SimplyHired Layoffs – What does it mean to the job board industry?

This morning, March 23, I learned that SimplyHired went through a round of Lay-offs on February 2, 2012, as announced on Venture Beat.

When I first heard the news, I did a search on Google, Ere.net, and Jobboarders, and didn’t find any news of the SimplyHired Layoffs. That’s pretty strange to me, considering that SimplyHired is one of the most heavily Venture Capital funded job boards ($22 Million), is strategically partnered with LinkedIn, (a major shareholder from what I hear), and has become a major partner for many job board owners, who either purchase pay-per-click advertising, or partner with the them via their Jobamatic product.

The SimplyHired layoffs apparently included the President/COO Dion Lim, VP of Sales Brian Corey, and most of the sales team.

What does this mean to the job board industry and the future of SimplyHired?
SimplyHired CEO, Gautam Godhwani, emailed VentureBeat, stating “As part of its 2012 strategy, Simply Hired made some changes to its organization.”

As one of the first internet job board founders, www.gojobs.com, the owner of a SimplyHired partnered job board SpeechJobs.org, and a partner of SimplyHired’s two primary PPC competitors, Indeed.com and Topusajobs.com, I’m not surprised by the reorganization.

SimplyHired.com is a great service for both job seekers and employers.
The pay-per-click (ppc) employment advertising niche is a very cost effective, and, in my opinion, one of the most under-utilized advertising options for employers.

From my experience the reorganization was a necessary step.

SimplyHired is not going away anytime soon, I think they just needed to trim their overhead and refocus. Indeed, SimplyHired’s biggest competitor in the ppc employment advertising niche, has done a better job of executing in this small segment of employment advertising.

Unfortunately, with venture capital backing, there are really only two exit strategies for SimplyHired’s investors, go public, or sell. SimplyHired’s CEO, Gautam Godhwani, did what is probably required. With the possibility of going public not very realistic, the next best option is to raise the profitability in the hopes of increasing the multiple for a future acquisition.

Will that acquisition come from Monster or maybe even LinkedIn? With Monster up for sale, I don’t think they are in acquisition mode, so that leaves LinkedIn as one of the few natural alternatives. But, that being said, LinkedIn, is probably better off buying Monster than SimplyHired.

What are your thoughts?

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ICANN victory for .Jobs Charter Compliance Coalition and HRSEO.

ICANN Decision Supports .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition, stating that .JOBS Domain Cannot be Used to Operate Job Boards, which means universe.jobs must be shut down.

Congratulations to the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition!
This is a big win for the IAEWS, employers, HRSEO advocates, and vendors.
SPECIAL BULLETIN

• ICANN Issues Notice for Employ Media to Cease Operation of “Dot Jobs Universe.”
• Strongly Worded Breach Notice Affirms .JOBS Compliance Coalition Position.
• ICANN Investigation Concludes .JOBS Domain Cannot be Used to Operate Job Boards.

ICANN Decision a Victory for .JOBS Coalition

After weathering a ferocious public relations blitz, the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition learned today that its opposition to the .JOBS Charter expansion had been vindicated by a recent notice posted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In this notice, ICANN states:

The recently launched universe.jobs appears to be a job board that advertises job openings for multiple employers. It is our understanding that one registrant, who is a member of SHRM, registered forty thousand second-level domain names in the .JOBS TLD for use on this job boards. … These registrations appear to serve the interests of the registrant or company causing the registrations, as well as Employ Media and SHRM rather than the interests of the human resource management professionals.

Employ Media and SHRM’s failure to establish policies, in conformity with the defined purpose and intent of the .JOBS registry is inconsistent with the .JOBS Charter ….

Those factors support ICANN’s opening sentence of the notice which states:

“Be advised that as of and before 28 February 2011, Employ Media is in breach of its Registry Agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (‚ÄúICANN‚Äù) and Employ Media LLC (‚ÄúEmploy Media‚Äù).”

The notice further requires Employ Media that “cure” or fix the breach. It states:

Should Employ Media fail to cure this breach within 30 calendar days, ICANN may commence the termination process as set forth in Section 6.1 of the .JOBS Registry Agreement.

Essentially, SHRM was found at fault for not living up to it’s commitment regarding ICANN registrations. SHRM was willing to let a single vendor create 40,000 job boards further diluting the job board industry as well as making it more competitive for employers to direct hire using search engine optimization techniques.

This is a clear win for the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition:
Here are the companies and individuals responsible for this industry victory!

