Colleague sidebar: mijden als de pest

Logotype ColleagueIk heb me weer eens aan een Bill Boorman steen gestoten, maar dit is wel de laatste keer. Want de onbeschaamde plug van Boorman voor de IE add-on Colleague is mijn zoveelste teleurstelling over het (gebrek aan) onderscheidingsvermogen dat deze online recruitment “goeroe” aan de dag legt. Want niet alleen is de plugin een monsterachtig misbaksel; het kreng werkt niet eens!

Dit is wat de plug-in zou moeten doen:

The Colleague Internet Explorer Add-on is a free recruitment tool that enables recruiters to easily search over – x-ray – any website for candidate, contact and client data and even source social profiles from photos.

Vanzelfsprekend denk ik hierbij aan een sidebar tool zoals of de add-on sidebars van Entelo en TalentBin. Maar wat ik na een omslachtige installatieprocedure te zien krijg, tart elk voorstellingsvermogen.

Want dit is wat ik als eerste te zien krijg na de add-on te hebben gedownload, uitgepakt, geinstalleerd en binnen IE te hebben geactiveerd:

Colleague add-on, 1

Een monsterachtig grote searchbar met een angstaanjagende hoeveelheid iconen aan de bovenzijde, en een linker sidebar die uitsluitend kan worden gebruikt als je ook het CRM systeem van Colleague gebruikt. Die sidebar kan dus meteen het roterend archief in.

Op basis van een video op de Colleague site heb ik al begrepen dat de gebruiker Colleague alles moet vertellen (welke search engine je moet gebruiken, welke sites doorzocht moeten worden, welke zoekcriteria daarbij gebruikt moeten worden). Daarmee lijkt deze plugin al in niets op de sidebars van, TalentBin en Entelo. Die werken zonder enige configuratie.

Maar Colleague blijkt ook helemaal geen personen te kunnen herkennen en de andere locaties van een persoon te tonen; het is gewoon een zoek’ding’. Die ook geen scan doen van social media maar gewoon een zoekopdracht op 1 site uitvoert. Waarmee voor mij de toegevoegde waarde van Colleague per direct volstrekt onduidelijk wordt. Google werkt tenslotte prima

Even ter illustratie, dit is de manier waarop een gebruiker Colleague dient in te richten. Allereerst de zoekmachines en de sites die ik wiil gebruiken:

Colleague add-on, 2

Hilarisch, ik heb het gevoel dat ik minimaal 5 jaar terug in de tijd ga..

En dan de zoekcriteria; dat gaat als volgt:

Colleague add-on, 3

Whoehaha! De makers van dit gedrocht gaan er dus blijkbaar vanuit dat iedere recruiter een soort boolean searcher is. Maar het maken van een boolean searchstring gaat een stuk sneller zonder Colleague… Gewoon, in Google.

Als ik dan eenmaal alles heb ingesteld en mijn eerste zoekopdracht wil uitvoeren komt Colleague ook nog even met een blokkade; ik moet  mijn e-mail adres opgeven om een unlock code te ontvangen! Alternatieven als en Talentbin vragen niet om een e-mail adres; die gaan ervan uit dat de kwaliteit van hun dienstverlening wel zorgt voor voldoende business…

Maar als ik dan eenmaal mijn unlock code heb ontvangen en ingevoerd en mijn zoekopdracht opnieuw probeer uit te voeren krijg ik dit te zien:

Colleague add-on, 4

Holy crap!

Ik heb Colleague per direct op de brandstapel gegooid en om het vuur gedanst. Wat een bagger!


Geef een antwoord

  • Rob van Elburg

    De online guru spreads the word want weer een nieuwtje.
    De blogger maakt er inhoudelijk gehakt want gaat er daadwerkelijk wel voor zitten…
    En de Recruiter……. boeien. Veel te druk met (over)leven & nauwelijks tijd & interesse voor de overmaat van tools die over ons heen gestort worden.
    Online Recruitment 2013?

  • BillBoorman

    I’m just curious Marc, any chance you can disclose who your clients are, and if you have ever posted a negative post about any of their products whilst on their payroll? I always disclose who I work for  if there might be a conflict. do you do the same?

    • Marc Drees

      Curiosity is underrated. And yes, I have even written negative things about products while being retained, I warn my clients upfront that if they do something stupid regarding online recruitment I will write about it and if they can’t handle it they shouldn’t hire me. And yes, when I write something glowingly while being retained I disclose that.

