Reports of Recruiting’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

There is so much noise out there regarding the death of recruiting. We’ve got Social Media taking over. Recruitment 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4! LinkedIn will have all our jobs, but only until Facebook becomes the new job board. Thanks to Google +, any hiring manager with a computer can now search for candidates. Not only does this mean the end of recruiting agencies as we know them, but it’s only a matter of time before corporate recruiters start singing Danny Boy.

 

Give me a break.

 

People who blast this nonsense all over the internet either A) don’t know what they’re talking about or B) just want to pick a fight. Anyone who takes this stuff seriously has no clue what recruiting actually is. So what is it?

 

It is both the art and science of bringing people together. Uncovering motives, looking for buying signals, re-directing, influencing, listening to what’s not being said, and doing it again. It is moving people through major change. We are equal parts cheerleader, coach, psychologist, disciplinarian, closer, negotiator, and reality check bringer.

 

Most of all, recruiting is a full time job. My hiring managers have neither the time nor the inclination to take that on. They are busy doing their jobs – and doing more with less as it is. They barely have time to interview the qualified candidates I find for them – the idea that they really want to take on the full scope of recruiting themselves is downright laughable. Recruiting is so much more than a list of names, or a folder full of resumes. It’s more than thousands of Twitter followers, or who has the biggest database. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t doing it right.

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Comment by Mitch Sullivan on November 3, 2011 at 5:00am

Hi Amy. 

I don't think a strong internal recruitment team is the same as an agency, no.  I think there's a huge fundamental difference, which is that the quality of candidate communication is far greater internally than in generalist agencies - mainly because the generalist agency recruiter rarely owns the job.  The best candidates know this and respond better to internal recruiters.

That is why internal recruitment is eating into the generalist agency market - because they can easily replicate what the agencies can achieve for less money and with better candidate quality.

I think that dynamic changes when you're comparing niche specialists agencies with internal recruitment.  There the whole candidate/recruiter relationship is a bit more complicated and the specialists should have specific knowledge that helps them retain their value.

Recruitment itself, as a function isn't going to die.  How could it?

 

Comment by bill josephson on November 3, 2011 at 7:50am

3rd party Recruitment will die when Internal in-house recruiters are able to access passive/invisible candidates.  The only way I stay in business is presenting candidates companies can't find on their own, not Internet visible nor aggressively looking for a job (not publicly listed/nor firing resumes all over the country).

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 3, 2011 at 5:19pm

Excellent points everyone but there will always be the companies that don't have time or resources for internal recruiting! The sweet spot I think is to find enough companies that have just enough employees to need full time HR but not full time recruiting.... let's say a company hires 6 times a year at 20K fee a pop - that's only 120K. Not that far off what it cost to employ a full time recruiter when you factor in salary, benefits, etc. I know that's an extremely generic analogy but there will always be companies who need TPRs even if it's purely for contractors.

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