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HotJobs II
(January 23, 1998) After getting excited about the HotJobs moves in advertising/marketing substance (see yesterday's column), we looked further into the product. It's even more impressive up close.

HotJobs does several things very well. They

  • Integrate Workflow and Internal Collaboration
  • Manage The Value Of An Individual Ad
  • Emphasize Marketing And Traffic Development
  • Build Candidate Loyalty (see yesterday)
Hot Jobs severely limits the number of job listings posted by a client. With a ceiling of 10 jobs, the service makes sure that the best listings from a client occupy a candidate's time. This policy prevents database cramming and ensures that the value of any client's material stays solid. It's a novel approach in the business.

They spend heavily to make sure that a client's ad is seen by the largest possible number of visitors. (Watch the Netscape/Yahoo pages!).

Finally, the back-end of HotJobs is designed to facilitate use of the system by all of the recruiters in an office or department. Resumes have comment forms, job listings have review/revision cycles. There's even an administrative function that allows levels of access / editorial privileges to be assigned within a department. It raises the standard for workplace integration.

We're impressed.

Voodoo Free Sales Techniques

(January 22, 1998) We saw an interesting announcement from Hot Jobs, the rising industry star. The system's new features are centered on delivery of a "home page" for candidates that includes:
  • statistics on how many times their resume has been viewed,
  • "masking" of resumes from selected companies
  • links to all the jobs that they have applied to
  • a personal search agent (PSA)
Hot Jobs, following the industry pattern pioneered by DICE, is indicating its intention to stay in the industry over the long haul. They are merging candidate-centric features with advertising selectivity to build career-long loyalty. This is an essential component in the new market.

What was most interesting about the announcement, however, were the following statistics:

  • Hot Jobs is receiving over 12 million "hits" per month
  • the average job to hit ratio is 2887 hits per job per month
It's a first, as far as we know. All of the usual market BS aside, what matters when you choose a service is the sheer likelihood that a job posting will be seen. Hot Jobs deserves a huge round of applause for beginning to disclose the real results available from their service. But, it's just the start.

When you use a job posting service, all that you are buying is the likelihood that your listing will be seen by the right type of candidate. In other areas of the web (notably banner advertising), the parameters are becoming clear. It's worth between $.05 and $.12 each time your job listing appears on a search results page (the equivalent of banner "impressions"). Given normal web response rates, it's worth between $2.50 and $6.00 each time a candidate actually reads your listing. (Whether or not they respond to the listing is a function of how well it's written and beyond the control of the job board.)

You can easily calibrate the value you're receiving from a job board by multiplying the number of times a listing was seen (or read) by these numbers. Simply compare the result to your price.

While the Hot Jobs announcement is a great beginning, the information would be more useful if it actually defined average appearances (impressions) and average readings (clicks). Nonetheless we applaud their start and look forward to the day when the mystery is removed from the sales pitches. Hot Jobs is here to stay and appears to be setting real trends in results measurement and voodoo free sales techniques.

Online News Staffing

(January 21, 1998) Steve Outing is one of the brightest commentators on the subject of the online news media. Writing for Editor and Publisher online (which has an interesting piece on the classified advertising business), Steve's regular column is a constant source of insight on the evolution of old media into new.

His company, Planetary News, has just released a study describing the staffing patterns in Online News. If you're in the newspaper business online, it's a must read. If you're in the staffing/recruiting/advertising industries, you'll want to think about the following highlights:

  • 63% of new media managers at online news sites earn over $55,000 US per year; 29% earn more than $75,000. The typical Webmaster at an online news site earns between $35,000 and $55,000 annually, while most Online Editors make between $45,000 and $75,000.
  • The typical online news Web site employs 8 people today. One year from now it will employ 11 -- representing a growth rate in one year of nearly 40%. Even though many publishers are worried about how (and if) their online and Web news operations will turn a profit, the majority plan to add significantly to their online news staffs, indicating optimism about the growth of the online news business.
  • Most online news sites expect significant growth in staff size to occur within the next 12 months. Within one year, 11% of sites expect to have more than 50 online employees (up from 8% today); 25% expect to have more than 25 employees (up from 15% today). Small sites expect growth, too. 25% of news sites today have only 1 or 2 employees, but only 14% of sites expect to have staffs of that size one year from now.
  • 73% of news sites reported having added staff in the last year. Large-circulation print publishers added the most to their Web staffs, with 42% having added 5 or more employees to their online operations. Only 13% of these large publishers kept their online staffs at the same size as 12 months ago.
  • Voluntary staff turnover at online news sites is modest. Nearly half of all sites reported no employee departures in the last year. Among those that did lose people, most lost only 1 or 2 online employees. Job satisfaction at this stage of the industry appears to be high.
  • The typical online news starting salary for recent college graduates is about $25,000 per year at North American sites. The median at European sites for recent graduates is about $31,000.
  • The majority of news sites do not have anyone devoted full time to marketing themselves. Only 32% of sites employ anyone in a marketing position, and of those, 19% double up by performing for online and other departments in the company.
  • Most online news sites primarily have staff members devoted exclusively to working on the online operation, with a modest percentage of job titles crossing over into responsibilities at other departments within the company. European sites have more titles that have dual company roles than do American sites. Also, smaller print publishers have more shared positions than do larger publishers.
(January 20, 1998) The word seems to be in. According to a column in last week's Wall Street Journal, Intellimatch went belly up at the end of last year. It's the first major casualty in the shakeout. More are coming.

As a core component of its strategy, Intellimatch held the notion that job hunters would easily and readily fill out reams of data about themselves. In a confusing, complex form, job hunters were required to categorize themselves into a variety of pigeonholes.

Recruiters were required to perform the same feats with their requirements. Matching, once the forms were filled out would be a simple process. They were never able to understand that job hunters are scarce and nervous while Recruiters are busy and behind.

Intellimatch also suffered from the disease of "too much money and too little sense". While there were moments of brilliance (Intellimatch placed the first ever website billboard along Silicon Valley's Rte 101), an overabundance of funding created bloated staffing and unrealistic expectations.

Their emphasis on executing a pure technical solution (in spite of continual market feedback) eroded Intellimatch's early market position.

We were reminded of this over the weekend. As we gather the data for our 1998 Electronic Recruiting Index and Top 100, we're revisiting last year's winners. One of our real favorites, Extreme Resume Drop has been absorbed into something called the Student Advantage Network. It's been moved from its home at Mainquad.com to become a part of the Bridgepath career site. Buried somewhere beneath all of the required input information, prospective employees can still use the functionality of Extreme Resume Drop. But, it's really buried.

The Bridgepath team seems to believe that the Intellimatch model was right. Any job hunter who wishes to use the service is ushered through an unimaginable series of queries and forms in order to be placed on the receiving end of job solicitations. It looks like they plan to march off into the Intellimatch sunset.

Is this another case of too much money and too little sense? All we can tell you for sure is that any site that requires extensive forms to be filled out before it delivers value is going to go bust. It will happen as soon as the money runs out.

Recruiting Online:
Advanced Seminar Series

(December 08, 1997): Our educational series has been expanded. We will be delivering seminars in 15 cities this Winter. We will be offering both of our successful courses, updated to reflect the changing web environment.

Seminar I: Management, Strategies and Tactics
Don't jump on the bandwagon to be cool. Don't use technology without a clear view of the payback. This intense seminar addresses the questions any manager, owner or director should ask before continuing to invest in Electronic Recruiting.

Seminar II: Advanced Searching and Sourcing
Learn how to mine the data fields. This one day presentation covers spidering, flipping, and depth searching...all of the tools required to unearth the passive candidate. The course includes a A CD Chock-Full Of Net Software and Tools.

Graduates of both receive:

  • $2,000 In Special Offers From 5 Online Recruiting Services
  • A One Year Subscription ($395 Value) To Our Protected Web Site
  • All Course Materials

    Enroll today, seats are still available. There is a discount available for early registrations.

    This is our Winter 1998 Seminar Schedule. We will be delivering both seminars in each city.

    Feb 02: San Francisco, CA
    Feb 04: Los Angeles, CA
    Feb 06: Dallas, TX
    Feb 09: Atlanta, GA
    Feb 11: Chapel Hill, NC
    Feb 13: Columbia, MD
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    Feb 18: New York, NY
    Feb 20: Boston, MA
    Feb 23: Cleveland, OH
    Feb 25: Minneapolis, MN
    Feb 27: Chicago, IL
    Mar 02: Kansas City, MO
    Mar 04: Seattle, WA
    Mar 06: Silicon Valley, CA

    Call our offices for more information at (800) 358-2278

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