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Posts Tagged ‘Lance Haun’

The .Jobs Drama


Did you even know you could type in and get to, in some cases, a web site?

In some cases. There are only about 15 thousand .jobs sites registered (compared to 77 million .com sites) but this silly four-letter word is currently embroiled in a huge dispute between the Society for Human Resource Management and Employ Media, a domain name registry manager.

Way back in 2005, SHRM and Employ Media thought it would be an awesome idea to get together and get the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to approve a new top-level domain (like .com, .org, etc): that was .jobs. Wouldn’t it be cool, they thought, if everyone looking for a job at the New York Times would only have to type, rather than try to figure out if it was or or what? They said that only companies could get these domains and you could only use “the legal name of an employer and/or a name or abbreviation by which the employer is commonly known”—so as much as Apple might like to register, they’d be stuck with

Fast forward to last fall. It turns out that Employ Media has been opening beta sites like and directing traffic to sites owned by DirectEmployers. Which was kind of against the original charter, so ICANN asked Employ Media and SHRM to create an amendment to the charter either officially sanctioning this or prohibiting it.

We’ll let David Manaster at take it from here:

The proposed amendment was posted to a website bearing both the SHRM and .jobs logos, and the web site announces a public comment period beginning on March 23rd and ending tomorrow, Friday, April 9, 2010. There appears to have been little attempt to notify the public that this public comment period had begun, or indeed that it was almost over, beyond a link buried deep on SHRM’s Copyrights & Permissions page.

Lance Haun at Rehaul makes the point even more clear: “Nobody knew about it until this last Wednesday. Not even the folks at SHRM. The public comment period ends today (Friday).”

So now you have a company that’s supposed to be managing a domain in a pretty standard way for SHRM (which, though we don’t know the terms of the deal, is probably getting a flat fee from Employ Media to act as the “sponsor” of the .jobs domain) that instead has access to all these other domains. It’s pretty easy to decide who gets, after all. But who gets Who gets or or any of those? Manaster says the amendment “would allow Employ Media to choose who could use the domain. It might even let it auction it to the highest bidder. That could be very lucrative, but it is an inappropriate role for the manager of a TLD to reserve a portfolio of domains for itself and then handpick who gets to use them.”

In short: This is a mess.

photo: emutree

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Don’t Ask Stupid Questions

Props to Lance Haun of Rehaul for his post today: he calls it “Are You Hiring Clowns?” but we like “Don’t Ask Stupid Questions.”

“Look, I get it. You heard about some tech company doing it. You read How Would You Move Mt. Fuji? and thought it was brilliant. You want to be innovative. Or hip. Or whatever. Hell if I know, I’ve never been any of these things.”

Puzzle questions, like “How would you move Mt. Fuji” or “how would you find the heavy coin among similar-looking ones” are supposed to show how a candidate thinks rather than just prove that she has some knowledge. In fact, the questions are so often about the process that even the interviewers don’t know the answers.

Haun argues:

I… have a problem with making people who aren’t clowns put on a circus act and jump through hoops…

[D]oing well in [interviews] rarely has anything to do with the job at hand. Let’s stop pretending that we are savants when it comes to interviewing and realize that successfully finding the right fit based on a standard resume and interview protocol is more of a happy stroke of luck than anything else.

What’s the worst puzzle-style interview question you’ve been asked? Would you be happy to see ‘em go?

(Counter Argument: Why Logic Puzzles Make Good Interview Questions)

You Don’t Need A Blog

Lance Haun of (formerly YourHRGuy) wants you to know: you don’t need a blog.


“I haven’t soured on blogging nor do I believe the space is crowded. On the contrary, I still think there is a lot of space out there for people to talk about business and talent. We’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities. But I think there are also a lot of dead blogs out there and that sucks. It means someone put in a bunch of effort, got frustrated and left it behind.”blogger-logo.png

If you’re just starting a blog to make yourself look professionally good, but you’re not really into blogging, this might happen to you—and a dead blog is worse than no blog, he argues.

We’d agree: for a job seeker, being Googlable is great, but if all your links point to projects you started six months ago and then abandoned, what does that look like? (We’re just as guilty–realized we hadn’t updated our personal blog in at least six weeks. Eek!)

The point is, doing a blog right is hard, especially when you’re trying to manage it on top of a day job or freelancing commitments. If you’re not ready to do one right, maybe you’d rather use other social media tools (become a Twitter star like the FakeAPStylebook guys? Guest blog when you have the time?) or work on building your offline reputation.

This brings up an interesting question: if you start a blog and then realize you don’t have the time to keep it up, what do you do with the archives? Delete them? Hide them? Leave them?

“The Longer You’ve Been Out of the Market, the More Your Advice is Going to Suck”

Who’s giving you jobseeking advice? (Besides us?)

Lance Haun of says you may be getting it from the wrong people: married men.

Not really, but he says that asking most employed people for job-seeking advice is like asking a married man for dating advice.

“Everyone feels qualified to give dating advice because almost everyone has been on dates. The same thing happens with job seeking. Everyone has looked for a job so they all think they can give you advice. That’s great but the longer you’ve been out of the market, the more your advice is going to suck.”

On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t take jobseeking advice from the unemployed, either (and we want our hairstylists to have awesome locks and all our chefs at our favorite restaurants to be tubby). So there must be a happy medium. It’s gotta change by field, too—five years off the market in one industry might be ancient history if you’re asking someone how to get a job in, say, journalism.

HR folk don’t always have the answers, either, Haun says.

Their advice is often risk adverse and safe. And that’s really the advice that sells. It is boring but it also won’t disqualify you from many positions. So it is like me telling a person dating to not pick their nose during their date. If the person didn’t already know that, it will probably help them a bit. Of course, if it were as simple as not picking your nose and making sure to have good hygiene, many more people would be married than there are right now.

Buy Your Own Social Network

So Laurie Ruettimann (for those with short, gold-fish-like memories, she spoke at our Career Circus this Tuesday) and Lance Haun of started this social network for HR pros to connect, And after they grew it into one of the leading HR social networks, they realized that the group needed a dedicated person to take it to the next level.

So clearly the obvious step is to sell it on eBay.

Laurie told us backstage at the Circus that she’d be happy if the thing fetched $5. And hell, we were totally planning to put a $5 bid on it on day 1, which was Wednesday, but then we forgot until today.

And now bidding’s gone up to $1,525.


Wanna buy a social network