The #tru carnival is continuing this week, with events in Johannesburg  on the 9′th November and CapeTown on the 11′th. I’m really looking forward to this first venture in to Africa, and to what the local recruiters will have to say about the market. We have close to 150 booked for Jo’burg and 70 for Cape Town, so it is going to be a very busy and interesting 2 days, with mostly third-party and corporate recruiters attending.

Having spoken with a number of the track leaders today about what their issues and expectations are, got me thinking again about what issues recruiters share wherever they might be in the globe, and what issues are local ones.

The local issues are usually related to legal issues, or culture issues. At #truSanFran, John Sumser gave some great examples of how you needed to take a different approach from one state to another. forget the global issues, how you would find and reach potential candidates can be significantly different. This discussion was backed up by an example from Broadbean founder Kelly Robinson, who gave an example of a company he has recently worked with, who have developed a real social network of people with local influence. This isn’t an on-line network, it’s a collection of people like Pastors, teachers etc who have local reach and influence. The business matches the best people to spread news of a job opening to the local community, and reach people who can do the job. most of the communication is by post, and this is hugely succesful.

My immediate reaction was that this was probably a bit  was probably a bit small fry. i can see how it works, but can you really do this on scale? This business turns over more than $100Mn doing this, so clearly they are anything but small. Recruiters have always had a little black book, but the focus on this has got a bit lost with the advent of social networks. No matter where you are in the world, there is no substitute for local knowledge and local connections. connections that go beyond a linked In connection or Facebook friend. When you are recruiting outside of your area, your first challenge should be to understand local custom and practice, as well as where to start looking. Understand that culture and influence varies even on a local basis.

Another example of this came up in a conversation with Intelligence Software founder, and the driving force behind #truSA, Shane McCusker. Here in South Africa, there is legislation that gives preference to certain sections of the workforce. Points are awarded for groups of workers with the aim of creating diversity in the workforce. This is a commendable aim, but can create real difficulty for recruiters because any under representation of any group in the workforce means a real scarcity of candidates. Shane has a very good take on this, because the only other country we are aware of where the rules are so strict is Northern Ireland, based on the Catholic and Protestant mix,  against a history of years and years of discrimination. The reality when you are recruiting is that there is always local differences, and no one size fits all.

Moving from country to country with #Tru, there are however common conversations amongst those in the people space.

The common conversations I hear are:

1: Talent has never been harder to hire. The in demand skills are scarce, and those in work are reluctant to risk moving.

2: Hiring managers are showing limited flexibility to transferable skills. They would rather carry a vacant post than take a risk on anything but a 100% match.

3: Vendor agreements are driving down margins and fees for third-party recruiters, and the perception of value in the service is diminishing.

4: Negative equity is the biggest barrier to relocation.

5: Marketing and recruiting within the corporate sector are becoming one in the same thing.

6: Employer brand is having an increasing impact on people’s decision to change employer.

7: Recruiters time is limited, and the focus is largely on the now and less in the future.

8: A talent community mostly needs a big brand name to back it up.

9: Facebook is becoming more useful as a recruiting channel, but LinkedIn sourcing is still the recruiters choice.

10: Mobile will become more important in recruiting, we are just unsure how.

11: Social-media is not free, and takes a longer than anticipated time to get a return.

12: Legal issues (perceived or otherwise), are the number one concerns recruiters express about using social for recruiting.

13: Time, and the need for results now are the biggest barriers to innovation.

14: Education is not producing graduates who are ready for work or who know how to get a job.

15: The A.T.S. is the biggest barrier in the recruiting process.

16: The candidate experience is not very good.

This list is by no means exhaustive, or necessarily reflect my own views. These are the common themes that have come up from #Tru events across the globe, that I felt were worth sharing.

Whats your thoughts?



Views: 426

Comment by Suresh on November 7, 2011 at 2:16pm

Good points..
No. 11 - Social Media is not Free..end up spending a lot of time. It can work in the long run, but then again I would refer to No. 8. Unless you are a huge brand or have some following as a website..

No. 8 - That's the reality of having any online presence. Unless you have a huge brand or a website with large traffic, the chances of people visiting your Talent Community is small. Just because you build, doesn;t mean people have to come..

Comment by Tim Spagnola on November 8, 2011 at 8:48am

Great point Suresh with regards to #8. Will #15 ever change? I feel it is a topic that comes up time after time and have seen very little that actually addresses it.

Comment by Dan Hunter on November 8, 2011 at 3:18pm

Agreed Tim

Comment by Cora Mae Lengeman on November 8, 2011 at 5:14pm

Very true Suresh!  You can build the best looking site but if no one comes it misn't worth much.

A.T.S. - applicant tracking system(?) will always be a problem because it takes the human element out of the equation and process.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on November 8, 2011 at 5:27pm

That is true Cora and thanks Dan. I will message you back in response to your email, but ATS is an issue for most. I tend to default back to the idea of it being a 'black hole'. Perhaps Bill can offer up a real figure here, but there is some outrageous number of Applicant Tracking Systems. It is these very same ATS that keep the resume relevant.


I also agree with #10. Recruiters like to scoff at the idea of mobile being viable, but look at the data. Look at who has smartphones, when they use, frequency of use, what they are using it for. Mobile will be a HUGE part of future recruiting. I do agree with Bill though in that most of us are just unsure how and where to begin utilizing it.


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