This is an example of a PRFAQ (which is one type of “6-page written narrative”). It’s important to understand that this document is not a real press release. It is an example of a technique used to propose and consider a major new product offering.
The idea is to first summarize the benefits of the potential new offering, and the press release format lends itself well to speaking to customer benefits. Then the press release is followed by a set of questions and answers that have been anticipated by the author (usually the product manager).
This allows those reviewing the PRFAQ to judge whether the proposal has been carefully considered, and the various perspectives and concerns acknowledged.
This company currently runs a jobs marketplace with job seekers on one side, and hiring managers on the other. The hiring managers post jobs directly, and most are hiring managers at small and medium sized companies where they have little to no help from an established HR department.
The company is considering whether or not they should expand their offering to make their services more suitable for large Enterprises which do have a full HR department including sourcing and staffing professionals.
This PRFAQ is based on one created by the jobs marketplace company profiled in the EMPOWERED Case Study. The document has been tightened up and edited for clarity, and also to remove identifying information (i.e. “Jobs Inc.” is a fictitious name).
Jobs Inc. Announces Enterprise Edition Recruiter Suite
Brings the benefits of the leading jobs marketplace to large Enterprises.
LONDON (Business Wire) — December 1, 2016 — Today, at the annual Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) trade show, Jobs Inc. formally announced its new offering designed to bring the benefits of its industry leading jobs marketplace to large enterprises.
“It’s been so frustrating to us in the HR department because we could see all these great candidates on the Jobs Inc. marketplace, but it was very hard for us to get those resumes and candidates in front of our hiring managers,” said Joyce Rose, VP Human Resources at Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
“In large enterprises, we have special needs regarding applicant tracking, compliance, verification, hiring and onboarding, and while there are several systems available for the enterprise, none of them gives us what we need most, which is access to the right talent at the right time. With the Recruiter Suite from Jobs, Inc. we finally have the solution we’ve been hoping for,” says Liam Mueller, Chief People Officer at Siemens.
“We were persuaded to move into serving the Enterprise because of the many hiring managers that have been using our jobs marketplace over the past years. As their company grows, or they move to a larger company, they have been asking us to provide them the benefits of the Jobs Inc. Marketplace, yet in a solution that meets the demanding needs of the Enterprise,” said Jobs Inc. Founder and CEO, Teresa Holmes. “But we know that providing an effective solution for the Enterprise is not easy, and we did not want to announce this offering until we had several large Enterprises running successfully with this new offering.”
To attend a webinar with HR leaders from enterprises that are already using the new Recruiter Suite solution, please register at www.jobsinc.com.
About Jobs Inc.
Jobs Inc. is a leading provider of an employment marketplace for employers and job seekers. We have helped millions of job seekers to find the right job for them, and have helped tens of thousands of employers to find the best candidates. Learn more at www.jobsinc.com.
1. Many companies that serve small and medium-sized businesses have failed in their attempts to move to the Enterprise. What makes you believe we can be successful?
We consider this the primary risk. We know enough to know the needs of enterprises are substantial and varied. We don’t know enough to know if we can be successful.
To address this risk, we intend to utilize the Customer Discovery Program (CDP). We are working now to select between 6 and 8 prospective Enterprise customers. We plan to engage directly and intensely with them in order to determine precisely what we will need to do to provide them a solution that they will buy, use successfully, and find enough value to serve as a reference.
What we can say at this point is that we have a strong signal for demand. Our business development colleagues have provided us with more than 30 strong prospects, and we have already spoken with enough of them to believe that they have a real need for our offering. The pool of job candidates on our marketplace is not something that others can easily replicate, and the Enterprises are very motivated to get access to these candidates. The question will be around the quality and effectiveness of our solution.
2. Our current go-to-market strategy is direct-to-employer, and now you are proposing a direct sales model. Have you considered the costs and challenges of introducing this new sales channel?
The product development costs are only part of the total costs that will be required to address this market. We believe that this market requires a direct sales channel (an assumption we will be validating with the CDP), and between the costs of sales staff, and the marketing that is required to support the sales channel, we expect this to be substantial.
To address this, we are including a dedicated product marketing manager (PMM) starting immediately as a full-time member of the new Enterprise Tools Product Team. The PMM will work closely with the product team to understand the sales cycle, the customer’s purchase process, the onboarding considerations, and the necessary sales tools.
Further, we have already engaged with Finance to make sure we have a full understanding of the various sales and marketing costs that need to be considered.
3. Enterprises are already asking about professional services. Will we be required to provide professional services in order to onboard a new enterprise customer? And who would pay for this work?
One of the major unknowns, and an immediate goal of the CDP, is to get a deeper understanding of the various systems that these enterprises need us to integrate with. We are already focused on their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and their Human Resources Management System (HRMS).
While there are many of each system on the market, there are a small number of market leaders, and this is one of the factors in selecting the CDP members.
First we need to determine what level of integration, if any, is required. Next we need to determine if this integration is something that can be done by the HR staff (which would be ideal), or by the company’s IT department (less ideal but viable), or by the vendor’s professional services organization (definitely not ideal), or if our sales or services team would be required to do this work.
Our strong desire is to not require any professional services in order to get a new Enterprise customer operational. However, the question of optional professional services is an open one. Our goal with the CDP is to understand the actual needs, and then this would be a strategic decision for our company’s leadership to make once we have the data as to whether we want to offer these types of services.
4. How long will it take to onboard a new Enterprise customer?
This will be a function of the answer to the above question. Our strong desire is that a new Enterprise customer should be able to get operational very quickly (less than 48 hours) but that optional additional customization might come after that.
5. What is to prevent other companies from offering the same Recruiter Suite capabilities?
While there is nothing to stop a competitor from copying our functionality, our major competitive advantage is the marketplace itself, which of course is not easy to replicate due to network effects and the strong brand we have developed among both job seekers and employers.
6. What is the expected pricing?
One of the important questions that the product marketing manager is planning to address early on is pricing. The CDP program will provide a half-dozen actual enterprise customers that we will be engaging with to ensure the product provides the necessary value, and pricing will be a necessary part of that discussion.
During the CDP program, we will be evaluating the value and the cost savings, as well as discussing potential pricing with the leaders of sales, marketing, finance and the CEO.
7. Are there legal/contractual concerns and how are they being addressed?
An initial conversation with legal has already alerted us that some large Enterprises have specific ideas about who owns the rights to candidates, which will need to be clearly established when using a marketplace where employers essentially compete for candidates.
We plan to discuss this with the legal counsel of the CDP candidates to understand if this is an issue for them or not.
8. What are the major areas of our product technology that you anticipate being impacted, and what do you consider the major risks to be?
Beyond the new capabilities expected by the new Enterprise Tools team, we can already anticipate significant work being needed by our reporting team (to support enterprise reporting), and our billing team (to support corporate invoicing).
Our intention is to align the goals of these two teams closely with the Enterprise Tools team.
Beyond this, we expect that as we engage deeper with the CDP customers, we will likely identify additional areas of necessary work, but if and when we have accomplished the goal of the CDP program (six live, referenceable enterprise customers), we will have uncovered and addressed the important unknowns.
If we encounter something during this work that is not something we believe we can realistically and immediately address, we will raise this to leadership.