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: 1795

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on December 29, 2010 at 9:25am

Did you write this just to start a fight,


How many people did you place in 2010?  5?



Comment by Doug Boswell on December 30, 2010 at 5:05pm

Well, Mark, since according to you, my search business is about to become extinct, maybe I can make a living editing your posts. Plenty of work there for a third party editor to correct your grammar, typos, spelling and syntax. Maybe there's even work here for my Researcher as a Fact Checker, plenty of your "facts" certainly need checking.

Comment by Thabo on January 1, 2011 at 5:49am
Mark, none of us will know until we get there, so you have a 50:50 chance of being right. Publishing is an interesting industry as writing a best seller is not synonymous with writing the best material. I think you knew what you were doing in looking to go for a best seller. The Recruiting industry will change and everybody is looking to go in house with every service and choose to outsource it when the service can be provided better by someone else. Recruiters that will survive are those that differentiate themselves through a quality service. It is the same as in any other industry, if you do not add value, your services are no longer required.
Comment by Navid Sabetian on January 9, 2011 at 11:44pm

This post should be the best post of 2010....


I love to read it when people get excited about internal recruitment processes, new technology, wave goodbye to recruitment fees and start criticizing and devaluing search companies calling their fees unjustified and un-necessary.


Truth of the matter is if tomorrow search agencies disappeared the very people that criticized them would come back crawling asking for help.


Internet, Boolean search, blogging, social media, online job boards and resume databases and fantastic internal teams did not appear yesterday. They have been there for over a decade and yet in the mean time search and recruitment has grown in size.


There is no denying that companies do need dedicated internal teams to not only help facilitate the hiring process but also pull some of the weight themselves but to say that there is no need for agencies anymore. Ah well

Comment by Boris Stefanovic on February 8, 2011 at 10:37am

This article borders on comical, I'm looking for the Onion logo... everything you describe is, at best, wishful thinking. What you wrote in several paragraphs I can refute with one sentence:

I have a client with an internal recruiting group of over 100 people. 

That pretty much says it all. The more internal recruiters they hire, the more bureaucracy they put in place to manage them, and the less effective they are.

Comment by Steve Finkel on February 8, 2011 at 1:28pm
I wonder if anyone remembers the days when it was quite seriously suggested that computers would put accountants out of business? I detect some strong similarities here.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on February 14, 2011 at 7:27pm
Comment by Mike Avillion on February 15, 2011 at 8:37am

HAHAHA!!!  This has to be a joke!!!  First off, your theory is flawed in the first sentence of your first bullet point:

"A growing number of organizations are developing dedicated strategic sourcing teams to pipeline current and future talent needs."

For agencies to die, EVERY organization would have to do the above.  I know many mid-sized businesses that do not even have a job tab on their website.  I would also venture to say that many many companies no longer have the dedicated "corporate recruiter" that they had 3-5 years ago, due mainly to the economic climate and lack of hiring.  Let's face it, the corporate recruiter is one of the first people cut when company growth declines.


I can't identify a single thing in this article that is a ground-breaking NEW technology.  Everything you have mentioned has been used for years.  Not to mention, 9.5 out of 10 HR departments are tremendously reactive, often not by their own choice but by restrictions placed by execs.  What you describe is a rarity in corporate culture and even more rare in HR. 

But, I do thank you for the laugh this morning!! :-)

Comment by Scott Love on February 15, 2011 at 10:33am
Funny post. made me laugh.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on February 15, 2011 at 10:41am
Thanks... Glad you enJOYed it!  Best, Brian-


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