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It is better
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John Sumser

is more
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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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HR and Recruiting Software
(August 29, 1997): Technologies change. Government regulations which affect hiring and employment do, too. Take a look at some of these newer programs.

Hire-Up! is software for the interviewer. Its goals are to help you stay on track in the interview, pay attention to detail, evaluate prospective employees qualities and attitudes in a consistent manner, and monitor and control hiring practices.

NetStart released TeamBuilder 2.0 in June. According to NetStart, it allows recruiters to "electronically integrate faxed, mailed and e-mailed resumes into a common database, route resumes via their corporate intranet to appropriate hiring managers and collaborate with other hiring decision-makers in real-time to accelerate the recruiting process."

MBA Central's JobCast email service brings targeted resumes of qualified, interested MBAs directly to your email box. You provide the company with specific hiring requirements and they match your requirements with nationwide registered MBAs. Qualified candidates are then contacted. If they're interested, they respond to MBA Central who will then send you a short list of names and resumes.

FLX HR, which supports unlimited salary and benefits histories, claims it will be the only human resource information system (HIS) for the middle market to support Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. It's all you need to calculate healthier coverage lapses as required under HIPAA.

RCDP says it is an integrated, individualized, multi-file, real-time data management tool designed to facilitate the recruiting process. It includes the files for companies, people, job orders, action tables, and archive tools.

Sourcer Recruiting Software lets you browse through data quickly and easily so you can discover relationships between your clients, job orders, and candidates.

Aimstar Database wants to emphasize use of data rather than mere collection. Built into it are a keyword indexing system, resume importing, indexing, searching, and retrieving, email features and direct internet access. You can download a trial copy.

Executive Bobkeeps libraries of letters, resumes, and freeform items. According to its creator, it supports multiple users and is synchronous.

Breaking News

(August 28, 1997): Yesterday, we used the term "breaking news" to describe an emerging story. Today, we use the term to describe the effects of choosing the wrong computer supplier.

While the rest of the world panics with the "Year 2000" problem, we've been dealing with the "Gateway2000" problem. We've learned, painfully, just how much damage a "low cost supplier" can do to a business. We can tell you, with authority, that you should never purchase machines from the company. We did it to save a couple thousand bucks, it cost us many times that much in wasted time, energy, frustration and lost productivity. Our "brand new" computers sit in the repair shop after weeks of lies, "blame shifting" and strong arm tactics. This, from a 2 day delivery.

Don't ever buy a Gateway2000 computer.

The company uses "code names" for its employees. We talked variously with folks like Hamlet, Ophelia, Sundance, Yorick, Hawk, Bogey, Rex and Caesar. The theory behind this scheme is that all employees are given recognizable names. It's supposed to increase the availability of personalized service. What it creates is an atmosphere in which anonymity is encouraged and customer dis-service thrives. When you don't have to use your own name, honor and responsibility are dropped from the equation.

This clever personnel management system is supplemented by a voice-mail-hell system that routinely hangs up on you after a 15 minute wait. We've spent hours listening to a "cowgirl" saying cute things like "Howdy Pardner".

In one moment of customer service ecstasy, we waited on hold for 30 minutes while our rep looked up a vendor phone number. Though Gateway2000 puts their cute little cowpie logos all over vendor products, they routinely pass the buck when it comes to supporting them. After our long wait, the rep came back and said, "That number would be 800-555-1212". We said, "Are you sure? That sounds an awful lot like the toll free directory number." "Duh, I hadn't noticed that", he said.

Finally, after lots of hassle, the machines arrived in dented boxes. They broke (hard disk failure) when we turned them on. Another late night 3 hour customer service phone call resulted in being told that the parts could be replaced in a "week or ten days".

Rather than bore you with the entire comedy of errors, we wanted to be sure that you understood our clear evaluation of the company.

Anyone who reads this newsletter on a regular basis is going to be purchasing new machines in abundance. Don't use Gateway2000 as a part of the solution to your problems. The expenses and frustration you incur are not worth the money you might save. Not even close.

Breaking News

(August 27.5, 1997): Classifieds2000 is on the move. The web ad distributor announced major agreements with television stations around the country. They will become the classified ad engine for those television station sites. This adds significantly to the Clssifieds2000 portfolio of distribution sites. It also heralds the real beginning of the classified advertising battle online.

The web gives television stations (among others) access to the substantial revenue stream associated with recruitment ads. As we've been saying all along, the battle will be fierce and the boundaries will shift. Full details are in today's Wall Street Journal.

Does Email Work?

(August 27, 1997): No matter what anyone tells you, the net has no fixed answers. As technology speeds and people adopt the latest tools, the competitive edge is a fleeting advantage. What puts you ahead today can become the millstone that slows you tomorrow.

Really, it's just like everything else in an adult life: Adjustment and adaptation are constants. Using the net means developing a kind of sophistication that isn't really technical even though it has technical components.

We ran across a recruiter who was claiming that "Recruitment used to be about relationships ... today, it's about information." Hogwash, we say.

Less mature users of the net revel and wallow in the huge quantities of information available with a few clicks. But, today (as yesterday), it's easy to find recruiters who are buried in information and making fewer placements as a result. Frankly, recruitment is less and less about information and more and more about relationships.

