Online and upwards



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1 April 2005 | 0

Just a short while ago it seemed as though you were nobody unless you worked for a company. The movers and shakers had seen the future and that future was online. 

During those wild times, we saw a rise in the number of companies rushing to establish themselves on the Internet. While some of these were well-known businesses intent on transferring their offline activities online, there were also a number of new kids on the block who assumed that a good idea was enough to bring them fame and fortune.

Times change though, and dotcom entrepreneurs are now about as fashionable as mullets or flares. In the last two years, a large number of online businesses have gone under, while many of those that have survived are hanging on by a thread.




What many of the dotcom whizzkids failed to appreciate at the time, was that a good idea is no guarantee of success. For it to be successful, you needed to actually offer something that the public wanted.

Among those who were attracted to the Internet were people working in the recruitment sector. They saw obvious advantages to setting themselves up online because not only were there cash savings to be made from not having to pay rent and utility bills, but the services they could offer to both employers and employees, translated well to the Web. In short: they had a service that the public could use, one, which was not only useful, but would make life easier.

Employers liked the idea of using recruitment sites for a number of reasons. One benefit was speed; they could place an advertisement for a vacancy online within seconds, rather than having to wait for the weekly newspapers to appear. That ad could be placed for a fraction of the cost of advertising in the print media, and thanks to the power of e-mail, employers could receive CVs immediately.

For employees, as well, there were advantages to job-hunting online. It was fast, efficient and incredibly easy to do. That it became popular goes without saying. A measure of its success in Ireland was seen in the buy-out of by Stepstone for Euro 9.3 million (split equally between cash and Stepstone shares) in March 2000.

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