The .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition was chaired by John Bell, the Founder and CEO of Boxwood Technology. Its members include AHA Solutions (American Hospital Association); the American Society of Association Executives; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Staffing Association; Boxwood Technology, Inc.; CareerBuilder, LLC; the International Association of Employment Web Sites; twenty-three individual members of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, including CollegeRecruiter.com, Dice, HigherEdJobs, Indeed, JobG8, Jobing, VetJobs, and WorkinSports.com; Monster Worldwide, Inc.; the Newspaper Association of America; and Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications.

The following press release was issued by the Coalition this morning:

.JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition Applauds ICANN’s Delivery of Firm Breach Notice to Employ Media LLC Regarding Improper .JOBS Expansion

ICANN Makes it Clear that .JOBS Domain Names May Not be Used to Operate Independent Job Boards, Including the “Dot Jobs Universe”

Employ Media LLC and DirectEmployers Association, Inc. Directed to Cease Operating in Violation of the .JOBS Charter

Hunt Valley, MD and Stamford, CT, February 28, 2011 – The .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition (the “Coalition”) today applauds the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) for delivering a strongly worded breach notice to Employ Media regarding its improper expansion of the .JOBS Top-Level Domain (“TLD”). The breach notice details how Employ Media, along with its alliance partner DirectEmployers Association and its sponsoring organization The Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), failed to operate and manage the .JOBS TLD in a manner that was compliant with the .JOBS Charter. The breach notice is posted on ICANN’s website here.

One of the most significant Charter violations identified by ICANN is the operation of the so-called “Dot Jobs Universe,” a series of “integrated employment domains” that has been the subject of many “too-good-to-be-true” promises over the past several months by Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association. The Dot Jobs Universe was created when Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association teamed up to seize approximately forty thousand domain names ending in the .jobs suffix. This surreptitious transaction between the alliance partners temporarily gave DirectEmployers Association the ability to erroneously claim to “own and operate” the .JOBS TLD. ICANN stated in the notice, however, that the operation of the Dot Jobs Universe is “inconsistent with the purpose stated in the .JOBS Charter and stated to the ICANN community” and “serve[s] the interests of [DirectEmployers Association], as well as Employ Media and SHRM rather than the interests of the human resource management professionals.” ICANN called on Employ Media to take immediate actions to implement policies that would effectively terminate the operation of the Dot Jobs Universe. In sum, through its breach notice, ICANN has correctly and definitively concluded that the .JOBS Charter does not permit .JOBS domain names to be used to operate independent job boards.

In addition, ICANN admonished SHRM and Employ Media for failing to establish meaningful registration restrictions regarding which types of persons or entities could register second-level domain names within the .JOBS TLD. ICANN determined in the notice that Employ Media and SHRM were “exploiting” the Charter language “at the detriment of some participants of the human resources community” and “the loose restrictions established by Employ Media and SHRM appear to exclusively serve the financial interests of Employ Media and SHRM.” SHRM’s actions appear to contradict its contractual obligation as the sponsor of the .JOBS TLD, which is to act independently and in the best interests of the international human resource management community.

ICANN’s breach notice to Employ Media is the product of an extensive review process by ICANN’s Contractual Compliance Department. In December, the ICANN Board directed ICANN staff to closely monitor Employ Media’s compliance with the .JOBS Charter, and ICANN’s breach notice reflects the overwhelming public evidence of material violations of the .JOBS Charter by Employ Media, its alliance partner, DirectEmployers Association and its sponsoring organization, SHRM. ICANN has given Employ Media thirty (30) calendar days to cease its non-compliant use of the .JOBS TLD. If Employ Media fails to cure its breach within the allotted time period, ICANN may terminate the .JOBS Registry Agreement it entered into with Employ Media.

Peter Weddle, Executive Director of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, stated, “While Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association have created many false expectations about the Dot Jobs Universe, ICANN’s strong stance is a victory for the Internet community, as well as for employers and job seekers. First, the Dot Jobs Universe was not an innovation but rather an unprecedented attempt by a registry operator to misappropriate an entire TLD for itself and its alliance partner in blatant disregard of ICANN’s rules. Fair and honest competition is welcome in the online recruitment industry, but a TLD operator must be held to the commitments it makes to the Internet community, and upon which ICANN’s approval rests. This principle is particularly important as ICANN prepares to expand the domain name space by hundreds of new TLDs. Second, Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association can no longer infringe the trademark rights of third parties by thoughtlessly launching numerous .JOBS sites with names that are confusingly similar to those of long established enterprises, many of them small businesses. Finally, the lofty promises of completely free and fully vetted job postings were simply not economically viable and could never have been fulfilled, ultimately resulting in frustration for both employers and job seekers.”

