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Mike Durney

Mike Durney

Dice Holdings, operator of multiple niche job boards, changes leaders next week, when current CFO Michael Durney takes over as CEO and president.

Chairman, CEO, and President Scot Melland steps down September 30 after a dozen years in the top company job. He will stay on as a company director.

Both Durney and Melland have overseen the growth of well-known tech career site Dice.com into the eponymous public company that today owns niche sites in energy, finance, and healthcare, as well as operating ClearanceJobs.com for jobs requiring security clearances, and tech networking and collaboration site Slashdot and code-sharing site SourceForge, among others.

With so much recruiting attention focused on social networking, it’s a challenging time for job boards. LinkedIn has become the darling of the recruiting industry; its stock price soaring to nearly $250 a share, while Monster struggles to keep from falling below $4 a share.

Dice, too, hasn’t been spared the fallout. Its stock which soared above $18 two years ago, has been trading at less than half that. Yet Durney, who took on operational responsibility for some of Dice’s newest acquisition just over six months ago, is optimistic about the future of the company and job boards generally.

In an email Q&A, he credits LinkedIn for helping grow online recruiting budgets, and sees Open Web as a powerful new talent search tool that will be rolling out to much of the Dice family in the coming months.

Here’s our email interview with kindergarten and high school dropout (read to the end), and incoming Dice CEO Michael Durney: (more…)

Michael Durney Dice

Michael Durney

Dice Holdings, operator of multiple niche job boards, changes leaders next week, when current CFO Michael Durney takes over as CEO and president.

Chairman, CEO and President Scot Melland steps down Sept. 30 after a dozen years in the top company jobs. He will stay on as a company director.

Both Durney and Melland have overseen the growth of well-known tech career site, Dice.com, into the eponymous public company that today owns niche sites in energy, finance, and healthcare, as well as operating ClearanceJobs.com for jobs requiring security clearances, and tech networking and collaboration site Slashdot and code sharing site SourceForge, among others.

With so much recruiting attention focused on social networking, it’s a challenging time for job boards. LinkedIn has become the darling of the recruiting industry; its stock price soaring to nearly $250 a share, while Monster struggles to keep from falling below $4 a share.

Dice, too, hasn’t been spared the fallout. It’s stock which soared above $18 two years ago, has been trading at less than half that. Yet Durney, who took on operational responsibility for some of Dice’s newest acquisition just over six months ago, is optimistic about the future of the company and job boards generally.

In a Q&A, he credits LinkedIn for helping grow online recruiting budgets, and sees Open Web as a powerful new talent search tool that will be rolling out to much of the Dice family in the coming months.

Here’s our interview with kindergarten and high school dropout (read to the end), and incoming Dice CEO Michael Durney: (more…)

About the author: John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

LinkedIn_logoIn a blog post Saturday, LinkedIn denied charges in a federal lawsuit that it hacked into users email accounts collecting addresses of their contacts in order to send them marketing messages.

“Quite simply, this is not true,” writes Blake Lawit, senior director, litigation at LinkedIn.

He was responding to a class action suit filed last week that alleges LinkedIn accessed users’ Gmail, Yahoo, and other email accounts by pretending to be the account owner.  On its website, the  Los Angeles firm of Russ August & Kabat says, “The class action lawsuit charges LinkedIn with violations of federal and state law,” and solicits others to “Tell us your story.”

In the lawsuit, the firm cites numerous examples of posts on LinkedIn’s community site complaining about LinkedIn sending invitations to their contacts without their permission or knowledge. Typical of the cited complaints in the lawsuit is this one, posted in March to LinkedIn’s Help Center: (more…)

About the author: John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

Bill Gates-PXP-000006Having spent time at Monster in the content and social marketing game, but I still believe in job boards. And anyone who thinks they’re dead and deliberately ignores them as part of a holistic recruiting strategy is significantly more hindered in attracting top talent than those “old-school” HR professionals who perceive social media the same way the Puritans perceived witches.

