R.I.P. Recruitment Search Agencies. Thank you for all your contributions but you will not be missed

Why would I write a post about the death of agencies when they are still active and a valued part of many companies budgets and recruitment process? That is a very insightful question and one the deserves a well outlined response.

First, on behalf of all the companies both small and large, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the thousands of valuable human capital assets provided over the years. Those assets have provided us with innovation and productivity that have helped carry us onto the next phase in our evolution. It is with a deep heart that we say goodbye.

We will miss the gift baskets around the holidays, the 30,000 dollar vouchers, the feeling that you were our best friend in the world, and the comfort of knowing that you know our business, roles and products. It was a warm feeling that still provides chills at night.

Now, is the part of the broadcast where we explain why the demise is near.

1.) A growing number of organizations are developing dedicated strategic sourcing teams to pipeline current and future talent needs. These individuals blend a balance of talent acquisition and marketing to develop processes around finding and attracting talent. Utilizing Boolean search string technology, developing and managing talent communities, adapting targeted email campaigns, CRM tool tracking, and cold calling, it is only a matter of time before the church bells chime and we mourn the passing of agency fees

2.) Internet connection tools powered by sites including Ping.fm allow us to brand out opportunities to thousands upon thousands of people within seconds. Just yesterday, Recently, a tweet with a URL description was sent through Pluggio.com and with the integration of Ping.fm, the tweet went to Flickr, Yahoo Profile, Google Buzz, Delicious, Yammer, Ning, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Why Flickr and Delicious. Networking is no longer using professional communities as a way of finding talent. How many of us have Amazon or Barnes and Noble accounts and followers of our books lists. Talent can be found under many more rocks than ever before.

3.) Macros and schedulers are alive and well. Software like IMacro, Pluggio and Tweetdeck allow us to not only tweet and post jobs to Twitter and Linkedin but they allow us to schedule how often we post them.

4.) Cost effective partnerships – Tweetmyjobs tweets 1.2 million jobs per day and they have accounts that send by region and discipline. Oodle.com posts roles to over 100 sites including Myspace and Facebook for free. Twitres.com allows you to post resumes or jobs for free and re-tweet as often as you like.

5.) Talent Communities – Companies are taking advantage of LinkedIn Groups, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups and many others to build talent communities for networking and maintaining contact with potential future talent.

6.) As social media is making bringing the world closer together networking and referrals are a more valued asset.

7.) Many companies are building alumni talent communities and even offering referral bonuses

8.) Blogging, live chat and fan sites are allowing companies to talk to customers, vendors and candidates and educate them on culture, product/services and solicit information. As candidates become more involved, their sense of value will grow and thus their interest in the company.

9.) Mobile campaigns are taking the number communication media in the world and reaching out to the associates of tomorrow.

The evolution is here. As we step into a new age of cost effective operation, efficiencies of process are spurring out. To the victor, companies will rise again. To the search agencies, R.I.P.

The thoughts and recommendations in this article are my personal views. There is no employer or organization affiliation with the data or recommendations presented in this

Views: 1979

Comment by pam claughton on October 18, 2010 at 8:04am
How many people have you actually hired directly from a Twitter post though? One? Two? None? This post gave me deja vu to the late 90's when Monster first came on the scene and the death of recruiting firms was first predicted. Instead, the early adopters of Monster were recruiting firms. All the bells and whistles you mentioned in your post, the holy grail of social media? Many recruiting agencies have been effectively incorporating social media into their marketing mix from the beginning.

The important thing to remember is that all these social media tricks and tools may generate a few more candidates, but they also generate a TON of additional white noise that you have to take the time to sift through to find them. Which is just one reason why recruiting firms aren't going anywhere....the TIME factor. I get searches regularly because the internal time clock has run out and the resources they were using have not panned out and now the crunch is on to get the job filled ASAP. Twitter isn't going to get that done.

