JOB BOARD JOURNALIST

February 12, 2008   view past issues

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The Single Most Important Word in our Industry

The Single Most Important Word in our Industry

The single most important word in our industry is trust. Without it, we won’t have job seekers submitting their credentials in response to our job postings or archiving their resumes in our databases; if we lose our customers’ trust, we won’t have employers and recruiters using self-service job posting functionality or giving us their credit cards to purchase recruitment services. Trust is the one ingredient that binds our industry into a viable economic marketplace, and that trust is under attack.

We’ve all heard about (and maybe even experienced) the much reported instances of phishing, malware intrusions and hacking in our industry. Every time such an assault occurs, it eats away at the trust we all have worked so hard to earn. Every time, some wacko in eastern Europe or some dimwit in Asia or some jerk here at home is able to slip past our fire walls and other defensive efforts, our future is threatened. Their actions cause our candidates and customers to doubt our ability (and sometimes even our desire) to protect them.

So, what should we do?

First, we need to educate our candidates and customers.

Online identify theft, larceny and fraud are not the unique problem of the online employment services industry. Indeed, our record is far better than most other segments of the business world. According to Attrition.org, more than 162 million records were compromised in 2007, up from 49 million the year before. Where did the problems occur?

  • Discount retailer TJX Companies admitted it had 46 million customer records stolen. Banks say the number was more like 94 million records.
  • A commercial printer, Dai Nippon Printing Company, disclosed that an employee stole 9 million records by hacking into the company’s computers.
  • Online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation announced that online thieves swiped 6.3 million records from its computers.
  • Compare those figures to the situation at Monster. According to press reports, thieves were able to access contact information on 1.3 million resumes stored in the company’s database. Now of course, losing the personal information of even one person to ne’er-do-wells is one person too many, but in the larger sweep of commerce generally and online commerce in particular, the job board industry is far from the leading source of danger.

    That said, our candidates and customers should exercise caution whenever they provide information or transact business online, including at our sites. Equally as important, I think we should make it our job to help them understand that principle and implement it whenever they interact with us. For example, we might suggest that they do the following:

  • Job Seekers: While individual contact information is widely available on the Web, stripping it off of one’s resume and replacing it with a career specific e-mail address and cell phone number might make a resume less susceptible to theft when compared to one where a home address and telephone number are right there for the taking.
  • Employers/Recruiters: While it won’t prevent credit card theft, it might mitigate its impact if organizations were to designate a single card for their online purchases so that the account can be easily monitored and unauthorized activity quickly spotted.
  • There are obviously other and perhaps even better self-protective practices, but most of our candidates and customers will never know that unless we articulate and promote them.

    Second, we need to educate ourselves.

    Technology can be our ally in protecting ourselves from cyber thieves, but it can also lull us into a false sense of security. For example, many of us are now turning to the wireless transmission of data, and hackers are following right behind us. Encryption can help, of course, but it’s not a foolproof solution. In fact, the breach at TJX occurred when thieves intercepted wireless transfers of customer information between two facilities that they then used to break into the company’s central databases. It’s not enough, therefore, to use technology to protect the data we store; we must be equally as vigilant in its transmission. In my mind it’s analogous to the transfer of money, and we should take the same (or better) precautions.

    In addition, we must be cognizant of our legal requirements when data breaches do occur. Thirty-seven states plus the District of Columbia have now passed laws which require the reporting of such incidents. Although I don’t know of any case law to date on the subject, I think we can assume that the statutes apply to the loss of any sensitive data, whether it’s a person’s contact information or their credit card number. And beyond the legal requirements, I believe that it’s simply good business to practice rapid disclosure of data theft. Sure, it’s embarrassing and potentially harmful to our reputations, but taking that step is also the single best way to demonstrate our commitment to earning the trust of our candidates and customers … even when the news isn’t good.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the WEDDLE’s newsletter for job boards. As you know, we don’t follow the herd or the latest fad here. Instead, we deliver sound research, reliable information and savvy analysis. For free. And right to your e-mailbox. So please … share the experience.

    P.S.S. Don’t forget to send us your new e-mail address if you move. Lots of people are changing jobs these days, and we want to be sure you still have the information in WEDDLE’s to help you perform at your peak. All you have to do to keep your WEDDLE’s newsletter coming is send your change of address to pwj@weddles.com.

    This Issue’s Sponsor: IAEWS

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS).

    The International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS) is the trade organization of the global online employment services industry. It offers its Members an array of important benefits including:

  • The opportunity to participate in peer Working Groups that deal with key issues facing the industry, including the OFCCP and customer security and privacy;
  • The ability to post press releases, white papers and research reports on the Association’s Web-site, which has become the first stop for journalists writing about the industry;
  • An annual Member conference where the entire program is dedicated to helping Members achieve greater success in the marketplace;
  • Discounts on attending and exhibiting at key recruitment conferences;Free access to cutting edge research on best practices in online recruiting and job search;
  • Access to Members-Only publications, including a Member Directory, periodic newsletter and special reports (e.g., Mergers & Acquisitions in the Online Employment Services Industry); and
  • The right to post the Association’s Member logo on their site and in their promotional literature, setting them apart as an organization that is committed to the highest standards in business practices.
  • For more information and a Prospective Members Packet, please call Peter Weddle at 203.964.1888. Don’t wait; call today.

