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(May 15, 1998) Billing itself as The Computer Job Center, Infoworks USA has entered the scene. With about 150 paying clients, a sleek (fast) interface and user centric design the service gets high marks out of the chute. By focusing exclusively on the Information Technology segment, the service has been able to apply its marketing resources to clear targets. Ease of use makes the service a viable tool for reaching the IT job hunter.
The Team at Infoworks is organized by region. Beneath their web interface lies a human strategy to plumb the differences between regions in the United States. This strategy deserves your clear attention. While the site occupies space on the so-called "World-Wide-Web", the company recognizes the key truth about Recruiting. The bulk of the work in our business is inherently regional. The development of results for your recruiting requirements is handled with a clear emphasis on available candidates in your region.
Building regional focus directly into their organization clearly discriminates InfoworksUSA from the competition.
As the marketplace continues to devolve into discrete niches, keep your eyes on players like these guys. They don't wave their arms claiming "global dominance". Rather, they provide focused services with a clear marketing path to the candidates you need.
Everyone knows just how competitive the IT/IS Recruiting marketplace has become. Given the InfoworksUSA marketing strategy and sleek operations, they're liable to be a useful weapon in your advertising arsenal.
How Long, How Short?
(May 13, 1998) The current staffing crisis in Information Technology is simply the tip of the iceberg. Even if it weren't being amplified by the changes in workforce structure, its roots are deep in American policy changes at the national level.
For the first two thirds of this century, technical training was provided through the mechanism of forced conscription in the national military. The draft gave millions of men and women direct exposure to the use of contemporary technology. The military was the fundamental supply point for mechanics in the 1940s, the early wave of computer programmers and many of the prior generation's managers. We're simply feeling the pinch caused by military downsizing and an all volunteer force.
Although the decision to modify the supply of trained technical professionals was executed in Washington, it happened with a large degree of popular support. We're just paying the long term price for that decision.
The IT problem will solve itself. The salary differentials alone are adequate to move the right quantity of workers into the right positions. Experienced white collar professionals make adequate IT workers with a minimum of training. Smart firms, recognizing this fact, are developing in-house worker conversion programs that solve the problem profitably.
Smart staffing firms (Manpower and Matrix resources) solve the problem by using training as a recruiting tool.
The real problem comes after the IT shortfall has been addressed. Migrating workers to fill the slots left vacant by new IT recruits is a more decentralized issue. How do you recover the expertise when your marketing talent is earning their living in IT? Who do you replace them with?
Recognizing the source of the problem is only a part of the question. While the military could have been harnessed to solve the IT shortage, it wasn't. It's not likely that replacement sales people will ever be produced by the Armed forces.
The training bill, due from a decade old decision, is coming due.
(May 12, 1998) In the 1970's, economists scratched their heads while inflation drove a stagnant economy. Wages rose rapidly along with real estate and resource prices. The wise men who analyze our economy were dumbfounded.
The problem with Economics is that it is a science of "winning the last war". It focuses on history as a method for predicting the future. While reasonable in its approach, it's doomed to failure.
In hindsight, stagflation was the direct consequence of the "baby boom" generation entering the workforce and buying housing. Current economics are driven by the beginning of their departure from the workforce, changes in retirement planning and declining birthrates. Heads will be scratched again.
The current 4.3% unemployment rate will be remembered by recruiters as the end of an era of good times. Like Seinfeld's final episode (which signals the real beginning of the web era and the end of Network TV), recruiting based on candidate abundance is over. O V E R.
High end recruiting operations (who can "cherry-pick" with higher marginal compensation packages and status) will continue to have more applicants than opening. Even their overall numbers will begin to decline shortly. For the other 95% of us, the game has to change to a more strategic model. Any market driven by shortages does.
During the remainder of this year, recruiting effectiveness will become a rapidly increasing issue. Placement productivity as a function of outbound calls will decline as current employers increasingly match offers. They'll have to to stave off massive attrition. This year's margins in third party recruiting will be unprecedented. But, they will be derived from the first and second quarters' performance.
Inside HR departments, hours and cost per placement will take a steep move upward. Even the cherry pickers will be competing more aggressively.
You can expect these forces to drive the Internet cost-per-hire up correspondingly. The net cost per candidate is rising now. You'll experience it as declining resume quality and lower response rates.
Take a look at the back issues of our newsletter. We offer a variety of tips and examples for coping with this change. Essentially, the long term future of recruiting will involve network building and a constant stream of value shipped routinely to candidates you may never hire. A shortage is 180 degrees different from abundance. So are the strategies and tactics.
(May 11, 1998) Wondering if you'll ever catch up? Sometimes the recruiting technology race seems to speed up just as you close in on feeling competent. We'd like to suggest that your real work needs to begin at home, with tools you already have at your disposal.
At the simplest level, Email is the most powerful potential tool in your arsenal. But, you have to meet some basic parameters to use it effectively:
Advanced Seminar Series
(March 16, 1997): Our educational series has been expanded. We will be delivering seminars in 12 cities this Spring. We will be offering both of our successful courses, updated to reflect the changing web environment.
Seminar I: Management, Strategies and Tactics
Schedule For Seminar I
Seminar II: Advanced Searching and Sourcing
Schedule For Seminar II
Enroll today, seats are still available. There is a discount available for early registrations. The seminars have a retail price of $995. If your payment is received by April 15, there is a $150 discount. For Payments received by May 1, the savings is $100. We offer an additional discount of $100 for each member in a group of 2 or more.
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