R.I.P. Recruitment Search Agencies. Thank you for all your contributions but you will not be missed

Why would I write a post about the death of agencies when they are still active and a valued part of many companies budgets and recruitment process? That is a very insightful question and one the deserves a well outlined response.

First, on behalf of all the companies both small and large, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the thousands of valuable human capital assets provided over the years. Those assets have provided us with innovation and productivity that have helped carry us onto the next phase in our evolution. It is with a deep heart that we say goodbye.

We will miss the gift baskets around the holidays, the 30,000 dollar vouchers, the feeling that you were our best friend in the world, and the comfort of knowing that you know our business, roles and products. It was a warm feeling that still provides chills at night.

Now, is the part of the broadcast where we explain why the demise is near.

1.) A growing number of organizations are developing dedicated strategic sourcing teams to pipeline current and future talent needs. These individuals blend a balance of talent acquisition and marketing to develop processes around finding and attracting talent. Utilizing Boolean search string technology, developing and managing talent communities, adapting targeted email campaigns, CRM tool tracking, and cold calling, it is only a matter of time before the church bells chime and we mourn the passing of agency fees

2.) Internet connection tools powered by sites including Ping.fm allow us to brand out opportunities to thousands upon thousands of people within seconds. Just yesterday, Recently, a tweet with a URL description was sent through Pluggio.com and with the integration of Ping.fm, the tweet went to Flickr, Yahoo Profile, Google Buzz, Delicious, Yammer, Ning, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Why Flickr and Delicious. Networking is no longer using professional communities as a way of finding talent. How many of us have Amazon or Barnes and Noble accounts and followers of our books lists. Talent can be found under many more rocks than ever before.

3.) Macros and schedulers are alive and well. Software like IMacro, Pluggio and Tweetdeck allow us to not only tweet and post jobs to Twitter and Linkedin but they allow us to schedule how often we post them.

4.) Cost effective partnerships – Tweetmyjobs tweets 1.2 million jobs per day and they have accounts that send by region and discipline. Oodle.com posts roles to over 100 sites including Myspace and Facebook for free. Twitres.com allows you to post resumes or jobs for free and re-tweet as often as you like.

5.) Talent Communities – Companies are taking advantage of LinkedIn Groups, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups and many others to build talent communities for networking and maintaining contact with potential future talent.

6.) As social media is making bringing the world closer together networking and referrals are a more valued asset.

7.) Many companies are building alumni talent communities and even offering referral bonuses

8.) Blogging, live chat and fan sites are allowing companies to talk to customers, vendors and candidates and educate them on culture, product/services and solicit information. As candidates become more involved, their sense of value will grow and thus their interest in the company.

9.) Mobile campaigns are taking the number communication media in the world and reaching out to the associates of tomorrow.

The evolution is here. As we step into a new age of cost effective operation, efficiencies of process are spurring out. To the victor, companies will rise again. To the search agencies, R.I.P.

The thoughts and recommendations in this article are my personal views. There is no employer or organization affiliation with the data or recommendations presented in this

Views: 1664

Comment by Marc Roberts on October 19, 2010 at 4:48pm
Paul, I agree that firms are always looking to improve on the cost per hire. That is why I have run a successful business for the last 16 years, providing executive search services on an hourly fee basis. We are lowering the cost per hire for our clients an average of 60% or more. We have large corporations as well as small to medium size clients as well. There are many ways to lower ones cost per hire without giving up the personal touch and professionalism that a recruiter can bring to the table. For high level recruting do you really want a lower level person making the initial contact. Recruiters are always a companies ambassadors in the marketplace, hence, the more expereince the better.
Comment by ryan morphett on October 19, 2010 at 7:33pm
I quite love Roberts classifcation of real recruiter vrs corporate recruiter.
Just a thought though,
If job boards are a tool
Linkedin and social networking are tools
Headhunting is a tool
relationship building is a tool
Are Agencies just another tool for us 'non real recruiters' to use to get candidates?
Aren't they all a means to an end? Many tools make easy work, therefore I would be cautious Robert to discount all the tools and only focus on one (agency recruiters). That would make you a bit of a fool.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on October 19, 2010 at 8:12pm
Or a bunch of fools. That would be even better.
Comment by Neil Lebovits on October 20, 2010 at 10:25am
I need to say that although I don't agree with the reasons, they are mitigating factors to why many recruiters won't make it.. It's all about sourcing.. THAT SAID, THE AGENCY IS DYING!- BUT, the reason is because there are now great tools for 3rd party recruiters to stop paying 50% franchise or licensing fees (which is what the archaic 50% commission rates are) to simply get a desk and tools.... companies such as arg http://www.independentrecruiting.com (the oldest independent and virtual recruiting firm), allow recruiters to do it on their own with the same or MORE TOOLS and keep 80 or even 95% of their billings.. So, goodnight to brick and morter shops.. do check out the website.. you are nuts not to look into this...
Comment by Tim on October 20, 2010 at 10:38am
From the perspective of a in-house recruiter who came from the agency business, I'd welcome the death of the lower tiers of the recruitment agency business. The one's who call me everyday with absolutely zero value add. The ones who call me and take oblique pot shots at how we source and find candidates. (You know, an offshoot of that very old "agency recruiters are better than in-house recruiters meme from 1989) The one's who I consistently beat to the table with higher quality candidates 95% of the time after hearing their schpiel on how they are the best in their vertical. Those recruiters can slip into the primordial ooze of history. Good riddance. The 5% of recruiters who beat me to the punch, who demonstrate value add on the first call, who dig deeper and further than corporate recruiters have the time to, those recruiters will always have a place at the table. Go big or go home. Says it all I think.
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 20, 2010 at 11:04am
A note to Neil - I would like to comment (respectfully) on your link to the Agent HR group. I find the price they charge to be ABSURD. Sorry man - but it is.

For access to the group - you pay $19,250 a year at a minimum (35% of first 65K) ??? What do they offer in return? Access to Monster and a yearly rah rah session with Barb Bruno (she's great - but not that great...)

While I'll agree the big houses have lost their stranglehold on the way things are done - I certainly don't see the value in a 20K membership fee either.
Comment by Patrick Mapp on October 20, 2010 at 11:31am
@MilesJennings and @Barbara Goldman....right on point!
Comment by 01. Lonnie McRorey on October 20, 2010 at 3:02pm
Mark - I totally agree with you however its more of a paradigm shift rather than market share elimination- More and more companies are hiring Sourcing teams. HR & Recruitment is being invited to the table more so now than 4 years ago. Technologies are changing the landscape. Lets say that not all agencies will vanish - some will have to adapt to this new trend in order to survive. Globalization will balance out Sourcing fees throughout the board as more companies reach out to RPO outfits in LATAM and Europe that have experience in the US market.

At the end its all about reducing costs while attaining top talent.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on October 20, 2010 at 4:21pm
Mark has exactly (3) Connections on Linkedin... http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mark-leon/3/a/74

Slouch- Let's do a bit better job screening articles, before we "confirm" garbage...

This article is a "LAUGHABLE" joke....

Best to ALL, Brian-
Comment by Slouch on October 20, 2010 at 4:32pm
Hey Brian, I don't agree with the article either but there are a few who seem to. I don't see how the linkedin issue is an issue. If I don't have a facebook account, does that mean I can't write a post about social networks? There are over 70 blog posts and 150 people in the last 8 days I have not approved for access to RecruitingBlogs.com. I'm trying.


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