Having worked in the industry for a number of years now, I lik to think that I know when someone is talking sense, or when someone/something is just a little bit 'wide of the mark'
Normally, I keep my opinions to msyelf (!!) and very rarely have cause to rant - but having just received a news alert, the need to vent some frustration once again arises...
And the subject? Onrec's impending latest edition of the apparently 'can't live without' research document 'Top 100 UK online recruitment sites' - now in its 6th year.
Six years? Oh my god. Back in the day, when we were all a little naive/confused/scared, this report appeared and, based on the fabulous sales pitch, seemed like a great idea. And it is, don't get me wrong, a great idea. It's just that it's not worth the paper it's printed on. It's not worth the disk space the pdf version takes up. And it's certainly not worth the £60 Mr Hurst and his chums charge.
I get wound up quite easily by a few topics relating to the online recruitment industry in the UK - but nothing seems to make my blood boil so quickly as the mention of the dreaded Onrec 'Top 100 Online Recruitment Sites' report.
Research, in my opinion, is based on a clear and level playing field - one that is stated up-front, and one that incorporates all of the facts, and provides insight and conclusions that have been drawn based on the facts realised by the research that has been conducted. So, when a recruiter decides to part with their sixty quid, they are enlightened slightly. Surprised somewhat. They feel that they have had their opinion changed/altered by the facts that are presented to them.
The Onrec Top 100 report continually fails to achieve any of this.
Yesterday, I thought they'd launched another version - the 2007 report - but then I realised it was just the questionnaire that they release and ask job boards to complete.
Once again, the questions have not altered. Based on this, I assume the resultant report will be the same un-informative pap that has been produced in the past. I defy Onrec to provide me with one 'satisfied customer' from this report. I constantly bump into people - clients and colleagues in the industry - who express their total disbelief that this product is still being produced, and that anyone with an inkling of insight into the online recruitment industry find this in any way useful - other than as a directory of phone numbers for 100 job boards in the UK.
Why can David and his team not put in some thought to this years' document? Why can't they make inspried, intelligent comments on the information they are receiving? Other than a comment on the first page of the report which seems to repeatedly admonish OnRec of any responsibility relating to the information provided in the document, the report is of little value.
It does not mean anything. Who cares how many employees a site has - worldwide or in the UK? How can that be a 'Top 10/Top 20' statistic? No discrepect intended here, but how can eFinancialcareers be top of the 'Top 15 turnover' table? I know the answer - Monster possibly did not provide this information, Totaljobs appear to have dissappeared. And what about Jobsite, Jobserve, Hotjobs etc. Oh, I know, these sites possibly didn't respond. Not OnRec's fault, obviously - and no doubt this point is made in the document somewhere - once you've paid your £60.
But, by not inlcuding consistent measurables across all categories highlighted, the document is, in effect, totally useless. My favourite one of these ridiculous features was the year when the website 'TopJobswithDogs' was featured in the Top 10 number of staff worldwide - with something like 5 staff. What a joke.
So, I'll stop there. But what is the point of my rant? Well, isn't it about time that someone like an OnRec actually published some REAL research - some valuable insight into the industry - with some real expert commentary. Are they afraid of what it will highlight?
There are people out there desperate to make this industry better - not only within the leading rec ad agencies, but also from a client perspective. OnRec has positioned itself as the voice of the industry - why not put your money where your mouth is an publish some real research - carried out by experts - and start to put something back into the industry. Certainly offering more than just publishing press releases and inspiring the industry with 'Hurst's Law'.
Come on chaps - isn't it time you stopped hiding behind the 'pay for it and you'll see' approach to this non-sensical 'research' document (and I use the word 'research' in its loosest possible way) and show us all that you can do it properly. You have the connections. You have the profile. Please provide us with some research that actually adds value, and isn't just a revenue generator for OnRec.
Rant over. For now...