There have been numerous unconfirmed reports swirling around in the past two weeks over Jobster’s potential round of layoffs. The company says it expects to release the official news this week.
Jobster claims it is “committed to building a profitable company in 2007 and sustaining those positive earnings for the long run,” according to official internal Jobster communications. Further, it told staff in the memo that employees may face “potentially tough changes but good changes for the long-term health of our company.”
“I think Jobster is a category buster in some respects. It’s not your traditional employer website, but rather they try to use the Web to enhance the most important part of any company’s strategy, which is employee referrals,” says Peter Weddle, CEO of Weddle’s, a publisher of print guides to job boards and career portals.
Though Weddle has not heard any confirmation of the news, he says it’s not necessarily a harbinger that Jobster is in trouble or that the idea of using the Web for employee referrals is off the mark.
Perception is Reality
However, rumors that are running rampant on the blogosphere may taint the company’s image to current and future clients. Weddle contends that the key to managing corporate brand information is to remain as accurate as possible.
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“Where I would fault Jobster is in not better managing the perception. On the Web, perception is reality. It’s important for every company to carefully monitor what is being said about it, and when it’s incorrect, being prompt to correct that information,” he says.
The misconceptions of organizations may inadvertently hurt them, “because blogs are not the carefully crafted world of journalism at all, and it would be unfortunate if current or potential customers misconstrued the company based on unconfirmed reports,” says Weddle.
“It is no more valid to say about a job board, whether Jobster or Monster, that layoffs are a sign it’s in trouble. Downsizings are a fact of life, but not a sign the company is in trouble. Even if the rumor turns out to be true, I would not leap to a conclusion that Jobster is in trouble,” says Weddle.
“Often, companies go through a rapid expansion, take a step back and need to sharpen their focus, and make cuts to make smart management positions,” he says.