Recruitment is Broken

Many people will know Greg Savage through his blog, The Savage Truth, or indeed his illustrious career in the recruitment industry. I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Greg during which his message to the recruitment industry was a massive wake-up call. While many of us have lamented the inefficiencies of the industry, Gregs professional stature and bluntness of delivery give a one-two punch to every agency recruiter - adapt or die.

According to Greg, ‘the Recruitment Industry is BROKEN’. With language like that there can be no mistaking the call for an urgent and radical review of the fundamental services offered by the industry. There are threats from all sides, corporates hire directly and drive down costs while LinkedIn and other internet giants see the agency recruiter as fair game.

In spite of this I’m still optimistic about the industries future. It is still extremely difficult to recruit staff and, because recruitment technology provides access to many more people, the problem is increasing. This creates an opportunity, as while there are challenges to hire staff, there are markets for good recruiters.

The service provided by the traditional contingency agency is now out of step with needs of the marketplace. Ten years ago, knowledge was everything. The bigger your database the better, and recruitment was simply about selling this valuable resource. In the past number of years this has completely changed. Big databases are freely available and there cannot be many people left who cannot be found on the internet. Even my mother can be found on Google!

So what does the recruiter of the future look like? According to Greg, the core service of placing candidates remains. The method of achieving this will be a combination of the traditional ‘Craft of Recruitment’ combined with the newly developing skills of social and internet recruitment. Does this imply subtle tweets to an existing business model or a root and branch review? For the generalist contingency recruiter, we’re talking radical review, as unfortunately, your days are numbered.

Firstly, No Placement No Fee, means that recruiters don’t take responsibility to fill the role and the client has no loyalty to the recruiter. If there is one thing that gives the industry a bad name it is No Placement No Fee.

Secondly, survival will depend on providing a valuable service. That means doing something clients can’t do themselves. Recruiters must focus on specialist market segments and develop a method of working that gives a clear advantage over the corporate recruiter.

Greg describes the three things that every recruiter needs to do right now.

1. Twitter – Create a professional profile, there are so few recruiters on twitter and even fewer doing it well. Twitter is the way to build an effective community.
2. Use LinkedIn well. Every recruiter should have a full professional profile, it will be core to developing a personal brand.
3. Blog – This will take time to build but is massively effective in building a personal brand and being seen as an authority in your niche.

My next webinar will be on the Thursday the 11th July when I plan to talk about Sourcing Candidates in a Specific Location. It is free to listen in as it will be streamed to my blog page Shane's Recruitment Blog

All my webinars are free of charge and there simply to share ideas to the recruitment industry. I am extremely grateful for anyone who can spread the word and share this content. Please share this with any other recruiters you may know.


Shane McCusker
Intelligence Software

Connect with me:
Twitter: @1ntelligence
Google Plus: Shane McCusker
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Views: 939

Comment by Jerry Albright on June 6, 2013 at 11:03am

There is absolutely NO NEED for a recruiter to blog OR have a Twitter account.  In fact - it is better to NOT. 

No one wants to read your crappy blog - and the chance of making a substantial impact using Twitter is practically non-existant.

I will counter Greg's assesment with this:  Recruiters who think they need to follow every trend in the world of cat pics, food recipes and updates from the recruiting conference trail are the ones who will most likely go out of business.

Stick with what you know works - making presentations all day, making commitments to clients and candidates, and disregarding most of the "advice" you read.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 6, 2013 at 12:41pm

I like blogs. I like writing blogs. That said, not every recruiter is a good writer. Some recruiters do themselves a huge disservice by writing crappy blogs. I'm sure they are very nice people and probably very good at their jobs, but they are not writers. I wouldn't say anyone should or shouldn't do any of these things should the mood strike, but I tend to agree with Jerry here... a good one can't hurt, but a bad one WILL.

Comment by Shane McCusker on June 6, 2013 at 2:39pm

Hi Gerry,

You have a point, blogging is difficult and not part of the traditional recruiter skill set. I personally really struggle to write blogs and so I produce videos. However, if you're serious about Social Recruiting, which, I agree with Greg that you have to be, you've got to engage with Social Media. Right now LinkedIn and Twitter are the places you've got to operate competently in. Having a good Linkedin and Twitter presence is not a big ask.

While can agree with your statement in the current market and I agree it is perfectly possible to operate without much social media presence right now. I suspect that in the very near future this position will be as untenable as operating without an email address.


Comment by Jerry Albright on June 7, 2013 at 9:55am

I must (strongly) disagree that you've got to engage with Social Media.  That is patently false.


P.S.  LInkedin is a job board.  While you might see plenty of fluff there - it's a job/resume board.

Comment by Shane McCusker on June 8, 2013 at 5:22am

Hi Gerry,

Looks like we're going to disagree here. It appears that you are suggesting that Recruiters should not engage with Social Media now and in the future. Is that correct?

That's like saying recruiters don't need a mobile phone? Ok recruiters don't need a mobile phone, but since everyone else has one, don't you think it would be a good idea if they did?



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