea will continue to blossom in our industry. It's a flawed metaphor. As a buyer of Recruitment Advertising, I do not need your network. I need the best way to reach my target audience whether or not it is in your network.

In the long run, media purchasing decisions will be increasingly about the metrics. For today, however, the HotJobs announcement strengthens the core offering and helps the firm retain its competitive position.

John Sumser

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