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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


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

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5 Years Ago
(August 03, 2004) -  We used to archive articles on a weekly basis. Going back into the archives reminds us just what a long, strange road it's been.

Be Judicious

(July 30, 1999) The use and application of email is changing over time. New users go through predictable phases of experimentation. You've seen it...the endless cc lists for dumb jokes (like this one)...Heavily circulated dire warnings about the end of the Web as we know it....ccing everyone about everything...sending 500 copies of a Resume. All of this is done simply because it can be.

Unfortunately, effective use of email (particularly as a marketing tool) requires finesse, subtlety and attention to little details. Badly executed, bulk email simply creates badwill in the audience you are trying to reach. With the rapid proliferation of filtering tools in Outlook and Eudora, most sophisticated users simply put your company on the trash list.

A reasonable corporate goal (if you simply have to use bulk email) is to always provide so much value that no one would ever think of automatically trashing your correspondence.

Here are a couple of recent additions to our "delete when received" list.

We got nearly 30 copies of a note from something called the Destiny Group. Apparently they are just learning to use an email gathering robot. If they'd just sent one, we'd have probably remarked about how well written the note was as a marketing tool (see below). Instead, we're still picking all of the copies out of our email files. It was liking finding ants at a picnic.

Could you please help me? I am looking for an email address of the person(s) or department that would be interested in coming in contact with individuals leaving the military service without paying headhunting fees while having the government pay for relocation expenses. This is an Internet based service so a director in either information technology, finance, operations or human resources would benefit financially from its use as well. Thank you for your assistance, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
One of the difficulties associated with broadcast email is refining the various lists that you use. It takes time, patience and attention to detail to effectively use broadcast techniques on the web. Otherwise, you risk infuriating potential customers by clogging their information pipelines

Along the same lines, we've just gotten our 120th solicitation from an Online Who's Who Scam:

As a highly respected professional in your field of expertise, we believe your contributions merit very serious consideration for inclusion on The International Executive Guild's Who's Who CD-ROM.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Roller Coaster

(July 29, 1999) It's good news and bad news in dizzying cycles. Jumping into the public market for Internet stocks has worn out more than a few CEOs. You don't see the casualty list on the financial networks, just the next talking head in the queue. It's trial by fire.

Imagine being the CEO of Webhire.

In the rush of press attention and market performance associated with the company's announcements over the past several weeks, market valuations have surged and dipped, core services have been modified and expanded, key partnerships have switched and morphed. Riding the Internet Roller Coaster is an extraordinary management challenge. Once the spotlight dims, the operational question changes to the hard work of integration.

Restrac (to our surprise) is emerging as a real market leader. Their offering, once tied to a closed data system for processing volumes of Resumes is beginning to become a fully featured Internet Solution. It's no small thing that they are tied financially to Yahoo!.

We've been waiting, for years now, to see the emergence of Yahoo!'s Recruiting function. With broad market recognition and a solid supply of job listings and candidates, Yahoo is positioned to really prove out the value of a Recruitment Advertising revenue stream to an online entity. Unlike the rest of the market, Yahoo brings an audience to Recruiters rather than having to purchase them specifically for the purpose. Tied effectively to an innovative pricing structure, Yahoo looks like a vary serious potential player.

For Restrac, there are obvious pluses and minuses. The relationship with Yahoo commits the firm to an infrastructure role. While they are certainly well suited to the kinds of large account management relationships implied by an infrastructure role, the arrangement places an inherent cap (not shared by a player like CareerBuilder) on market penetration. The information infrastructure will likely involve three to ten key players offering a basket of services that are similar in scope to the Restrac offering. Excite (for example) is unlikely to ever adopt the Yahoo standard. Neither is Microsoft, AOL or the other competitors for portal style attention. That said, the security of a lasting relationship with Yahoo is nothing to be dismissed lightly.

