interbiznet: The Recruiting News

The Recruiting News

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Recruiting News for the Human Resource Professional

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors




Click On Our Sponsors

Click On Our Sponsors







Find out more
About IBN

Got a news tip?
Jean Collins

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



(Over 60)

Company Job Listings
(Over 4000)

Email to IBN


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.

Go Home

Click On Our Sponsors

Daily News. Archived Weekly. Click Here For The Current Issue.

The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

  • (New Offer) Prepublication Offer for the 2002 Electronic Recruiting Index. Order Today!
  • 2002 ERI ATS Buyers' Survey Executive Summary (requires Acrobat),
  • Read the interbiznet Bugler or sign-up now and have it delivered to your mailbox.
  • Interested in Advertising? Contact Us
  • SSSSSynergy

    (December 03, 1998) Chat.... a bad name for an important tool. Chat.... the first thing we think of is an old "Chatty Cathy" doll in grandma's attic. Pull its string, it talks. Chat.... it brings visions of paper thin relationships at the phase before "Let's do lunch". Chat.... the cash cow of AOL's empire, best known for its ability to concentrate the population of balding fat men who want to pretend to be young girls.

    The number of opportunities to engage in somewhat anonymous communications are exploding. As a species, we have little to no idea how to use these tools effectively. They range from Yahoo!s chat rooms to ListBot's free discussion lists; from Usenet Newsgroups to disciplined conference boards. Chat describes a wide variety of tools with a wide variety of implications and consequences.

    A recent visit to the Yahoo "Career Board" produced the following lovely snippet of "conversation":

    KittyCat123: who's here?
    Luvernotfiter: tak
    Luvernotfiter: oh yeah!
    Mo_Hammered: Any Hot Wimmen from Nebraska here?
    SaraFinaluv: hehehe
    Moneyclimber: Does anyone talk about careers here
    We "lurked" (online talk for reading without participating in the conversation) for about a half an hour. While some interesting (if hard to imagine mechanically) relationships appeared to be forged, no mention ever seemed to be made of "Careers". What passed for conversation might better be thought of as one syllable grunts and groans.

    Meanwhile, several large staffing companies are using "free" discussion lists to address issues that fall somewhat outside of traditional organizational boundaries. The "postings" are articulate and serve to increase the flow of knowledge through these large very distributed companies.

    We've seen acquisition negotiations, conducted by conference call, that feature a simultaneous communication between players using AOL's Instant messages. The deals are more secure and the participants more successful because the negotiations get expanded to include real participation from all of the right people.

    We've heard of employment negotiations that have instant participation from the candidate's spouse and the hiring manager even though the only people in the room are the candidate and the recruiter. The other players "chat" with the Principles. It makes for better, more secure deals.

    Still, most of the uses of these new tools remain limited. It's going to take a while for them to really enter the mainstream. The opportunity is a radical increase in synergy. The learning curve involves overcoming shyness and learning to use more complex descriptions than the overly simple "chat". It also involves learning to distinguish the relative appropriateness of one forum over another for a particular purpose.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    Marketing vs Technology

    (December 02, 1998) In the short and medium term, good marketing trumps great technology. Timing (sometimes called the "first mover" advantage) can beat both. You have to get through the first two wickets (short and medium term) to have a chance to perfect the technology. By that time, the business may be too mature to bother with the technology.

    Said another way, being the "best" is not inherently tied to profitability or longevity. Finding a need, filling it, developing a brand reputation and growing based on marketing investment is more likely to produce profits. Technical solutions (which apparently have infinite room for improvement) end up being a cash drain. The easiest way to control technical costs is to set a limit and stick to it.

    Given a choice, it's better to have a brand and no technology than the reverse.

    Having a brand simply means that a potential client knows who you are in advance of direct personal contact. The whole point of brand development is to shorten the sales process by increasing your credibility. The single largest change facing recruiters in the 21st Century is the growing requirement for brand marketing to candidates.

    For third party firms, this boils down to a market driven demand for specialty focus. For HR Departments, it means a greater integration with the marketing function. In either case, budgets are going up as a part of the competition for scarce workers. It is smarter to spend on marketing than technology.

    Non-web direct marketing tactics (phones and faxes) require a base of technical competence. You have to be able to dial it. You have to understand the techniques of verbal persuasion. There has to be paper in the fax. You have to be able to change the print cartridge.

    Web marketing requires a similar baseline. If you are moving your operation online, it's more important to have core web usage competence than it is to have a hyper-effective-gee-whizz database.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    What's An IPO?

    (December 01, 1998) Over the past several weeks, we've poked serious fun at Warren Bare and his operation "". The company, which pulled its IPO from the marketplace in September, is poised to make a very serious splash. Anyone who watched the impact of Restrac's acquisition of Junglee on their stock price (up, up, up) is anxiously awaiting the entrant of an electronic recruiter into the public sphere. The time is getting ripe. remains the most likely candidate for a first entry.

