December 4, 2013   view past issues

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Technological Bankruptcy

Technological Bankruptcy

The workplace is now changing so fast that employment sites with healthy business prospects today could face “technological bankruptcy” tomorrow. That term describes a situation similar to what is called “technological unemployment” – the loss of a person’s job because their work can now be done by a machine. When those jobs disappear, however, they can also eliminate the value proposition for employment sites dedicated to filling them. In the blink of an eye, the demand for talent disappears for jobs that are made obsolete by technology.

Employers deal with changing talent requirements through HR planning. Sadly, it is seldom done frequently or well enough to have an appreciable impact on an organization’s recruiting efficiency. Changing talent requirements come as a bolt out of the blue and, as a consequence, every open req is a crisis. Recruiters who have previously searched for one kind of talent must turn on a dime and search for a different kind or come to a full stop because their employer no longer hires humans to do the work.

Now, a new study and a bestselling book suggest that employment sites should also be doing some talent planning. Why? Because jobs are now disappearing at the fastest rate since the advent of the Industrial Era, and equally as important, the new jobs being created to replace them are often far fewer in number. The absence of jobs or even the need for far fewer jobs can produce a business crisis that leads to failure – technological bankruptcy.

The new study, called the Impacts of Future Technology, was conducted by Oxford University. It looked at the types of tasks performed in 702 occupations and the skills required to perform them. It then analyzed the likelihood that advances in artificial intelligence and other technology would be able to take on such functions cost-effectively.

The study is available in its entirety here.

The bestselling book is called Race Against the Machine (Digital Frontier Press, 2011). It was written by two MIT academicians, Erik Brynjolfosson and Andrew McAfee. They assess the pace and scope of advances in digital technology and describe both their current and likely future impacts on employment.

The Findings

Brynjolfosson and McAfee assert that technology has either already influenced the number of “human jobs” in the following industries or will likely do so soon:

  • Distribution
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Medicine
  • Research
  • Retailing

The Oxford study reports that the jobs at “high risk” for elimination by automated technology are in the following occupations:

  • Administrative support
  • Logistics
  • Transportation

While Brynjolfosson and McAfee see this shift as both pervasive and inevitable, the study authors acknowledge that nothing is certain, especially when it comes to predicting the future. Regardless of which position is correct, however, what is certain is that “the times, they are a-changin’.”

Moreover, as Brynjolfsson and McAfee note, “Technological progress – in particular improvements in computer hardware, software, and networks – has been so rapid and so surprising that many present-day organizations, institutions, policies, and mindsets are not keeping up.” That’s why talent planning is so important to the future of employment sites. Without it, the odds of technological bankruptcy go up dramatically.

ReSI Selection Committee

As announced in our last newsletter, the IAEWS has introduced a singular, new accolade for the online employment services industry – the Recruiting Service Innovation Awards or the ReSIs. These awards recognize innovative sourcing and recruiting products and services that help to Optimize the Recruiter’s Experience.

Why are these awards needed? Here’s what Nan Weitzman, America’s Talent Acquisition Leader at Hewlett Packard, had to say:

“The marketplace for recruiting tools and services is very crowded with so many new entrants and new products from established players. The ReSIs recognize those solutions that provide a value-add to improve the recruiter experience. When recruiters are more effective and productive, the hiring process moves more quickly and enhances the overall candidate and hiring manager experience. Employers are very interested in tools that have a positive impact on the recruiter experience…the ReSIs will highlight those products and services.”

Who will be the judges? We’ve empanelled a blue-chip Selection Committee made up of Recruiting and Talent Acquisition executives with experience in large and small enterprises, global and domestic companies, product manufacturers and service providers.

The committee members are:

  • Mary Kay Baldino, Director of Recruiting Excellence, Outerwall, Inc.
  • Greg Churchman, Talent Sage, New Belgium Brewing
  • Randy Goldberg, Vice President Talent Management, Hyatt Hotels
  • Nan Weitzmann, Americas Talent Acquisition Leader, Hewlett Packard
  • Kara Yarnot, Founder & President, Meritage Talent Solutions

If you would like to nominate one or more of your organization’s products or services for a 2014 ReSI, please request a nomination form from the IAEWS Executive Director at

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Recruiting Service Innovation Awards will be supported by corporate and vendor sponsorships.

For vendors:

  • Sponsorship associates the vendor with innovation and cutting edge recruitment technology that makes a difference.
  • Sponsorship underscores the vendor’s commitment to the work of recruiters and recruiting excellence.
  • Sponsorship enhances the visibility and stature of the vendor’s brand in the global marketplace.
  • Sponsorship provides year-long publicity for the vendor in both HR/recruiting media and leading business publications.

For employers:

  • Sponsorship underscores the employer’s commitment to the work of recruiters and recruiting excellence.
  • Sponsorship enables the employer to stimulate advancements in recruiting products and services.
  • Sponsorship enhances the visibility and stature of the employer’s brand in the global marketplace.
  • Sponsorship provides year-long publicity for the employer in both HR/recruiting media and leading business publications.

As indicated below, there are a number of sponsorship tiers available for the Recruiting Service Innovation Awards:

  • Platinum Sponsors (2 only)
  • Gold Sponsors (4 only)
  • Silver Sponsors

For additional information and sponsorship fees, please contact the IAEWS Executive Director at or 203-964-1888.

Be At Your Best With the Best Tools

Customers often ask employment sites either to recommend additional tools they can use for sourcing and recruiting or for the sites to provide them with additional sourcing and recruiting support. What’s the best way to answer these questions? Recommend or use WEDDLE’s Books – the only resources published specifically for the online employment services industry.

WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This is the 11th edition of the Guide the American Staffing Association called the “Zagat” of job boards and social media sites.

The Talent Sourcing & Recruitment Handbook. This is Shally Steckerl’s tell-all guide to his sourcing secrets and cybersleuthing for hard-to-find talent.

WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. This book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations.

Finding Needles in a Haystack. This one-of-a-kind guide lists over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.

New Employment Site Channel is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new channel of information and resources designed specifically for employment sites.

Here’s what you’ll find on the site:

    Books & Tools for improving site operations and the bottom line
  • Site Success Resources including webinars and an unique industry award program
  • Plus much more!

There’s something there for everyone, whether your site is a startup or a seasoned veteran of the online employment services industry, whether it’s a niche job board or a general purpose sourcing and recruitment site.

So, drop by and check it out. Visit today!

IAEWS Employment Web-Site Resource Directory

If your organization is selling a product or service to job boards and other employment sites, the IAEWS Employment Web-Site Resource Directory is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to promote it.

What makes the Directory special? It connects with your prospective customers in not one, but two ways:

  • First, the Directory will be linked from the Home Page of the IAEWS Web-site so it’s front and center with both IAEWS Members and other site visitors; and
  • Second, a hard copy version of the Directory will be distributed to delegates at all IAEWS Congresses.

In short, you get a two-fer: both virtual and real world visibility.

In addition, the Directory will be featured in regular e-blasts to the IAEWS membership and to the employment sites on the mailing list maintained by WEDDLE’s Guide.

The Employment Web-Site Resource Directory will go live in early January 2014, so don’t delay. The closing date for insertion orders is just around the corner. For additional information and to place your insertion order, contact the IAEWS at today.