John Bell, Chairman of the Coalition, stated, “The Coalition welcomes ICANN’s enforcement action and commends ICANN’s Legal Department and Contractual Compliance Department for conducting its review of the non-compliant actions by Employ Media, DirectEmployers Association and SHRM. The Coalition has stated for months that the facts in the matter would lead to this inevitable result. ICANN obviously reviewed all of the relevant facts and arrived at the correct conclusion. We are confident that ICANN will follow through on this demonstration of its commitment to enforce its rules and take all necessary and appropriate actions to terminate the non-compliant Dot Jobs Universe as soon as possible.”

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The tipping point for social recruiting… Adecco slashes spending on paid job boards.

If you are currently looking for a job or considering a career change, please consider the news below…

On September 24th, 2010, Addecco, the U.S. arm of staffing giant Adecco SA, announced that it slashed it’s spending on online job boards by from $6 Milllion to $2 Million between 2007-2009.

Addecco is the first major company, in my knowledge, who has publicly stated they have been slashing their spends on large job boards. While most major employers have been doing this, Addecco seems to be the first company to publicize this fact.

To anyone in the recruiting industry, this probably isn’t much news, to anyone else, this is probably the “Tipping Point” in regards to managing an effective job search.

“In my 15 years of Internet recruiting experience, we have never seen a technology disruption like this in the past,” says Jonathan Duarte, founder of http://ProfileLaunchPad.com, a Career and Reputation Management firm.

For almost 2 decades, now, the process of finding a job has come down to surfing major job boards, and then “clicking n’ applying” to jobs. Over the last 2 years, both employers and job seekers have learned that this haphazard approach simply isn’t very effective.

Recruiters are now finding more qualified candidates from professional networking sites like LinkedIn and search engines!

Addecco announced that they slashed spending on paid job boards like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com and instead drives applicants to its site from free job search engines and social media sites like LinkedIn, an executive said on Friday.

Follow the money!

LinkedIn is becoming a primary recruiting channel for employers who want access to employed professionals. By contrast, candidates that come via paid job boards are often unqualified, raising costs for recruiters who have to wade through irrelevant resumes,” Adecco said.

This is important to job seekers because it shows how employer a employers are now hiring. While they are continuing to use the big job boards, they are finding more qualified candidates on LinkedIn.

The bottom line: Employers are using professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for a job, or are considering a job or career change, you might want to consider learning how to use LinkedIn effectively for your job search, professional profile, or personal branding.

Here is a video that describes how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile:

Click here: LinkedIn Profile Optimization Video!

For more updates and news regarding Job Search Personal Branding, subscribe to our Free Social Job Search Newsletter, with free tips and tricks on how to use online networking sites during your job search.

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10 Reasons LinkedIn is the New Monster

I’m sure this isn’t much news to many people in the recruiting community, but this article is for job seekers.

1. You can’t get fired for creating a LinkedIn Profile.

You wouldn‚Äôt upload your resume on Monster and then send an email to your boss and co-workers saying ‚ÄúI just put my resume on Monster‚Ķcome take a look!‚Äù That would be job suicide. On LinkedIn, it’s different. LinkedIn is a smart professional decision. Uploading your ‚Äúresume‚Äù on Monster, means you‚Äôre looking for a new job. Creating a LinkedIn ‚Äúprofile‚Äù shows that you understand the importance of building professional relationships and that you are up to speed on Professional Networking online.

2. LinkedIn is Free for Job Seekers and Recruiters.

Monster charges $9,000 per company employee, per year, for access to YOUR resume! In fact, Monster makes something like $1 Billion annually from selling your resume to employers. LinkedIn does it for free! LinkedIn does have many paid upgrade options, but these are only optional and they are not required to get most of the functionality.

3. Recruiters are flocking to Linkedin and canceling their Monster accounts.

With millions of people unemployed, employers are getting hundreds of applicants for every job posting. Finding candidates isn’t a problem, like it used to be. As a result, fewer companies are buying resume database licenses. With tighter budgets, recruiters are being forced to use alternatives, like LinkedIn, that are free. When the economy starts turning around, employers and staffing firms are going to continue to use the most effective and least expensive tools to find candidates. LinkedIn will only get better.

4. LinkedIn is a virtual “Corporate Employee Directory”.

The LinkedIn, “Company Search Feature” allows job seekers to view loads of great information about thousands of companies. A search could reveal your 1st degree and 2nd degree contacts who are current or past employees, employees that share similar groups, like professional trade groups, and alumni organizations. LinkedIn boasts employees from all of the Fortune 100 companies, a statement that Monster can‚Äôt make.

