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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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© TwoColorHat.
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News From The Home Office
(June 25, 1998) Our annual research project (The 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index) is moving well along to our September shipping date.(Call the office and will fax you the brochure! The Webstuff is coming.) With deep surveys into the needs and habits of recruiters and job boards, we're learning some very interesting things. If you haven't sent us your survey, we're trying to get all inputs by July 15.

We'll also begin surveying the major vendors next week. We're hoping to get the core performance and pricing data from 1,000 electronic advertising venues. If you think we might miss you (we're only human) send a note with your email, fax, phone and contact info. We'll be faxing a four page survey for vendors next week.

We've agreed to bite the bullet and launch a series of Industry Trade Shows - Conferences. The first will be next Spring in San Francisco. Code named ERIC (the Electronic Recruiting Industry Conference), we're planning to bring the best and brightest recruiters and vendors together under one roof. Call and get in on the early planning. We're looking for speakers (with one large caveat...no overt sales pitches).

The basic idea is to conduct the conferences at two levels. The Spring is for Recruiters. The Fall is for Vendors. We'll keep you posted.

As always, we're actively seeking sponsors and advertisers for the Research, Seminars, Newsletters and the conference.

From Tokyo, the following newsblip.

The Ministry of Labor will list about 110,000 job offers in Tokyo on the Internet early next year to help job seekers find employment, ministry officials said. It will also post such information as the location of public job placement offices, schedules of unemployment compensation payments and other related information.

To safeguard individual privacy and corporate recruiting strategies, however, the ministry will not provide any data on job seekers or name those companies offering jobs. Applicants will have to visit placement offices to receive details on the offers and letters of introduction.

The ministry plans to gradually expand Net listings, posting job offers from more of its network of public placement offices.

All modesty aside, it's probably the result of our recent video segment on Tokyo TV.

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(June 24, 1998) Paid internships and summer jobs are looming as potent tools for reaching underclassmen before graduation. Advertising them in arenas frequented by college students is the best way to get the message out. Increasingly, the game is moving toward the development of relationships before a candidate hits the job market. In this regard, the recent TMP acquisition of StudentCenter is a masterstroke. (We think Mainquad, though somewhat fractured, is another interesting property.)

More than half of parents with online-savvy kids would be open to paying for subscription services that monitor content and chat for kids Jupiter analysts said today at Jupiter's Digital Kids '98 conference in San Francisco. For companies with less than stellar brand awareness, sponsorship of these sorts of environments is a logical stop in a long range recruitment advertising.

Links (in French and English is an interesting "guild" of consultants. The core service matches consultants and businesses seeking them through a regular email newsletter. It underscores the importance of email in International Electronic Recruiting.

We received an email that began:

We are proud to introduce. Our revolutionary document database. Which is available by subscription for new clients and it can be delivered right into your office every morning.
It went on to describe email services, databases and lots of juicy opportunity. Unfortunately, the email address was bad and they don't offer an 800 number. That's what made us notice the faulty grammar.

Great online marketing begins with getting the basics right. Too bad for these folks.

It's Still Early

(June 23, 1998) If there's one thing we've learned in the past years, it's this formula:
For every doubling of the population of web users, the average experience level of web users is cut in half.
This means that as our market grows, it requires increasingly simple answers. But, because the technology is nowhere near full maturity, the answers are getting more complex.

From the perspective of users (Recruiters), the marketplace is jumbled, contradictory and fractured. From the perspective of Vendors (job boards, research companies, software suppliers and advertising agencies), the marketplace is awash in competing and often irreconcilable claims. For Job Hunters, it's a crap shoot that depends on fate and timing.

Demographics (the generational labor shortage) and marketplace hype combine to create a crush of expectation. Delivery doesn't stand up to the expectations currently. All of the players in the equation are frustrated on one level or another. As the labor market tightens and web population grows, the demand for a market synthesizer escalates. But, the logical players in those niches are focused on technical innovation and market share.

