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September 26, 2006

Here's a label for you: Person

Are you a jobseeker? A candidate? Maybe a recruiter or hiring manager? How about a consumer, or a subscriber, or a customer? Do you ever get tired of all the labels people slap on you when you're not looking? Denuo's Rishad Tobaccowala, speaking at OMMA in New York, cuts through the jargon with an important reminder (via Scott Karp):

Please let’s talk about people and not consumer or user.

Target Audience: Do I need to be hunted?

360 Surround: Don’t you feel trapped when people talk about 360 marketing?

User Generated Content: Since when did I become a heroin addict?

Consumer: I create, I retransmit, I edit, I share—I’m not defined by your stupid brand.

People, that’s what we need to think about.

People, person, human.


I know, labels serve a purpose. We use terms like consumer to focus our attention on their role in our business. We talk about candidates, recruiters and hiring managers because it's relevant to the hiring process. But it also complicates our interactions. The person sitting across from you is probably a lot easier to talk to than the adversarial role that the interview process can impose.

It won't necessarily help with employers (there's that labelling thing again!) who want to play games, but remember the person when you're talking with potential employers. If things go well, that interviewer is a potential colleague, too.

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January 5, 2007

Postscript to a layoff

Layoffs aren't easy for anyone. I've heard the stories of managers who preferred to resign rather than pick someone on their team. The trauma on the receiving end is obvious. Company support in the new job search varies tremendously, but I think this probably marks the upper limit of what the employer can do:

As noted, the Jobster employees laid off this past week were done so for strategic business reasons, not for performance reasons. This was a business focus move. Period.

In fact, we are quite proud of the fact that this company was built by some of the best and brightest people in the business.

I will personally go to bat for any of these individuals and am prepared to recommend each and every one of them. Part of my personal pledge to them is that I will do anything and everything in my power to smooth their transitions and help them land up in great places.

Jason Goldberg, Founder & CEO, Jobster

Jason's post continues with instructions on how to use Jobster to identify past and present Jobster employees, and then he invites recruiters to contact any of them—including the current employees.

How many CEOs would publish the company directory, invite recruiters to look around, and offer a personal recommendation of everyone he just laid off (and an implied recommendation of everyone who's still there)? Very nice.

If you haven't tried Jobster in your your search yet, give 'em a look.

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