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John Sumser

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(July 15. 2004) - We've become a little too fond of saying that it seems like 1994. The economy is a little flatter and a little more hesitant (it's the oil prices and war bills). The next sequence of steps, however, will bear a great deal of familiarity. There is more than enough technical innovation available to move the market forward. Investment patterns will be different but the adoption curve is a competitive constant.

The jaded and elderly members of the audience will remember "Cruel World" or it's lineal predecessor, "CareerCentral"..In the rock and roll heyday, the company and its various manifestations bet a large chunk of investor capital on the idea that Executive Search could be commoditized and packaged for 10% of the going rate. In other words. $3,500 got you a bionic Search firm...guaranteed results and all.

Throughout its life-cycle, the firm was never able to drive its costs under $10K per placement. The results? One failed company, several thousand real cheap placements and a packet of disappointed investors. We still have one of the cool long sleeve heavyweight Tee Shirts.

The problem boiled down to a solid set of facts:

  1. It takes a certain amount of work to fill a job. Usually more than you'd think and always way more than the inhouse estimate of Cost Per Hire.
  2. The value and effort associated with a placement vary with the economic cycle and relative local supply.
  3. Service demand (for search firms) historically shrinks at the peak of an economic cycle. (rather than the more logical idea that it would parallel the cycle).

"CruelWorld" failed because its core assumptions were flawed, not because the idea was bad. Success would have required a more creative value oriented pricing model. (Their approach assumed the old retail joke..."I'm losing five cents a donut but I'll make it up in volume.")

Ranked  206,954 by Alexa, Accolo is a relatively new neighbor of ours. From what we've been able to glean, the Accolo team is trying to recreate the Cruel World experience, minus the learning and well heeled investors. The core idea, as we've mentioned, is solid. The question for Accolo is how long it will take them to reinvent the wheel.

With all of the swaggering self-confidence required of a new-start, the company is using its own services to staff internal positions. We always acknowledge companies smart enough to use their own tools. Here's the job description for their frontline.

Title: Kangaroo Trainer

To apply or refer someone you know, please go to:

Lion tamer, astronaut, stand-up comedian, CEO, librarian, mad scientist… Frankly, we don't care what you've done as long as you have the ability to conduct probing research, write hard-hitting job descriptions, develop insightful interview questions and manage client relationships. Supporting a technology driven and community based process, you'll be delivering a "next generation" service that we are all demanding as hiring managers and job seekers. Your sense of urgency and detail orientation will be greatly appreciated and richly rewarded.

Accolo is a leading innovator in networking-based Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). Our patent-pending method combines humor, enabling, technology, recruiting best-practices, all candidate sources including our own Career Network and the "art form" of recruiting. Accolo will outperform any combination of recruiters, agencies, job posting boards, applicant tracking systems and do-it-yourself methods, and you will be the pilot.

As our Accolo Consultant based in Larkspur, CA (just north of San Francisco), your mission will be to profile 4 new jobs per day, and tweak and finesse an average of 40 to 50 jobs on an ongoing basis to ensure hiring success. Our technology does the heavy lifting to drive the process and communication, and we will depend on you to apply your demonstrated research, writing, and communication skills as needed. Working directly with hiring companies, you will be the voice and wisdom of our solution and responsible for day-to-day client management. Best of all, you will have the rare opportunity to combine all those things people used to tease you about: Creativity, strange desire to complete projects, writing skills and sense of humor.

We have the technology, the business structure and method. All that we need now is you!

Accolo, a community helping each other find jobs and people for jobs, has been asked to help fill this job.

Related keywords: investigative business writer, customer service, recruiting, research, technical writer, creating writer, research librarian, researcher, recruiter, recruiting assistant, senior administrator, technical writing, Executive Admin, Sourcer, creative writing, marketing writer, customer service, administrative support 

John Sumser

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