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Having only been using the net a few months I agree that it is big wonderful and so on and on .... but, is it useful efficient and effective (once you get past the nice graphics that take a long time to download) in a broad sense or must you limit yourself to smaller and smaller areas of the net (because those subject areas in themselfs are expanding) as it gets bigger. Put another way - If you have a life plus a job (that does not include internet use in the work place) is the net getting too big and or lacks the order/structure to be of importance.
I include Yahoo in my search. Because of its growth my search for open positions now takes longer with fewer results (open positions).
It is madding (sic) I am sure to everyone the large duplication of job openings in any field in the various databases and usenet groups - time spent vs quality results are growing further apart.
The question for Recruiters is becoming "How to avoid diminishing returns?"
With thousands of places to visit, how do you ensure that your site is effectively reaching your targets?
We increasingly recommend that job searchers use the technology and publish as many copies of their resume as possible. Right now, it's the only effective tactic for a job seeker to use. It's a smart enough approach that you will be seeing it advertised regularly, soon.
The implications for Recruiters are enormous. The consequence of establishing a website may soon be that you have to have a resume database to process all of the email that you get.
It's also clear that the marketplace is starting to demand some sort of organizational structure. Thousands of Websites requires a detailed guide through the maze. We've talked recently with Recruiters who are imagining a centralized database of position postings. It doesn't strike us as a likely or useful approach.
One very clear implication: If you want to effectively use the Web as a recruiting tool, you'll have to increase your marketing budget significantly. To stand out and attract candidates and clients, you have to be seen.
The other, equally obvious proposition is that search engines that notify clients and candidates of potential matches will be the basic price of entry to this field.
Growth, and the industry's response to it, is going to be the story to watch in 1996.
We've been receiving a series of notes from customers who are having trouble getting the Customer Intimacy presentation. It's a curious thing. We've checked and rechecked the various links. If you're having trouble with the link, try either http://pomo.nbn.comcustint/ or http://www.interbiznet.comcustint/ . Please let us know if you have a problem.
Using the Web as a corporate communications tool requires a certain (and intense) attention to detail. The point was driven home to us yesterday as a couple of kind readers pointed out some flaws in the Web page we loaded. A missing quotation mark can spoil a message.
We were reminded of this again as we looked at the ChristWorks Career Center. Taking the lead from Deborah Wilson's Career Transition Ministries, the folks at ChristWorks offer a forum for the discussion of Christian Career Issues. The Web is spacious. This site is an example of the fact that in spite of the tremendous growth, there are still huge untapped markets and possibilities..
Trouble is that this simple site has only two links and only one works. A tiny bit of scrutiny of these two Christian Websites should persuade you that the market is open to any competitor willing to make a meaningful investment. The sites are a microcosm of the industry as a whole.
Take a lesson from these two experiences: Double check the way that you're being represented on the Web. Missing punctuation can result in frustrated customers who never return.
They are taking a conservative (and apparently successful) approach to migrating their service onto the Web. They clearly recognize the differences between a BBS and the Web. Their business is the distribution of job postings and ads from their clients (who are generally technical Recruiters.) They combine Web job listings with postings to Usenet newsgroups.
The transition from one form of electronic distribution to another is harder than you might imagine. The ground rules and economics change. It's nice to see a solid example of how to do it right.
Employment / Recruiting
Stanford Information Filtering Tool (SIFT) provides another method for searching newsgroups for candidates and / or job postings. It develops an HTML page with all of the relevant hits from today's newsgroups. NICE. (Found through On-Trac America an Atlanta Recruiting Advertiser).
Take IPA, for example. This week, they once again spruced up their design and added new services and information. From a humble start, IPA, has grown into the world's largest Professional Association for Recruiters. They now offer a full range of services for both recruiters and job hunters.
We continue to reccommend a membership in IPA as the single best place to start working with the web.
JobWeb's breadth is pretty amazing. The offer discrete resources for entry level job sekers, seasoned players and HR/Employment pros. We think (and they claim) that they offer the deepest single source of job related material of any Website in the business. If content were king, JobWeb would be the throne.
They also seem to have speeded up their servers and telecom lines. You'd guess they'd have to. Michael R. Forrest, the Executive Director and CEO of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (JobWeb's owners) tells me that they are averaging 50,000 discrete visitors per day. That's an amazing level of traffic.
The subject of traffic got us to thinking about the various models of success in this market. We know of sites whose strategy is that they're only interested in the one right visitor per day. They work hard to reduce traffic so that they can serve the one client they are targeting. Others (Job Center, for example) try to limit the number of visits a customer has to make.
What's the "right" traffic model? It really depends on the business objectives of the site itself.