It's a heady time to be riding the roller coaster. Desktop decisions result in long term positioning and maneuvering constraints. Momentum comes at the expense of flexibility. The Restrac team is doing an admirable job.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(July 28, 1999) Everyone's Recruiting Online.
See this month's issue of NextSteps (a career magazine for the 16 to 24 year old set). It features a piece on the Funeral Industry that begins..."Who dies? Everyone Dies." We guess you read Next Steps right after you read our very own First Steps.

It's just the beginning.
Replyto.com, another new entrant, is based on the premise that it splits its fees with any candidate hired from its job listings. The ad campaign, which offers a "$50 minimum payment for your resume" delivers the following pitch.

When you find your job through Replyto.com, we send you a check. It is the first and only Web site to pay successful job seekers a hiring bonus, based on their new salary, for posting their resume to the site. Your bonus will be at least $50, but there is no upper limit.
Once they realize that you can't make money at the price point, they'll be paving the way for real resume purchasing.

Stock News
Webhire continues to knock out interesting alliances. This morning's announcement involves a relationship with Yahoo Careers.

Through the new online resume management tool powered by Webhire™ (NASDAQ: HIRE), a leading provider of end-to-end Internet recruiting solutions, Yahoo! Careers users can quickly and easily build, submit, edit, and manage up to three versions of their resume. One of the largest job listing databases on the Web, Yahoo! Careers lets jobs seekers easily submit an appropriate version of their resume to any of more than 500,000 job postings. Yahoo! Careers also provides users with an extensive array of career-related tools and services.
Part of the deal includes a $1.5 Million investment by Yahoo! As you might imagine, the WebHire stock price is blowing through the ceiling (It hit 17 5/8 this morning, a 400% increase over six weeks ago.) WebHire has committed to a large advertising campaign on Yahoo as a art of the deal. It looks to us like the Yahoo team may be finally focusing on our industry.

More Stock News
As the HotJobs offering moves closer to the gate, the environment seems evermore friendly. Given the increasing attention being paid to the industry, the market is liable to be receptive. Along those lines, there's a new service that offers access to IPO documents. Take a look at the way they display the filings from HotJobs and Headhunter.Net

Still More Stock News
CareerBuilder is bedding down with ComputerJobs.com and Ticketmaster (CitySearch)in a move designed to increase the local relevance of their distribution Network. By leaps and bounds, the team at CareerBuilder has established the most comprehensive arrangement of distribution partners in the business.

It's Not A Bug, It's A Feature.
CareerPath, noticing what everyone else has noticed, is celebrating the abundance of potential immigrants who are applying for jobs online. They are now offering regularly scheduled "chats" for potential immigrants featuring advice from an immigration lawyer.

The next chat in the series is scheduled for Monday, August 16 at 6:00 p.m. PST and can be accessed at www.CareerPath.com. Entitled "Cracking the Code: Getting Your Green Card," the chat will focus on how information technology professionals and other immigrants can obtain permanent residence in the U.S. -- a topic of increasing importance, particularly for the high tech industry.

"Most people are aware that there is a shortage of H-1B visas, even the recent rise in the cap," Shusterman notes. "What is less well known is that there also are annual quotas for green cards based on country of origin. Countries like China and India already have reached their quotas and long waiting lines have formed. In a growing number of cases, Chinese and India IT professionals are unable to obtain green cards before their temporary H-1B status expires."

The project represents an interesting turn. We believe that CareerPath is beginning to discover the traction it has long sought. Turning a sow's ear into a silk purse is the way to do it.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice

(July 27, 1999) You walk into the room and the electronics dominate. A PC, a CD Jukebox, a Pager, a Cell Phone, a Wireless land line. She's talking on the land line (flipping between conversations with call waiting), reading the secret codes on the pager, chatting on AOL, sending email, listening to the latest Hip-Hop.

Two friends are in the room as well. Armed with pagers, cels, laptops, and the latest 2.5 mile radius land lines, they are also conducting multiple channel conversations.