As a job seeker, if you’re trying to connect with employees in the company, to find a possible employee referral, a simple LinkedIn company search might just do it. While LinkedIn doesn’t provide direct contact information, if you are a savvy LinkedIn user, you can definitely find ways to connect and contact just about anyone on LinkedIn.

I’m releasing an online training series Referrals Get Hired!, that teaches job seekers how to find and connect with employees and ask for referrals. If you are interested in getting notified of when I release the training, put your name and email in the box to the right.

5. LinkedIn is the largest and most active online community of human resources, staffing and recruiting professionals.

LinkedIn claims over 500,000 recruiting and HR members. From my estimates, that means that LinkedIn has 10 times more staffing and recruiting members actively engaging candidates than paying members of both the Monster and CareerBuilder resume databases, combined!

As a job seeker, if you want to research, or find, or contact a recruiter, there is no better place, they’re all on LinkedIn. They’re easy to find – do an “Advanced People Search”, with the word “recruiter” in the “title” field. You can even filter the results by your local region, and industry.

Recruiters are also very active in LinkedIn groups. So join some industry trade groups, as well as any of the large “job” and “career” oriented groups, and connect with them.

6. Recruiters are sourcing more and more candidates from LinkedIn.

Everyday I talk to another recruiter, or see another testimonial, where an executive recruiter says they are finding and placing more candidates from LinkedIn than any other source. This is good to know, but it must be stated that these are “executive recruiters” hiring senior managers and executives. LinkedIn isn’t yet the “go to” resource for all types of positions. In the next couple of years, we’ll see this continue to move out of the executive ranks and into operations and line management positions, as LinkedIn membership grows beyond its primary “professional” demographics.

7. LinkedIn has already become a defacto “social reference check”.

Over 45% of employers have already stated they are using LinkedIn to run background checks on applicants (2009 CareerBuilder study), and another 35% say they will be doing so this year (CareerXRoads, 2009 Source of Hire Study). Recruiters never used Monster for this because Monster is only one dimensional, meaning recruiters could only read what a user uploaded, their resume. Profiles on LinkedIn are multifaceted, including recommendations, links to blogs, twitter applications, providing recruiters with many more ways of researching candidates. In addition, LinkedIn is constantly being updated with new information in Groups, Questions and Answers, etc. whereas, Monster is very static.

If you are looking for a job, it’s critical that your LinkedIn Profile matches what is on your resume, and vice versa. Recruiters are using the information they find and comparing it to your resume. If there are holes, or your resume doesn’t match, or other questionable issues come up, employers might us the information they find to disqualify you. If you‚Äôre not listed, or your profile isn‚Äôt complete, or doesn’t match your resume, you‚Äôre out of luck.

8. LinkedIn Search Engine Optimizes your profile for you.

When your profile is complete, LinkedIn lists your profile in it’s public directory, which makes it easy for Google to index and list your profile in their search results. Monster; however, locks down your resume and charges recruiters to view YOUR resume. If an employer doesn‚Äôt want to pay‚Ķ you are the one that loses. LinkedIn helps market you, because it’s good for them. LinkedIn knows that recruiters are not just searching Linkedin.com for candidates. Many recruiters search Google as well.

Tip: Have you ever typed in your name into Google and found your LinkedIn profile? That’s because LinkedIn is trying to make its content, profiles, available for the public.  They do a great job of it.

9. LinkedIn isn’t just for posting a profile and looking for jobs, it‚Äôs a professional community.

Monster’s singular purpose is to help employers and job seekers find each other. That’s fine, but if you’re not looking to find a new job, there is no reason to go to Monster. LinkedIn, however has over 60 Million members, many of whom are actively involved in some of the largest and most active professional, trade, and alumni groups on the web. As more and more users come on board, LinkedIn only gets better. It’s a community, based on community built content.

10. Employers would rather hire “Passive” candidates.

While this isn’t news, it’s a strategic difference between Monster and LinkedIn. Monster is considered a great place to find ‘active’ candidates. Whereas LinkedIn, because of its community basis, is a great place to find passive candidates. Again, uploading a ‚Äúresume‚Äù on Monster, by definition, means you are an ‚Äúactive‚Äù candidate.

The purpose of this blog post was to help define why LinkedIn is so vital to a job seeker. I truly believe that LinkedIn is now more important than Monster, for a lot of reasons. That doesn’t mean that job seekers shouldn’t use Monster or any other job board, including GOJobs.com, the job board that I own. They should, because job boards have loads of job postings, employers use them everyday, and as a job seeker, you need to use any and every tool that can help you find a job.

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