As the economy continues to projectize, the distinction between temporary staffing firms and outsourcing operations like Office Net will be increasingly blurred. Already, software consulting firms are offering pools of Unix programmers as a way to allow small shops to have programming staff without all of the overhead.
Part newsletter, part contractor-advertiser, part tool for contractors, Job.net knows its audience and serves them well.
You'd have to imagine that if two of our top 25 sites got together, their offspring would be interesting to behold. Techweb's latest career section is the result of a partnership with E-Span. The result is better than the best of both worlds.
At the center of the Techweb Career Section is a service called Techunter. It provides the constant searching and email notification services that we think are the just-over-the-horizon wave of the future. You register, it lets you know. So, instead of endless job hunting, browsers are free to roam Techweb's extensive collection of professional and job search reference material.
We heard about CMP's (Techweb's parent) search for a partner no more than 75 days ago. In that short time, they've completed the deal, the design and opened for business.
The service demonstrates all of the features of a stellar Recruiting Website from clean design to comprehensive services. We think that it's one of the models for the future of Online Recruiting.
This is the type of decision that all web developers and site-owners face routinely.
It was particularly poignant since we'd just finished reviewing the Internet Career Connection (ICC) offering. Like all website owners, ICC has target audience based tradeoffs to consider in their site design. They put a great deal of energy into offering a text interface.
ICC is the first real attempt by the Help Wanted USA family to field a fully functional website. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of Help Wanted USA sites out there. There must be 50 or more. But, for the most part, they're thin offerings of pointers and advertising opportunities. Internet Career Connection is a clear attempt to move the operation from the Online Services to the Web. Help Wanted USA virtually dominates employment advertising on the subscription services like AOL.
That's where their toughest problem begins. From our perspective, online services give content providers virtual monopolies that reward confusing and slow information delivery. That is, the best content on an online service is that which keeps you engaged the longest. Internet Career Connection is knee deep in repeat content, under construction signs, huge graphics and apologies. We had coffee while waiting for their search engine to work its way through the few resumes in their database.
We began to wonder if there's a profitable market for websites that only serve the Online Services. That way, built-in delays make sense. Otherwise, ICC has a great deal of work to do.
This is not to rule them out. The site has been open for two months and shows over 30,000 visitors with a minimum of marketing effort. The underlying firm is well-heeled and quite effective in other venues. We fully expect to see them take the web by storm over the next year once the birthing pains are complete. It will take some time before they're used to operating without subscription fee revenues.
The revitalized site is a logical candidate for the IBN Top 25 Recruiting Sites in its next iteration. Today, the site features a library of career and Web articles that completely dwarfs the competition. For example, see their Jumping without a Parachute: Chaos on the Web. It's one of over 200 articles in the Archives. Subjects range from job search advice to technical backgrounders. They have really targeted their audience. (Minor design note: all of the articles need to have their formats revised!).
The job posting sections claim 9,000 listings from hundreds of advertisers. A couple of experiments with their blazing search engine led us to conclude that they weren't exaggerating.
Also, the site excells in offering multiple access points. It's a magazine, it's a career fair, it's a technical resource.
The downside? They have invested no money in the marketing budget, so it's our guess that traffic not generated by the magazine is from very random links. A quick search of Altavista showed only 24 references to the site on the entire web. Compare that with over 1,000 for H.E.A.R.T. or 500 for JobCenter or 600 for Intellimatch. To build enough traffic to be competitive ( and justify the site) they have a significant marketing problem.
Even the most casual observer of this marketplace has to be wondering how 750 (soon to be 1,000) discrete Websites can effectively differentiate themselves and deliver value profitably to client companies and job seekers. It seems unlikely that the differentiation will come from being better or worse at indexing the jobs themselves. It also seems unlikely that technology, by itself, will make the difference. So, the key question becomes..."How do you reach the maximum audience?
We continue to believe that the professional associations will occupy an increasingly large share of the employment marketplace (something like the Guilds of the last century) and suggest that savvy recruiters will follow the model of Mindsource. By building a self-selecting community of professionals, Mindsource is establishing itself as a fascinating hybrid...part virtual community, part physical community, part employment agency.
Anyhow, JobCenter is taking an equally valid, and very interesting, tack. They are placing an interface to their database and matching service on a variety of websites so that they can move one step closer to their customers. See The Florida Yellow Pages for a basic example. In the process, JobCenter pays a commission to the host and expands its effectiveness. BRAVO.
Take a long, hard look at her jobguide, Employment Opportunities and Job Resources on the Internet . In many ways, inclusion in her material is a badge of honor among the rest of us pioneers. The guide is often the first exposure that a new job hunter has to the net. Her pages are major gateways to the rest of the Net for jobsearchers and companies looking to recruit.
We've added a new article, The Shakeout and The Future to the archives. Let us know what you think.
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