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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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Recruiting Resources
(June 05, 1998) Got some time this afternoon? The web is filling with lots of potent resources for recruiters. The training industry is blossoming, mailing lists are sprouting everywhere and newsletters are flourishing. Here are four of our current favorites.

  • Intelligent Search (AIRS)
    Intelligent Search produces the AIRS seminars which focus on a procedural approach to searching for candidates. Their website is a remarkably well organized introduction to the broad resources recruiter's need to navigate the web.
    • Site Overview
      The site is a very crisp introduction to available recruiting resources wrapped around their seminar sales pitch. If you're looking to find an example of clear, focused sales copy that works on the web, Intelligent Search provides a masterful example.

    • Key Resources
      In particular, check out the following section of their site. It's worth a bookmark.

  • Barbara Ling's Virtual Coach
    Barbara is a shining star in the world of consultants who are beginning to populate the industry. She has a clear and direct style coupled with a solid understanding of the web business environment. Her site contains several useful resources including a book and tips for online recruiting success.

  • Electronic Recruiting Exchange
    David Manaster, a TMP internet guru, operates this website as a project that is not related to his "day job". At the center of the operation is a discussion list that we've recently recommended.
    • Site Overview The site is a smartly designed beginning for a solid collection of books, resources, jobs and tools for Recruiters. We expect to see a lot of interesting growth from David's new enterprise.
    • Key Resources

  • Recruiters Network
    Brian Weiss is taking the responsibility to create a single center for books, resources, software and related tools in the industry. The site is in its early phases but seems to have the right momentum.

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More Tidbits

(June 04, 1998) If you're working the financial marketplace, you might consider trolling the waters on the Bloomberg Financial Information Site. While they don't charge for employment ads (yet?), Bloomberg has instituted an interesting screening policy. To use the one listing per week that Bloomberg allows, you have to jump through the hoops in their screening process. It makes the territory clearer. Since you're fishing on the banks of Lake Bloomberg, you know a number of things right off about the responses you get.

Bloomberg also lists Positions Wanted in two categories: Over 5 Years and Under 5 Years (experience).

Advertising, Acquisition and Adjacency (Partnering)

These are the three major ways that the large players shape their traffic/audience development strategies. While TMP is executing the most public acquisition strategy, Hodes is quietly building a combination of advertising and adjacency. The difference between the two strategies may be as simple as the importance of direct control. It may be as complex as radically differing visions of the future of recruiting.

Recently, we noticed a couple of quiet but exciting Hodes efforts.

In function, San Diego Hightech (a Hodes initiative) is quite similar to Digital Station (the San Francisco Component of DigitalCities Explosion onto the scene). The fact that Hodes is playing in this relative backwater indicates some serious experimentation beyond their traditional boundaries.

Yesterday, Hodes announced a reasonably unexpected, but insightful, positioning play. Career Mosaic and DIDAX (builders of www.christcom.net) are opening an "alliance" operation that delivers viewers to Career Mosaic and fees to DIDAX. The target? A large online Christian community.

It's no wonder that the April Nielsen/IPRO audit of Career Mosaic's Traffic showed 3.9 Million visitors. That's about 70 visitors for every job in the database.

The advertising agencies were years ahead of everyone else in our industry. It looks like they're continuing to set the pace.

Junglee strikes again! The press release claims that the Digital Cities / Junglee "Creates Internet's Largest Employment Classifieds Search Database of Up-to-Date Job Listings". Hyperbole aside, this is a venture to watch closely. Local targeting, solid local content, spidered by Junglee, delivered to the AOL audience (and the Web) looks like the beginnings of what the web could be.


(June 03, 1998) Last week, we talked about CareerWeb at some length. Gary Baum, the General Manager, was kind enough to gently point out a couple of errors in our story. In particular, CareerWeb has amassed a much larger store of inbound links than we saw. The links "point" at cweb.com (an older domain name). He also noted that Career Web does offer spidered acquisition of job content. It just isn't mentioned clearly on their site.

The alliances are getting interesting and the money is getting bigger. CareerPath, who we've always been tempted to write off, has purchased the right to be the master of the Infoseek Career Channel. It's a solid move to build traffic and name recognition.

TMP, owner of The Monster Board, OCC and others has added a couple of interesting properties to their stable. AboutWork and StudentCenter are hard to tell apart on a single look. They're both "communities" developed by i-Village and include lots of current students and people taking about their jobs.

It's a potentially brilliant move. The labor shortage is, after all, generational. Recruiting will depend, increasingly, on name recognition and relationships developed over time. The two "communities" represent reservoirs of passive job hunters. If TMP can figure out how to successfully harvest the potential, they'll be rewriting the book.

If candidate availability is just a slightly more complex version of inventory management, then operations like TMP's new villages catch the inventory earlier in the processing cycle. As a business model, we like it.

21st Century Recruiting will be all about identifying Human Resources years in advance of the requirement. It will be fascinating to watch TMP. It's the same set of principles we teach in our seminars.


(June 02, 1998) Imagine the perfect Electronic Recruitment Advertising tool. It would provide a single interface to all of the thousands of posting sites. Billing would be automatic and involve a single check per month. All responses would be funneled through a single database. Those responses would be scored, ranked and warehoused. The reports would tell you which dollars delivered which results.

From a pure advertising perspective, the ideal tool would allow a recruiting organization to focus on the quality and placement of its job ads.

Hold that thought!

HRSites International is a very ambitious project that is attempting to offer most of these features and more. We stumbled onto their "vision" while looking at Shop4Jobs, a new entrant with a modest site and an apparently large advertising budget.

