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Getting the Internet edge

For every 'Net gain, somebody stands to pay.

Fast-clicking consumers thrill to the power the Internet bestows upon them.

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And traditional businesses may wind up with the tab. They try to smile about the shift, adapt, and ride it out. But behind conference-room doors, they fret.

Bookstores (even ones that serve latte) keep dropping out. Done in by Amazon.com?

Some businesses fight back. Home Depot, the fixer-uppers' superstore, announced late last month it plans to start selling via the Web. Then it pointedly cautioned its suppliers against doing the same thing, which would undermine Home Depot's Web effort.

Yeah, right. You can be sure the guys who make plungers are calculating whether to go it alone. Direct. They've got the power.

So do job hunters. Building a career means networking. There's no other network like the Internet.

Likely to get stuck with the tab on this front: "headhunter" firms that profit by matching workers with gigs.

Though many such outfits offer online services of their own, none has the high profile of job-search behemoths like Monster.com.

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Recruiting firms that focus on high-end hires - "boutiques" versus the big-site "department stores" - will be unrattled. Their clients are too privacy-conscious to sling rsums into cyberspace, a friend in the trade points out.

Still, a new survey of 500 companies by the human-resources firm Hunt-Sanlon shows more than 90 percent know of Monster.com. And 4 out of 5 firms already post openings on such "external" employment sites.

They know that more of today's job hunters have an edge. Do you?

*Reach us at work@csps.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society