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The insider's edge on job search & hiring™

The NEW Ask The Headhunter!

Question

What’s all this????

Nick’s Reply

Well… the old website was looking kinda beat… for a long time! And the blog… well, the design was out of time. Welcome to the NEW Ask The Headhunter!

After much futzing around (sorry!), I’ve merged the website and the blog — and I hope you like the results! Both are in the same place — asktheheadhunter.com.

Getting around

  • To get to the blog, just go to Ask The Headhunter and click Blog up at the top in the menu.
  • To get to the old, original Ask The Headhunter website, click ATH Website in the menu. (It still looks the same — until I move all those articles into the new layout…)

We’ve got mobile!

If you prefer to access Ask The Headhunter on your mobile device, you know the blog has always looked good, but the website was not “mobile-ized.” Now that changes — I’ll be rolling out the original ATH articles in mobile format, making it easier to access everything on the new site. It’s coming gradually…

Bookmarks

  • Your bookmarks to pages on the old website (asktheheadhunter.com) still work — the URLs have not changed, and the pages are still here. However, they’re still in the old format. One at a time, I’ll be moving (editing and beefing up) each of those articles to the new format. Then they’ll get new URLs and you should save the new bookmarks (URLs).
  • Your bookmarks to blog posts (which look like corcodilos.com/blog/[post]) should automatically convert to this new site! You might want to save the new URLs as new bookmarks.

Threaded comments

New! This is something I think is critical on any site where there’s lots of discussion — being able to comment on someone else’s comment right beneath theirs, and to view discussion on a comment as a “thread” off the original. This always frustrated me on the old blog — you had to go looking for comments related to one another.

2 ways to post comments:

  • To reply to someone else’s comment, click “Reply” at the end of any existing comment, and your reply will appear right beneath that comment, indented.
  • To reply to the post, use “Leave a Reply” way down at the bottom of all the comments — and your comment will appear at the bottom of the list of comments.

Hope you love this new feature as much as I do!

Surprises

Almost daily, you’ll see things on this new site moving around, new things cropping up, stuff looking a bit different… while I work to get it looking and working the way I want. I opted not to wait to launch it until everything was just so — where’s the fun in that? But I promise to try and keep the site neat and tidy and easy to navigate while I keep working on it.

Help me find bugs!

The lovely new layout is a work in progress — I really wanted to get it online as soon as possible, so you’ll find some broken links (both in the new and old areas), and stuff that just doesn’t look or work right. (My apologies in advance!) I hope you’ll take a minute to let me know when you find these! Please comment below!

Comments, Suggestions, Complaints

Please tell me what you think of the new site! I want to know! That includes the look and feel (fonts, colors, functionality, ease of use) — anything you want to comment on. I’m all ears, and I’ll consider any suggestions. I want to make the new Ask The Headhunter pleasing, easy to use, and better all-around than the old site and blog.

There’s more!

And wait till you see some of the new features that are coming! The technology behind this new site will let me add videos, audio, entirely new content sections, and more! Got ideas — stuff you’d like to see? Please add your thoughts below!

Meanwhile, thanks for your patience with these changes. I’ve been looking forward to updating the Ask The Headhunter “properties” online. And I’m giddy!

The best thing about Ask The Headhunter is you — the community of smart, engaging, opinionated, vocal, friendly, helpful, articulate people who comment and share their advice and ideas on all the topics we dicuss. Thank you for making this the insider’s edge on job search and hiring!

– Nick Corcodilos

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29 Comments
  1. Love the new upgraded website. Follow your blog posts and the information is helpful.

    • Thanks, Shannan – but the site still needs work! :-) Glad you like the content!

  2. Hi Nick,
    Overall like the design, but for long posts and comments the type is too large. Take it down a point size or two and you’ll be fine.

    • I agree about the font size. I fiddled with it a lot, but now I think it needs to shrink a bit. I’m experimenting offline. Stay tuned – and thanks for the suggestion.

      What do you think of the grey boxes here in the comments section? I used that as a default, but I’m not sure how happy I am with the space it takes up.

  3. Nick,

    May I suggest a topic for a future blog post..?

    Job Matching

    The economists call it job churn or labor market fluidity, and I think that your general ethos of avoiding HR and their paperwork/computer systems works well with the idea that companies are simply lousy at matching people to their open jobs.

    • Carl – Do you have any source links? I’d love to look at this more closely. I’m planning a new feature about “news you can use,” where we can tackle suggestions from readers just like this. Thanks!