The important thing that as changed isn't the availability of more information. It's the decreasing availability of qualified candidates. The issue is demographics, not technology. There is a generational shift in the employment marketplace. We're in a very long stretch of labor shortages.

We've been evaluating a tool called NetMailer. You've probably received some unsolicited email from companies who use the product. (You can often tell because less professional groups who don't pay for their software end up sending you mail with a link at the top like this:
X-Mailer: NetMailer v1.00 (http://www.alphasoftware.com/netmailer) [C.R-DE766F46BE574EC65F169D8] )

The premise behind NetMailer is simple. With well manicured email databases, you can send tailored mail to the contacts in your lists. It's really quite clever, simple and easy to use.

The problem is that learning to use the tool with finesse is a separate matter. Our offices see hundreds of mis-targeted bulk emails each day. Even if we were interested, we could only watch so much live sex or join so many pyramid schemes. Generally speaking, we treat bulk mail the same way, electronic or not. We stand by the trash can and pick the one or two pieces that might be interesting. The rest go straight into the trash can. Usually, when it's paper mail, there are a couple of postcards from recruiters who want us to update our credentials. Plop..same trashcan.

In an era of shortages, bulk promotion and marketing tactics decrease in effectiveness over time. As the technology proliferates, the net impact of any individual piece declines.

The real key to Recruitment effectiveness is learning to build relationships facilitated by technology. It's the relationships that are important, not the technical stuff.

Did you see the cartoon in Monday's Wall Street Journal (paper edition)? It featured the classic homeless person in a rumpled trench coat begging with a sign. The sign read: "I have jobs".

Search Tips

(August 26, 1997): Using the Internet as a sourcing tool means learning to think like a search engine. While the end result is "finding candidates", the only thing you can get access to through search engines are "documents". So, searching for documents with the word "resume" on them will be most likely to turn up job postings. This is because many Resumes don't use the word "resume" anywhere in the document itself, but most job postings contain the phrase "send resume to:". The search engine simply finds the word "resume" when that's your query.

If you want to find Resumes, you'll get better results by searching for the phrase "objectives" since most American resumes contain this word.

Some search engines (AltaVista, HotBot and NorthernLight) allow you to search for the url of a document. On those search engines, using the term "resume.html" will yield solid results.

Using those same search engines, you can find internal phone directories. The same logic applies. Most phone lists don't have the words "phone list" anywhere in the document itself. But, they are often called things like "phone.html" or "phones.html" or "/phone/index.html".

If you want to find currently employed potential candidates, search on the url of the company who employs them. Many personal web pages contain references to the page owner's employer. For example, ask AltaVista to find all links to "yourcompany.com" by entering a query that reads: "link:www.yourcompany.com". The results will include links from personal pages (potential candidates).

WhoWhere? offers a great company search. Try looking for "IBM". The search results include key website URLs, geographic locations and domain names. With domain name in hand, you can return to the search engines to find information or, you can use the HotBot email search.

The HotBot email search will give you a list of email addresses if you enter a domain name!

With all Internet searches, you have to be ready to accept partial information as a "piece of the puzzle". The fact that one search engine gives you no results (or results you don't want) doesn't mean that the answers aren't available. It may mean that you've asked the wrong question. Learning to think like a search engine is a key part of developing effective skills in searching the net. In addition, the search engines cover somewhat different turf. If you assume that they all cover a different 60% of the web, you'll be safe.

Collaborative Alliances

(August 25, 1997): A few years ago, three martini lunches were standard fare. They've been replaced by take-out at the desk. Money and livers are saved, but what is lost?


There is intense competition for skilled workers among a multitude of organizations. At the same time, the Occupational Outlook Handbook at Empowermentzone, predicts that the number of self-employed workers is expected to increase by 950,000, to 11.6 million in 2005. Clearly, the competition will diminish no time soon.

"When firms and work roles themselves have an emergent quality in response to an era of upheaval and transition," writes Denise Rousseau writes in the 1997 Annual Review of Psychology (available free until 9/11/97 at Northern Lights, there is an "increasing interest in social construction."

But, it's more than just an interest in social construction; it's a need to be a part of a greater whole. People need community; they need alliances. And recruiters can play important roles in developing this essential sense of community.

In order to be a viable prospect to potential employees collaboration on a number of levels will be essential. We've already written about the essential relationships between relocation services and career management organizations, but what about between recruiter and recruiter or recruiter and prospects?

It may take us a while to develop a vehicle by which we build community and alliance between recruiter and prospects, but in the meantime, Ernst & Young has done an admirable job in creating such a place for HR professionals and recruiters.

While the large graphics make loading slow, and the elevator used for navigation is tedious, their HR site begins to fill a this need.

Importantly, the collaborative, interactive portion of the site is designed in accordance with the guidelines set out in a Business Week article: "But most important of all, the creators of these communities don't try to play the role of benevolent dictator. Sure, they provide a framework and guidance along the way, but then they step back and let the members shape the community."

The members on this site are shaping the community. They understand that the key to networking is sharing information and building alliances.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "It is our future that lays down the law of our today." Beginning to understand how this future may work might help dictate how we need to live today.

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

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