Please tell me if anyone else finds this particular fact interesting:

Many/most agencies spend thousands of dollars each year on sourcing - job boards, resume digging tools, "branding", social networking, Shally seminars, etc. The goal it seems is to make sure they have access to (as it turns out) the VERY SAME candidate pool their competitors do.

Many/most agencies then go on the spend ZERO (as in NOTHING) on their effort to personalize their "product" and set their "product" apart from every other agency who also has that very same "product".

Does anyone else find that simple fact astonishing?

Here we are. All trying to make sure we have access to the very same pool of candidates. Don't want to be the one who DOESN'T have those resumes!

We then do absolutely NOTHING to give that "product" a unique "my company is introducing this candidate" feel. They all are shipped to the customers the very same way.

So while we all might THINK we're doing something different - each and every hiring manager in Corporate America would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Agency A's "product" and Agency B's. Other than your very nice logo!

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Unless you're taking those sourcing "results" and expanding upon them exponentially using the TELEPHONE (as Shally recommends you do in his seminars) you're not spending your monies in the right place!

If you're spending your money on phone sourcing you are assured of "unique" potential candidates that most of your competiton is NOT accessing because they're NOT taking this must-do next step. I assert that more than 90% of the people you need are not "findable" on the Internet! A "scratch set" is - but not their comrades and that's where the real juice is!

(Guess what I am!)
I'm with ya Maureen. But even then - once they've hired a professional to show them the lost art of telephone sourcing - we're still talking about just that. Sourcing.

When they move that candidate up the line to their client - they aren't really giving much thought as to HOW they're presenting that candidate. It's just "hit the send button and hope for the best" in most cases. Just like everybody else.
I s'pose that's what separates the wheat from the chaff in recruiting.
Agree - what difference are we able to communicate? The "click send", wince and pray method is not the way to find long term success - unless you love frustration and the down cycle of this business. I think it all starts with relationship (the real deal, not the "I'll have one with you because it will make me money" one) - whether with the candidate or the client, the better the relationship, the more they trust you as a resource, a strategic resource, the more power you have to close deals. People first, money second and the rest just flows.
Hellllllllloooooooo.......I have been saying this for years.....they are NOT listening, well most of them are not listening. The only way the 'average' agency will listen is when the owners pocket book gets smaller. There are a few that differentiate and they do it well, much more than marketing, and logo and promotion, but the whole experience. Greg Palmer is passionate about the candidate experience, and so am I. There is a ton we can do to have the candidate seek us out and choose to do business with us, rather than the other 10,000 people calling them at the same time. Adam Peterson has a new way to ship the candidate. I have a new way to harness them in. In reality any of us trying to sell new concepts to old dogs might have to sell to people who already have vision and are early adapters or innovators. Just ranting, need my coffee
Its great to see this discussion taking place. I agree with Margaret and Jennifer - its the relationships! So much time and effort goes into generating leads and then so little time goes into nurturing the relationship with the candidate. Too often the lack of respect shown to candidates not only impacts the agency's brand negatively but can also hurt the client's employment/company brand. I would like to see a clause written into an SLA that requires the agency I hire to respond to the candidates they so aggressively pursued - and sometimes stalked to get on the phone only to leave in a black hole afterward. Additionally, I'd like to see agencies help "push the envelope" with companies to broaden their thinking about "best fit" candidates. Find the "core" capabilities and then speak to potential and cultural fit - this may be challenging but it will add value and differentiate over time.

Great question Jerry and we'll be talking about this at Recruitfest so I hope you'll be there!

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