Shop4Jobs is a member of something called InternetPost: Automated Online Posting. InternetPost is a subset of HR Sites International. Peeling back the layers of this operation is no small chore. HRSites appears to be an umbrella organization of domain names like nnnSites.com.

Jobsearchsite is the interface to their database of jobs. It includes the ability to search jobs by Department code, a feature we're sure that job hunters have been patiently awaiting (not).

(It's hard to tell exactly what business these folks are in. In the midst of their suite of hrsites is an ad offering the domain name "healthcaresite.com" for sale.)

The core features of HR Sites are:

  • Integrated Posting For 400 Job Boards and lots of Usenet groups
  • Candidate Evaluation System
  • Response Tracking By Job Board and Posting
  • An offsite personalized resume database of the results It would be incredibly easy to pick nits on this one. There are tons of spelling errors and major design mistakes. The resume input form takes nearly 10 minutes to complete. (All job hunters have to use a standardized input process, it seems.) The "demo" is a tortured pitch. Billing is not seamless.


    our industry is crying out for an integrated solution that allows Recruiters to Recruit. As Electronic Recruiting has exploded, the industry has grown up without the comfort of competent advertising account managers. They're learning at the same pace as the rest of us. After complaints about effectiveness and usability, our surveys lead us to the conclusion that Recruiters have been swamped by the learning curve.

    HRSites doesn't solve the learning curve problem. It's a very solid first attempt that suffers mostly from its ambitiousness. While the ultimate tool set can be imagined, what we need right now is a solid "Swiss Army Knife". HRSites has cleverly imagined most of the pieces and begun the process of integrating them. Don't expect Swiss design standards, it is a work in progress.

    Priced between $10K and $40K per account (including onsite training), the service is beyond the reach of most small to medium sized recruiters.

    HRSites clearly sees Recruitment Advertising Agencies as a large part of their target market. The service can be used to facilitate media planning and is in place in a number of agencies. You'd expect any agency that used the current system to be able to offer a per transaction (posting) discount. We bet that the high end of the market will move towards the service in the medium term.

    If you're paying fees (internally or externally) on a per posting per service basis, those days are numbered.


    (June 01, 1998) What's in a name? In an earlier column, we mentioned the proliferation of the term "ecruiting". CareerBuilder (the very public face of NetStart, Inc.) has launched a powerful initiative under the rubric "Ecruiting". Setting aside the problems with the name, CareerBuilder is introducing a provocative next step in the targeting and delivery of recruitment advertising.

    Like Best Internet Recruiter, CareerBuilder has launched a single point of purchase advertising distribution network (SPPN). While most online job services currently offer some form of bulk advertising distribution (BAD) (usually postings to Usenet, Yahoo!, Infoseek or Classifieds2000), the single point of purchase network (SPPN) offers the ability to target postings and manage the results. In other words, not all postings necessarily go to all places. In theory, the SPPN approach allows "media planning", the backbone of real target marketing, to be conducted from a single interface, rooted in solid demographics and measured as an investment / return problem.

    It's about time that the industry began to turn in this direction.

    While Best Internet Recruiter has chosen to focus on large existing career hubs (like 4Work, OCC, and ESpan), the CareerBuilder approach aims at directly targeted niches. Here's their opening gambit:


    • HISPANIC Online
    • Women's Connection Online
    • Black Enterprise Online - Coming in June
    • Microsoft/Black Entertainment Television (MSBET) Career Central
    • American Banker Online CareerZone
    • Phillips Business Information: Telecom Group
    • CNET - Coming in June
    • Business Week Online Career Center
    • developer.com's Job Bank
    • EDN CarEEr Zone
    • Test & Measurement World Online - Coming in June
    A single job posting can be placed on any or all of these niche sites. CareerBuilder is committed to rapidly expanding their network and creating a platform for solid targeting and results management.

    While we're sure that the e-cruiting moniker will create confusion, CareerBuilder is poised to take a solid share of the marketplace. As their network develops, watch for their client list to build.

    Some details:
    (the "links" in the following section will take you to search engine results that document the statistics)

    Ecruitment.com, Ecruiting.com, and Ecruit.com are all owned by Net Start. Ecruiter.com however, is owned by CareerBridge (a Canadian firm)

    The search engines provided the following listings:
    AltaVista (19), Hotbot (85), Northern Light (15)

    AltaVista (331), Hotbot (51), Northern Light (273)

    As you might guess, most of the listings for "ecruiting" were mis-spellings. Very few point to the CareerBuilder initiative.

    Links to Netstart, Inc
    AltaVista (1473), HotBot (82), NorthernLight (25)

    Links to CareerBuilder
    AltaVista (3521), HotBot (1123), NorthernLight (94)

    Two things can be drawn from these statistics. If you're following the evolution of the search engines (for recruiting research), you'll notice that the results are increasingly diverging. From a market perspective, CareerBuilder has developed a very solid presence that should result in predictable volumes of traffic underpinning its efforts.

    Recruiting Online:
    Advanced Seminar Series

    (May 26, 1997): We will be delivering seminars in 12 cities this Summer.

    Advanced Searching and Sourcing Techniques
    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.

    Seminar Schedule
    July 13: San Francisco, CA
    July 13: Boston, MA
    July 15: Irvine, CA
    July 15: New York City
    July 17: Seattle, WA
    July 17: Princeton, NJ
    July 20: Metro DC
    July 22: Raleigh, NC
    July 24: Atlanta, GA
    July 27: Dallas, TX
    July 29: St. Louis, MO
    July 31: Chicago, IL

    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 June 15, there is a $150 discount. For Payments received by July 1, the savings is $100. We offer an additional discount of $100 to any recruiter who completes our 1998 Electronic Recruiting Survey.

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

    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.

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

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