But the most important reason that recruiting firms aren't going anywhere is because we do more than source. Everything you mentioned is sourcing related. Names are easy to find. It's turning those names into candidates and closing them on your job that you are paying us for. That's a skill set that will always be in high demand.

These death of recruiting posts are always entertaining though.
Comment by Slouch on October 18, 2010 at 9:49am
Hi Mark. Recruiters make referrals to their clients. If referrals stop being an important and effective part of getting good qualified candidates in front of companies, you may be onto something with your post. I don't see that happening any time soon. Recruiters don't need to make a lot of referrals in order to stay in business so while I think the title was a good catchy one and will probably get some good response, the title does not at all reflect something that will happen any time soon.
Comment by Barbara Goldman on October 18, 2010 at 10:07am
I am stunned.

Have you actually ever worked as a third party recruiter? The internet is a great sourcing tool, but I'm sorry, you are clueless.

Sourcing candidates and CLOSING A players are two different things. I encourage you to listen to my radio show. Listen to a couple of broadcasts and you will get it.

If you can find your candidates on twitter, or facebook, or by standing on the roof and yelling at passing cars, doesn't matter. Go for it. But, are you able to land the canddate that has three offers? I doubt it. Your post is equivalent to the belief that all recruiters do is e-mail resumes and hope they stick.
I don't want searches that companies can do on their own. After you fail, call me. I'm a headhunter. If you can do it on your own, go for it. It is your job.

I know my job, you know your job and I know your job. Been there, done that.

But, you don't know my job. You haven't a clue.
Comment by pam claughton on October 18, 2010 at 10:41am
Mark, of the 7% of applicants that come from Twitter, how many have you hired? That's the true metric that matters.
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 18, 2010 at 11:28am
As Pam mentioned - the sourcing part of recruiting is the simplest. The larger obstacle most companies face is their interviewing and hiring process.

Most of my clients are most likely within reach of several qualified candidates through a variety of sources - but are unable to connect all the dots as far as I can tell.
Comment by Steven Marse CPC, CTS, CSP, TSC on October 18, 2010 at 11:32am
You don't actually buy that Corporate Recruiters will actually out recruiter a true third party recruiter do you? They are there for the cushy pay check and the lack of accountability. Oh and by the way, they know the recruiting process so they must be good right? If so, why did they leave contingency/retained search land again? This is a fad that companies will leave once the market decides to get hot again (whenever that might be).
Comment by Kevin Cure on October 18, 2010 at 11:57am
Mark, great post, very optimistic in saving fees. Remember, our true worth is not finding the talent. You have already shown you can do that, that's the easy part. Rather, closing the talent on your open position. That is 100% pure skill. Closing the deal is the only part that counts. It is what motivates us to create the win/win situation with every search we do.

When they create a technology that replaces the human interaction of closing a candidate on a position that may not be clearly superior to their current position, then I will have to think going corporate.
Comment by Kevin Womack on October 18, 2010 at 12:21pm
This article is fantastic becasue it will stir the emotions of many recruiters that work for Recruiting Agencies. For that alone my man, congrats. Unfortunately your logic is flawed because your article could have or should have been titled somehting like - "The Decline of Recruiting Costs" or "Tools/Ideas to Reduce Agency Fees". Unfortunately Agencies will always be used for Direct or Staff Aug. New tools will simply reduce the need for using agencies as a primary source of candidates but recruiting agencies will always be in the Toolbox.

Great article to generate discussion.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 18, 2010 at 12:35pm
Comment by Kalch on October 18, 2010 at 12:47pm
this is the monster fear again, agreed. But, there will always be room for great referral networks. In the past 60 days, two deals have closed, almost $100k in fees, both candidates NOT IDENTIFIED ON LINKEDIN or otherwise. These candidates are relocating. One is going from North Carolina to a role in Vancouver, BC, the other from San Diego to Toronto. Fees well earned, not a result of said communities, etc. I'll be here, at least until 2011.


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