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Recruiter's Daily Newswire
Check the daily headlines affecting your world.
Open Window
(April 11, 1997): We've been preparing heavily for our upcoming Advanced Internet Recruiting Seminars. In the process, we've noticed a growing trend. As the competition for candidates heats up, big companies are increasingly willing to try a variety of new recruiting tactics. The perception was reinforced by a recent report:

It's become a familiar bromide that speed and smarts trump size in the new economy. But particularly in the technology arena, small enterprises now seem able to enter the high-stakes struggle to become standards setters -- for a time.

According to a survey published last month by SOFTBANK Forums, nearly half of all large corporations report that they are "fundamentally rethinking their entire network infrastructures" as a result of the emergence of Internet and intranet technologies. And 47 percent say they are inclined to look at new companies when evaluating these technologies.

"We think this market is in a state of revolution and will be open for about a year," says Jeff Stanley, SOFTBANK's director of strategic research. "The window of opportunity is now for companies to come out and set the standards. The nature of the market is that everyone is open and willing to look at new vendors and entirely new ways of designing their networks. But that window will close as companies return to a more standards-based world."

From Innovation Line

Meanwhile, the median price of a new website continues to grow. Hovering above $50K, (not including marketing and maintenance), the investment buys increasingly less (in terms of expectations) and delivers increasingly more (in terms of actual productivity improvements, customer satisfaction and revenue generated). The price rises while the difference between performance and expectation has never been greater.

In the Recruiting Marketplace, this means that an increasing level of savviness is required to navigate the transition into new business forms. Cutting through the hype and expectations to a clear understanding of purchase requirements requires your full attention. The underside of the Softbank report is that it will be at least another year before clear standards in Recruiting really emerge. We think it will be longer since the technology will just begin to settle down a year or so from now.

Soon, big companies, stung by eroding market share, will begin to enter the game with very serious investment dollars. (We've recently estimated that you could still buy everything that matters in Electronic Recruiting for slightly more than $1B but the number is growing rapidly and daily. ) The Window for small entrepreneurs is going to be followed by a push that drives entry costs way up.

Some things are getting clearer. To help recruiters effectively compete for candidates online, a variety of forms of company are emerging.

  • The destination company (which resembles the old advertising "creative" company, creating sites and campaigns)
  • The pass through company (providing links and traffic)
  • The distribution company (providing broad exposure for content and ads)
  • The server farm (site hosting and maintenance of hardware/bandwidth)
  • The Network company (providing a range of services and distribution to members)
  • The media placement firm (which targets specific ad listings to specific audiences)
The decisions about which of these services to use, and how much to depend on them is becoming a critical strategic concern. No single small company can cost-effectively integrate all of these functions internally. While the categories overlap, and a number of firms provide a number of these services, we're starting to see a trend towards specialization. The disciplines required for each function are quite different.

As always, knowing what you want, in a quantitative form, is the key to the effective management of the process.


(April 10, 1997): Our in basket fills at an amazing rate with email describing new sites. Four or five times a day, we get a note that says "check out this new's the fastest growing, most fully featured, gee whiz employment tool on the net." Un-surprisingly, most of them are bland and misguided. Although few are completely flawed, most deserve a solid rethinking. Since their owners put out little in the way of sustained web marketing efforts, the tiny trickle of traffic that they receive serves as a means to contain the Public Relations embarrassment.

It's like panning for gold. Lots of mud and a few nuggets.

The UCI Graduate School of Management(that's University of California, Irvine) has used their website as a means of jumping into the limelight as one of the Top 50 Business schools in America. Featuring a searchable resume database and free job postings on their "bulletin board". The school has integrated the web fully into their curriculum and career office. They provide resources for recruiters that include interview scheduling, video conferencing and, most interestingly, access to the "West Coast Consortium" (WCC).

The WCC is a group of 12 affiliated schools that share resources in the career planning process. WCC features include

While the UCI Graduate School of Management will never win any graphic design awards, it solidly serves its customers with focused features.


(April 9, 1997): The measure of the success of a job-listing database isn't just size. 75,000 job listings that no one sees are valuable to no one in particular. For a given position, the way to think about it is more like a ratio of the number of overall visitors to the number of jobs. So, if a database has 1,000 job listings and 2,000 daily visitors, the measure would be 2:1. Even though this doesn't tell you about the relationship between the skills of the visitors versus the skill requirements of a particular job listing, it's closer to the mark than measures like hits, impressions or visitors.

As a database grows in volume, it has an embedded tendency to outgrow its original branding. In other words, there seems to be a natural ceiling to the number of visitors a given site can absorb. Our evidence is anecdotal, but some combination of user attention span and the design of a given site appear to create this limit. In other areas of the web, the major players are engaging in what we've started to call "content stretching" or "aeration".

In the long haul, the biggest problem with large databases is that they are impenetrable. Like an Alta Vista search that returns 10,000 documents, too many answers is worse than too few. A database, like a compost pile, needs to be "mulched" so that the nooks and crannies are visible to the right players at the right time.

