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Virtual Cow Tipping

(March 14, 1997): Who says screening can't be fun? Epicenter, Inc, a Web-centric game developer has an amusing approach to weeding out potential candidates. Their corporate site, which is definitely not for technophobes, requires shockwave and quick-time plugins as well as a fairly fast computer. While that eliminates many extraneous candidates, the company offers one additional obstacle for the job hunter to surmount.

The site's actual job application is hidden as the prize in a game called Virtual Cow Tipping. The object of the game (which requires quick keyboard fingers and a sense of humor) is to move through a cow stampede to "tip" a sleeping cow. Winners are presented the opportunity to apply for a job. The process guarantees that applicants who make the grade will be:

  • Technically Proficient
  • Somewhat Persistent, and
  • Share the company's trademark sense of humor

While the approach isn't directly transferrable to every business, using the web to screen candidates by creating an obstacle course is an idea that merits some attention.

Another Multi-Company Recruiting Alliance

(March 13, 1997):What do Bay Networks, Digital Computers, The Bank of Boston, Smith Barney, and Chubb have in common? They are all members of the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council (MTC). The MTC mission is straightforward:
    to promote Massachusetts as a world center for telecommunications by building on the extraordinarily high concentration of telecommunications organizations doing business in the state.
The site features a Recruitment Advertising section with over 1400 job listings from 26 companies. It's a part of an emerging trend to centralize job listings from companies with a shared interest. The employment listings are updated on Wednesdays and Saturdays using an automated process that simply gets the job listings from member pages and posts them in the central listing location.

There are an additional 16 companies waiting to be added to the automated process.

From a recruiting perspective, we see several things:

  • the site has no obvious relationship with any of the possible providers of advertising distribution services
  • there are no easily recognized Recruiting firms involved in the alliance
  • the traditional media also seem to have been left out of the equation
Meanwhile, one wonders just where this site will get its traffic. Given the labor shortages faced by the IT and Telecommunications industries, you'd expect that active recruitment would be a central concern of an organization like MTC. As our readers know, Recruitment is much more than consolidation of job listings. The active marketing of those opportunities, both online and off, as a way of creating real synergy will make or break the recruiting effort. Without marketing fueled distribution, consolidated job listings may as well be posted in a public restroom.

So, is MTC a threat, an opportunity or a harbinger of things to come? We think that it's a little of all three.

With the technical kinks more or less worked out, MTC has the potential to focus their recruitment marketing efforts and create a meaningfully different approach. The opportunity for active participation (and leadership) by Recruiting firms and online advertising companies is obvious. The threat? MTC represents an intelligent response to labor shortages and the demographic dip. That the organization could come this far without active participation from the recruiting, advertising and media communities is indicative of the pace of change (and the potential for being left behind).


(March 12, 1997):The Ottawa Citizen reported that Canada's House of Commons Citizenship and Immigration Committee will begin developing a fast-track immigration process to help ease a shortage of 10,000 skilled workers in Canada's high-tech sector. (From Edupage)

Another Canadian firm enters the fray. Recruitex is offering free trial accounts to agencies and HR offices during its beta test phase. Though we found the interface confusing, the startup has amassed an interesting group of beta-test clients. With offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver, the firm is significantly more international than most at its age. (a project of the SkillSearch Corporation) has been redesigned. The site offers a search engine for about 700 links to Corporate Employment pages. Competition in the market that provides centralized linking to widely distributed employment sites is heating up.

It's not just Technical Profesionals. USA Today (last week) reported that the overal shortage of seasoned CEO candidates is escalating. Driven by Silicon Valley start up fever, starting salaries for new venture CEOs are quickly moving to $250K +10% of the company.

Reference Checking

(March 11, 1997): It turns out that most millionaires made their fortunes in tedious, low status occupations. In our television oriented society, the high value service masquerading as a low status occupation often gets short shrift. Among the most mundane (and important) value added services that recruiters bring to the hiring process is the Pre-Employment Background Check.

In a very thorough presentation on Pre-Employment Screening, Charlie Courtois, founder of XUKOR, covers the details of reference checking in fascinating detail. If you're training a new Recruiter in the ins and outs of reference checking, this is the place to start.

We're hoping that, in future editions of the presentation, useful Internet tools will be added.

Labor Shortages in Info Technology

(March 10, 1997): A just released study by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) extensively surveyed large and mid-size IT and non-IT companies throughout the United States and found:
  • The number of unfilled positions for IT employees at large and mid-size U.S. companies is approximately 190,000 nationwide.
  • At large and mid-size IT companies, one IT position is vacant for approximately every 10 IT employees working at these companies.
  • Eighty-two percent of large and mid-size IT companies expect to increase the number of IT workers they employ.
  • 2 percent expect to reduce their IT workforce.
  • Seventy-one percent of companies believe the demand for IT workers is higher than for other skilled/trained workers.
  • Sixty-eight percent of IT companies cite a lack of skilled/trained workers as a barrier to their companies' future ability to grow.
  • One-third of IT companies engage in full-time recruiting to fill IT positions at their companies.
The study did not address the corresponding shortages in government and non-profit organizations.

If you're recruiting high tech people, you can expect to see the competition heat up. The good news? With an overall shortage of 9%, the opportunities to build a career as an IT recruiter are high, both inside and outside the organization. The bad news? Searches are going to become increasingly proactive and expensive.

In the larger picture, a labor shortage of this magnitude will have a decided impact on productivity and competitive ability. It will increasingly be the case that aggressive startup teams include fully articulated recruiting plans. We also expect to see increased pressure placed on educational institutions to provide more IT graduates.

Unfortunately, the shortage coincides with an overall demographic dip which will last for the next 15 years. If you're paying attention to a single dynamic that will affect the overall health of the industry, keep your eyes on demographics.

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 09, 1997
    • Tech Management II
    • Tech Management
    • Bigness As Vice
    • SOHO
    • Marketing
  • 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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