Dot-Com Candidates: Good and Plenty

While most companies would eagerly lay out the welcome mat for much-needed new hires, some companies are showing slews of skilled employees the exit door. According to The Industry Standard, in the six-month period from December 29, 1999 to June 30, 2000, 80 dot-com companies have laid off at least 5,855 employees. The upheaval in e-commerce, which has become known as the dot-com shakeout, is an ongoing source of speculation and commentary. For recruiters, it is also a source for candidates. There are several places on the Internet where information can be found about dot-com layoffs. DotCom.Failures provides online summary information regarding various dot-com woes. Layoff figures, when applicable, are included. DotCom.Failures also provides access to complete news articles about individual companies. These articles are accessible by clicking on an individual company’s name from the home page summary. Selecting a specific company takes you to a second page where the same summary appears, but this time with a link to the article. On this second page you can also post comments. Because Dotcom.Failures chronicles all technology failures, you will find information about companies that are technically oriented, several of which are not “technically” dot.coms. Hewlett Packard, Sony, and Oracle have all been subjects of past summaries. The term “failure” is perhaps a bit of a misnomer with regard to some of the information presented at DotCom.Failures. The Oracle summary dated June 16, for example, mentions management changes. Still, under a subheading also entitled “Failures,” you will find very worthwhile information. “Stats” includes cumulative data and industry comparisons, while “The Dead List” is an alphabetical listing of companies that have closed their doors. “Tech Recruiters” is a place where a technical recruiter can hang a shingle, as well as a Web site link. Simply select “Insert Recruiter” and enter your information. Yahoo! News covers dot-com and other layoff activity at its “Business: Downsizing and Layoffs” page. Under the heading “News Stories” you’ll find a chronological listing of news articles with links to each. Utilizing news sources from around the country, Yahoo!’s news is nationwide in scope. With a focus on mostly East Coast downsizings, Timesizing Associates draws on The New York Times and the Boston Globe for its information. Here you’ll find summaries of various corporate activity, dot-com and otherwise, with references to the original articles and the sections of the newspapers where the articles can be found. Although there are no direct links to these articles, Timesizing summaries are in chronological order and enough detail is provided so that should you choose to access the original sources, you can locate the information with relative ease. JWT Specialized Communications offers “Layoff Updates” that are organized chronologically by week. Although JWT information is always two weeks behind breaking news stories, each week’s information is arranged by industry, which makes it easy to search for a specific organization. Including both dot-com and other companies, JWT provides layoff summaries and cites the original sources of the information. Summaries begin with the name of the company and the name of the city or cities where the layoffs will or have occurred. Following a brief recounting of the activity leading to the layoffs, the number of workers affected at each company is provided. Although the prospect of contacting an individual who has just received bad news may be cause for an initial feeling of discomfort, keep in mind that you have the opportunity to be the bearer of good news. With open positions to fill and the potential to place a displaced person in a new job, the situation really couldn’t be more ideal. And with thousands of people feeling the effects of the dot-com shakeout, this situation can play itself over and over…dot dot dot…and over again. Author’s Note: AIRS also publishes an Outplacement Report, summarizing employers that have announced downsizing initiatives over the past week, at

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Paula Santonocito is an e-recruitment strategist and columnist for AIRS, the global leader in Internet recruitment training, tools, news and information. AIRS AIRS AIRS


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