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Davis has made an interesting and long lasting impact on the Recruiting world. When I talked with him yesterday, he told me that his goal for Recruiting.com had been to "make it entertaining." I don't think that anyone before him had ever even considered the possibility that our industry could be entertaining. We mostly hoped that no one would decide to make the "Office Space" of Recruiting. I'm afraid we (the industry, that is) wouldn't fare well under that sort of scrutiny. For all of the real strategic value that emerges from our collective work, there's a smarmy exterior that doesn't pass the video test.
Jason Davis is a fine human being. I was telling an old friend that he is "like the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow." He's charming, funny, a natural networker and somehow, he just makes lots of money. He's kind and generous and has said an awful lot of nice things about me over the past couple of years. I'll miss his contributions.
There's another Jason in this puzzle.
I've known Jason Goldberg for about two years, now. I've grown fond of him and am constantly surprised by his energy and passion. He's a quick study. He and his company are doing a huge number of things that no one else in the industry is willing or able to do. Jobster, under Goldberg's guidance, is redefining the online job hunting process for a new generation of workers who will not be working the way their parents did. Not content to simply scrape, collect and sort the job postings of others, Jobster is introducing and experimenting with technologies that are capable of making a real difference.
Figuring out how to straddle the needs of a commercial enterprise with practical R&D is something that I understand. In a prior lifetime, I ran software development and Research & Development operations for 15 years in the Electronics Industry. Peering over the horizon's edge while managing customer adoption is no simple chore. It's an appropriate and useful place for large investments of venture capital. The money frees the enterprise to take business risks that would be unbearable in a conventionally financed operation. With increased ability to take risks comes the increased certainty of mistake making. That's how R&D works.
There are a number of famous stories about Thomas Edison and R&D. In the history of the evolution of the light bulb, he's been said to have tried and created thousands of potential materials for the light bulb filament. Each was a failure until he stumbled on the carbon version. In the meantime, investors grew weary and the public made fun. That's how R&D goes.
It's been a challenge getting used to having Jason in the industry. For over a decade, I held sole ownership of the "over the top in the Recruiting Industry" annual award. Once Jason opened up the competition, it was as if the flood gates had been raised. These days, Goldberg is mild when compared to the antics of his critics.
So where does that leave me?
Jason Goldberg has been generous enough to continue his investment in Recruiting.com. It's not likely to ever be a central component of the company's product line. Rather, it's Jobster's endowment to the Recruiting community. Goldberg is being vastly more generous with his resources than any of his competitors. He believes in the industry and demonstrates by operating Recruiting.com at arm's length while financing a part time Executive Editor.
While Jason Davis retains the helm, I'm going to be learning the infrastructure and listening. Because the form of the site won't change when Jason leaves, things will look much the same on the surface. I'll be listening even harder.
I'm going to gather an advisory board and will keep you posted as I add people to the mix. I'm going to ask each member of that group to watch the website and offer detailed suggestions about direction and improvement. I'm going to ask each of them to contribute an original article about Recruiting (that doesn't promote their business) each month.
Then, I'm going to listen some more.
I won't be quitting my day job. I've been writing for interbiznet since I founded it in 1994. I'll continue to write a column each day as usual.
For the most part, I have more questions than answers right now. I am excited about the opportunity and am grateful to both Jasons for the opportunity. I think it's going to be fun and hope you'll enjoy it, too.
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