Net-Temps has launched an ambitious project to deal with their rapidly growing jobs database (now regularly exceeding 17,000 current listings). Their CityJobs program delivers bite sized chunks of the database presorted by discipline and geography. They've launched San Francisco as the starting volley of a localized job delivery system. For each of the Major North American metropolitan areas, Net-Temps plans to deliver focused content surrounded by relevant job-hunting and relocation material.

As an additional component of their strategy, they're building a referral program. Each listing in the database now includes a tag that allows a candidate to pass the job along to an interested friend. Candidate referrals are the backbone of the traditional Recruiting industry. The combination of regional, bite sized delivery and built in referral traffic looks like a win-win-win solution for Net-Temps, their clients and job hunters alike.

The terms "content stretching" and "aeration" may sound a little heady. They boil down to a clear focus on the real dynamics of the business...getting the right job description in front of the right candidate. Rather than aggregating traffic and content, this strategy creates thousands of access points to the core data. It stretches the limits of our ability to clearly define a Website. You ought to check it out.

Search Engine Update

(April 8, 1997): In the early stages of your site's development, building traffic means getting your site listed with a variety of search engines. If you've been down this road, you've wondered how to get your site better visibility with the search engines. Here are our brief tips on the search criteria for some of the major search engines.

Technically, Yahoo's information on your site is derived from the data you submit. Each submission is reviewed by a "real human". :) Yahoo ranks its keyword searches based on these criteria:
1. Yahoo categories containing the keyword
2. sites with the keyword in their title
3. sites with the keyword in their description
Limit your description to *10* words!

Keyword searches are based on these criteria...
1. Keywords are in the title or in the first few words of your web page.
2. Keywords are close to one another in your page.
3. Keywords are used more than once in your page.
Capitalize any keywords that the searcher may capitalize when searching for your site.

Searches favor sites with keywords in the title and then in the text of the site. It also favors keywords that are contained in complete sentences.

Pages with keywords in the title and then in the text are given preference. Hotbot also uses meta tags.

Pages with keywords at the beginning of the page or in the title do well. Pages with a high frequency of keywords in the text of the page also tend to rank higher.

Gives priority to pages with keywords in the title and early in the text of your site.

Pages that match all keywords are listed first and then those that match any keywords. Within these groups, pages with more frequent use of keywords within a page are listed first. It also uses the "concentration" of keywords within a page.

NOTE: All search engines now say that they penalize for "Word spamming" on web sites.....that is just listing keywords numerous times back to back simply to try to "deceive" the search engines.

How To Kill Yourself

(April 7, 1997): Like a gun in the hands of an untrained child, Internet technology can be deadly to you and your business. The technology isn't dangerous, per se. Using it without knowing what you're doing can be.

Last week, many (if not most) of our readers were on the receiving end of all or part of an example. The first email arrived from the new Resume database rather inauspiciously. Although the level of junk mail seems to be rising rapidly, it's our job to sort through it and see if there's merit. We noticed the ad for a new Information Systems database and immediately sent along a request for a password. Our goal was to let you know whether or not it was worth your investment.

Later that day, we got the first (in what was to be a series) of grumpy emails "Get me off of your F***ing list" was the title of the mail." We responded to the sender noting that we weren't exactly sure why he'd chosen to swear at us.

By the following morning, we'd received a total of about 40 pieces of mail, increasingly grumpy in tone. So did all of the other 18,000 recipients of the original email. One of the many gems floating through 18,000 potential customers' email was:

I'm being cc:d as "xxxxx", and I want OFF, NOW, or Ill make it my personal vendetta to make sure every person, co., defense, nat'l security and Org. known to mankind blackballs you guys, on the NET and otherwise.
As you might imagine, a flood of complaining mail, generated by incompetence, is hardly a sound method for launching a new service. It certainly makes us wonder about the firm's ability to handle more complex technical issues.

The problem was caused by an inept use of mailing list software. We see the same events happen from time to time with precisely the same results. If you're going to hand a loaded gun to a child, make sure that they know how to use it. Mailing list software is prone to this kind of error. Use it carefully.

Advanced Internet Recruiting Seminars

(March 28, 1997): We're going to be delivering Seminars around the country in April and May. The schedule is:
  • April 23 - San Francisco
  • April 28 - Los Angeles
  • April 30 - Phoenix
  • May 2 - Dallas
  • May 5 - Miami
  • May 7 - Atlanta
  • May 9 - Washington DC
  • May 12 - New York City
  • May 14 - Boston
  • May 16 - Boston
  • May 19 - Chicago
  • May 21 - Columbus, OH
  • Click here to learn more about the seminars and register online. Class size is strictly limited to 20 per seminar. A discount is offered if registration payment is received by April 15.

    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 April 06, 1997
    • Entry Level
    • Nervous Times
    • Bad Design
    • Resume Busing
    • Paying For Resumes
  • Week Ending March 30, 1997
    • Above The Crowd
    • Push2
    • World.hire
    • Advanced Internet Recruiting Seminars
    • Email Filters
  • Week Ending March 23, 1997
    • Push Technology
    • The Top 100
    • No Free Lunch
    • The Price Of Free
    • Sourcing With Mailing Lists
  • Week Ending March 16, 1997
    • Marketing and Success
    • Nuggets
    • References
    • IT Labor Shortage
    • Games For Screening
  • 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
  • More Archives

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