IBN: Defining Excellence in Electronic Recruiting


Electronic Recruiting

Our Rate Card



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?
Tell us at

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



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


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

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers

Click On Our Sponsors

Applicants and Candidates
(May 21, 1999) Mental models are hard to shake. We get used to thinking that something has to be done in a certain way and allow that mindset to determine our perception of possible solutions. More than half of the problems associated with integrating the web into Recruiting practice has to do with this confusion. The process we use to Recruit may or may not be a firmly fixed part of the landscape.

The swamp of material that results from an ad on a job board is a simple example. Most job hunters don't think about the fact that on line responses to job ads tend to be aggregated into databases before they are processed. As a result, it is the norm to get several copies of an applicant's resume if a number of similar jobs are posted in a large job board. When those resumes are transported into the Recruiter's database, each one incurs some element of tracking cost. Given the fact that most resume management firms still charge by the resume (or some equivalent) the Internet 'noise' factor can become a significant expense.

Although the language remains unclear, we think it might be a good idea to begin making a distinction between applicants and candidates. Unfortunately, most of the tools in use are called "Applicant" tracking systems (due in large part to EEO reporting requirements). If a Recruiter is required to maintain tracking of all applicants (spam, irrelevant, duplicate and so on), costs will do nothing but rise. If, on the other hand, a line is drawn between candidates and applicants (a candidate being someone who is actually under consideration and an applicant being just that) an interesting possibility arises.

A database of applicants doesn't need the same attention to maintenance and procedure as the database of candidates. Rather than spending tons of time cleaning up the database of applicants, why not let it grow. Storage space is cheap, duplicates are easy to spot. Take another look at our earlier article on AltaVista's Discovery. By dedicating a single machine to all incoming applicants, lots of current tracking costs could be eliminated. When its time to find a candidate, just dip into the easy to use search interface. Problems of document standardization and relevance disappear if the applicant pool is fished rather than farmed.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

AltaVista Discovery

(May 19, 1999) We were looking back through some old IBN publications. In our first Internet Recruiting book, Yahoo was listed as an interesting Web experiment by a couple of Stanford students. That was barely four years ago. No one could have guessed, at the time, that the "little experiment" would have the dramatic influence it's had.

We think that AltaVista's Discovery may ultimately fall in to the same category. Available as a free download, Discovery applies AltaVista's search technology to your desktop PC and integrates it into a web search. It searches emails as individual documents (a feat that Microsoft's standard search tools can't match). It allows you to develop Boolean queries to search through the mess that resides on your machine. If you happen to be on the receiving end of a pile of unsolicited Resumes and cover letters in a variety of formats, it allows you to find what's hidden in that mysterious nest of stuff on your machine.

Don't get us wrong. We're big fans of deeply structured databases (and the full employment they provide). It's just that we occasionally lapse into the somewhat human temptation to procrastinate about data entry. That means that, from time to time, our desktops (on the machine and off) are a wee bit messy (especially after a large project). The delightful thing about AltaVista's Discovery is that it doesn't expect tidiness as a prerequisite.

It seems likely that this form of database, which treats people like AltaVista treats the web, will expand in its influence. For small companies and lone Recruiters who will never be perfect about Recruitment data entry, Discovery provides an immediate solution that transforms any computer into a free form database.

While you're looking at discovery, take a look at AltaVista's Translation Service. As the labor shortage expands, it's reasonable to predict increasing levels of international Recruiting in even the smallest offices. The free translation service provides reasonably good results.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Where Next?

(May 18, 1999) We were taken by the comments in one of the stories covering last week's CareerBuilder IPO. According to Randall Roth at Renaissance Capital Corp in Greenwich, CT,:
``If they would come up with something new and unique, like quicker recruitment, recruitment conferences, getting people together online to do interviews ...,'' Roth said. ``But the online recruitment technology is not quite there yet,'' he added.

Roth is right, it's early and our industry is, in some ways, behind in the development of technology. There are no Schwabs or Amazons in our universe. Those companies can control an entire transaction from front to back, making strategic pricing moves and capturing mindshare in the customer base. But, then again, they are in retail and transaction control is the essence of retail. For Electronic Recruiting to perform similarly, heavy investments in candidate acquisition and control (inventory), startling expenditures in technology R & D and a full spectrum solution for all of a customers hiring process would have to be coupled with an intelligent, enterprise oriented sales force.

Until someone steps up to that investment, our industry will remain a small tussle about the distribution of revenues that used to be the sole province of advertising agencies, newspapers and third party firms. That is not an insignificant market (maybe as large as $100B in 1999) and, the labor shortage is causing it to grow very rapidly. But, we will remain an internet supplemented universe, with modest multiples, until a comprehensive solution is imagined.

Pieces of the technology are on the horizon (video conferencing, vendor management, electronic guilds, homeworking tools, massive data distribution) but no one has dramatically redesigned the role of the customer or the supply development process. We're still harvesting the active job searchers (and don't be mislead, anyone who looks for work in a database is an active job hunter) while the pool dwindles. It's as if Amazon had assumed that their market was bookstore customers in bookstores or Schwab imagined their customers to be stock brokers (remember them?).

