The Fordyce Letter to Cease Publication

Editor’s Note: will cease publication at the end of business January 29. The website will remain online as it is now during a transition period, but no new articles will post after Friday. At the conclusion of the transition, visitors to the site will be directed elsewhere to access past articles. The following letter from our CEO explains the decision.

Dear Reader –

After more than 40 years as the voice of the independent recruiting community, our subscriber newsletter The Fordyce Letter and its eponymous online presence, will cease publishing. The final online post will appear Friday.

While the news is disappointing to us and certainly to the thousands of our readers, it’s a reflection of the changing nature of the search business, as well as a refocusing of the mission of ERE Media, which has owned Fordyce since 2006.

No one could have guessed back then when ERE acquired The Fordyce Letter from Paul Hawkinson, its publisher of many years, just how profoundly the world, let alone agency recruiting, was about to change. Though the industry goes through ups and downs as the economy waxes and wanes, no one alive has experienced as severe an economic drought as the period 2007-2010.

Over the many years from its founding in the 1960s, The Fordyce Letter has chronicled those ups and downs. Equally as important – and perhaps even more significantly – Fordyce has reported on and encouraged the evolution of executive search.

Over the years he owned and published the newsletter, Paul Hawkinson, one of the giants of the search profession, spread the news about techniques and technical innovations. He provided insights into all aspects of the business and offered advice from his own professional experience. Together with his close friend and associate Jeffrey Allen, Hawkinson authored The Placement Strategy Handbook, to this day a valuable reference work for agency owners and recruiters. Much of this advice he and Allen freely shared on the pages of The Fordyce Letter.

Because there were so few resources available for search professionals, The Fordyce Letter was often referred to as “the industry Bible.” If you wanted to know what was going on in the industry, you subscribed to The Fordyce Letter.

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The Internet changed that. Even before Google became a verb, information of all kinds was freely available online. Bulletin boards, the precursor of social networks, offered a gathering place for sharing news, tips and help. Professional organizations created resource-rich websites. What you couldn’t find there, you could find elsewhere.

That began the decline of all print subscriptions. The Fordyce Letter was no exception. Where a decade ago we had thousands of subscribers, today’s newsletter has only a few hundred. The website has thousands more readers than the newsletter ever did, but advertisers prefer our other sites –, and

Several months ago, after considering the options and weighing how we can be most effective, ERE Media refocused our mission. Instead of spreading ourselves across all parts of the recruiting and human resources ecosystem, we will focus on the corporate side.

Thank you to all our subscribers for your loyalty and readership over the years. A big thank you as well to all our writers and contributors who have made The Fordyce Letter a valuable resource for the profession.

Our best to you for a successful future. May you all be big billers.

Ron Mester
CEO / ERE Media, Inc.

Ron Mester is president and CEO of ERE Media, Inc., which, through its four brands (TLNT, ERE, SourceCon, and The Fordyce Letter), is the pre-eminent source for information about talent acquisition and talent management. Before joining ERE Media, Mester served for eight years as president and CEO of Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), transforming the company into the premier research and analysis firm covering the contingent workforce. He also spent 11 years with Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) — including five years as a partner — where he advised Fortune 1000 companies in more than a dozen industries on human capital strategy, organizational effectiveness, and overall business strategy. He also served as an executive at two venture-backed startups in the research/business intelligence space and earned a patent for Zoomerang, which became one of the world’s top online survey tools (before being acquired in 2012 by SurveyMonkey).




8 Comments on “The Fordyce Letter to Cease Publication

  1. a real loss.
    recruiting for 15+ years – even with ALL the free internet resources – I have always found fordyce to be POTENTLY VALUABLE and aggressively relevant, on-point more than any other competing resource.
    thanks for the great content.

  2. WOW! I’m not sure what the purpose of sharing opinions are if Ron deletes what he doesn’t like or can’t face.
    I shared mine yesterday and today it’s gone. After some investigating I can now see why the company is on a downward trend. It must be hard to have no self reliance and rely on others.
    Then again, what would I know, I only billed $1.27 last year with three assistants and over $964k every year since 1999. Sorry Ron, our industry is getting stronger not shrinking as you say. FDL should be thriving and on an upward trend if managed properly.
    I wonder how long this will stay up before he deletes it also. LoL.
    However I have to admit I do find the weakness amusing.

    1. George – I can assure you Ron did not delete your comment. In checking all the comments in the queue, there’s nothing there from you. Are you sure you saved it?

  3. Does this sound to anyone else like ERE somehow slyly knocking the contingent search business?

    I will say this much, if it was possible to sell TFL to another online publisher, that would have seemed like the move to make, so shutting it down does appear like it was done because TFL’s content wasn’t generating ad dollars.

    However, I will say the following…

    As a LONG time reader of The Fordyce Letter, both online and in print, its content was FAR too slow in coming out and not relevant enough in today’s online media environment.

    Now, that doesn’t mean the search industry is dying out.

    There are plenty of online magazines etc. that focus on thriving industries that don’t make it. The Fordyce Letter is just an unfortunate one of these cases.

    But to cast aspersions on the health of the search business as a cause is inaccurate.

    1. No Rashod it doesn’t. The only reason for it is because he doesn’t know how to run it. He probably thought it was as easy as hiring a couple coaches and that he readership would stay or increase. Instead he just regurgitated old basic information from the old ones and even the coached/trainers didn’t have any relevant information.
      It’s obvious none involved were successful recruiters. Remember: Those who can do! And those who can’t try and teach. You won’t find any coaches/trainers that produce over $300k if they did they would still be recruiting. I produce well north of $900k with a few assistants yet, I take every Thursday off and every third week off.
      FDL could be a huge success if run by someone like myself or someone else who has the longevity (I gave 25 years) and experience to make it relevant and something that recruiters would actually benefit from.
      You will see the other publications cease and fail in time as they’re just not driving traffic and investment money will dry up.
      My first post was deleted because it hit the nail on the head and they didn’t want others reading it.

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