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 Kalch on October 18, 2010 at 12:51pm
a bit more info to add.... without me as the recruiter would the companies have had the energy or depth of approach to close these two, i have NO DOUBT about that. HR would have been lazy, not properly identified the candidates, and not attracted the best people for the roles.
Comment by Nicole Dowden on October 18, 2010 at 12:54pm
I do believe this will be the case for SOME companies - the smart companies who are willing to pay for and hire the best and brightest contingent or agency recruiters to become "corporate in-house recruiters" are on to something - if a corporate client can reign in a really good Contingency or Third Party/Agency Recruiter to manage their in house Talent Community then yes, we may be in trouble - SO until Corporations truly value the Recruiter Role or Talent Acquisition Role within their organizations and they have a seat at the table we are pretty safe there are a few good ones out there but still a lot who need us.
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 18, 2010 at 12:56pm
Unless Corporate America is prepared to offer 300K salaries - they'll never have the best recruiters available. (At least in Indiana)
Comment by Paul Lipman on October 18, 2010 at 1:00pm
Is it about saving fees or generating Value to the organization?
Pulling talent from a competitor is not something just anyone can do. The relatively easy part is finding the people - anyone can do learn that. It is the rest of the job that most people fail at. Helping an individual realize that a new opportunity is right for them at this time with this particular company, and helping them to transition to the new firm without accepting a counter-offer.

Furthermore, a good Agency recruiter will be an advocate of their client and look out for great talent even if there is no job opening. This is where the value is. Great recruiters don't always fill openings, they create openings by presenting talent to an organization that comes available.

The internet job boards, social media, and anything else is just like running newspaper ads in the past. You get a lot of interested people 99.9% of whom are not qualified.

I'm not pompous enough to say that an agency/recruiter is the end-all/be all. They are not.
Neither is an internal recruiter. Each serves a purpose.

The real question that should be answered is this... Is filling a particular role worth paying a fee, and is the candidate being presented worth paying for.
Comment by Edward Caliguiri on October 18, 2010 at 1:03pm
You mention that 7% of your applicants come through Twitter, but the better question would be how many of the people you HIRE come from either Twitter or any other social network? Candidate generation is not necessarily a good measure. Contingency recruiters would not be in business if all they did was generate candidates. You see Mark, we get paid when we are successful -- only. I suspect that the reason for this post was purely to be provocative, to elicit a reaction. Congratulations, you got one. I've been in the business for over 24 years and every downturn that comes along produces the same prediction, ie. the demise of the search industry. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet.
Comment by Joe Madden on October 18, 2010 at 1:10pm
Mark, I'll let comment section speak for itself. Pleanty of reasons here that hammer home the idea that you have no idea what you're talking about.

I hate to break it to you Mark, but I dont think there's a CEO out there that wants to rely on 'Yammer' to be his/her pipeline of talent...
Comment by Joe Madden on October 18, 2010 at 1:13pm
excuse me, I meant 'plenty' (sp).
Comment by Steve Fleischner on October 18, 2010 at 1:16pm
So what is the missing element which makes your analysis completely faulty? It is the same missing element that has always existed at every point in time and as a result has given rise to a flourishing 3rd party recruitment industry which is growing not contracting despite of all the tools you have mentioned. In fact at any point in time there have always been a set of state of the art tools which theoretically enabled companies to effectively recruit for themselves - starting in the 80s with the advent of the desktop PC and the fax machine. The missing element however, is the people in the recruiting roles in client companies and how they are compensated. Simply put, these are corporate HR types, not on commission. They may have the "recruiter" title and function but it is a different mindset. You can give these people all the tools in the world and they will not compete very well with the commissioned headhunter/agency/executive recruiter type. They never have and they never will.
Comment by Linda Ferrante on October 18, 2010 at 1:18pm
I'll agree with the Monster issue. Everyone was freaked out that their jobs would be gone, but at the end of the day, true recruiting, closing, whatever you want to all it, is a skill or a talent, and one that will be paid for by companies wanting more than just candidates flung at them. I don't recall twitter being able to interview, screen or even having a conversation with candidates. At this point, all twitter does is fling more candidates. That's why we are still in business. Someone has to do the work that 'flingers' don't.
Comment by Amos on October 18, 2010 at 1:22pm
RIP mediocre HR departments


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