It's still very early in the game. Very early.

The Web's potential futures range from an overwhelming database / reference tool to a very rich personalized communications channel that fits with the rest of contemporary media. There is one thing you can be absolutely sure of: the final picture will not resemble today's environment in very many ways.

As a Recruiter, the best approach is wariness. You can use several simple principles:

  • If a vendor promises certainty or simplicity, make sure that there is a way to measure the results. Get a guarantee. (Classifieds2000 is setting some standards in this regard.)
  • Today's answers will become tomorrow's liabilities (and quickly). Don't over-proceduralize. As soon as you figure out a competitive edge, someone else can (and will) copy it. All advantage is temporary under current conditions.
  • Avoid the temptation to benchmark the competition. Watch them, yes. Learn from them, of course. Just don't rely on following someone else to solve the problem.
  • Things will change. There is (more likely than not) a vendor waiting in the wings to solve some of the frustrations that you face today.
  • Watch the trends. The future is more predictable than it seems. A long view requires that you get your head out of the details for some time each day.
  • Maintain an attitude of experimentation. This is hard in an environment that demands productive results. The minute you rest on your laurels, however, is the minute that the backward slide begins.
Okay, okay. We're sliding the soapbox back under the desk. The point of this sermonette is simple. Very little is certain in Electronic Recruiting (except the relentless pressures of performance demands and demographics). Clarity is coming but it won't seem to arrive fast enough.

Interim - AltaVista

(June 22, 1998) Check out AltaVista's new Career Zone. To cut to the chase, look at the resume search interface. It allows keyword searching of all of the major career site databases and individual resumes out on the web. If you submit the URL of your job listings, the AltaVista project will come out and add them to their database on a regular basis.

We're unclear about their business model. It looks like they might offer banner advertising tied to keywords in exchange for a split of the revenue. They have a career bookstore as well. Models aside, the Altavista Career Zone stands right in front of the search engine's fire hose of traffic and gets to use their spidering capabilities to build content. That gives the enterprise the opportunity to experiment a while.

The project, which we think is a harbinger of full-tilt spidered employment services, involves a relationship between Interim (the staffing company) and AltaVista. Interim is the force behind the sexiest staffing company web page in the business. We're particularly fond of Interim's candidate search page and emerging workforce survey.

It's early in the process and there's much that we'd change. But, keep your eye on this project. Coupling a staffing company and a search engine changes the playing field. As we've been predicting, it's getting harder to tell who is in which business.

Results from the Interim Survey:

  • Nine in ten are satisfied in their jobs (45% very satisfied, 46% somewhat satisfied).
  • Eight in ten are satisfied with their earning potential (30% very satisfied, 52% somewhat satisfied).
  • Most believe opportunities for growth are good 61% with current employer (25% excellent, 36% pretty good); 65% if they were to leave current employer (23% excellent, 42% pretty good).
  • Three fourths plan to stay in current jobs next five 5 years (53% very likely, 22% somewhat likely).
  • On average, American workers have been with their current employer for 8 years. American workers have worked for 6 employers since entering the workforce.(18% - one employer; 62% - 2 to 6 employers; 21% - 6+ employers).
  • 81% of workers say their employer promises long-term job security to some extent or a great extent. 44% said to a great extent.
  • 46% of American workers work 36 40 hours a week, 25% work 41 50 hours a week, and 10% work 51-60 hours a week. Employees work, on average, 43 hours a week.
  • Seven in ten feel on track or further along than they expected to be (47% and 28%, respectively).
  • Four in ten employees have worked as a part-time, contract or temporary worker in the past two years (38%). (23% part-time, 20% contract or consultant, 11% temporary).
  • Half consider work a career (55%), and half a job (44%).
  • 45% of working adults have worked for an employer during a downsizing, one third of which have lost a job due to it (or 15% of working adults).
  • Recruiting Online:
    Advanced Seminar Series

    (June 15, 1998): 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.

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

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