Job boards, like Monster, have given companies access to more candidates that ever before. Because of free sourcing technology, many companies are tempted to skip using a recruiters and perform the job search for themselves.

As a recruiter, what challenges do you face as companies have increased access to job-filling technologies like job boards, VMS systems, and social media?

How do you convince companies that using a recruiter is the better route?



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Is anyone freaking out about how many jobs were eliminated this last month??????????????  OH my gosh and all the Borders closing.....doesn't look too good does it???????????????

Technology will eventually replace any job that tends to be simplistic, repetitive, predictive, and redundant with an incumbent who keeps asking of job applicants, "What's your greatest weakness?"

HR recruiters will be high on the list for extinction if they are found to be on auto-pilot and comfortable with the status quo.



Technology has changed the recruiting game focus for me as, since the late 1990's, I tend to shun working with unemployed people.  Too often I began to hear, "Sorry, Bill.  We already have this candidate from the job boards, or they already sent their resume in."  I determined I didn't want to duplicate HR's efforts so I cede them all unemployed people and sell clients on my intensive over the phone cold calling of passive/invisible candidates as the reason to work with me, and justify my higher fee than they pay other recruiters.


We'll be in business as long as companies don't have direct access to every employee whereby they could contact them, themselves.  And providing a company wants to hire the best person, not just the best person they can find on their own.


Every recruiter I know is busy! We are having our best year and I just recently hired an additional person, as we've never been so busy. Borders closing is sad, as I will miss them terribly, but that is more driven by the uptick in ebooks and people buying books online. Borders has been declining for years, that is nothing new. Did you see my post about the positive job news in June? 



Jody Schwartz said:

Is anyone freaking out about how many jobs were eliminated this last month??????????????  OH my gosh and all the Borders closing.....doesn't look too good does it???????????????
Jessica, it's an easy question to answer. When you are an expert in your field of recruitment, no job board will ever substitute the expertise, by building trust and relationships to find the best talent. Job Boards have been around for years, but headhunters are appointed to search and find the best people. Most people employed and doing a good job for someone else, aren't looking at jobs boards. These are the people that need a 'tap on the shoulder' in a professional way, to qualify and suggest new opportunities. Trust and reputation count for much more ! Job Boards have their place, but they don't discover some of the best candidates at the right time.

I never sell my services to someone who doesn't need them.

I don't want anything that can be filled by the internal recruiting staff. I only want what has been impossible to fill.

Internal staff does a great job, and fills most of the openings. They should. It is more cost effective for the corporation.

My suggestion is to specialize in impossible to fill positions. Your candidates will sell themselves.

Jim - liked the analogy

A recruiters job is to find the best talent for the client within the constraints set by the client.  Whether the recruiter works for a contingency, retingency, or retainer company, its still the same. 

Naturally the client can and often do advertise their positions.  They may even have staffing and /or talent acquisition people who do look for talented individuals.  But they can still be at a disadvantage in finding the right people because they do not invest in back end research intensive support personnel, or have access to high end online resources.

Saying that we only use passive means, advertising in job sites, classified ads, or search through social networks to find people is being simplistic.  When we have a position to fill we all profile the client, their competitors, build a composite of the candidate and then hunt for them through each and every means possible.  Cold calling on companies, calling & or emailing our prime network of contacts, searching through our database of contacts, blog sites, social network sites, searching news sites and industry publications. 

If the job is easy, they do it; we are only of interest to them when they realize that what they want is not dumpster diving through job sites finding people who are actively looking for a job.

With the economy in the US & Europe in a funk, companies are not just looking for a body to fill a spot, they want someone who can bring experience and a positive impact to the company.

Every company will say they are a fantastic company to work in.  Unfortunately that is not always the case.  An in-house recruiter has a vested interest in promoting the positives of their company's persona to the public and to the potential candidate.  They cannot be objective, we can.

So are Recruiters soon to be extinct?  Nope.
Charles not sure if your simplistic explanation provides enough of a punch to put to rest the importance of the question posed in the blog...



Would you embellish your comment, it seems to me that Charles answered it pretty well.  Recruiters that scour the job boards and send multiple resumes to a hiring manager and hope one sticks, that type of recruiter will be extinct.  The Recruiter that really recruits a passive candidate will never be extinct.

Paul Alfred said:

Charles not sure if your simplistic explanation provides enough of a punch to put to rest the importance of the question posed in the blog...
Greg our entire Company is focused on the Passive Market since 2006 ( As I agree that is where the true value is with respect to supporting our clients) ... I have been in this game since 1996. I have seen changes in the industry, monster changes that scares me - luckily I consult in the SM World as well and not fully dependent on the Recruitment Industry for revenue. What scares me in the last 5 years we have seen the trend atleast in the Canadian Market where Companies look for Recruitment professionals such as yourself and others on this board and hire them internally - they then build a recruitment team around them by doing this they - slowly increase the ROI and reduce use of TPR's add Social Media Networks and target talent communities to the equation should I continue ... I hope this paints the picture ... The US Market is 10 times bigger so Pam's outlook (as an example ) on the industry will be different that what we are seeing here in Canada. To tell you the truth our US business used to be only 20% now it's stepped up to 45% in the last 2 years.


How many companies really do what you are saying?


Unless a company is extremely large they should not have a need for so many employees at one time that it warrants a true internal recruiter department as you suggest.


Again i am not talking about most employees, if a company needs 3 heavy hitters a year even at a cost of 25,000 each in fees that is 75,000 dollars. How much of a team could they build?  So I think it depends on your focus and the size of the business you are going after.  Yes if a company needs 10 people on a continuing basis then it may well be more cost effective to have an internal department.  Maybe revisiting fee structures should be considered.


But the true recruiter will always be needed for the intermediate company that can not staff a full time team.  I am sure you, like me, have filled positions that other recruiters have failed at filling.  Retained recruiting may be on the way out.  But contingency recruiting is here to stay for the forseeable future. 


Where else can a company get so much done on their behalf and only pay if they are convinced that the solution has the best chance of succeeding?


BTW i did place an engineer in Calgary although it was with a US Company.

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