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What's Valuable?

(October 13, 2005) Currently, jobs are valuable. Still shaken from our adventures in the late 90s, we focus on the delivery of job data, pandering to our audience of job hunters. Relatively large sums are being invested in job aggregation engines (note: Google isn't really looking at those folks, they want a business model with their data) in spite of the complete lack of historical indication of value in that approach.

Parenthetically, when we asked the folks at SimplyHired whether they were going to use their data in ways that brought real, revolutionary data to job hunters, they shrugged and lobbed the "can't boil the ocean" answer over their shoulders. Knowing that the job data aggregates into a negotiation advantage for job hunters, they're going to court the current crowd of paying customers.

That's the problem with most of the Web 2.0 companies in our space. Their courage about the future lasts right up to the point that real money is at stake.

The data "could" be used for powerful purposes but the next steps really require prioritizing candidates over companies. There's really only one player in the market who consistently does that....Monster! Surprisingly (and we rarely bought the pitch), Monster's internal emphasis has been about the importance of the candidate. Always. It's really the easiest way to explain their sustained tolerance of the data glut inflicted on their larger customers.

Soon, candidates will be very valuable again. In some sectors (energy and nursing, in particular), they're already valuable again. In some geographies (India, Japan and Kansas) they're valuable again. As long as this global economy continues to improve, the value of candidates will be on the increase.

A fair number of businesses have been launched by new players in our industry. Joining the fun at a negative point in the cycle, the may well have concluded that customers were serious about their complaints of too many candidates. It's only a couple of months until those same recruiters are asking "Why can't we get more?"

Our market is cyclical over between the trough of the last recession and the trough of the next one. The products that have survived over the past decade are from companies that know how to navigate the pendulum swing. Things are in the process of inverting.

Don't forget to check out the blogs on bert.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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