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(AUGUST 24, 1996): If you're just getting started with Electronic Recruiting, be sure to visit with Professor Pete. This is, hands down, the best overall online introduction to building an Internet Presence.
(AUGUST 23, 1996): It's important to know both how many and which inbound links are bringing traffic to your site (or your competitors). You can utilize a powerful tool to find out how people get to your page, or their Point of Origin (POO). This can be done with the AltaVista search engine. To find all links to your site type (in the search text area):
This can be a very useful tool to find out what people think of your site, and who is linking to your site as well as who is not linking to your site. Try this out here:
Electronic Labour Exchange
(AUGUST 22, 1996): A vexing problem in electronic recruiting is the design of databases that can effectively handle the broad range of job titles and positions available in the global economy. The current limitations of database searches continue to make "bigness" as much a liability as it is an asset. Big databases are incredibly hard to find your way through.
One dimension of this question is the Job titles themselves. In the United States, SIC / SOC codes, while close to comprehensive (though usually a bit outdated) drive the question to an impenetrable level of detail.
In Canada, the equivalent of SOC codes are a simple matrix. The Electronic Labor Exchange, an interesting National project that includes remote terminals, uses the Canadian standards to fit over 25,000 job titles into 500 or so meta-categories. As we poked through the relationships between position categories, we were taken by the depth and flexibility of the backend of this project.
We think, on the first pass, that the site merits your attention on a deep technical level. Ingenia, the company responsible for design and implementation, seems to have their arms around the rudiments of a very complex matching process. A tour through their projects is a very useful way to spend time.
'Tis A Gift To Be Simple...
(AUGUST 21, 1996):We'd like you to take a very close look at the Global Translation Alliance. It's, quite obviously, a trial component of a much larger offering that matches translators and clients while scraping off a percentage in the middle.
We are astounded by the elegant simplicity of their information design and imagine that it was quite a complex design process. The site offers to match clients with translators who work in 46 discrete languages at 3 skill levels with each individual translator setting his or her own rates. That means that the database handles a possible total of over 6,000 discrete types of translator.
What is amazing is that the depth of coverage remains hidden from view because the information design is so elegantly simple. Identifying your needs, reviewing credentials and getting a fixed bid is a straightforward transaction that hides the technical sophistication beneath the offering.
Admittedly, many recruiting situations have a more complex skill set than language to language translation. We'd suggest, however, that you take Global Translation Alliance as a benchmark for functional simplicity in interface design.
In this environment, simplicity is achieved at no small expense but results in increased effectiveness for your customers.
We'd also suggest that you take a look at their markup structure. Although we couldn't find it documented on the site, it looks like Global Translation Alliance takes 2% to 3% of the transactions conducted through their facility. They provide brokering at its simplest. As a cost model, it's revolutionary and suited to a hyperadaptive projectized economy.
Speed And The Net
(AUGUST 21, 1996):Late last night, we were delighted by a conversation with Andrew Barbour, a Canadian consultant in Electronic Recruiting who toils by day for Price Waterhouse and writes about our industry by night. The name may ring a bell. Early this year (January?), we fawned over his insightful interview with the now defunct Internet Business Journal. At that time, Mr. Barbour was one of the few crisp minds being applied to the arena.
The phone call was prompted by his belated discovery of the email we sent telling him about the review. None the less, the conversation rambled on through the differences between Canadian and American Recruiting practice, transaction and infrastructure cost differences and so on. Barbour's thinking has evolved significantly.
While we're sure to find areas of disagreement, we're proud to add the original interview to our archives and plan on introducing his voice into this conversation.
While we're often impressed with the speed and efficiency of the net, the 19th Century time frame of this conversation bears your consideration. In the months between initial contact and ultimate response, the market and both organizations had evolved to the point that a range of interesting options, impossible 9 months ago, were intuitively obvious.
Career Magazine Launches Redesign
(AUGUST 20, 1996): It's redesign season. Somehow, August is emerging as web overhaul month. We're betting that it's a pattern that continues as long as web growth is tied to Christmas computer sales (the forseeable future). To get new material in the queue for tie-ins to the new platforms, everyone from Netscape and Microsoft to the players in Online Recruiting change and improve their net presences this time of year.
Career Magazine, the Colorado pioneer was, um, overdue. Their revitalized offering concentrates on adding value for job hunters and brings tips and advice to the forefront. It's quite a transformation. Bravo.
ESpan Introduces Career Companion
(AUGUST 19, 1996): ESpan is on the right track. Their new service, CareerCompanion is a solid start at integrating the various new features required in a baseline competitive recruitment site. The website is a combination of Employment related links and services including database searching for job listings, a bulk resume mailer (like Extreme Resume Drop but without the breadth), and a couple of website search services. Flushing out the details of this startup project will take some persistence (and, they could use a design consultant). But, overall, it's nice to see some expansive thinking about jobhunters as customers.
Duh...With a Capital D
(AUGUST 18, 1996): Winner of this summer's look before you leap award goes to a firm called "Resucom". The service sends email versions of resumes out to search professionals at no charge to the search firm. Nice idea.
Unfortunately, the folks at Resucom assumed that anyone who was a search pro would be delighted to be on the receiving end of their list. So, they collected the names and email addresses of recruiters and started sending them resumes. Dumb Idea.
As a result, they had to send out the email at the end of this article. It just made things worse. What they didn't do was realize that their mistake required them to start over.
Unsolicited email, as a promotional tool, can be used effectively as a traffic builder. You get one, maybe two, opportunities to put your message in the hands of the right people. Signing potential customers up for volumes of unsolicited email is a different story. It will expose you to large quantities of crippling and angry email. (Crippling because you won't be able to use your email account.)
These kinds of mistakes are a natural part of learning to do business online. Unfortunately, some of the mistakes you can make require you to start from scratch and have a long lasting impact on your business.
From: Blake Swensen
(AUGUST 01, 1996): It's here and we're proud. Staffing Industry Resources has published the Recruiter's Internet Survival Guide by our editor, John Sumser.
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