    An IPO, as you probably know, is the initial public offering of stock by a company. The web generates extremely surprising set of results for investors and employees when stock comes tumbling out of an entrepreneurial venture (going public). Anyone who is really trying to make large, short term bucks in online Recruiting is considering the process.

    The pressure to "go public" explains a great deal of the weirdness you see in various services. There are a large number of well heeled ventures, soon to open their doors for service, whose essential gambit is...make a splash, go public, get rich. The dynamics of dealing with Venture Capitalists (VCs: the people who finance IPOs) drive these ambitious teams to create services that generally miss the mark.

    Online Recruiting is essentially different from most other ECommerce businesses. Most of the successful ecommerce ventures focus very clearly on targeted subsets of the consumer market. Their sales are driven by those consumers and ad sales constitute a minor subset of the transaction. Current Electronic Recruiting Offerings broadly target both sides of the equation and derive no revenue from consumers.

    VCs like to invest in special technologies. Knowing that most of their investments fail, they want a salable asset after the bankruptcy. The trouble is that most recruiting processes are very standard. What passes for "technology" is relatively simple execution of relatively simple searching. So, the VCs often accept a "name brand" as an alternative to technology.

    What separates from all of this noise is Warren Bare. He appears to be persistent in his dedication to defining new financial models (check out their pricing) and the development of key services. We're beginning to bet that the eventual IPO will be the first big splash.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


    (November 30, 1998) Like taffy, it's pronounced gooey. A Silicon Valleyism for Graphical User Interface (GUI = gooey), the term refers to the interface encountered by a user on the web. Techies are like this, making up names that obscure the problem. Behind the unnecessary layer of technobabble lurks the critical question of usability.

    Over the Thanksgiving break, we took a tour of websites that serve similar functions to those in our industry. Focusing on the web's vast storehouse of automotive classified advertising, we stumbled on the operation. Serving new and used car dealers, individual sellers and individual buyers, the operation faces a chore with similar complexity to the jobs business.

    The most meaningful difference between cars and jobs is that there are only about 10,000 car models in the market at any point in time. There are a nearly infinite variety of jobs available. Cars have models, manufacturers and model years. Jobs are somewhat harder to quantify. The difference is neither insurmountable nor critical.

    Take a close look at the "GUI" when it covers it most complex transaction...selling used cars between individuals. (Click on the "used" tab on the screen).

    Over 600,000 cars are available through a choice of five variables: Make, Model, Zipcode, Distance from Zipcode. Once a search is set (try Acuras, 50 miles from our zipcode), the service sends a user a package including data and an "applet". (An applet is a piece of software).

    Here's where it gets interesting.

    Each of the fields in the data are instantly sortable by clicking on the top of the respective column (including price). A search can be narrowed by simply sliding a bar for price, model year or search radius. Clicking on individual listings gives a summary level look at the actual listing (and contact information). Rather than spending hours poking through repetitive searches, a user gets the ability to manage his or her own data. A single operation downloads all of the necessary "stuff".

    We think the model ought to be applied in our end of the web business. The applet is simple enough. Searches by geography, profession and job title are straightforward. An item marking "posting date" would help everyone assess the currency of an offering.

    For the most part, an emphasis that focuses on improving the "gooey", ends up with skewed results. Too many managers in our industry think that the interface problem has to do with goofy (friendly) graphics. The really important issues (helping users speed their way through decisions) are better handled with interfaces like this one on As long as the usability question continues to occupy a minor role in the backwaters, even high visibility players are subject to market erosion from teams who focus on the end user.

    - John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    New: Customized Onsite Consulting

    (November 29, 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.

    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

    interbiznet this week
    (thru December 06, 1998)
    1st Steps In The Job Hunt
  • BYO Spin Doctor
  • Researching A Company
  • More Work, Less Pay?
  • More Research, More Pay


  • interbiznet Listings
         - Associations
         - ATS Companies
         - Public Companies
  • interbiznet Trends (New)
         - Bugler
           Daily Industry News

         - ERNIE
           ERN in Email

         ANNUAL REPORTS:      

  • Electronic Recruiting
         Index (ERI)
         - 2002 ERI
         - 2001 ERI
         - 2000 ERI
         - 1999 ERI
         - 1997 ERI
         - 1996 ERI
         - Report Pricing


  • Integrated Employment
          Branding Presentation
  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper
  • interbiznet Listings
  • interbiznet Trends
  • interbiznet Bookclub
  • Top 100 E-Recruiters
  • Presentations
         - Recruiting Then/Now
  • Recruiter's Toolkit
  • Seminar In A Box
  • ERN Archives
  • 1st Steps In The Hunt


  • Our Rate Card
  • Demographics

    Last Week's ERN

    Nov 29, 1998
  • Buddy System
  • Ethics
  • CareerCity
  • Restrac

    ERN Archives

    Past Issues
    Recruiting Seminars
    About interbiznet
    interbiznet publications
    Coming Soon: Tour This Site