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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall

It's better to
do a few things
really well than
than to do
a lot of things
If you can't
make the necessary
commitments of
time and energy
to your
scale back
your plan.
John Sumser

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Location, Location, Location
(May 22, 1998) What do you call a big area where people go to review job listings and get career advice? The Unemployment Office. While the unemployment office can provide some level of candidate supply, we are sure that any candidate found in such a setting will bring up a ton of questions.

Years ago Espan stumbled onto the right idea. They partnered with CMP (the publisher of IT Trade magazines) to produce TechCareers. These days, the Tech Careers job database is managed by the Monster Board.

On the web (and anywhere else during a labor shortage), the best location for effective recruiting is closer to the candidate than to the employer. TechCareers has consistently delivered one model for working the niches over time. Strong candidates are much less interested in job advice than they are in tools to help them with their current jobs. Nesting your recruiting efforts inside a trade magazine or professional association is likely to produce a much higher quality candidate than simply trolling the unemployment office.

One of the key features of TechCareers is a stream of weekly articles. They tend to be interesting to all sides of the recruitment equation. Take a look at this week's offerings (and then, bookmark the Articles page if you have any interest in IT Recruiting):

A Short Break
(May 21, 1998) Well, we've put another seminar series to rest. The summer schedule is currently available only in our downloadable newsletter.


(May 20, 1998) Check out the new look at DICE. With an expanding war chest, 50,000 plus job listings and a minor traffic shortage, the contract placement operation appears to be tooling up.

We think that they set a solid precedent by clearly offering their site statistics for all of the world to see. It'd be better if they used a more standard set of definitions. But, if their numbers are what they appear to be, an average job posting on Dice is seen about 7 times a week.

Here's hoping that other sites will publicly post their traffic data so that recruiters can make intelligent purchasing decisions.

The new design shows that DICE is getting the message about making job boards simple to use and navigate.

Junglee is also doing aggressive positioning. Today brings the news that they've hired Ram Shriram as President and Chief Operating Officer. Shiram most recently was vice president for Netscape Communications Corp., where he reported to Jim Barksdale, Netscape's CEO. He joined Netscape in 1994 before they shipped product or had revenue, and helped set the company's goals, strategic direction, and planning of its future evolution.

Talk about introducing major players into our midst!!!!

Junglee, as you probably remember, is developing the ultimate plumbing system for the online recruitment world. Their technology allows job board vendors to spider job ads from your site. You save the internal administrative costs associated with repetitive posting.


Is relocation a part of your recruiting practice? You might want to check out Avatar Moving Systems site. It's a nice job and a useful set of informational resources.

Backdoorjobs indeed! What a breath of fresh air!

Career.com (HEART), certainly owns the best domain name in the business. They're trying an interesting experiment. The first page of their site contains folksy descriptions of their latest customers. It's novel. It sort of works.

Does anyone remember Intellimatch? The pioneering web recruiting service featured extensive forms to fill out and a complex set of matching possibilities. It failed expensively. The ex-staff will tell you that it was "funding problems" (engineers always say that). We maintain that a complex set of forms is best left to the HR department (where a paycheck can be held hostage in exchange for data).

We were reminded of the bizarre end of Intellimatch when we took a look at the new offering from Korn-Ferry. Bravely called FutureStep, the new job matching / customized advice service is Korn-Ferry's "bold" step into online recruiting? It features (you guessed it) 60 minutes of forms to fill out.

Korn-Ferry specializes successfully in very high end recruiting. Who do you suppose that they'd want to place who has 60 minutes to fill out forms online? Maybe someone should have asked that question before they made the investment.

The good news? We always tell our clients to expect that the "first site will always be a failure". Korn-Ferry is helping us look like real fortune tellers.

Meanwhile, a new online rag called the Industry Standard is rushing to proclaim the blurring of distinctions between advertising agencies and Executive Headhunters. Citing Korn-Ferry as an example, they make a big fuss about Career Mosaic and the Monster Board reaching into traditional recruiting. All we can say is "Honey, where you been?"

According to the Industry Standard article, Korn-Ferry is looking for IPO funding to move FutureStep forward. We guess that there's a sucker born every minute. Maybe they'll be able to track down some of the money that used to support Intellimatch.


(May 19, 1998) It is tempting to declare that all online recruiting works in exactly the same way...one size fits all, so to speak. A lengthy conversation with a leading high-end legal recruiter underscored our belief that recruiting is "niche sensitive".

Tangled in protocol, partnership agreements, nuance and rigid career paths, the art of recruiting in the legal industry is a specialists game. Slow, methodical approaches, a heightened emphasis on fit and the careful development of reputation are the ingredients of success. It works the same way in medicine, architecture, very senior executive recruiting, old "brand sensitive" companies, and so on.

Our bet is that the generational labor shortage will bring this level of professionalism to the industry as a whole. Rather than a web future of monolithic big companies with huge recruitment advertising databases, we're witnessing a flowering of boutique recruiting focused on specialties.

After all, the long term strength of the web is as a facilitator of rapidly developed long term intimate relationships. While the web is most frequently used as an inexpensive industrial strength solution to the current tight labor market, we expect to see the trend decline in importance. As the price of actual results rises (and it is doing so right now), the "affordability" of more customized solutions will become a non-issue. It will cost the same, in the final analysis, to broadcast a job to lots of sites as it will to build closely tied professional networks.

It's an interesting set of ironies. If you want to see the future, imagine the combination of executive recruiting tactics and the temporary agency's emphasis on technology.

Considering the possibilities should give you lots to think about.

Survey Sez...

(May 18, 1998) You'll notice that we've added yet another edition of our paper newsletter to the archives. At 16 pages, it's our biggest issue to date. Last Friday, we shipped it (in the US Mail) to over 80,000 recruiting professionals. As usual, you'll need Acrobat to read it online.

This issue includes the following articles:

  • Do Nothing Recruiting
  • Spiders Don't Bite
  • The View From 35,000 Feet
  • Free Resume Databases
  • Useful Spiders
  • Recruiting With Mailing Lists and Usenet
  • The Summer 1998 Seminar Schedule
  • and much, much more

Of course, the downloadable edition has all of the links enabled. You can click to view all of the sites and tools discussed in the newsletter.

If you have a moment, please download it and forward it to a friend. At about 450K, the file should take about 5 minutes to download. Just save it to your hard drive and attach it to a piece of email.

In the center of the newsletter, you'll find our 1998 Electronic Recruiter's Survey. We're excited about the prospect of developing a quantitative view of online recruiters' experience and requirements. If you take the time to fill out the survey and mail it to us, we're offering the following incentives:

  • A $100 Discount on our Seminars
  • A copy of the Recruiter's Internet Survival Guide (limited to the first 500 responses)
  • A copy of the executive summary of the survey (in late September 1998)
If you'd rather not download the entire newsletter, you can download the survey itself. We'd really appreciate it if you'd take the time to help us map out the real online recruiting world.

If you want to be certain that a paper copy of the newsletter reaches your desk, simply fill out this form.

Recruiting Online:
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 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.

Schedule For Seminar II
May 20: Boston, MA
May 20: Seattle, WA

Graduates receive:

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

    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.

    You can learn more about the seminars, register online or call us at the office (415.377.2255 or 800-358-2278) to register.

    Contacting Us
    Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to talk about your project.

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