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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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Materials written
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© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

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Industry Outbriefings
(October 1, 1998) Our standing prediction is that the stock market downturn will be followed by several months of continued decreases in the unemployment figures. This morning's release of the numbers showed another decrease in new claims for unemployment benefits. At 295,000, the number is at a 29 year low, tied with April 1998. Planners who assume that declining unemployment figures will continue to serve as indicators of economic growth are in for serious shocks.

The recruiting marketplace has changed permanently. For nearly a decade, the number of new entrants into the workforce has been in a decline driven by birth rates. The competition for candidates is intensifying and the tactics that work in recruiting are the opposite of the ones that have worked historically.

Nowhere is the tactical change more obvious than in online recruiting. While the early hype focused on the "cheapness" of the new medium, its real long term benefit is speed and access. Filling the staffing requirements of growing companies demands long term relationships with a candidate pool. It requires a rolodex/database that is five years longer and ten times deeper than your current approach.

We've been crowing about our recent Industry Analysis for a while now. The 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index covers the industry in comprehensive detail. From a 400 question survey of 2,620 paying customers to a detailed analysis of emerging strategy, the report covers everything you need to know to function effectively during this time of rapid change.

In the middle of this month, we will be conducting a series of "industry outbriefings" that cover the results of our surveys and analysis in the 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index. We'll take a look behind the numbers and expose

  • Recruiter's Needs and Who Meets Them
  • The Real Costs of An Integrated Online Recruiting Program
  • Customer Satisfaction Ratings and How They Are Liable To Change
  • Market Opportunities
  • Changes You Can Plan On
  • Job Posting / Website Integration
  • Factors Driving Market Growth
  • Survival Tactics For Recruiters
The one day intensive seminars will be held in
  • San Francisco on October 12
  • Chicago on October 14
  • New York City on October 16
Seats are still available. To reserve yours, call our offices at 800.358.2278. We're offering a package price that includes a copy of the 1999ERI.

Tarpaper Shacks

(September 30, 1998) With each passing day, we seem to be growing the number of email "newsletters" in our inbaskets. It's as if we sprinkled digital fertilizer on the laptop, had perfect weather and are harvesting a bumper crop. Almost as rapidly, those newsletters are sprouting pointers to job advertisements.

Yesterday, as we briefly checked out the stuff thrown away by our junk-mail filters, we stumbled on the latest missive from C-Net. Lord knows how we got on the list. It's why we love our junk mail filter.

At the end of the "newsletter", which fawned over the brilliant new features offered by the "portal", was a pointer to their new job section.

It turns out, with a little investigation, that the C-Net Job Center is a part of the CareerBuilder Network. As you probably know, the race to build traffic generating alliances with Portals and other high visibility sites has driven an astonishing number of relationships in the past months. CareerBuilder has been particularly aggressive in this regard. We wonder if anyone is looking at the results of these relationships.

In our annual Quality Awards, we simultaneously recognized the fact that some sites are much better than others at delivering usability and results. The level of customer dis-satisfaction was the most remarkable thing about this year's awards. Beyond our Top 15, many very recognizable brands have more customers who dislike the service than customers who like the quality and results.

The C-Net Job Center is a classic example of why. Take a look at the customer FAQ that is a part of this enterprise. While clever in its technical execution, the material appears out of nowhere and is linked to nothing. A critical part of the answer to the question "How Do I Get More Qualified Candidates?" isn't even linked to anything. The FAQ refers to material that may be a part of other CareerBuilderNetwork sites but certainly isn't a part of this one.

It is an embarrassing lack of attention to quality. We are certain that neither Cnet's management nor CareerBuilder's team has taken a close look at the actual product.

They are busy making deals and forgetting about customers.

In the Oklahoma land rush, unscrupulous speculators paid homesteaders to establish land claims by putting tar paper shacks on the homestead. The object was never to increase value, it was always a race for cheap bucks. It looks like the CareerBuilder Network is turning out to be a tar paper shack operation. Once Cnet's management takes a closer look at the experience that paying customers are being given, we imagine that some changes will come.

In the long run, every paying customer's initial experience follows you like karma. The Career Builder operation has the potential to be a solid contributor to the industry. They are going to have to take their eyes off of the potential fortune and place them on the details of their operation. Otherwise, like tar paper shacks, they will blow away in the first storm.

Th Cnet team will have to come to grips with the fact that even freebies require attention to detail.

Best Online Recruiting Enterprise: Career Mosaic

(September 29, 1998) Being "King of the Hill" is a good news - bad news proposition. It was like that when we played the game as kids; it's like that in competitive marketplaces.

One of the truly remarkable facets of the historical Recruitment marketplace is that it has been as fractured as any pure competition economist could imagine. With no operation holding more than four or five percent of the total, the scratching and clawing for slight advantage is remarkable to watch. The web changes that somewhat by giving an air of global possibilities to the game.

In the 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index, we have carefully assessed a variety of factors that make an online competitor successful. From customer satisfaction and brand awareness to market penetration and sales force effectiveness, we looked at the attributes that make or break online recruiting enterprises. We then converted the analysis into a measurement on a scale of 1 to 100. A score of 100 would describe a Recruitment enterprise with perfect market awareness, complete customer satisfaction and a very effective sales force.

You might guess that Career Mosaic and Monster Board ranked one and two respectively. (The rest of the top 10 are quite surprising and covered in the 1999ERI.) Our measurements indicate that Career Mosaic is the more effective of the two enterprises by a statistically significant increment. Here's why.