For all the talk that “job boards are dead” and the perception that social media or smart phones or structured data will somehow change recruiting ignores the obvious fact that these technologies are, more or less, content delivery mechanisms.

Content is the currency of the entirety of the Internet, and it’s what we’re looking for when we’re staring at our smart phones, or the story we’re hoping to tell when we actually crunch the numbers behind big data.

And content is king. I know, that’s a cliché, but you know who said it?
(more…)

Everyone seems to have a stance when it comes to the validity and usefulness of job boards. Once the reining champion of sourcing and recruiting, job boards are quickly losing steam. (more…)

Dice HoldingsThe longtime CEO, president, and board chairman of Dice Holdings, Scot Melland, will step down from at the end of September. He will remain a member of the board of directors.

Melland will be succeeded as CEO and president by Michael Durney, who is currently the company’s chief financial officer and EVP of its industry brands group, responsible for its energy, financial, and health niche career sites.

Peter Ezersky, a company director since August 2005 and currently chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee, will become chairman of the board. He is managing principal of the investment firm Quadrangle Group, which is a major shareholder in the company and was one of the two company owners before Dice went public in 2007. (more…)

Dice Holdings logo

Direct tech hiring may be a little soft today, but staffing firms are powering the recruiting market, looking to fill orders for temp and project workers that employers need, but are hesitant to bring on permanently.

“Staffing firms in the technology space are definitely very active today,” said Scot Melland, chairman, CEO and president of Dice Holdings, “and they’re seeing their businesses do pretty well.”

Speaking to financial analysts during a Q1 conference call this morning, Melland said, “Companies are still leaning towards outsourcing talents to contractors, as well as staffing firms, rather than hiring full time.” (more…)

About the author: John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

Dice HoldingsIf Dice Holdings is any kind of bellwether, Q1 is looking like it got off to a slow start for the publicly held job boards. The company reported this morning it earned 12 cents a share on $50.4 million of revenue, which put it mostly in line with what Wall Street was expecting and what the company predicted in January.

However, that was down a penny per share from the same quarter last year, and the analyst estimates were lowered after Dice issued a forecast below what Wall Street was looking for. The other indicator of a general job board slowdown is that most of the $4.3 million increase in revenue comes from the company’s acquisition of Slashdot last year. Taking that out of the equation, Dice Holdings grew organically by $300,000, and the tech and security sector saw a 2 percent increase. (more…)

The LaddersTheLadders is being sued in New York federal court in a class-action consumer lawsuit alleging that for years it falsely claimed it offered only high-paying jobs.

Brought by an Arkansas woman representing perhaps as many as a million customers of the job board, the suit says:

From its inception until September, 2011, TheLadders scammed its customers into paying for its job board service by misrepresenting itself to be ‘a premium job site for only $100k+ jobs, and only $100k+ talent.’ In fact, TheLadders sold access to purported ‘$100k+’ job listings that (1) did not exist, (2) did not pay $100k+, and/or (3) were not authorized to be posted on TheLadders by the employers.

According to the suit, many of the jobs offered on TheLadders were scrapped from other sites with no attempt at verifying how much they paid or even if they were current.

The suit, filed yesterday by the New York class action firm of Bursor & Fisher, was reported by recruiting consultant and blogger Nick Corcodilos. He’s posted a copy of the lawsuit here.

TheLadders issued this statement in response to news of the suite:

We just learned about this yesterday afternoon, and have put it in the hands of our counsel to resolve. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the best job-matching service, while serving as the fastest-growing source for professional jobs. In fact, we’re focused on migrating our members to our new online experience, featuring Scout, by April 1, as well as launching our free native iOS app. We continue to be a free resource for recruiters and employers to help them find the right person for the right job.

Five specific counts are alleged in the class action suit: (more…)

In the movie “The Matrix” there’s a scene where Laurence Fishburne says to Keanu Reeves, “The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work … when you go to church … when you pay your taxes.”

That’s basically the premise of big data, where the potential in recruiting is in getting good candidates to respond. (more…)