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It is better
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the web than
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not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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Market Readiness
(July 18, 1997): We got the following email from an anonymous (no information provided) writer at recruit@concentric.net. We've left the delightful grammar and spelling intact:
I was reading your april 11 edition of your new letter on your site, were do you come up with the number ????? 50k to start up

" Meanwhile, the median price of a new website continues to grow. Hovering above $50K, (not including marketing and maintenance)"

That is rediculus and i think youre scaring people with that amount, first to develop a site out side your firm costs 10k for a kick ass site, then to register your domain name and hosting costs $39.90 through concentric. of course there are cheaper and more expensive ways. So were is this 50k coming from? For instance the compnay i work for RMG, asked me to do it. I know HTML, Java etc and im sure many companies have someone like me in there. Ok enough please jsut tell me were that 50k comes from??

So, we took a look at the RMG Site.

While the project isn't a complete embarrassment, we wonder if the RMG management realizes that the (very few) people who visit the site find a Complete Job Listings Page that includes only 2 openings posted nearly a year ago.The reason we said "very few visitors" is that we checked out the inbound links to the site. As you can see (by clicking on the link), there are none.

We were pleased to see a search engine that enables the user to search both of the listed jobs.

We sincerely hope that RMG didn't pay $50K for this project. We hope our readers understand that a useful internet presence only vaguely resembles the RMG effort. The real cost of using the internet as a recruiting tool includes the development of HTML, but that is, by far, the easiest component to wrestle with.

If you take the RMG site as a starting point, all you need is:

  • Regular use and updates
  • Some description of what the company actually does
  • Features that bring return visitors
  • Some method for attracting traffic
  • and so on
Again, the HTML and graphics are the simple part. Audience definition, integration with the organization's work flow and the trappings that actually attract visitors are much more complex tasks.

Though we don't usually respond to anonymous email, we thought that the fact that the writer seems to answer his own question was worth noting.

Median website prices (meaning the point at which half cost more and half cost less) are continuing to move upward. As business people begin to understand that the web is a method of doing business and not a destination, the complex issues associated with internal integration begin to drive these costs. Few firms can stand the consequences of delivering a half-baked website. Fully effective projects work solidly as a communications and transaction component of the company's business.

It's well worth pointing out that most realistic estimates include the time of the managers who run the business as they help in the design process. The best sites devote a significant component of their budgets to professional writers and usability teams (murder boards).

Earlier this week, we described the basic technical product development cycle. It's always initiated by "techies" like our anonymous correspondent. Their fascination with the technology blinds them to the real costs and implications. They rarely understand or use specifications in their development processes. They thrive on the sort of cheap development processes that produce immediately observable results but no lasting impact on the firm's productivity or profitability. (Witness the RMG site.)

Techies don't have much use for spelling, punctuation, grammar or contact information at the ends of their notes. That's why they need strong managers who have a bigger picture. Those "little" things can make or break your business.

We remain persuaded that the cost of a working site is roughly equal to the cost of opening a branch office. Market Readiness

(July 16-17, 1997): Silicon Valley runs on a market development model called the Technology Adoption Lifecycle. The model assumes that the market for a technical product evolves in a series of phases:
  • Innovators (5% of the Market)
  • Early Adopters (Visionaries)15%
  • Early Majority (30%)
  • Late Majority (30%)
  • Laggards (20%)
The next piece of the market can't happen until a series of conditions are met. And, the conditions are different in the evolution between groups.

The Innovators (or "Techies") try things for the sheer love of technology itself. Getting the Early Adopters to buy in to a technology means having a legitimate promise of a breakthrough level of performance. Early adopters are a sort of gambler who are willing to bet that a new technology will yield a significant pay back to those who master it first.

A marketplace doesn't really mature until you have clear, easy to use, productivity improvements. That's when the Early Majority buys in.

Currently, Electronic Recruiting is hovering at the edge of market acceptance. The innovators and early adopters are almost all on board. By our count, nearly 15% of the industry is online in one form or another. But, the shift to broad market acceptance requires very practical benefits to be delivered as a part of the process. At this point, the basic standards for cross-website posting are barely emerging and standardization, in any form, seems like a daydream. The evolution of Electronic Recruiting may stall out for a while as economics weed out the players.

Meanwhile, at the regional level, some very interesting players are gathering steam. We spent some time recently with the folks from the Computer Jobs Store who are carefully building regional marketplaces in select cities. It may well be that the long term development of the industry has its roots in these successful and highly focused regional services.

