Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A FREE web site for every Irish Recruiter!

You do know that there is no recruitment business in Ireland if you do not have a web site. If you are still not sure here is a reminder for you: Recruitment Agency Web site – “Do I need one?”

OK, so that means investment? Right?

Well not necessary. Let’s look at the possible routes:

1. Purchase
2. Lease

1. You can go to any of the web design companies in Ireland and get a good Irish job site. Or option B is get a niece or a nephew to just do you up one. Come on these kids today do all this internet stuff… So cost can vary from a few candy bars, cinema tickets, tricycle,… to a six figure sum if you go to one of the market leaders. The product does not differ that much, and looks almost identical in the browser. The candy bar site will probably have less features, so you will learn how to use it quicker. The six figure site will never work as you would like it to work. There is simply to many Account Managers, Development Leads, Release Engineers, and so on in between you and the actual developer who is writing the code. In some cases it might be someone else’s niece anyway.

What you will do if you are a start up, you will go for a candy bar solution, and if you are well established with 10 staff already, you will go for 50k ‘Solution’, and if you are a market leader you will sign a 150k a year ‘Partnership’ deal with another ‘Market Leader’. The higher you pay, the longer will it take to get anything, and it will take NEVER to get what you want.

2. Leasing a web site is still a new thing in the Irish Recruitment market. The benefits are that you can usually ‘Test Drive’ it, since it is a finished product ready for you to use. You know exactly what you are getting, so if that is for you – get it. If not, ask for custom changes. It usually works out so that you pay only for a portion of a real cost of the changes or upgrades ordered, since the same new feature will be resold to other new (and old) customers of a company that is leasing a solution. Products that are for lease are tailored for the industry, so if there is an existing client base in Ireland and in your industry of recruitment, it is most likely that the product is well tested by the current users and you will get a usable product.

Remember that a Lease is a magic word for any company accountant. Your cash flow will not be hit by a up front six figure sum, but a small monthly lease term fee. Negotiate a longer term, to waive the setup costs. Ask for something on top for free!

The most comprehensive and complete lease package for the recruiters in Ireland is for sure the eRecruit package from Portal.ie, the same Irish company that runs Employ Ireland.

3. Yes there are a free web sites there, you just need to grab one! Hey a Blog is a web site! Yes a blog like this is for free. 100% free. For life. IT is super easy to manage and update. In fact a bit too easy really. You can even send your blog posts in email and they get automatically published. What does that mean for you as and Irish recruiter? Remember what did it take to publish a job on your Irish recruitment web site, or any other job site in Ireland? Login here, username and password, fill this form here, approve, save, publish, and 15 minutes later you got it online. With a blog, you just email it and it is there!

A few recruiters in Ireland use blogs as their primary job web sites. They advertise their jobs in Ireland on their blog, and send applicants there to find a job for themselves and apply directly via email. It works, and it’s free. The drawback is that a blog does not do much for your branding really. Hosting your site under someone else’s domain does not really encourage any visitor to leave their personal data. A solution is a hosted blog where you host a blog under your domain. But a blog is still just a blog, anyone who wrote one and used a blogging software knows the limitations.

So if blog is not the best free solution, what is?

One of the solutions that is completely free is Microsoft Office Live. What you can get from Microsoft today is a free domain name, web hosting and a simple Content Management System (CMS) for the site. They will also give you a number of BIG web email accounts included. That is the most complete and the most generous offer I have seen so far. Check one of the samples: Irish Jobs Ireland.

Google of course is following the Microsoft steps and offering Google Domain Pages, that is a similar solution, but you still have to register your own domain name. Since that is about 5 Euro a year cost, that (almost) also qualifies as a free web site. Google s still struggling to write the decent instructions on how to actually activate the service and get your domain name settings right. The service is only a couple of months old now, and as well as Office Live offering no Irish recruiter went that route to get a free web site from neither of those providers.

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