For the moment, our industry is devoted to helping people with existing job descriptions do their jobs more effectively. It's dependent on the existence of the Corporate Recruiter. That makes the entire industry vulnerable to a player who repositions the function (like Schwab and Amazon have done). Surprisingly, there's an historical model already available. Imagine an electronic labor union with a presence in each work group that complements its relationships at the top of the organization. Then imagine that it operates out of the marketing Department using supply management disciplines. Then imagine that the entity is a for profit, performance oriented operation with stockholders.

Part of the key to understanding what might happen over the next several years involves remembering the changes in price point for PCs. They can routinely be purchased for $500 these days and the price is headed downward. This means that an entirely new demographic is coming online. Electronic Recruiting is currently the province of white collar (college graduate) candidates and job openings. The other 75% of the domestic American economy is beginning to come online. With them will come the next wave of market opportunities.

With large market vulnerabilities, a near term tripling of users and a technology shortfall, the game will continue to shift rapidly in the foreseeable future. The best thing that a Recruiter can do to prepare is to become well versed in the fundamentals. Everything else is subject to change.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

We Deliver

(May 17, 1999) Another hot deadline, another late night, another package shipped to production. Earlier this year, we let you know a little bit about our forthcoming product: Seminar In A Box. Some of our whining about the state of video technology was wrapped up in the final delivery. Well, early this morning, we finished the package. It's a beaut.

Seminar In A Box takes our Advanced Searching and Sourcing Techniques Seminar and puts it squarely on 5 CDs. Full audio, video, interactivity and a regular Recruiting Software mine. Four of the five CDs include:

  • A Full Video Presentation
  • A Full Audio Presentation
  • An Interactive, Narrated, Web-Linked, Self-Paced Seminar
  • Hot Linked Handouts
  • An MP3 Audio Version (for RIO players)
The Fifth CD is a treasure trove of software and IBN Newsletters.

We've organized the material to take a Recruiter from cradle to grave, from basic terminology to the fundamentals of online Recruiting Strategy.

As the week progresses, we will be filling out our marketing materials. In the meantime, we're still offering our prepublication price until June 1, 1999: $295. (After we start shipping, the price goes to $395.) If you'd like to order a copy, call our offices at 415.377.2255.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

What's Up?

(Spring, 1999) If you look back at the top of this page, you'll notice a couple of little changes. Our March '99 print newsletter is now available for downloading. The print newsletter has an interesting circulation and tends to get passed around a wide variety of offices. This issue features a detailed look at one company's complex web strategy and the person behind it. It also covers some useful sites, a range of people finding tools, marketing tips, our current Top 100 Recruiting sites, and the usual tidbits.

Along the road to publishing this edition of the print newsletter, we've undergone some changes here at IBN.

After two solid years of bouncing around the North American continent delivering classroom seminars, a couple of simple things dawned on us. First of all, it became increasingly clear that many job boards were going to be delivering free seminars as a part of their marketing strategy. It's a natural and important evolution. Internet Recruiting tools currently require a heavy dose of education before customers can effectively use them. Secondly, it became clear to us that classrooms are not effective in delivering the sorts of advanced techniques that we've pioneered.

As a result, we've split our training product line into two separate components. For the past couple of months, you've probably noticed the piece at the bottom of this page offering our onsite individualized training. By focusing on the specific needs of a specific company, we've been able to leave our customers glowing, effective and ready to move full tilt into the online recruiting game. We're convinced that this customized approach is a necessary part of building a solid online recruiting team. With a dozen, of these engagements under our belts, we can assure you that our customers end up extremely satisfied.

In the print newsletter, we're announcing the second part of our training initiative. Seminar In A Box, our CD based training program, will begin shipping on June 1, 1999. The idea is simple. Rather than taking a full day out of the workplace to digest relatively foreign ideas, we're building a day long training program that can be constantly reviewed by all of the people in an office. The courseware is built around our day long Advanced Searching and Sourcing Techniques seminar and includes video, text, testing and a completion certificate.

We are convinced that solid Electronic Recruiting can only happen in a work environment that shares a base level of competence. With a CD based training program, the workforce can be trained during slack hours. Because the material is reusable and repeatable, it's now possible to create a solid foundation of expertise within a company. We're proud of the fact that we're the first (as usual) to use the technology to reduce costs, increase benefits and further expand the capabilities of our customers.

We're offering the course at $295 for prepublication orders (through June 1, 1999). After that point, the package will sell for $395. Given the fact that similar seminars, held in hotel classrooms away from the workplace, retail for $995 per person (and more), we're sure that you'll agree that the offering is a bargain.

You can learn more about Seminar in a Box and get a copy of the order form by downloading the print newsletter. It's a great way to bring your entire office up the learning curve.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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

All material on this site is © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by IBN: interbiznet.com
(The Internet Business Network), PO Box 2474, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Send comments to colleen@interbiznet.com

interbiznet this week
(thru May 16, 1999)
1st Steps In The Job Hunt
  • Gen Next
  • Secrets
  • Abandon Ship
  • Dead End


  • 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

    May 16, 1999
  • Piracy, Your Friend
  • Careerxxx
  • Whose Business?
  • Tidbits
  • Yo Ho IPO

    ERN Archives

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

    Stocks We Watch
    (Public Companies in
    Electronic Recruiting)

    Central Newspapers
    Dow Jones
    General Electric
    Knight Ridder
    Natnwide Stffng
    New York Times
    Washington Post

    Public Staffing Cos