  • Career Mosaic ranked 7th on our customer satisfaction inventory while Monster Board ranked 11th
  • While both services have very deep brand awareness (85% of our respondents recognized both), Career Mosaic has been used by nearly 20% more paying customers
  • Paying customers ranked the quality of Resumes from Career Mosaic at 69 out of 100. The Monster Board's score was 62
  • The Career Mosaic sales proposition results in a conversion factor of 68% while Monsterboard languishes at 49%. (Conversion factor refers to the ability to convert market awareness into sales)
With these factors in mind, it's easy to see why we give Career Mosaic our nod as the "Best Online Recruiting Enterprise". Success is much more than brand awareness, traffic statistics or job posting tools. It involves the deployment of an integrated sales force and an abiding concern for customer satisfaction.

Congratulations to the Career Mosaic team.

Site Of The Year: Junglee

(September 28, 1998) To pull our Recruiter's survey together, we picked about 50 Job Boards and services for evaluation. We mailed, faxed, phoned and emailed the four page instrument to about 150,000 recruiters. 80,000 of them received hard copies of the survey. 2,620 responded and received incentives that included books, discounts on our seminars and subscriptions to our paper newsletter.

The Electronic Recruiting Marketplace is far more than a collection of job boards that compete with each other. Anyone with even a smidgen of experience knows that the largest share of the cost of online recruiting is internal. Between training, administration, marketing, media planning and coordination, the costs of using a job board are a fractional element of the overall expense. Although the brand names are just now being established, it is very clear that the long term winners will provide a variety of services that go well beyond simple job postings.

We included Junglee in the survey as an afterthought, assuming that it would give us a benchmark. A significant part of our survey results are the quantifiable determinations of market awareness and penetration achieved by the various competing brands. We queried our survey respondents about Junglee as a way of assessing the overall market's sophistication.

We were extremely surprised by the results.

Junglee, as you probably know, offers a much needed "middleware" service. As a recruiter, you can not directly purchase anything from the company. Rather, they sell their services to job boards who, in turn, resell the service to recruiters.

The service itself is very simple in concept. You post your jobs to your website. You contract with one of Junglee's Customers (see below). The Junglee Spider then visits your site; collects your job postings; reformats them; and, posts them for you. All of the learning curve associated with posting and maintaining postings is immediately eliminated.

Here are the surprising results:

  • Junglee was the 28th most recognized brand in our survey
  • Junglee had the seventh highest customer satisfaction scores
  • They were 13th on our list of "best near term investments"
  • Recruiters ranked them 7th on the "Results Quality" scale
    We expected that few recruiters would have heard of the company. In our conversations with competing services, we developed the impression that Junglee was seen by the marketplace as "too conceptual to sell". It doesn't appear to be true.

    As soon as paying customers understand that Junglee cuts their internal costs immediately, they appear to sign up for the service.

    We've chosen Junglee as our site of the year for a number of reasons. The marketplace results are astonishing. Their customer satisfaction ratings are among the best. More importantly, they focus on driving internal costs out of the equation. Rather than placing the learning curve onus on working recruiters, they make the web easier to use. It's a model that the competition would do well to consider.

    Recently, Junglee was purchased by online retailer The rumors are flying about a possible sale of the Recruitment Advertising technology. If we had the money, we'd be on the bidders' list.

    Junglee's Customer List
    AOL Digital Cities
    Asia Links
    Black Voices
    The Boston Globe
    The Chicago Tribune
    Classifieds2000 (Excite)
    The Los Angeles Times
    The Orlando Sentinel
    The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
    Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
    The Washington Post: CareerPost
    Westech Virtual Job Fair

    The accomplishments, trends and positions of the other entrants are covered in detail in the 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index. We're particularly excited about our quantitative evaluations of over 50 Job Boards. The Industry out briefings, scheduled for the second full week of October, are turning out to be exciting gatherings of the key players. Ordering information for either or both is on the last page of the Executive Summary. The executive summary includes market forecasts, customer satisfaction rankings and demographic trends.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    Recruiting Online:
    Fall 1998 Seminar Series

    (September 21, 1998): We will be delivering seminars in 18 cities this Fall.

    Searching and Sourcing Techniques (The Toolkit)
    Faced with an overwhelming array of possibility, Recruiters are swamped with opportunities to waste time on the web. In this seminar, you will learn how to mine the data fields and use your Internet Recruiting time effectively. The one day presentation covers spidering, flipping, and depth searching...all of the tools required to unearth the passive candidate. Our emphasis is on the integration of the Internet into your daily Recruiting activities. The course includes a A CD Chock-Full Of Net Software and Tools.

    Seminar Schedule
    Sep 30: Reston, VA
    Oct 02: Nashville, TN
    Oct 05: Detroit, MI
    Oct 07: Tampa, FL
    Oct 09: Toronto, Canada
    Sep 30: Denver, CO
    Oct 02: Schaumburg, IL
    Oct 05: Houston, TX
    Oct 07: St Louis, MO
    Oct 09: San Francisco, CA

    Graduates receive:

  • $2,000 In Special Offers From 5 Online Recruiting Services
  • A One Year Subscription ($395 Value) To Our Subscription Only Web Site
  • A CD with over 30 pieces of useful software
  • 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 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.

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

    All material on this site is © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 by IBN:
    (The Internet Business Network), PO Box 2474, Mill Valley, CA 94941
    Send comments to

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