Did you see Jason's recent email highlighting the conversation Between Josh Letourneau and David Manaster? Josh's post is an attempt to build a conversation about the economic consequences of a downturn on our industry. David's rejoinders move the conversation off-topic and onto the differences between ERE and RBC.
Interesting topics usually breakout from the title of the conversation.
Our industry (including all aspects of the hiring process, both internal and third party/agency) comprises at least 750,000 people. Very, very few of them venture out into the open in online community (5%). Even fewer of them attend trade shows (1% or less). There is an enormous amount of room for a variety of ways to help people come together.
The focus of most event or community endeavors is to build a channel for communication between vendors and the marketplace. Each of the major entities takes a different approach and it is unlikely that one size will ever fit all players. Since the universe of potential members is so vast, competition is really a counterproductive way to view the market.
No one community can be all things to all recruiters.
Personally, I supported David Manaster's development of ERE from the beginning. I bought the first ad ever sold on the ERE network. I allowed him to use the term "Electronic Recruiting" based on his guarantee that he'd never compete with my operation (the Electronic Recruiting News). In the early days, we talked routinely.
These days, I'm working to help Jason find a comprehensive vision and make it real. It's a very reciprocal relationship (He sponsors the Recruiting Roadshow and has attended almost all of them.) From my perspective, the difference between the two has less to do with honesty (though I agree with Josh's view). It's really about leadership, age and agility.
In my development efforts, I am engaged in challenging and important conversations about intellectual property and its ownership. Publishing, events and community, the three elements of ERE, RBC and the Recruiting Roadshow. are evolving very rapidly. The tight-fisted hierarchy with all of its emphasis on control is giving way to a gentler more inclusive style.
Our business if full of people who opine without depth. I've recently heard really smart people say, without challenge, that someone else should always pay for the development of the tools that they use. When people only recruit for a living, they are rarely exposed to the realities of product development.
ERE is a venerable institution. It has served the industry well for a very long time. That is unlikely to change as long as it doesn't try to compete with younger institutions as if there wasn't enough ocean for everyone. It's a big ship that doesn't turn quickly or easily.
RBC is a set of experiments. Over the course of the coming years, it will mature into an institution. Right now, however, it has the flexibility of something young and new. It's a little speedboat gunning for the big waters
When David hijacks a conversation on RBC to protect his company's brand, he is demonstrating his own insecurities without really solving the problem. ERE is a leading institution and bears those hallmarks. It will never again steer like a speedboat.