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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


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

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Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch
(June 04, 1999) We're gearing up for a blazing finish to 1999. Now that our Seminar In A Box is shipping, we're moving on to the next series of projects. The summer research team is moving into place as we get ready to develop the 2000 Electronic Recruiting Index.

In this edition (which will ship in early November), we plan to cover the following issues:

  • Surveys (by Phone, Web, Paper and Email) of about 5,000 working Recruiters
  • Evaluations of about 2,500 services (Job Boards, Spiders, Robots, HR Automation)
  • Market Share and Reach Assessments for Major Services
  • Quality and Results Trends
  • Systems Integration Issues
  • How to Create a Recruiting Oriented, Integrated HR System
  • New Trends and Techniques
  • Market Opportunities, Dropped Balls and Emerging Issues
  • Generation 2 Services
  • Benchmarks, Success Stories and Object Lessons in Failure
Our much anticipated (and terribly late) 1999 Top 100 Electronic Recruiters project is turning the corner. It should be online by July 1. We ha one remaining sponsorship opportunity.

Once the Top 100 is in place, we're going to be adding features to the website and engaging in a rolling redesign.

John Sumser is going to be speaking at a number of conferences in the next couple of weeks.:

  • Computerworld (Palm Springs, CA) Monday June 7
  • IHRIM Monday June 14
All in all, the next months are packed with energy, surprises and movement. Stay tuned.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


(June 03, 1999) We really like the energy and results from DowJones. The new offering, a fantastic industry by industry look at the world, integrates careers.wsj.com at every step of the way. It demonstrates what we think of as "aerating the database". The design (which is intended to reach evermore passive job hunters), positions salary data and job openings one click away from specific industry news. Our consistent fave JobStar (nee JobSmart), , has integrated careers.wsj.com throughout their site as JobStar Executive.

JobSleuth is another entrant in the burgeoning category of spiders that scour job databases. It's free. We wonder who, in this labor market, needs a full time job hunting agent?

We see about 12 announcements of new Internet job services every day. Recent offerings include:

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Zen Standards

(June 02, 1999) The holy grail, for customers, is an installable process that doesn't require that they modify the way that they do business. For the most part, software products (job boards included), assume some imaginary standard and then require that customers conform themselves to it. Although the downturn in the Enterprise Software business (see the stock performance of SAP, Peoplesoft, Restrac) can be attributed to the Y2K crisis, an interesting thing has happened while previously anxious customers delayed their orders.

The essence of an Enterprise software project is that all data within an organization be understood and shared correctly (which makes the claims that some HR software systems are really Enterprise solutions somewhat spurious). Adequate project performance (on the part of the Enterprise contractor) means that project completion involves getting all of the gizmos in a Rube Goldberg contraption to work together. The problems in this sort of systems integration endeavor are legendary. The conferences are full of hallway stories about companies that have fumbled their stock performance for a year while the Enterprise software was perfected.

During the Enterprise Software downturn, potential customers have become increasingly aware of the risks involved in moving forward. The creation of new systems with unforgiving input requirements and inherent workflow modifications is a monument to the longevity of old software models. Reengineering, delivered as an enterprise application, has turned out to be a compromise between the best business practice and the limitations of the software development team.

The promise of companies like CareerCast in our industry (and others around the web) is that Enterprise Redesign can become a much more adhoc, adaptive process. We're starting to see what we're calling "Zen Standards".

A "Zen Standard" assumes that no additional work is required by the company or division who wishes to participate in a larger data structure. The reconciliation of information (job postings, applicant tracking and candidate management) is all handled by the software. The results are delivered to the end user in an already familiar format with no modification required.

If there is a single feature that discriminates the winners from the losers in our market, it will be the extent to which the process becomes invisible. Recruiters, driven by the labor shortage, need to spend more time recruiting. Services that require that a user perform additional work to use their system are missing the essence of the Web.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

Generation Lap

(June 01, 1999) Some stories generate more interest that others. Friday's piece on generational changes prompted a good deal of correspondence, most of it extremely insightful. We heard from parents, recruiters and recruiters who are parents. Among the mail was a note from Auren Hoffmann of our long term fave...Bridgepath. (Bridgepath, as you probably remember, evolved from a great college oriented tool called Extreme Resume Drop...now Resume Path. The company is quietly making incredible strides as a resource for both employers and third party firms.)

Auren pointed out that, besides the deep fragmentation we mentioned, the difference between the generations is deeply technical. We brushed the insight aside until late Monday when we finished helping a seventh grade entrepreneur finish his website. What was remarkable about working with this young man was that he had already mastered the basics of design as an outgrowth of his education. Beginning in the second grade, kids are developing and deploying interactive multimedia presentations.

Meanwhile, we old fogies babble on about the coming possibilities of technology.

In an era that features students who have better access to information (and the latest research) than their teachers, the very essence of supervision is changing. While trained MBA style managers perpetuate a model rooted in slave labor (or the military), the fragmented, free expression Generation Y group is rapidly absorbing the dynamics of online entrepreneurial behavior.

According to Auren, this phenomenon should be called the Generation Lap. The kids have, for the first time in history, moved a full lap ahead of the parents in terms of technical competence. As the labor shortage confers positions of responsibility earlier and earlier, watch for pretty dramatic changes in work styles and management tactics.

On other fronts:

  • Headhunter.net, famous for free listings, will begin charging $20 per listing today. If you are dependent on free postings for results, it's time to shift. We have a hard time imagining that the price will stay so low.
  • Restrac is dead. Renamed Webhire with a new stock symbol and everything (HIRE), the company hopes that the market will give it more credit for its recent webification.
  • Myreferences.com (the job seeker's ally) gives the active hunter an opportunity to double check what his/her references are saying. Can you spell lawsuit?
  • The Multicultural Advantage is an online community for "professionals of color". It is a useful model to study if you're trying to figure out the mechanics of recruiting in a niche.
  • We keep hearing fantastic things about the results from LatPro. Global Recruiters looking to place multi-talented, multi-lingual managers should take note.

- 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 discussion 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 or click here for more details.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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