    Section Two: News You Can Use

    WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guides & Directory

    Work has now begun on these publications-the gold standards of job board reference books. The 2009/10 editions will hit book store and library shelves, Amazon.com and career counseling centers in the fall of this year. Used by employers and recruiters and by job seekers and career activists, they are the premier source of information about the online employment industry.

    Appearing in these books is absolutely free. To be included, however, you must meet two requirements:

  • You must provide accurate, up-to-date information on your site’s services, features and fees using our e-mail data collection template.
  • You must provide that information to us no later than April 15, 2008.
  • If your site has previously appeared in the WEDDLE’s Guide, we will send you the data collection template you previously submitted. It must be updated for the site to be included in the 2009/10 book.

    If your site has not previously appeared in the WEDDLE’s Guide, we will send you our data collection template. This template is the only way you can submit data for inclusion in the 2009/10 book.

    If you have questions or would like to have us email you a new or previously submitted template, please call Pamela Joyce-Spear at 317.598.9768.

    Unique Brand Advertising Opportunities

    In today’s challenging economic environment, it’s crucial that you keep your brand visible among your site’s various visitor constituencies. How can you do that and not break the bank? Take advantage of WEDDLE’s newsletter sponsorship opportunities. You can be the single, exclusive sponsor of any of the following publications:

  • WEDDLE’s Newsletter for Recruiters & HR Professionals
  • WEDDLE’s Newsletter for Job Seekers & Career Activists
  • WEDDLE’s Newsletter for Career Counselors & Coaches
  • Each newsletter sponsor is highlighted not once, but twice in the publication, providing extraordinary visibility for its brand and product and service offerings. Best of all, the cost of being a sponsor begins as low as $375/issue. So, reserve your spots right away. Call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888.

    WEDDLE’s Content Syndication Program

    Attracting top talent to your Web-site and getting them to come back for repeat visits is a huge challenge. Meeting that challenge requires more than job postings and a couple of articles about how to write a resume and survive an interview. It demands:

  • world class content from a name brand expert;
  • fresh thinking and original ideas based on sound research; and
  • innovative and creative writing that’s designed especially for the online medium.
  • How can you give your Web-site that kind of edge? With WEDDLE’s Content Syndication Program.

    Every two weeks, WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle, writes three original columns exploring the best practices in:

  • online recruitment and HR management;
  • online job search and career self-management; and
  • career self-management for HR professionals.
  • Peter has been described by The Washington Post as “a man filled with ingenious ideas.” The American Staffing Association has called him the “Zagat of the online employment industry.” And now, you can publish Peter’s latest writing on your site and, in the process, enhance its value proposition for passive as well as active job seekers and for current as well as prospective customers.

    To learn more, please call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888. Set your Web-site apart with WEDDLE’s one-of-a-kind Content Syndication Program.

    The Reference Books for Success

    WEDDLE’s 2007/8 books are the leading print references in the job board industry. As HRWIRE put it, “When in doubt, consult WEDDLE’s … an industry standard.”

    Our 2007/8 books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 select job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the occupational fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden talent market” online, it details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • Postcards from Space: Being the Best in Online Recruitment & HR Management. A compilation of Peter Weddle’s columns for The Wall Street Journal, it provides a complete introduction to the Best Practices for sourcing, recruiting and retaining talent online.
  • Generalship: HR Leadership in a Time of War. The only primer on leadership that focuses on the unique challenges of the HR professional waging both a War for Relevancy in the modern corporation and a War for Talent in the 21st Century labor market.
  • To order your copies, visit our 2007 catalog and secure server here or call 317.598.9768 right away.

    Please Support Our Sponsor: IAEWS

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS).

    The International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS) is the trade organization of the global online employment services industry. It offers its Members an array of important benefits including:

  • The opportunity to participate in peer Working Groups that deal with key issues facing the industry, including the OFCCP and customer security and privacy;
  • The ability to post press releases, white papers and research reports on the Association’s Web-site, which has become the first stop for journalists writing about the industry;
  • An annual Member conference where the entire program is dedicated to helping Members achieve greater success in the marketplace;
  • Discounts on attending and exhibiting at key recruitment conferences;Free access to cutting edge research on best practices in online recruiting and job search;
  • Access to Members-Only publications, including a Member Directory, periodic newsletter and special reports (e.g., Mergers & Acquisitions in the Online Employment Services Industry); and
  • The right to post the Association’s Member logo on their site and in their promotional literature, setting them apart as an organization that is committed to the highest standards in business practices.
  • For more information and a Prospective Members Packet, please call Peter Weddle at 203.964.1888. Don’t wait; call today.