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(March 13, 1998) Two recent Internet surveys bear a look. BusinessWeek released a survey that purports to measure attitudes about online "privacy". @Plan has released data that differentiates the "surfing behavior" of Internet users by experience level.
According to @Plan, these sites have the highest percentage of visitors with over two years of online experience
We think the privacy broo-ha-ha is more than a bit of a red herring. The Business Week Survey would have done well to factor experience levels into the equation. Anyone who has regularly used a tailor knows that effective delivery of customized material involves groping around in areas that are otherwise considered private. We think that a component of the social change brought about by the net will include a redefinition of privacy.
Meanwhile, the big media (remember them? They're responsible for telemarketing at dinner time.) will continue to trump up the privacy story (At least until they figure out how to execute the kinds of mass marketing they're currently criticizing.) In a highly charged environment, expect online resume databases to come under much higher levels of scrutiny.
(March 12, 1998) Latin America's Professional Network (LatPro.) today announced a career management website dedicated to bilingual professionals who speak English and Spanish or Portuguese. Career management tools provided by LatPro include news, networking, and employment listings; these services are free to job-seekers. LatPro also offers recruiters to unlimited free advertising during a thirty day trial period.
A new site sells the CDROM version of What Color Is Your Parachute. They offer "partnerships" for career oriented enterprises. You can sell the CD on your site and make a commission on each sale. Details are available on their partnership page. It's a simple way to have a modest stream of additional revenue while adding a convenience feature for your candidates.
AmericanJobs is yet another entrant in the IT recruitment advertising market. Featuring a salary calculator, the site appears to have a less than modest chance of making a dent in the marketplace.
Third Party Recruiting firms may want to take a look at EyeSpy, a full featured Electronic Recruiting software solution.
Think Like A Fish
(March 11, 1998) As web population doubles, the average level of user experience declines by 50%. We're awed by this phenomenon. Once you start using the web regularly, you become more experienced than half of the users. It happens almost overnight. While your experience level continually increases through usage, the average level is dropping.
Why is this important?
Like any skill set, the use of the web requires familiarity with a wide range of tools and techniques. As you learn to overcome the obstacles, you forget that they are there. It's only human. An experienced user sees the web differently than a novice. It's easy to forget the basic difficulties encountered by a new user.
It can lead to bad decision making.
The best fishermen, armed with the latest and greatest gadgets of the trade, use their tools while thinking like a fish. Although they use their hyper-flex fishing rods and radars like technical professionals, success is dependent on understanding their quarry. Thinking like a fish is what makes their efforts productive.
On the web, this discipline is called target marketing. Great online recruiting efforts involve thinking like a candidate. The most important thing you can do is understand where the candidates are, how they behave and what their level of technical experience is likely to be.
Then, you apply the technology.
It's easier to show up dressed like a tourist. Laden with technical gimmicks and the "latest" stuff, many recruiters lose sight of the fact that candidates are, by definition, everywhere. Like fish, you find them in their "natural settings". Executives read the portfolio management sites; technical people read sites with technical information; lawyers go to law sites; nurses go to medical sites; and so on.
In our business (as in most) innovation isn't a question of inventing something new. It's more likely to be the exploitation of an idea that everyone else sees as dumb or obvious. As Mark Twain was fond of saying, "it's 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
Consistently successful online recruiting isn't about technology. It's about applying solid recruiting skills in a new environment. Everyone can imagine the seasoned fisherman reeling in fish all day while the tourist gets tangled in his new-fangled gear. The seasoned fisherman can gain productivity with new gear. The tourist has to learn to think like a fish.
Without careful attention, the problem can appear to be "mastery of technology". By focusing on your technical learning curve, you run the risk of forgetting to catch fish. The fact that the fish are getting "dumber" means that you have to constantly refresh your understanding of how they think.
(March 10, 1998) In a phone call with our supplier of custom spiders, we debated an interesting facet of website design. The best website still is the one that gets your customer/candidate/client off the web the fastest. The object isn't to have a visitor to your site come just once. Rather, you want them to get exactly what they need as quickly as possible and then have them return as soon as possible.
The key is the combination of fast targeted service and the creation of a powerful desire to come back. In the simplest terms, coming back involves getting a visitor to add a bookmark for your site in his/her browser. More sophisticated approaches can involve the establishment of a relationship through an email list.
To make this happen, your visitor has to be really motivated. After all, every website (and, you are in competition with all 150,000,000 of the other pages) wants the same thing...repeat visitors.
Tech-Search deserves some sort of award for their latest San Francisco area ad campaign. Sitting behind a bus in rush hour traffic, we had the privilege of reading their new back of the bus banner ad. "Cool Jobs, Hot Companies. http://www.tech-search.com"
We're interested in learning whether it actually increases their web traffic.
It's a sign of the changing times. Can you imagine a recruiter advertising on the back of a bus as little as a year ago? Can you imagine that ad being for a website?
It's not that bus advertising is new. It's certainly not that an advertising campaign that uses the words "Cool" or "Hot" is interesting. What we find remarkable is the idea that bus advertising is being used to bolster the effectiveness of an Electronic Recruiting campaign.
In our world, innovation isn't necessarily always bright and exciting. The innovation that "wins" often exploits a dull and boring opportunity that everyone else ignores.
The Yellow Stuff Is Egg. The Pink Stuff Is Face
(March 09, 1998) Ever have one of those weeks? Our continuing series of provocative demonstrations, slyly entitled "How Not To Do It", reached a watershed last week. In our article on the new Classifieds2000 recruitment services, we mis-typed the URL not once but twice. The first time, we entered the address as http://www.clasified200.com which, as you might have noticed, goes nowhere. In a hasty attempt to fix the error, we entered http://www.clasifieds2000.com.
It just made things worse.
The real link should have been http://www.classifieds2000.com. It's now fixed, for all of eternity, in our archives.
Take a look at the three links:
We send our apologies to anyone we offended. The lesson? Check Your Links.
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