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FOR those who have scoffed at the Internet’s impact on traditional business, the recruitment sector might change their thinking.

Very quietly, Net-based job sites have capitalised on the Web strengths to snip business from newspaper classifieds, once an extremely lucrative area.

Using significant capital to fund a change in consumer habits, these new sites offer wider reach, accessibility for job seekers (ironically, at work for most people) and an instant response point.

Employers like them because it is cheaper and a lot more information can be provided. Newer options allow screening of options for both employees and employers.

And all this has come at a time when employment has changed, with younger, Net-savvy staff more likely to work on contract and change jobs regularly.

It all goes to show that technology, in the form of the Internet, does have its place – though it has taken a few billion dollars of wasted money to find that out.

Tough times

A QUIET word of sympathy for the folks at Andersen in Perth.

I’ve spoken to a couple of senior people there in recent times and the emotion was apparent.

Like many in the accounting business, it is normal for Andersen’s staff to have stayed at the same firm throughout their working life.

Many have made their way to partnership, a position where they have significant financial exposure, not just to their own business but across geographic boundaries.

The Andersen people I’ve met always seemed a little more attached to their corporate identity than others in equally global businesses.

No matter what the arguments are about how sensible partnerships are as a business structure or the current debate about the cross-over between audit and regular accounting, it is difficult not to feel for a group of people facing such uncertainty because of events that were beyond their control.

Keen focus

SPEAKING of that sector, next week Business News will dissect the investment banking and corporate advisory sector in WA.

It’s a fascinating sector with many different groupings, including accounting firms, stockbrokers and boutique advisers.

There also have been some significant local deals during the past year or so, catapaulting a few of these players above their peers.

Check out who is who in this very St Georges Terrace-orientated world in our next edition.

In the meantime, the crew here at Business News wish you a happy and safe Easter.

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