Writing Tips

(July 15, 1997): We are constantly advising our readers to heed the needs of their audience, and to communicate with them in clear, direct and unambiguous terms. Because the web makes you a publisher, your writing skills need constant improvement.

This demands clarity of purpose, knowledge of your audience and an excellent grasp of language.

Of course, if you are good at (for example) producing widgets, there is no earthly reason why your grasp of language should extend beyond the world of widgets.

Perhaps you need to employ a specialist.

According to WordsWork:

"Our world places extraordinary demands on our mental abilities each day. We are bombarded by messages and overloaded with information. Only those messages which are clear and have a direct impact on us will be remembered.

The remaining messages are lost, ignored, or misunderstood. Understanding the intricacies of the language and how those intricacies effect the messages in your publications are essential skills."

This rather smart site is, in our opinion, marred by the annoying ticker tape in the status bar, but nonetheless contains some good tips on writing from a published writer and editor.

Who Gets Those Jobs?

(July 14, 1997): We settled into the distant suburbs of Atlanta for the weekend. Part of the routine included having a rental car brought to the hotel. The pleasant young man who delivered the car asked what brought us to town.

Frankly, the neighborhood is definitely not even on the same map as Silicon Valley. So, we prepared to slow the explanation way down. About 2 minutes into the tutorial, the young man interrupted..."Oh yeah," he said, "I got my job on the Net. My equipment is a little old fashioned (a 386 machine!) so I didn't look nationally. Those graphics take forever to download."

Humbled (as happens often in this business), we pondered this circumstance. There are a lot of trees between here and Atlanta. If modest, near minimum wage, jobs are being filled here, the transition to net recruiting is much further along than we thought.

Advanced Internet Recruiting Seminars

(June 23, 1997): We're delivering Seminars around the country in the Summer. The schedule is below. Clicking on the city will take you to a map and information about the hotel:
  • Just Announced
  • July 21 - Philadelphia, PA
  • July 23 - New York City
  • July 25 - Boston, MA
  • July 28 - Indianapolis, IN
  • July 30 - Denver, CO
  • August 01 - Seattle, WA
  • August 04 - San Francisco, CA
  • Click here to learn more about the seminars and register online. Class size is limited to 30 per seminar. The seminars run from 9:00AM to 4:30PM. Take a look at a list of companies who have been to the seminars.

    See a detailed index of our past issues

  • July 20, 1997
    • What's It Cost
    • Computer Jobs Store
    • Writing Tips
    • Market Readiness
    • Recruiting Surprises
  • July 13, 1997
    • Creating Privacy
    • Netscape 4.0
    • Security
    • Knowing hat You Want
    • Pre Employment Screening
  • July 06, 1997
    • Tidbits
    • Slow, Slow
    • Medium=Message
    • Why People Leave
    • Audience Balancing
  • June 29, 1997
    • Email Etiquette
    • Workforce Changes
    • Employment Projections
    • Hits and Stats
    • Overload
  • June 22, 1997
    • Net Growth
    • Good PR
    • Who's Recruiting?
    • Net Demographics
    • PEOs Online
  • June 15, 1997
    • References
    • Right Coast Careers
    • Newspaper Mania
    • Aleph
    • Cover Your Assets
  • June 08, 1997
    • Not Just Resumes
    • Hodes
    • More Junk Mail
    • Survey Sez
    • Ad Service
  • June 01, 1997
    • Bad Design, Bad Timing
    • The Last War
    • Mail Security
    • Gimmicks
    • Fed Stats
  • May 25, 1997
    • Blueness
    • What Works
    • Job Smart
    • Consolidation
    • Marketing Your Site
  • May 18, 1997
    • Searchbase
    • Email
    • Job Smart
    • Specialty Recruiting
    • What's an Ad?
  • More Archives

    The past 21 months of the Electronic Recruiting News

    More Archives
    "Recruiter's Resolutions For 2003:

    1. Finally, clear the resumes off my desk
    2. Take a speed-reading course to get through resumes faster
    3. Find three new places to source good people
    4. Lower cost-per -hire (make that, determine cost-per-hire...then lower it!)
    5. Find a talent Management system to help with all of the above.

    We know what you're up against. And we've got the answer.

    Hodes iQ, brought to you by Bernard Hodes Group. From adopting our talent management system or enhancing your own system to providing new sourcing strategies on the web, we have proven solutions to make your recruiting enterprise better. Find out how Hodes iQ and Hodes iQPost can help you in the new year and beyond.

    Put Hodes iQ to the test.

    Call 888.438.9911 or visit http://www.hodesiq.com today.

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    Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
    Mill Valley, CA 94941

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