As we come to the end of another year, and the first of this century, it is perhaps wise to take a few moments and ask ourselves what is different today from a year ago. Last year I wrote a column around this time that predicted some things that would occur this year. Here are the key points I made in that article: The first point I made was that everyone would use the Internet to look for a job. And I think this has happened. The job boards have grown in size, in number, and in type. There are broad-based sites such as Monster.com and focused sites such as Techies.com. And, there are sites like FlipDog that scrap job listings from all sort of corporate websites and present these to candidates. Generally surveys show that almost all candidates use the Internet at some point in their job search, and I think I could say all recruiters use it to some degree to find candidates. The large number of job boards and their increasing specialization make it very hard for them to be profitable. While it is critically important for them to build a nationwide image and brand, only one of two of them has any wide name recognition. I think that over the coming year many of these job boards will merge or be acquired or just quietly disappear at it becomes more important to make a profit. My prediction for 2001 is that by this time there will be only 1 or 2 nationally known job boards and a handful of regional and specialized boards left. Everyone will use them and they will have added more services to their basic offering. Some of these added services may include interviewing help, skill assessment, career advice, and applicant tracking services for recruiters. What do you think? I would love to include some of your thought and comments in a future column. My second prediction was that organizations will build exciting recruiting websites. On this I was almost dead wrong, unfortunately!! What I have seen this year is an increase in “good” websites and a broadening of the companies that have recruiting websites. All of this is for the good. However, to be effective a website has to be a tool for selling your organization to a candidate and it needs to have the ability to continuously communicate with a candidate or potential candidate and build an ongoing relationship. Of all the organizations I survey, only a few have built a really exciting site. A few good sites include The Boston Consulting Group, Federated Department Stores, Texas Instruments, and Goldman Sachs. My 2001 predication is that websites will continue to evolve and become more relationship- and sales-oriented. Do you agree? Are there any great sites you would like to submit? My third prediction was that even small companies would find themselves looking for ways to organize and track the resumes and other information they collect about candidates. On this I was absolutely correct. But, the vendors to service this need are fragmented and none offers a completely satisfactory solution for most organizations. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> We evolved over this year from the client-server systems (which are dead) to the ASP (Application Service Provider) model where you, in effect, “rent” software for a period of time from a vendor. This way you save the cost of purchasing and installing a client-server system and get the benefits of continuous product improvements. The best system at the beginning of 2000 was probably Personic Software. While it is still an excellent product, it failed to move to the client-server world as fast as others and lost strength because of that. The systems that are emerging include PureCarbon (formerly Intralect), Hire.com, Recruitsoft, and Brass Ring. Of course there are many small firms with good solutions for smaller organizations, and there are many hybrid systems that are hard to categorize. In fact, even the ones I mentioned are all different and are far from the traditional applicant tracking systems we used to know. My prediction for 2001 is that the mess will continue for most of the year with some winners emerging toward the end of 2001. The winners will be those systems that have gathered a significant client base and are profitable. Everyone else will either be acquired, merged, or on their deathbed. I believe that one or two of the ones I have mentioned will be the winners as it is really too late for newcomers to get into the act. What do you think? Why am I right or wrong? And my final prediction was that there would be a continuing move away from the traditional resume to the use of tools that verify skills, build relationships and screen candidates for specific abilities and competencies. Again I was on target but perhaps a bit premature. This trend seems to me to be the biggest one for 2001. Many organizations are now adopting screening tools and retooling their websites to do more screening for them. The vendors are getting better, too, and offer a lot. Take a look at epredix.com, Brainbench.com, Reviewnet.net as examples of how screening can become an integral part of your selection process and your web site. Well, that’s how I wrap up my last year predictions. I will have some additional predictions for 2001 in a future column and I’d appreciate your thoughts and comments. I will incorporate as many of them as I can into that column. Hope you are having a great holiday season!
Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.