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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.
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Recruiting Is Advertising IV

(October 08, 2004) We continue with yesterday's article.

The reason that the Do It Yourself (DIY) movement, championed by AIRS and other consultants (including our own Seminar In A Box) has gained such traction is directly related to the abundance of choice. It's well understood that the time consuming methods involved in detailed market research (the basis of the DIY approach) is singularly less effective than the online database alternatives. While the DIY techniques are fantastic introductions to the web, Recruiters are always more effective when they are Recruiting. Monkeying around in the gory details of a university website is extremely expensive when you consider that the research effort comes at the direct expense of real recruiting.

Even though DIY Recruiting is more expensive and less effective, the results do not show as a drain on spendable budgets. They show as reduced effectiveness for the department. Surfing the web allows Recruiters to substitute busy-ness for results. But, given the choice between planning and doing, most people prefer doing. Sifting through the myriad choices produces anxiety. Surfing the web reduces it. The fact that DIY Recruiting is so popular can be directly tied to the level of anxiety produced by the other alternatives.

Most decision makers try to reduce anxiety in their decision making even though it is well understood that the information age requires us to endure more of it. It's an old school adaptation to a new school problem. In the industrial era, gaining an increased sense of control was a sound reason to make a decision. In the information age, amping anxiety up to the highest tolerable level is the right path. It's just very hard to feel good about doing it.

That's why so few vendors have been willing to step up to the plate as a "single belly button". The vendors feel the same anxiety as the working level recruiters. The role of "one stop shop" is terrifying because the marketplace is so dynamic. Even the best of the multiple site posting companies won't take responsibility for producing results.

The market needs a company to emerge that will take responsibility for helping customers decide the most effective way to spend a budget. When we call it a "single belly button", here's what we mean:

A customer should be able to call a single account representative and say, "we're looking for the following types of employees; what should our budget be and how should we spend it? Given that we don't have that much money, how should we spend our available budget and what types of results should we expect?"

The "single belly button" company would guarantee performance to the extent that the budget was adequate.

- John Sumser

Articles in this Series:
  • Recruiting Is Advertising
  • Recruiting Is Advertising II
  • Recruiting Is Advertising III

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