  • Louis Welcomme

    Firstly apologies for writing this response in English – I thought it far better than try and rely on my meagre language skills, or that of Google translate. Please also excuse me if I do not interpret your own words correctly (I have used Google to translate the page).
    Thank you for your comments and I am sorry you feel this way about the add-on.
    If you may allow me to respond to the points you raise on your blog post individually. Hopefully I can address some of these concerns:
    1.       You mention that you were expecting a tool rather like the excellent or Entelo and Talentbin but the Colleague IE add-on has no similarities with these tools – they share none of the same functionality.
    2.       We don’t claim that the add-on has any of the functionality of the tools you mention either. Please see the clear description we provide here: There is also a helpful video which clearly explains what this simple tool does as well as a help document that is linked too from the add-on itself.
    3.       You mention a difficult installation process. Unfortunately Internet Explorer does not permit add-ons to be installed easily like in Firefox or Chrome. Consequently you have to go through a traditional installation process. This isn’t actually that hard and involves a normal download of a zip file and then running through a standard installation wizard as with all software downloads. The reason we developed this for Internet Explorer is simply that most agencies use it and we wanted the tool to be accessible to as many agencies as possible.
    4.        Your point on the design is taken. You cannot please everyone all the time. A large, button based, simple interface seems to be the right place to be in our opinion. The reason it is a large tool is that it is meant to make the process of Boolean searching simpler – this involves a number of attributes which usually take up an entire search engine’s web page such as Google Advanced Search.  
    5.       You mention the add-on being configurable as a negative. Recruiters will have their own preferences in terms of websites, search engines and social channels. We wanted the add-on to be as customisable as possible and yet still be easy and simple to use.
    6.       Google may work just fine for some. However many recruiter’s (surprisingly) are not all that versed in Boolean search techniques, and even if they are, the add-on makes the task of creating boolean search strings and x-raying websites far more easier and more efficient for the average recruiter. Again we do not claim the add-on to do anything more than this – it is just an x-ray, boolean search bar for recruiters.
    7.       The sidebar element of the add-on is designed specifically to work with Colleague itself. Unfortunately only Colleague customers, who have a Colleague database, can therefore use it. That is made clear in in the add-on’s descriptions and it can be easily hidden.
    8.       Regarding the registration process. Anyone can easily download the add-on (we require no details). Once installed we do ask that the user registers for an unlock code with just an email. This takes 10 seconds. This way we can ensure that we can alert users to any new developments or versions. There is no obligation to tick for additional content updates, and users receive no spam.
    9.       Regarding the 404 error you received on searching over Twitter on Google for Ruby. Unfortunately you seemed to have removed the default Google search URL that needs to be entered ( and instead just entered into the settings. Unfortunately Google requires that you include the /search?q= element to carry out a successful search. Consequently the Boolean string should look like this: rather than this
    I hope this clears up a few of your points. I must say that this is genuinely the first complaint we have had since its release. We have also had quite a few positive comments. In the end this is essentially just a simple x-ray boolean search tool for Internet Explorer – and it does the job it is advertised as doing.  
    Kind Regards,


    • Marc Drees

      If you haven’t had any complaints up until now you probably don’t have that many actual users. And by that I mean people that not only downloaded the add-on but are actually using it more than once. I’m keen to learn the actual number of regular users, other than Bill Boorman of course.
      I’m not surprised to see the usual ‘product blindness’ of a founder in excusing away all the issues encountered when trying to use the product, up  to the deadly sin of offering a user a choice in changing a setting that actually requires detailed knowledge (I’m talking about the search engine setting of course). However, it’s your product. 

  • BillBoorman

    Thanks again for your interest in my blog, and the usual round of personal insult. it’s always a sign that things are going well when you choose to attack. I’m surprised you can’t use the add-on. Have you tried it or gone off the video with your red pen? 

      • BillBoorman

        I’ve tested it about 10 times with no problem. Not dissimilar to results from the recruiter bar. it is an add-on not an extension. Users I know seem quite happy with it for an x-ray search tool. I’d prefer chrome, but 80% of agency recruiters are on IE in the UK. It’s not talentBin, but i don’t think they were trying to be. the developers wanted to make search a bit easier for Colleague users, then decided to share the tech with everyone. I was with them on a hack day when they got the concept, which came out of research. The research indicated that most agency recruiters don’t know boolean operators. (or remember them). I never write about tools or apps I haven’t tested. The answer to Marcs problem is in louis’s reply. I’m just on Marcs hit list at the moment. Was hoping Marc might come to #truAmsterdam as the technology guru he is to debate a few points. What were the problems you had Michel? might be a fault they should be aware of

        • Marc Drees

          Learn a wee bit of boolean search and you are much better of using Google than implementing this crazy add-on that is also very easy to kill, as I experienced. It is not my problem, it is the problem of Colleague if they allow a user to change settings that will just return a 404 page… But hey, who cares about user experience? Ow, shit, I do.

        • Michel Rijnders

          I had one problem. I don’t use Internet Explorer. But Marc shows enough of what is not working.
          Clear that it is no which it doesn’t have to be, but for helping recruiters making boolean search easier, in all honesty, it seems to me like this solution is almost as hard to learn for those recruiters as boolean search itself.