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is more
it seems.
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do a few things
really well than
than to do
a lot of things
If you can't
make the necessary
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scale back
your plan.
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Marketing and Design Daily

(March 07, 1997): We've hired a new reporter for our Marketing Newsletter: 1st Steps: Marketing and Design Daily. Today's article features a banner advertising story from the employment industry.

SOHO Markets

(March 06, 1997): A recent survey claimed that 47 Million people work in Small Office /Home Office (SOHO) businesses. The SOHO explosion, fueled by early 90's downsizing is expected to hit 60 Million participants by the year 2000. Driven by the need for independence, increased family time, self-generated security or the love of 1099s, half of the workforce will be in these small settings. It's a driving force behind the explosion in temporary and contract positions.

Hiring a SOHO employee (or contracting with a SOHO company)is currently a hit or miss proposition. With a few exceptions (Net-Temps, Contract Employment Weekly and DICE), this increasingly vast candidate pool is ill served. Their focus is on the high end of the market. Temporary firms, in an explosive growth mode, still struggle with the problem of harnessing the growing resource.

Often working alone and isolated, the SOHO labor force needs several things:

  • Social Structure (the equivalent of the "water cooler")
  • Centralized services (administration, printing, contracting, and accounting)
  • Market access (bid opportunities and marketing assistance)
  • Continuing education

The International Homeworkers Association (IHA) is nearly the only organization with a clear market focus on the needs of these workers. IHA provides a newsletter, discussion forums, resume banks, and job postings targeted at the market.

A close look at their offerings will show you the basic features required for working the market. A really professional offering in this niche, with adequately managed services and solid capitalization could simultaneously deliver a needed service and create a solid, profitable cashflow. Meanwhile, IHA, in its garish splendor, seems to have the market to itself.

When Bigness Is A Vice

(March 05, 1997): We gave the Microsoft Employment Site an EERI award (Top 100 from the 1997 Electronic Recruiting Index). The smooth (and very fast) employment site is a delight. The Seattle firm also has a Field Office Recruiting Site, elegantly simple in its execution.

But, the Field Office Recruiting Site site has a distinction that we've never encountered in the years we've been watching the industry. There are no (zero, nada, nyet, zippo, absolutely none) inbound links. Not Yahoo, not a home page from folks in the field office, nothing. So, while we admire the technical elegance of the project, we wonder if it's very useful as a recruiting tool.

The more a website resembles the internal structure of a company, the less accessible (and therefore less useful) it is for Recruiting. Microsoft is hardly alone in the core problem: how do you integrate and decentralize large operations to maximize web effectiveness? Without inbound links to your job offerings, who's going to see them? Who is responsible for traffic building?

The web decentralizes marketing responsibilities. It puts them squarely on the shoulders of the person responsible for a given piece of information. It is tempting to shrug the problem away and blame it on the Marketing Department (or, you could blame the webmaster). The truth is that, on the web, marketing becomes an individual responsibility. The top level organizational problem (integration of decentralized marketing efforts) is like herding cats. Depending on the rest of the organization to solve your marketing problems is a symptom of bigness.

Tech Management II

(March 04, 1997): Last week, we mentioned our change from Macintosh to Windows. Yesterday's column was devoted to technical management. Sometimes, business seems to revolve around technology. It's a transition time, like the change from horseback to modern transportation systems. We're all learning new ways of working and managing because of this transition. It's only due in part to the rapid evolution of the Internet as a way of Recruiting.

Any new technology includes a range of tools and experiences. The automobile brought the end of blacksmithing and saddleries. They were replaced with assembly lines. From small shop supervision to factory management, the technology of getting things done changed with the ways of doing them.

As Recruiters, this is important on several levels, both inside our operations and in relationships with hiring managers.

Unlike the automobile revolution (which quickly obliterated many small businesses), this transition makes it possible for small organizations to flourish and grow. But, the price is a kind of vigilant attention to changes in and management of new technology. By the time that things stabilize, the costs of catching up will be extremely high for any business that hasn't been a part of the move. We face this problem right along with our customers.

A shrewd observer of our description of Technical Program Management in yesterday's column (see below) will recognize the essential dynamics of Recruiting in that process. As Recruiters, we're experts at specifying and understanding requirements. We're familiar with the frustrating process of having customers who say "You gave me what I asked for but not what I wanted." The skills of managing the Recruiting process can be directly transferred to managing the technical transition both internally and externally.

