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(August 28, 1998) Heightened competition for a dwindling pool. That's the basic premise of most of the efforts going on in the industry today. Chasing the active job seeker, a carryover from our roots in classified advertising, is a part of the question. It is not the most interesting part, however.
As the pandering intensifies, the cost to acquire an active candidate (getting them to visit your website or read your job posting) is starting to approach the cost of ferreting out a passive player. While the costs are becoming similar, the tactics are very different.
The active job hunter is in a risk taking posture. The passive player is (almost by definition) risk averse. The same tactics that attract a person looking to put better food on the table can frighten a player who is (at least somewhat) happy with the current grocery quality.
One way of thinking about the issue: the happier a person is in their current job, the more relationship is required to pry them out. Trust and security, which are relatively minor issues with active seekers, take precedence with the passive player. Delivering trust and security online is very different from delivering a database of jobs. It takes reliability, a constant stream of changing value and some form of personal connection.
(August 27, 1998) CareerBuilder has followed CareerMosaic's lead and launched a free email service. Free email accounts help online job boards overcome a sticky problem. Email on the company system is the property of the company. Since most online job hunting happens during work hours, the bet is that job ad response rates will improve as the result. Remember the ethics discussion a couple of weeks ago?
CareerMosaic has the market sense to drive innovation. CareerBuilder can sniff out the next trend better than any of the other players. Expect to see Free Email proliferate rapidly among the top 20 or so players. It's a smart move.
It's also the likely beginning of a round of technical improvements to the existing business model. Any strategist worth the paycheck has been eyeing the up and coming Excite Careers Network. Fully integrated in the Excite machine, the technical and market engine of Classifieds2000 are being groomed to deliver a full featured player. Since Excite seems to be setting the stage for freebies, we expect that Recruiting Industry players will have little choice but to follow.
The interesting thing about this development is that it narrows the line between active and passive job hunters. Free services are liable to root out any currently employed candidate with a hint of willingness to move. For this group, free email means risk reduction. From an active candidate's perspective, entering the market is all about risk reduction.
(August 26, 1998) Job Access introduces itself with the following confusing pitch:
JOB access provides a place where people with disabilites (sic) can seek employment, confident that they will be evaluated solely on their skills and experience. ....By taking a few minutes to post your resume online, you increase your visibility to companies that are looking for qualified people with disabilities.
Job-Search-Engine.com enables a job hunter to plow through all of the jobs posted on all of the job boards from a single interface. It's the reinvention of Usenet.
We like the design at ActiJob, a bi-lingual Canadian tool. It's simple and red. We like red. It also has a neato remote control. We like remote controls. We like knowing that a remote control is called a tele-commande in French. We like navigating through folders and clicking on stuff. Clicking is fun. We enjoy looking at neato designs and cool stuff while we wait. It's just like going to the dentist. We like going to the dentist. We really like waiting a long time in the dentist's office. It's just like ActiJob.
We hate the design at Passport Access...garish, blinking, badly executed. It reminded us that virtual reality inevitably causes nausea.
But, we love the central product.
Did You Miss Us?
(August 25, 1998) Wow! We spent yesterday buried in the results of our Recruiter's survey. With 2,620 responses, the databases stuffed, the queries done and the analysis nearly complete, we began our annual ranking process. What an eye opener.
The industry is mature enough so that rankings based on look and feel are beyond useless. The data, collected from all of those recruiters, allowed us to rank sites based on the following characteristics:
One very interesting thing is emerging from the data.
At best, paying customers are unimpressed with the quality they are receiving. At best! When we talk to the proprietors of job boards and related services about their quality problems, they always point to the incredible price pressure that they face. They claim to be unable to increase quality at the current price points.
Our survey data is showing that price is not the issue for paying customers. Results, customer service and education are what matters.
(August 02, 1998): We will be delivering seminars in 18 cities this Fall.
Searching and Sourcing Techniques (The Toolkit)
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 September 1, there is a $150 discount. For Payments received by September 11, the savings is $100. We also offer group discounts You can learn more about the seminars, register online or call our sales office (415) 377-2255 to register.
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