IBN Logo

1st Tough Question: Who Needs the ERI, Recruiters are Dinosaurs?

Navigating | Home | Cool Marketing Tools | Top 25 Recruiters | ERI | Feedback |

Email to IBN
We'd love to hear from you

It's our policy to take really tough questions from customers and potential customers very seriously. We try to answer them clearly and will keep our conversations here.

November 3, 1995
To: IBN,

Thank you for your note. I will go into your webpage and take a look. I think that I will pass on your offer, however. I believe that the information you are offering is about a group of people who are going to be rendered extinct because of the Internet. The only thing that thrid parties have to offer is information. If the information is placed in the hands of the customer (and it is - although gradually) where is the added value?

November 3, 1995
IBN replies:

The Internet *will* completely transform the recruiting industry, and I'd bet that my view of that eventuality is significantly more radical than yours.

The questions end up being:

Interestingly enough, that's the subject of the book.

Well, like it or not, it's a decade or more until the change is complete. The computer industry itself is forecasting a major slowdown in production and growth rates in consumer systems (into the mid single digits) starting as early as this Christmas (see Monday or Tuesday's WSJ, Page 1). To fully saturate the employment advertising market takes a consumer ownership density of at least 65%, which won't be seen until the middle of the *next* decade.

So, what's the process look like? Well, right now, on-line (and I really mean Web because the web will dominate online stuff by late 1996) employment advertising and recruitment is completely dominated by the large database owners (OCC, Mosaic, Espan, AOL's thingie, etc). The problem....they are all currently based on a subscription model that favors bigness over quality.

A moment to talk about the players.

Recruitment is, in my mind, the *entire* marketspace between employers and employees. Several kinds of organization currently occupy that space:

Interestingly, they are all covered in the book.

Online, however, they are indistinguishable because the electronic medium is currently (and I see this as a very short term thing) only used as an advertising medium. So, they are all advertisers online.

Who has the early advantage? Pretty obviously, advertising firms and publications because they come with experience and financial structures that are used to the rhythms of advertising rather than recruitment. But, and I'm reasonably sure that you know this, the mortality rate for new entrants in a new market is HUGE. And, those most likely to fail are those who bring an old paradigm with them, regardless of the source.

Bigness, in this new marketplace, is the kiss of death. Do I think that people are going to find jobs in databases that are *stuffed* with ads to give the appearance of bigness? Nah. That's a tactic used to increase online subscription revenues.

The game will go to the people who can make it feel small and comfortable and quick.

In Abnormal Psychology, the overabundance of choice is called psychosis. The players who have bigness as their objective (because they favor the advertising paradigm) will rather quickly be defeated by professionals who know how to facillitate the candidates transition across cultures. Is this the recruiting industry?

Not in its current form.

You see, both big volume advertising and recruiting, as we know them today, are on the path to extinction. As you say, the customer rules (once he / she has the information).

What roles are there for third parties in the employment equation? Plenty, but the revenue stream will look like an odd (from today's perspective) blend of advertising and recruiting skills.

Website development is the first key. As I am currently writing from your website, I'd suggest that you would benefit greatly from the sample chapter on website development on my home page. It'll give you a feel for the book and some suggestions that I can tell you will benefit from.

In closing, thanks for the tough question.

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

All material on this site is © 1995 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941