Archive for October 4th, 2009

Well, USA Today is at it again.  The newspaper famous for zippy pie charts and short stories has published a Staffing Plans Survey in last week’s paper.   While I hope the perky scenario they project is true,  I have several problems with it.

First, look at why they’re doing the doing the survey at all.  Their partner in the survey is CareerBuilder.com, who are in the business of making money from the hiring process.  Who owns CareerBuilder.com?  Gannett.  Who owns USA Today?  Yup.  Gannett.  I recognize the practice of  “log rolling” from book publishing.  If I’m writing a book, and I find another author who is similarly inclined, we can write glowing reviews of each others’ work.  (Actually, I am writing a book and I assure you I will not be doing this.)  Simply put, both USA Today and CareerBuilder benefit from this – and it should be marked as advertising, not journalism.

Second, watch the fine print.  In the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, the data has a big “gotcha”.  “Responses weighted when necessary.”  Yikes.  They should tell us specifically which of the data sets were weighted, and why.  They have the room to do it – advertising space sales are down so they have room to fill.  Also, they did the disclaimer in the smallest type face they could find, so giving us data geeks a few more clues about what is “weighted” and what is not would be very helpful.

The big job boards have been laying off staff in large numbers.  This will continue.  They will probably not restaff much – organizations are finding them less and less cost effective, and with the dangerous combination of free job boards and more advanced social networking taking their place.

So, this will be a very interesting “jobless recovery” for the job hunting world.


Read Full Post »