Sometimes, the three of them email each other even though they are in the same room.

They expect seamless communications between their friends on all five simultaneous channels (land lines, cel, pager, email, chat). They talk with each other while engaging their social networks through some form of media. They absorb the latest sounds at the same time. They are 16 and a little less agile technically than their younger siblings who add a layer of videogame interaction to the mix. This particular group will be the entry level workforce in 5 years. They are young women. Many of their peers are entering the workforce today.

There will be fewer of them than the number of jobs that need to be filled. They bristle at the idea that a company can't keep its communications technology up to consumer standards. They'd go crazy waiting a month for a new computer or competing for a second phone line. They will expect communications to be orderly and intensively networked.

The capital investment required to employ this emerging workforce is higher than it was for the baby boom. Bureaucratic Information Technology systems will demotivate them.

When we devote our articles to the future of Online Recruiting, it is not the far future we're talking about. The generational changes that drive the labor shortage are also technical and social in nature. The changes coming to the workplace are more significant than you might imagine at first.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(July 26, 1999) We've been spending a fair amount of time with the team at Datamain in Milpitas, CA (right near San Jose). Slowly but surely, they are becoming our largest and most highly regarded sub-contractor. (We use them to add features and services to the website.) The small company may well be our industry's best kept secret. Datamain is not like the other operations you'll encounter in this business.

In the Electronic Recruiting business, the providers are:

  • Public Job Boards
    • Stand Alone
    • Networks
    • Niche Specific
    • Part of a Larger Organization
  • Software/Service Providers (One Size Fits All)
    • Job Boards
    • Advertising Distribution Services
    • Back End Automation (Resume Management)
    • Robot and Spider Providers
    • Vendor Management (for Integrating Agencies, Job Boards and Third Party Firms)
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Network Integrators
Datamain represents the emergence of the next generation category: Customized Design Services. They are not a graphics shop. Rather, armed with a toolkit of modular applications and extraordinary programming talent, Datamain delivers fully customized, customer specific applications that can run the gamut from simple Job Board installation to talent management. With a solid arsenal of working components, Datamain engineers complete Recruiting Solutions.

The core, fully developed modules range from a Profiling and profile management system to skills acquisition/management. We've seen working versions of a "360 degree feedback system" which is used as a part of an outsourcing operation to help candidates determine the next steps in their career using feedback from a number of peers. Modules include on the fly polling, privacy management (for public job boards), server optimization, embedded free email, Resume Creation tools and the best working skills extraction system on the market.

As an example, the skills extraction module takes a resume (submitted electronically) and parses the language in the resume into predetermined skills categories. This allows a Recruiter to easily determine the "fit" of a particular candidate by restating the resume in the terms of the job ad.

In another on the fly demonstration, we were asked to pick three companies at random (we chose Intel and Lucent). Within 45 minutes, we were presented with a fully spidered, easy to read (web ready) full set of each companies job postings. In other words, Datamain has, on the shelf, a working version of the same technology that is driving WebHire and CareerCast to such extraordinary heights.

Doing business with Datamain involves a level of sophistication that is somewhat uncommon in the market. As a next generation provider of customized solutions, they work with customers who can clearly articulate their requirements. Rather than "shrink-wrapped pricing" (like the rest of the market, the Datamain approach involves standard software design techniques. The first step is a (paid) requirements analysis process involving Datamain engineers and the customer team. Their goal is to solve business problems, not to deliver preconfigured, one size fits all solutions.

This means that their customers tend to be aggressive competitors who want more than the industry equivalent of a "rack suit". With a strong, large team and five years of experience in the industry, we're betting that Datamain will emerge as a leader in the next generation. Given their heavy emphasis on profiling techniques and customized design, they are the best choice for a company looking to offer a clear, distinctly different interface for candidates that simultaneously solves the various administrative problems faced by HR and Recruiting Departments.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

 -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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