Replacing Recruiter Greed with Goodwill: A new paradigm to evolve the talent acquisition profession

Employers rely heavily on staffing agencies to find, qualify, and hire talent, and this cost inhibits us from innovation.  The emerging talent acquisition market is estimated to be valued at $85 billion dollars.  Organization leaders are fed up with traditional recruit my dogma coming from self-proclaimed recruiting leaders, and several popular companies who have unlimited resources are now working on creating the new sourcing and recruiting paradigm that will replace traditional approaches. Let me take it one step further. This doesn't mean that our industry will revolutionize because a new tool like connectifier (I like the Aevy tool better and nobody talks about it - contact Martin) comes to light that creatively automate a secondary recruiting research. Tech leaders are about to wipe out a primary function of talent delivery with an entirely new approach to finding talent and the kicker is that it will already seamlessly include the incremental secondary technology we get excited about at SourceCon and other venues.  Contact me if you would like a couple links to show you the research. I don't have enough fingers on my hands to count the amount of CTOs in 2015 that are aggressively scaling with a mindset to acquire talent differently. Before you argue, yes, I agree that you can never sunset something 100%. The recruiting minority will have a vehicle to operate the old way, for example, even casino and hotel industries in Las Vegas still run AS/400 midrange and there is a small market for RPG programmers. I doubt the vehicle for that talent delivery will adopt a new paradigm for obvious reasons.

We've driven technology execs to be passionate enough to reinvent our industry and we can't change that but as recruiting leaders, we can recognize the shift and evolve our practice.  Let the tools do the heavy lifting and lets focus on the relationships.  Let's make investments toward supporting the shift rather than fear it, because  a new wave of recruiting and sourcing is upon us and we as talent acquisition professionals are best equipped to lead the charge. However, in order to restore trust to our profession we have to make a sacrifice and show leaders that we do our work for the right reasons. It is time we set aside the ridiculously large agency fees. We have to reduce our huge margins on direct hire and contract staffing services. Only then will we receive authority and the figurative keys to the 85 billion dollar castle.

I was raised in a recruiting family and supported my parents nationwide, successful recruiting company and I can't honestly justify how we assign value in the majority of these huge staffing fees. Let's be real and take ownership.  I joked in a forum recently saying we are in recruiters anonymous and the first step is to acknowledge the dysfunction. Let's reinvent what our value is to the organization rather than justify our value to each other. The only thing the extra margin in our fees really do is fuel our lifestyle until we put in the work to make the next match. Not very progressive.  Please acknowledge that I say match because placements don't accurately define the actual thing we are trying to do.  We are consultants that identify a match.  The minute we start placing people, we become sales people who are interested in generating revenue, not focused on aligning to the objectives that people have within an organization.

After supporting a few 100M managed service contract staffing programs (MSP) at a couple well-known enterprises, I was amazed at the corruption and reallocation of spending going to the wrong people for the wrong reasons.  It is obvious to me why most professionals do not like and do not trust recruiting professionals.  With recent advances in technology, we have the capability and opportunity to let go of the past.  We can provide relationship-building results and replace the stigma of greed and mistrust if we use the tools as our ally and develop new creative approaches to monetization, just like every other industry is working toward.

Greed will be replaced with Goodwill. Let's take out the trash within our profession and begin by boycotting huge staffing agency placement fees. In case you missed it, that's our call to action. Let's evolve our relationship with hiring leaders and walk away from the thing that many think is the only thing we care about. Let's support the development of better systems and trust me, we will unlock the door to monetization that will flow throw each and everyone one of you. In an effort to grow discussion and bridge the gap between tech and staffing leaders, I'll be sending out a survey to collect realtime data on the areas discussed and present feedback and results.


A New and Emerging Recruiting Paradigm | | @techstardust | talent leader & advisor | 

Views: 915

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on December 21, 2014 at 6:41pm

 Barbara Goldman  I agree that this is somewhat insulting, too.  However, I see a value here, which is that it is true that software tools may eventually make the sourcing function of recruiting a totally automated process.  However, that day is still a long way off.  At least for now, I am not going to reduce my already low/cheap fees just to anticipate the onslaught of a new paradigm.

As far as the example of "greed" goes, I am somewhat amused with it.  When was the last time you heard of anyone going out and 'greedily' buying a number of other people (ostensibly deserving employees) Cadillacs?  If that's 'greed' then I think we see the source of the semantic disconnect, here.

Recruiting is fundamentally a sharing/helping enterprise in the first place.  So is medicine.  Certainly there are greedy doctors and greedy recruiters, but the idea that the profession is rooted in greed is flat-out wrong.  We are worth more than we get paid, I'm sure, and I could easily do any number of other jobs and earn the same income.  I happen to prefer recruiting.

The discussion is still worth having, and this was a well-written article, which I simply can't agree with.

Comment by Steve Levy on December 22, 2014 at 3:48pm

@James - Lesson to be learned: Probably not a great idea to broadcast out on a site frequented by corp, retained and contingency folks alike that agency fees are bloated and that when disruption takes place they'll all be SOL. Each of the categories are both similar and dissimilar - focusing on the similarities creates Kumbaya moments, while focusing on the dissimilarities creates the a great amount of dissonance.

Not that I disagree with you. ;)

[queue "let the fur fly again"]

Comment by James Chmielinski on December 22, 2014 at 5:13pm
Comment by James Chmielinski just now
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You're right, Steve. :) I respect everyone chiming into which is why I am trying to be courageous and confront the leaders in their own hood. My objective isn't to be popular but it is to be honest given my interesting perspective and proximity to several recruiting tech innovators in CA and that goes beyond my passion for The LI article I wrote is more expansive if anyone cares to dive deeper.


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