  4. Regarding the new “reply” feature…for the pages with lots of comments, it was nice to just scroll to the very end of the page and “pick up” reading wherever the last person commented to see any new comments. Now, we have to scroll through all 50+ comments and search for the “new” replies, I fear a lot of replies will get “lost,” but that’s just my $0.02…

    • Hmmm… that’s a good point. I’ll see whether there’s a way for users to toggle “threaded” vs “unthreaded.” Way back when the ATH discussion forum was on The Motley Fool, I recall they had such a feature, which I loved. Like you, I preferred the unthreaded stream. Thanks for the suggestion – stay tuned!

  5. I liked seeing your blog post and the comments directly underneath automatically.

  6. Congrats! I know it’s a big deal to launch a new site.

    It looks great!!!

  7. what a lot of work! but I can tell you’re having fun.

    hope you keep Chomp! and I’m collecting stuff for you to add to it from my collection of quotes, “Suitable for Framing”.

    take care

  8. I love the new site, especially the way the discussions are threaded now. Good job!

  9. It’s really good for you – have a mobile format of site. A lot of people searching information exactly using gadgets.

  10. Love the mobile site! Clean, easy to follow format. Content is always great. Thanks, Nick!

  11. Hi Nick,
    Great site! I have a tiny suggestion for improvement: reader replies have dates, but your original blog post doesn’t, so when I looked at this, I wasn’t sure if it was from 2013, or last month.

    Add a date to your blog posts?

    • Peter: You’ve hit on something that really bothers me. No dates on posts. That’s actually harder to fix than you might guess. The problem is, if I add the date, I also have to add other fields I don’t want up there – they take up too much room. This is on my bucket list. (The old version of the blog had the dates on posts because I hard coded it. The way the site works now, I have to sacrifice a bit of control for all the other functionality I want. But I’m going to be working on it!)

      • Re solicitations to subscribe- I wasn’t clear. I meant real estate on the site itself-and links exhorting us to “Sign up!”, though I’m already subscribed. Computers are contrary and difficult, but there ought to be some way to show subscribers slightly different pages, suppressing sign-up boxes.

      • Computers are ornery.

  12. Second suggestion- I subscribe to your emial newsletter, but about 15% of the opening page, and the high emphasis highlighted section, is a solicitation to subscribe, and a number of links lead to a “Sign Up!” page.

    Suggestion- use cookies, or a sign in, or another way to recognize subscribers so you don’t solicit people you don’t need to.

    • This is one I haven’t considered, but a very good idea. The better solution is to re-design the newsletter altogether :-). Stay tuned.

  13. Last suggestion for now-monetize your site.
    I see people posting here they can’t find work and others they can’t find workers- this site is a gathering point for folks who ‘get it’ about HR and how to treat applicants and employees, one way or another. How about allowing employees to nominate employers and vice-versa, or a second area/category for people to nominate themselves and what they’re looking for?

    Suggest that if an employer successfully finds someone thru the site, they pay you 1/2 or 1% (or some other figure) of the hire’s annual wage after 6 months, on the honor system. At that point the person should either be recognized as being valuable or have been let go. If the employee notified you about the hire, at 6 months, you could send the employer a reminder/solicitation. Suggest they pay you what they think the referral was worth, with a discount for charitable organizations.
    If you start getting junk on here, a la Monster, LinkedIn, etc., go back to the referral-only system. You could own this market.

    I’m thinking of a lean startup in primary care, and I’ll be wanting HR people, team trainers, QI/lean people, medical assistants, LVNs, RNs, customer service reps(front office), bookeeping, etc. I’m not hooked into a good network for finding them, but having a good network would be really valuable.
    If you think what I proposed wouldn’t work, how about brainstorming it with subscribers? Maybe one of them could improve the idea so it would actually work.

    • Peter: You’ve hit on a very important topic. But I don’t think an honor system will work. It’s like asking for donations – I’ve considered that several times over the years, but if I were a subscriber it would irritate me.

      Your underlying idea is something I’ve noodled on a lot. We have a great community here. And you’ve named its value: People here “get it.” That’s very valuable. Over the next couple of months I’ll be focused on the look and functionality of the site, and on adding lots of new content.

      The monetization will come next – but it must create a clear benefit for users. And bringing people and work together is it :-)

  14. Nick, are you familiar with the LeanStartup stuff? (website below) The key is you promote/offer a product or service, and only AFTER enough people say, “Yes, I’ll pay for that!” you actually develop it and make it available. That way you don’t waste time developing stuff no one wants.

    You could do the same with the hiring exchange. And the fact that people here DO “get it” means they don’t jerk people around, so more likely to keep their word. Also, an employer who would stiff you probably isn’t a very good employer, and public information about it could induce the poor jerk who took their offer to look around for an honest employer. So they’re really shortchanging themselves. And most employers will want to fill more than one position, while an employer who stiffed you would lose access.

