Archive for January, 2008

(January 30, 2008) The nice thing about an idea like the Recruiting Roadshow™ is that it seems to inspire lots of help. Our sponsors enjoy giving back to the community, knowing that their investment in education will deliver significant returns. They are generally willing to bet that they are investing in the right thing.

Then we have amazing friends like Matt Martone of Yahoo HotJobs.

Without prompting, Matt has pulled together the Recruiting Roadshow logo Challenge. He’s offering $100 to anyone who generates a logo that we pick to use on this site.The Details are here.  Thanks, Matt

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA


(January 28, 2008) I had breakfast with Susan Burns on Friday. (Notice that the link is to Dave Mendoza’s blog. He’s doing some amazing work.) One of the things that I noticed over eggs (besides Hollandaise) was the importance of hearing other people talk about your business.

There’s just no way that an individual (or a team) can overcome the limits on their perspective. It takes outsiders to tell you the obvious (as the nose on your face) truth.

Susan said, “Oh, I get it. The Roadshows are a way for vendors to give back to the Recruiting Community.”  Of course she’s right. And, of course I couldn’t see it that way because it was right in front of me. I needed Susan’s help to articulate the obvious.

Each Recruiting Roadshow™ is a sponsored event, free to participants. A Roadshow provides continuing education for professionals in the Recruiting Industry. Our sponsors make the event possible as a way of giving back to the Industry. (Thanks, Susan)

All of the details have been finalized for the February 27th Roadshow event in Las Vegas.

Here are the highlights:

  • We’ll have a networking exercise designed to introduce neighbors to each other
  • Richard Becker is going to talk about Effective Online Networking
  • Doug Geinzer will lay out the details of the Vegas Recruiting Ecosystem
  • Don Ramer will give a talk on the evolution of Web Recruiting
  • I’ll present my latest discoveries in the Multigenerational Recruiting arena.

The fun begins at 8:00 am (free breakfast with registration). The actual goings-on start at 900am. Register here

More information to come.

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

(January 18, 2008) Jason Davis and are the first charter sponsors for the entire 2008 Recruiting Roadshow™ series.  They join Don Ramer and Arbita, the first underwriters as pivotal financial and logistical supporters.

In a move that simultaneously validates his encouragement of ongoing professional education and the development of professional online community, Jason Davis will provide financial support, at the sponsorship level for the Recruiting Roadshow. As a part of the arrangement, participants in Roadshow events will be given opportunities to join the community at is now the official online community of the Recruiting Roadshow™. With nearly 1,000 members, is the fastest growing online network for recruiters around the planet. The network is built on the Ning platform and includes a variety of methods for interaction and collaboration between Recruiters.

Jason Davis, who founded, is a serial entrepreneur and long time Recruiter. Currently, Jason wears several hats. He keeps his fingers in the Recruiting game making a placement here and there. He specializes in the acquisition and sale of Recruiting-related domain names. He is the charismatic heart of the community. He is worrking long and hard on behalf of The Fordyce Letter ( as well.

The man is everywhere.

Wherever Jason lands, things start happening. At his best organizing a party, he has single-handedly built the Recruiting Industry’s very own Charity Poker tour. One thing is for sure. Things are going to get really interesting now that Jason is involved. Thank you, Jason. Your support and generosity will provide a profound foundation for the Recruiting Roadshow™.

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

Las Vegas Feb 27th

(January 18, 2008) The 2008 Las Vegas Recruiting Roadshow™ will be held on Feb 27th at the Green Valley Ranch Resort. Registration and further information will be available this weekend.

Big thanks to Douglas Geinzer who is coordinating the event.

JobJacking Revisited

(January 17, 2008) From the beginning, there were ‘issues’. Vertical search engines (and gasp, big giant universal search engines, too) make their money by taking other people’s intellectual property and doing something with it. When Google ‘indexes’ your web pages, it is copying them into its database for its use. When a Job Board ‘scrapes’ ads from other job boards and corporate websites, they are doing the same thing.

Most people turn a blind eye towards this aspect of using the Internet. After all, the benefits outweigh the costs for almost everyone involved. It’s a polite version of ‘the ends justify the means’. There is an old fashioned word that describes using other peoples stuff without their permission. Two aspects of this issue are coming to the surface in the Recruiting Industry:

  • The ownership and usage of job descriptions and job ad content and
  • The ownership and usage of personal information

Between the growth questions in social networking software applications and business model adjustments in the Job Aggregator space, the overall question of data ownership is coming into focus. Interestingly, it’s never really framed as a question of ownership

Take a look at these bits and pieces. They provide the foundation for the next several articles.


John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

(January 16, 2008) So, the newspapers have finally invented the advertising agency.  

Someone might want to remind them that TMP and Hodes both had to segregate their media businesses from their agency businesses. The problem is that you can not make unbiased recommendations when you are the owner of one of the properties under consideration.  

That said, the launch of Personified marks a profound inflection point for the newspaper industry.

Classified advertising is all but dead in the print form and online advertising services are rapidly eliminating the newspapers as players.   CareerBuilder has compiled an astonishing and aggressive track record. It has played the game unlike any of its predecessors.

While the newspaper industry has been throwing money at the problem for nearly two decades, CareerBuilder is the first glimmer of success.

Growth is a challenging objective in a market where the basic unit price is always declining. In order for CareerBuilder to continue to meet growth objectives, it must crawl out from the advertising ghetto. Personified is their first attempt to do so.  

If you’ll excuse a bit of vanity, their product and service offerings sound like a recapitulation of a decades worth of my writings. So, I have to think that the services themselves are really good ideas.   If they can get the billing approach correct, this is a real threat to the already eroding advertising agency franchises.   This is a good, smart, somewhat predictable move by CareerBuilder.

It’s where the newspapers have needed to go for a long time.

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

Special Thanks to Matt Martone, the team at Yahoo and Ami Givertz

In the fall, Shally interviewed Jason. Thanks to Steven Rothberg for pointing to  this video

(January 15, 2008) Isn’t it weird that the labor shortage is happening in an explosion of data. It’s easier and easier to find information about people while it’s harder and harder to find them. The number of needles is declining while the size of the haystack is growing.

Isn’t that how it seems?

There are some pretty odd trends that amplify the problem.

  • The percentage of jobs that require advanced education is going up. The percentage of North Americans who get advanced education is going down.
  • In the face of a shortage, much recruiting focuses on the way a candidate looks rather than on performance. This is particularly true in intergenerational and interethnic recruiting.
  • The education system continues to prepare students for jobs in factories. The video game companies do a better job of preparing them for work.
  • Hiring based on credentials continues to vex both sides of the equation. Do you want someone with an accounting degree or someone who can do accounting? Credentials, which should be the last resort of a competent recruiter, are poor substitutes for a quality guarantee.
  • Inflationary pressures are driving turnover. It’s being reported as an increase in the unemployment rate.
  • The recession we are in is localized to housing and retail. Yet, companies with clear paths to increased growth and profitability are behaving like the recession is universal.

Now, more than ever, the most important piece of technology in your arsenal is between your ears.