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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

© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

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  • Head Hunter dot Net

    (November 12, 1998) Begrudgingly, we're becoming fans of Warren Bare's We've often dismissed the venture as an exercise in financial positioning and we've heavily critiqued the bait and switch approach of an operation that promises to be free but charges if you happen to want results. We're still giggling about their current positioning as "The premier Internet community for job seekers, employers and recruiters." We wonder how on earth a database can be considered a "community".


    The more time we spend on their site, the more we like its goofy brand of friendliness. Job hunters are, as a class, extremely anxious. The cartoonish design helps relax nervous temperaments.

    We particularly like their statement of values which reads

    Our value system is like our personality. We cannot change it. Our values represent who we are and whom we hire.
    • We are fair, honest, and reliable.
    • We value and respect the individual.
    • We reward performance.
    • We are good stewards, managing company resources as we would our own.
    • We display teamwork and take ownership of problems until solved.
    • We are easy to do business with.
    • We listen to our customers, employees, and investors.
    • We do what we say
    It's not that we think that every site needs or should use this approach. It's just that there's a kind of trustworthy simplicity contained in this short statement that seems to be reflected throughout the site.

    Time will tell whether or not their innovative pricing model (you pay for positioning in their search engine) will pan out as a viable approach. We don't have a crystal ball that is that clear. What we can tell you is that their gregariousness is not an act and that repeated exposure creates a contagious fondness.

    Our nit-picky critiques aside, if they can continue to manifest this "personality", they are going to be around a long time.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


    (November 12, 1998) Over the weekend, we happened into a concert by a widely respected, "non-commercial" folk musician in San Jose. The audience was mostly late 20s, gay, female, college educated (nice cars), quiet and smiling. It was, above all, an audience. The samenesses were more apparent than the differences. Numbers and characteristics aside, that's a "demographic slice".

    Now, where do you suppose that college educated, late 20s, gay women in San Jose make their living? Yup, they are all involved, in one form or another, in the Silicon Valley industries. How many are motivated by pure compensation? Not many. How many are focused, committed and hard workers? Most. One thing you know about this particular slice of our American pie is that they are used to standing for something. Judging from the complete absence of sloganism on the tee-shirts, their values are quiet and persistent.

    Ultimately, audience reach on the web will be all about statistical demographics. You'll be able to target an audience (owned by a content provider) as a way of reaching a very particular slice. The content providers will know all about their audiences and you'll be able to choose from a menu.

    It's just not quite there yet. Until we get there, demographic targeting will be an art of approximation with mixed results. When we get there, the price will be much higher. The tradeoff, if you want to experiment today, is in the quality of results. Our bet is that you will always pay market rates for the same set of results. It's just that the results stream will be cleaner.

    There are very obvious moves, currently pursued by the most sophisticated online recruiters. They target their advertising to reach various online professional areas. Increasingly, we run across well targeted ads (like last week's ESpan banner in a New York Times Article). We're still waiting for the next step.

    Why, we wonder, hasn't anyone wandered out into the office that needs more workers and listened to the music on the radio or looked at the art on the office walls? If the existing staff is doing a great job listening to the Grateful Dead while staring at Dilbert posters, you might think about hunting for additional players on the Dilbert site. Consider buying an ad that is delivered when one of the CD databases receives a query for "Jerry Garcia".

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    Where It Starts

    (November 11, 1998) We're increasingly encountering recruiters who have mastered the small niches. They understand that they're purchasing eyeballs. They'd rather pay more per visitor for the right visitors than less for generic visitors.

    The bottom line in deciding which job posting service to use? Measure your results by testing several. Results can vary by industry, profession and phase of the moon. Only you can tell where the right intersection is for the results that you need.

    One area in which you can exercise control: The quality of your job postings determines their success.

    It's easy to get confused by a title. Job postings are not postings (like you see on internal bulletin boards). They are ads. They need to be written like ads. They are called postings because advertising was a no-no in the early days of the web. That is no longer the case.

    In general, the more jobs posted in a database, the lower results. Unless your provider has a clearly articulated traffic development plan, each new job in the database will diminish the effectiveness of all of the others.

    It's important to remember that as the net doubles in population, the average experience of users falls by 50%. This will remain true until service is universal. It means that your sophistication is increasing while the average is declining. It's a recipe for bad design. You have to fight to remember this one.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    Extending The Definition

    (November 10, 1998)Today, a small quote. We think it encapsulates everything that concerns the use of the Net in Recruiting.

    "Recruiting is the sales and marketing component of a company's relationship with its employees and potential employees."

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    Low Hanging Fruit

    (November 09, 1998) To date, most "electronic recruiting" has focused on the low hanging fruit. By taking the easy, early web candidates and declaring "victory", the pioneers of the industry have done us a disservice. It should be obvious that, in the aggregate, the costs of online recruiting have nowhere to go but up.

    Every seasoned, high performing recruiter has a "cache" of high quality candidates and a "secret source" for the hard to fill assignments. Both tools enable the high performer to effortlessly execute a range of searches. The net first effect of web recruiting is to plunder these resources. The tight labor market simply accelerates the process.

    By now, most recruiting offices are starting to grasp the fact that the number of hours per placement (HPP) is rising. The web's ability to ferret out the low hanging fruit results in a faster increase in this number (HPP). During the next 18 months, marginal performers (at both the desktop and branch office level) are going to be under a very serious margin pressure. As HPP rises, profitability falls in third party offices. In HR settings, productivity decays.

    In an earlier time, the low hanging fruit was distributed, more or less evenly, to all of the players. Now that it is centralized and webified, performance differences between recruiting entities will boil down to competence in the fundamentals...delivering value to candidates over the life cycle.

    In what we see as a key move, Net-Temps has begun brokering candidates for its customers. An HR manager can now scan the Net Temps Database for pre screened candidates "owned" by a third party firm. It's a model that's sure to be copied by RON, Dice and TopEchelon. It's a short leap to see the major Recruiting companies join in the process.

    This could only happen in a market in which the low hanging fruit was all but picked.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    New: Customized Onsite Consulting

    (November 09, 1998) Over the past four years we have had a large number of requests for Onsite Consulting. We are continually looking for new and improved ways to help with your Recruiting needs. We are now offering personal one-on-one Consulting in "Advanced Searching Techniques".

    We've recently added Nicky Gordon to our staff. Nicky is a seasoned recruiting research professional and an acclaimed trainer. She will be delivering these customized training programs in which:

    • We will explain how to make a clean move to web recruiting as the principal source of your income.
    • You will receive the tools needed to search the Internet effectively including A CD with over 30 Software Tools to get you started.
    • You get the full benefit of our "Advanced Searching And Sourcing Seminar" without having to leave the office.
    • You gain the knowledge needed to use Spiders and Robots, advanced Search Engine Techniques, Candidate Pool Access and the development of Just-In-Time Sourcing techniques. We'll teach you the skills and tools used by visionary recruiters.
    • You will get a detailed course of action; we will walk you through the steps involved in going from Job Order to Placement.
    • All Examples are done Online specifically tailored for your operation.
    Book your On-site consulting today. The fee for each One-Day Onsite Consulting is $2,500 plus Expenses. We are offering a discount to previous Seminar Attendees, our way of saying Thank You for your continued business. We would like to help set the techniques you've learned into action. Please contact us for more information.

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         © 2013 interbiznet.
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         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.