The Change

(March 03, 1997): Integrating the Internet into your Recruiting operations cements a change that has been underway for half of this century. Mostly ignored by the pundits, the consequence of the "information economy" is an increased level of technical sophistication in the workplace. As work becomes more technical, some new management skills are required.

We've already pointed out the new importance of marketing skills in the Recruiting and HR professions. Decentralized information, changing demographics and smaller organizations make Marketing an important skill in our profession. In this arena, the web is simply an extension of an ongoing process. Higher levels of technology require improved management skills in other areas as well.

In the Engineering world, Technical Project Management has been refined to a science. The process has several steps:

  • Identify a need
  • Identify the gaps in your understanding of the problem
  • Get help from someone who understands those gaps
  • Describe the requirements in detail (write a specification)
  • Collect feedback (bids and estimates) on your requirements
  • Make decisions about what you can and can't afford
  • Contract the work
  • Discover the things you didn't anticipate
  • Make decisions about what you can and can't afford
  • Create a list of later improvements
  • Monitor the work performance
  • Get the finished product
  • Discover the things you missed
  • Make decisions about what you can and can't afford
  • Create a list of later improvements
  • Start using your new tools (get training)
  • Identify more potential improvements
  • Begin maintaining your tools
  • Identify your needs
  • Go back to the beginning

It sounds like a comedy of errors and is a major source of bewilderment and frustration. But, the process consistently repeats itself across settings. Technical Project Management is the discipline of reducing the cost and confusion of this cycle.

Obviously, we're not going to cover all of the ins and outs of effective Technical Management in a short column. One thing is very clear. The time you spend clearly defining your requirements up front reduces the overall cost of any project.

This is why the correct answer to "How much will an Internet presence cost?" is "It completely depends on what you want."

1997 Electronic Recruiting Index

(February 23, 1997): The 1997 Electronic Recruiting Index is a combination industry analysis, directory and hands-on guide for Navigating the transition into maturity as an Internet Recruiter. It includes:
  • A comprehensive approach for designing and managing your web recruiting
  • Detailed planning for placing online Employment ads
  • A section written for managers of Internet Projects
  • Pricing comparisons of 75 key Recruiting sites
  • A detailed analysis of the Top 100 Websites
  • A Directory of over 5800 Online Recruiters
  • A solid look at the Recruiting Industry in 1996
  • Forecasts and Trends for 1997and beyond
  • The Impact of Demographics on Electronic Recruiting
  • Motivations and Entry costs for the Various Market segments
If you are:
  • In the business and considering a change in strategy,
  • Considering entering the business, or
  • Trying to stay abreast of the changing landscape
You need to read this report.

See a detailed index of our past issues

  • Week Ending March 02, 1997
    • The Tech Curve
    • Talent Alliance II
    • Marketing and HR
    • Volt = Elegantly Simple
    • Free Classifieds Software
  • Week Ending February 22, 1997
    • Talent Alliance
    • Best Job Hunter's Tools
    • Live Topics
    • The Resume Flood
    • Poetry
  • Week Ending February 16, 1997
    • Recruiting Site of the Year
    • Metaphors / MBAs
    • Intranets
    • How Not To
    • Using Chat
  • Week Ending February 09, 1997
    • How To Recruit Online
    • EERI Awards: Best In Class
    • Newspapers Take Note
    • Partnering The Niche
    • New Domain Names
  • Week Ending February 02, 1997
    • 1997 EERI Awards
    • Top 100 E-Recruiters
    • Analysis
    • 1997 ERI
    • Clippings
  • Week Ending January 26, 1997
    • Short Week
    • Ad Effectiveness
    • 1997 ERI Ships
    • Understanding Cookies
  • Week Ending January 19, 1997
    • Promotion Tools
    • PR Guidelines
    • ESpan New Features
    • What Journalists Want
    • Career Post Remade
  • Week Ending January 12, 1997
    • Browser PlugIn
    • Extranet
    • Search Tools
    • Free Is Not a Market Strategy
    • Security
  • Week Ending January 5, 1997
    • More Research Tools
    • Winer's Webmasters
    • 1996 In Review
    • Prettier With a Lobotomy
    • Good News For Newspapers
  • Week Ending December 29, 1996
    • Net As Recruiting Tool
    • Navigator 4.0
    • More About Newspapers
    • Domain Names
    • Newspapers
  • More Archives

    The past 16 months of the Electronic Recruiting News

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