Is threre really a war for talent or are Recruiters playing the shuffle game?

I guess the title is self explanatory. Companies are far less looking at recruiters to assess potential candidates. All they want is to steal from their competitors. If a recruiter works a certain niche market, he/she can make a good living just shuffling one person over to the competitor. Once that candidate has been with the competitor for 2-3 years (maybe more), the recruiter than takes that same candidate and shuffles him off to another competitor.There is no really 'assessment' of talent anymore - unfortunately.


Oh well, I guess recruiters can continue to play this 'game' and collect their fees from playing the 'shuffle game'....


Opinions are welcomed....





Views: 462

Comment by Katrina Machado on August 8, 2011 at 11:57pm
Nothing like lumping all Recruiters into one category! While yes, there are those recruiters who certainly do "shuffle" candidates from company to company, (it only takes ONE to give us all a bad rap) there are some of us left who take great  pride in seeking out incredible talent.  And when we do, that is when our clients see the value in using a recruiter.  With the Baby Boomers retiring, the war on talent is only going to get a little tougher in the next few years. Those who do play "shuffle" game will find themselves in a real bind!
Comment by Brian Pho on August 9, 2011 at 12:31pm
@Bill: Just a bit bitter... but I'll get over it.. I know our job is to find 'The Right Fit' candidate... but sometimes the customer just wants to steal from the competitor and not see our service as value added......
Comment by Brian Pho on August 9, 2011 at 12:46pm

@Bill: If we are really trying to find the best talent or best 'fit' for a company... Recruiters should recognize the talent that the individual has and present the talent to the potential employer in a fashion in which the potential employer can see added value from a candidate NOT in the same industry as theirs... They should be able to realize 'change is good' and someone from a different background or different industry should add a 'Fresh' perspective on the way we do business (or the way we do engineering)....


Unfortunately today, that doesn't happen. Recruiters are always looking for people within the same industry (and what's more important to the employer is where they work as this is the first question that the prospective employer wants to know...) If we are really looking at the individual (specific traits, talents that he pertains in the candidate), the questions of 'where he works' shouldn't matter and the employer should be able to look at transferable or related skills that are related to the job at hand.....


Unfortunately, if you present 2 candidates to an employer with same level of experience, same level of academic education but the only difference is that candidate A works at the competitor and Candidate B is still highly qualified but in a different industry.... , 98% of the time, the employer would choose Candidate A over Candidate B..... Reason why? He understands our industry more and can bring XYZ from his old company to ours that we dont have.....



Comment by Jesse Fernandez on August 9, 2011 at 1:10pm
Brian--I think you make a valid point. I read an article recently about how there is going to be a higher demand for soft skills in the coming future. The internet generation's lack of communication and interpersonal skills is a byproduct of spending a majority of their time on computers. It remains to be seen whether these findings are good, bad, or even accurate. We'll know in the next 5-10 years, but as a result, employers in the coming future are going to be more hard pressed to look beyond the "hard skills" and find talent that pertains more to the person. And in my opinion, to be able to detect that in a candidate is one of the defining skills of a good recruiter. Anyone, can play the shuffle game.
Comment by Barbara Goldman on August 9, 2011 at 1:25pm
We are not that powerful. If only we were ...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 9, 2011 at 1:36pm

this is just damn silly.  If you were going to hire a recruiter to help you would you rather have someone who had some experience in recruiting or would you rather hire someone who had worked at McDonalds or a call center or sold a tangible product.  Of course employers would prefer someone who knows something about their industry or product.  You can't take an industrial engineer and make him into a petroleum engineer.  You can't take a heart surgeon and make him a brain surgeon just because he is a doctor.  You can't take someonw who has managed a distribution firm and make him a manufacturing manager.  In times where companies have the money and demand for products they can afford to hire a number two who has some skills that might relate and spend the time and money for them to learn a new industry.


The nicest, smartest person in the world can not be successful in an industry they know nothing about without time and training.  Get over it and go find someone for your clients who have the industry experience they want and need in a time when every hire is critical.

Comment by Katrina Machado on August 9, 2011 at 1:49pm
I completely agree with Sandra!  Our job as recruiters is to sell our clients the candidates tenure and experience in the industry they carry that specialty.  Employers can go find the less experienced employee on their own.  They are a dime a dozen.  I don't work with candidates who are seeking "A career change". There are plenty of other qualified professionals out there to help them do just that.  My clients pay me for finding TOP talent in the industry they need.
Comment by Brian Pho on August 9, 2011 at 2:07pm

I am talking about candidates who are extremely qualified (and probably top in their industry) that want to move outside of their niche market and explore other opportunities. This happens in sales quite a bit. You might get a top performing sales individual (a person that has the ability to generate leads, develop relationships and close business) but he's not in the same industry as the potential employer so the employer would go for candidate B who might not be as good, but is with the competitor and has similar contacts and relationships that the potential employer can relate too...



Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 9, 2011 at 3:05pm

Nope not playing him for a boob.  Just sounds like he is whiney because he can't get client to cross industry lines.  A few will but not if they have the option for somebody in their industry.  It's not shuffling people if we place a candidate and three years later they call us back and say they want to make a change.  They can command a better salary in the industry in which they have experience in most cases.  I have places a lot of high powered sales people.  If i am working technology sales my client will always have a preference for someone who understands the technology market in their vertical as opposed to a superstar in medical sales and vice versa.


If there is a comman demoninator between the industries we can point that out and make it work.  Case in point.  I can move a financial accountant between feedyard accounting and hospital accounting because in the feedyard industry it is based on days on feed, cost of feed, and death loss.

In hospital accounting it is based on number of days in hospital, cost of medical supplies and services and whether it is healing or pallative care. 


Not equating sick people with cattle but the basic accounting and cost reflection is the same when it comes to accounting treatment.  There has to be a common denominator.  However given the choice or a superstar hospital accountant and a good accountant with feedyard experience.  The feedyard accountant wins every time because he doesn't have any ramp up time.  And he can live with the smell.  :)  The feedyard accountant can do hospital accounting but he might not like it that he couldn't wear his boots and jeans.  Doesn't mean that both are not highly qualified in the accounting field but the industry difference make huge differences for a multitude of reasons.


Just like the medical sales guy/gal has current contacts with physicians he/she hits the ground running faster than the techo sales star who has never sold services or products to docs.  Maybe the techo sales star will hit a home run, maybe he won't like the hurry up and wait of medical sales.  In this economy who wants to take the risk?  Not many.  My take is that it is not the time for a career change with a challenge.  My advice to candidates is stay in the industry you know something about, the opportunity and the money is better if you bring experience  and industry knowledge to the table.


That does not mean a candidate is not valuable but if my client wants a hunting dog, i am not going to get bunched up when i can't sell him a cat that is the best mouser in the place. 

Comment by Jesse Fernandez on August 9, 2011 at 3:13pm
I saw it happen countless times recruiting for Wall Street firms. The candidate does the job, but handles a different product, or comes from a slightly different world. In my experience it takes a hiring manager who can think outside the box a little, and see the potential and look passed the job spec. If they are coming from another niche, they usually have to be outstanding for the company to overlook the slight learning curve. The old "hit the ground running" conundrum.


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

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

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