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Advanced Internet Recruiting Seminars
(March 28, 1997): We're going to be delivering Seminars around the country in April and May. The schedule is:
Letters, We Get Letters
(March 27, 1997): If you're in the recruiting business, you get SPAMMED. Yesterday, we received a total of 43 unsolicited pieces of bulk email advertising everything from Resume services and get rich quick schemes to "free" vacations and XXXrated Websites. One of them came in 13 copies!.
As far as we're concerned, sending bulk email is a legitimate (maybe even important) right just like using the normal mail for direct marketing. But, we're painfully aware of the operating difficulties that an overly full email in-basket can cause. We're heavily dependent on the filtering capabilities of Eudora
(if you're not using Eudora, drop everything and go out and buy a copy). It helps us sort mail that we know is important.
But, bulk email comes from so many sources that it's difficult to track on an individual level.
So, we've sketched out the details of a Recruiter's-only email filtering service. The basic idea is that we'd provide an email address for Recruiters that had a significantly reduced volume of bulk email. The service would filter bulk mail from your incoming traffic and then forward the filtered material on to a mailbox of your choosing. Priced at about $50/month, the service would be primarily intended for mail addresses that you want to limit to either resume traffic or a slightly less congested version of your normal mail flow.
We haven't committed to delivering the service just yet. Rather, we're floating the idea to our readers to see if we've found a problem in need of a solution. If you'd be interested in using a mail filtering service, drop us a line at email@example.com. No commitment is required, we're just testing the waters.
Assume The Position
(March 26, 1997): What's the most important thing for a recruiter to know about a subcontractor that delivers advertising to Web surfers? If you take a quick look at World.hire (whose address is actually not world.hire), you'll see that they think that it's "how much money did you get from Venture Capitalists?" We get the nagging feeling that an ad agency with no web experience helped with the design of their page. You can tell who a website is targeting as an audience by simply looking at their content. In the case of World.hire, we'd have to assume that it's someone's mother. After all, who else actually cares about VC money.
With the brisk pace of change in the standard features set for a Recruiting site, it is comforting, maybe even important, to understand that a site has "legs". The cost of creating an advertising sales force and adequate market presence is not insignificant. They're entering a field littered with seasoned players and ambitious hopefuls. But, we're reasonably sure that their current site design drives all but the most curious away.
The most interesting thing about World.hire is their market positioning. Their approach appears to be licensing a "drop-in-module" for corporate intranets. That is, the central product appears to be software for HR Departments. You use their tool to post jobs both internally and externally. That way, a single manager can be responsible for all aspects of the Web Recruiting Function. While it's just a little early for the marketplace, it's a good idea. At $6,500/year, their customers pay a $2,500 premium over the rest of the market to have a posting and management function that is the same internally and externally. At that price, it's a bargain from an administrative perspective.
There's another clever innovation in the firm's portfolio. Each ad includes a built in function that allows a web surfing candidate to "show this job to a friend". A small form lets the user email a copy of the ad directly to a colleague. Very smart.
We're less sure about distribution. The long term viability of an advertising distribution and management company depends on traffic. Placing the right ads in front of the right number of the right eyeballs is everything.
The company's problems start with the name. We'd been meaning to write about them for several days, so when we fired up the browser we tried to type in their address. We tried "world.hire.net", "world.hire.com", "world.hire.org" and several other combinations before the coffee started working. The little dot in the middle of their name, while appealing in a business plan, is going to cost them lots of traffic over time. Most job hunters don't have the patience to solve a problem like this and will quickly move on to a site with an easier to remember address.
Another component of the distribution problem is that World.hire, like many of its competitors, seems to be hung up on keeping the content (job ads) local. A closed universe with a bad name is an unlikely place to find or attract candidates.
Finally, while the notion of a solid platform that consolidates internal and external activities is critical, we wonder where the partners are. Without somewhat active associations with Restrac, Resumix and PeopleSoft (maybe even Oracle and SAP), a drop-in intranet module walks away from the problem of integration with legacy systems.
We're reminded of an old 1960's saying that we'll update for World.hire. Good design will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of bad design.
Above The Crowd
(March 25, 1997): We're huge fans of Bill Gurley's bi-weekly newsletter "Above The Crowd". Published as a service for customers of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Inc., (a UK Investment firm), the newsletter offers a concise look through the hype. We were prompted to write by this week's issue which says:
"The good news is that electronic commerce has arrived. The bad news is that it does not seem to require a great deal of fancy technology to make it happen. While many authors and analysts argue that the Web is simply not ready from a security or reliability point of view, companies like Dell and Cisco are moving further ahead of their competition. Those that sit around twiddling their thumbs may one day wake up and realize they are light years behind - all because they were too willing to believe the expert who claimed that the Web simply was not ready. (emphasis added)"
Most of the pundits who analyze the Web as a whole get caught in the natural fuddle of fast moving technology and the latest fad. Gurley patiently looks at the fundamentals. More often than not, the newsletters contain gems that keep the changes in perspective.
To subscribe to "Above The Crowd" send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word subscribe in the body of the email..
(March 24, 1997): With thanks to DaveNet, we note that the media is shifting its perspective on Push Technology (agents and desktop information streaming). From the New York Times, James Gleick says:
"Push is the silliest piece of puffery to waft along in several seasons. In fact, Push is nothing more than a thinly disguised return to ideas of information delivery that the Internet has made obsolete. The failure of Push is preordained."http://www.nytimes.com/web/docsroot/library/cyber/week/032397gleick.html Then this morning, a column from Denise Caruso, also about push. She says
"Shoving information down our throats does not increase our capacity for it. If anything, it engages our gag reflexes.......And this is supposed to be desirable? As Daffy Duck so eloquently puts it, 'Shoot me now!'".
If you are investing in the development of "personal agents", be very careful. Most of what passes for intelligent offsite delivery is just another way of burying your audience.
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:
The past 16 months of the Electronic Recruiting News
The past 16 months of the Electronic Recruiting News
Besides our industry analyses and newsletters, we help recruiters integrate this new technology into their operations. We've added a detailed description of IBN to the website. We'd love to help you.
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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.