    After all, if they get a good hire, it should be easily worth it. You’ve already supplied prospective employers with a script to prepare candidates for a ‘new interview’; you could charge a nominal amount up front for access to the same in a webform, with your fee for the placement due after 3-4 months. Since this should be much less work for you than a traditional HH placement, you can charge less. Both you and the employer get a good deal.

    You could also build the job exchange assuming you might not get paid, but you would build recognition, and then find a more reliable way to charge. The beauty of the Lean Startup is, it costs you very little to get started.

  15. On this question is you should as yourself- “how old are you”? I know from my own reality that your job will be half of what you were making previously unless you are some super hero worker that can get a position without any issues…and that is not real in many cases.

    I am currently nearing 60 years old and I’ve had to relocate due to issues with family. Unfortunately, your salary is only as good as your ability to move and even then you will be devalued.

    Sometimes it’s better to negotiate and then privately seek other work before dropping it all. I have used Nick’s advice since the mid nineties…and this time I accepted a position that paid way less than I made previously, but I really liked the person I work with and the company is employee owned. Hopefully, this will be my last time trying to interview before I go into retirement for good.

  16. Hi Nick! Good to see you are modernizing your website and blog. I was telling a friend your website was good even though it looked like it fell out of a 1997 timewarp. :)

    It sounds like you’re trying to optimize your website on your own. It might be worth it to get some (semi-)professional help – maybe get an intern who can use your website update as a project to showcase? Since you’re using WordPress it should not be hard to find someone who can help.

    Anyway, I was a tiny bit concerned when I read you were planning on giving the old articles new URLs even though they are still on the same domain. This means any links that people have bookmarked or posted elsewhere will stop working. That’s bad for everyone. You lose the link love for SEO and they get broken links.

    You might want to check into URL redirects or URL re-writes. The benefit of using these are the old links won’t break and you will still get most of the link-love for SEO.

    Here’s some references for you to get started.

    Basic info on the redirects and rewrites
    https://moz.com/blog/url-rewrites-and-301-redirects-how-does-it-all-work

    https://moz.com/learn/seo/redirection

    technical info
    https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/rewrite/remapping.html

    and from Google help pages for redirects
    https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633?hl=en

    • Thanks for the tips, M, and for recommending Ask The Headhunter to your friends. Link love will not be lost as I (gradually) move old articles to the new format – redirects are working successfully. Anyone who’s bookmarked an old article at the old URL will instantly find the new version when they click the old link. I’m leaving your list of resources in case someone else can use them. Thanks again!

  17. About monetizing the new site:

    Do you need to do that, or, is this a “labor of love” that can be supported through your other efforts? Is there the danger, down the road, of sacrificing your (current) ability to “tell it like it is” when your thoughts go against the site’s ability to make money? Will your readers continue to see you as a trusted resource, or will they think you’re just in it for the money?

    Will both employers and potential employees “scam the system” in order to find staff or get a job? That is, will I somehow sign up and claim that I “get it” only to get listed on the site, when in fact I only want warm bodies or I’m not actually qualified for the job?

    Will you be tempted (as I know many would (self included)) to compromise your standards as the site becomes more profitable, and you come to depend on it more and more, and to make decisions / offer advice that are / is good for the bottom line but not so good for the reader?

    Would it perhaps be better (I honestly don’t know nor do I have an opinion) to start a whole new employment site under the ATH logo strictly for hiring / seeking for jobs? Perhaps that way you can maintain an independent voice here, while at the same time earning revenue there.

    To monetize or not is a tough decision, one that I’ve never had to make, and that I’m sure you are struggling with and thinking about a lot. We all wish you the very best as you try to figure this out.

    • Chris: I’m not sure how we got onto this discussion about ATH becoming an “employment site.” I’d have to come up with (or find) a very compelling way to do that — but I frankly don’t see it.

      As for “monetizing the site” — that’s a silly marketing term that implies a website can be bent and shaped into a money-making machine. Like LinkedIn. This is not LinkedIn. I publish advice, my opinions and my insights — and try to encourage and stimulate readers to contribute the same, and they do a great job! I sell PDF books and offer an hour of my time (Talk to Nick) to those who need a quick, highly focused consultation. I don’t sell anything else, though I wouldn’t rule it out if a good idea comes up for a product or service that helps readers without compromising my editorial integrity.

      I’ve been publishing Ask The Headhunter for over 20 years and I’ve never had to choose between my editorial integrity and selling anything. I’m not struggling thinking about it. I just do what I do and I love the freedom to say what I think — and the satisfaction of knowing this community trusts me.

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