It has been a week since #truLondon and we covered a lot of content.  Something that stood out for me or made me think, and there was plenty of things that stood out in the memory bank. I’m going to kick off with one I’d love to hear your thoughts:

#truLondon thought 1: Lazy Recruiters

Igotmore annoyed in one track than I can remember at any of the #tru events I have attended. What caused me to get so irate was the comment “recruiters are lazy!”. Now I have worked with plenty of recruiters over the last 27 years.In the past it was all agency recruiters, and I was one for a long time. More recently my work has been mostly with direct recruiting teams.I want to start by stating that in all this time, I have met very few that could be described as lazy. Quite the contrary,I,ve met few people in any other profession who work anything like the hours, or as hard as recruiters. So why this comment, and judging by the lack of reaction, agreement?
From my position, there is little difference now between the working practices of agency recruiters and their corporate counterparts. Whilst third-party agency recruiters might have fee paying clients to satisfy, that’s not really different to having equally demanding and fussy hiring managers, except that a corporate recruiter can’t drop a hiring manager if they prove to be a difficult customer.

Over the last 18 months, the roles have got closer and closer in terms of how they operate. When we talk sourcing, technologies, candidate difficulties or control, as well as influencing hiring managers, the conversation is identical regardless of discipline. Corporate recruiters benefit from greater support in candidate attraction from employer branding communications and initiatives, agency recruiters often benefit from a wider exposure to the market at large, through working with a range of companies.

Time pressure is an issue for both disciplines, as well as a “hire now” pressure ahead of “hire future.” The pressure is on to fill seats and find the hard to hire talent. The “war for talent” is largely a war for other people’s talent. The talent that is needed to fill open positions is the talent that companies are fighting to keep, everybody is battling for the same candidates. I think recruiters have been slow to communicate this. There is a real perception that recruiting is easy and as a result, recruiters are lazy.

In my opinion, recruiters can be accused of being inefficient. When we look at most recruiting technology, it’s mostly underused, with little investment in keeping skills up to date, changing operational practice as the technology has developed. Whilst most recruiting technology issues regular updates and increased functionality to stay competitive, most recruiters use it as was bought.

One clear example of this is the recruitment database or ATS. Many recruiters, (by no means all), use the database for information storage and tracking rather than information retrieval. The progress from Recruiting 2.0 to 3.0, was really little more than the move from post and pray to source and spray. Recruiting is still focussed on volume of approaches in the hope that some of it fits,and volume often brings results.  Priority needs to be on developing smarter working practice, and development takes time. Time is the factor most recruiters aren’t allowed, with the current pressure to hire. Rather than recruiter bashing, i’d like to see a rethink on allowing recruiters to redesign operating practice, and link closer with vendors to make sure they are getting the best out of the technology they have.

Recruiters work far to hard to be described as lazy, and only those who have never had to deal with the real complexity of influencing both candidates and hiring managers beyond attraction would ever think otherwise. Recruiters need to communicate these issues better, and work on brand “recruiter” as hard as employer brand. If you work with recruiters, get to know their job better.

People play the critical part in  the success of any organisation. The recruiters who source and introduce them are central to the success of the business. I always felt privileged to be charged with the responsibility of influencing people s careers and getting the best talent in to organisations. Talk of “lazy” recruiters does not reflect this.

Sometimes, and in some cases inefficient, true , but lazy, definitely not!


 This post first appeared on my blog: NortonFolgate: The Recruiting Unblog

Views: 1010

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 7:21pm


17,531,700 people who live in california with fb accounts, 35,760 with internet marketing,21,900 with website design, 13,560 with SEO added, 200 with an MBA as well. If I knew some competitor companies to your hiring company I could be more specific, adding this criteria to the numbers. I always check the numbers with the advertising profile search first to get an idea of numbers. Once you know the target numbers you can either target a low cost ppc ad to these profiles or search for them by employer and friend finder. You can message anyone in facebook when you find the profile. No need to be a friend or connected. This is against this job that you have posted via job magic 

I guess you think they are on Facebook as well or you wouldnt advertise the job unless you are taking a post and pray approach.


Comment by Mat von Kroeker on September 8, 2011 at 7:22pm

I'm a recruiter.  I'm lazy.  But am I a lazy recruiter??   Think about it.

(relax, relax.... let the machine do it's work.)

Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 8, 2011 at 10:25pm

Where is Matt Brown? Work4Labs (possibly BeKnown & and maybe ...maybe BranchOut) would have something to say about this topic and recruiting for high demand positions utilizing Facebook, but then again this thread has gone a bit off course. Bill & Bill - perhaps time to agree to disagree? I personally have picked up a thing or two from the both of you. I am quite thankful of that and more importantly the experience /insights you both bring to the RBC. Just throwing a random suggestion out there, but maybe we just let this one go?


@Jerry - your point of clarification actually made me chuckle reading through this thread. Thank you.

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 11:00pm


The people are there,it's always a question of reaching them. I'm finding that quality LinkedIn profiles are getting over messaged, and the respond rate to messages on Facebook is better.I don't think it is the only solution or the silver bullet, different approaches and channels work. I don't find advertising jobs on facebook works that well,where as ppc ads for groups or communities work much better.I would be interested in your experience with Jobmagic for generating candidates. I favour providing more content/community like which is one of the communities i'm involved in. The work4labs tab adding jobs to a community works well for some of the very senior sales positions,but it is the community that gets people to have a look. Admittedly, this works much better for a corporate recruiting team that has on-going high volume requirement rather than one off assignments.We have had quite a lot of success with JIT sourcing in facebook, although the brand names help in this. i recognise you are a veteran recruiter of 20+ years experience, so I didn't intend to appear to be trying to "blow smoke up your butt." I can also assure you that having worked around the industry for 27 years, there's no shell game in play. I'm happy to talk at any point. I believe you can source high demand candidates from Facebook, among other channels and social places. I've not seen a sector yet where it hasn't worked, but I have seen this becoming more apparent over the last 12 months where the search filters in friend finder have got a bit more sophisticated, and more profiles have added professional detail. I also use TheSocialCV, which makes it easier to locate profiles from a combined social profile connecting all channels. i'd be glad to get you an access some time.

I've also never had an active plaxo account. Did it work?


Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 11:10pm


I've just picked up your message when I was mid response.It's your house,i'm happy to respect your view. Jerry always makes me laugh in a good way, and yes, Matt could give some good stats on this.


Comment by Amy Ala Miller on September 9, 2011 at 9:57am
Personally I limit my Facebook use to spying on my teenagers... I hope no employer ever tries to source me from there they'll reject me on the basis of dumb crap my offspring says.  :)
Comment by Bill Boorman on September 9, 2011 at 10:24am

Thanks Amy,

Not an uncommon use. My mum keeps up with me the same way. She is 85 and unlikely to be sourced. I enjoyed your post on corporate recruiters. i had always been agency side, but the last 12 months have been mostly with corporate. I'm not seeing many differences between the disciplines other than scale.



You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service