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 ryan morphett on October 19, 2010 at 12:57am
I love this article mainly because you knew your audience was not going to agree wholeheartedly with your opinion and it would generate some great conversation. Which is what this website is all about.
I am an ex agency recruiter who joined one of his clients as an internal resource. We have managed to dramatically reduce our recruitment spend and increase our hiring over the last 3 years. This has been a result of building a team who focus on recruitment within the company that can utilise the many resources at our disposal to generate candidates. These range from web based resources through to good old fashioned nose to the grind stone, relationship building recruitment.
This has paid dividends for my employer and I believe it is more a result of hiring solid recruiters who have been ultra-successful in external agencies and bringing them onboard. These people are few and far between and cost money to hire, so a company should not see this as a money saving exercise to begin with.
I would also like to say that whilst this works for big companies with big reputations in select sectors, it is not across the board with all companies of all sizes. Which means that yes in some sectors the need for agencies has dwindled it has not disappeared and smart agencies will always find a niche..
Comment by rachelhay@oceanedge.biz on October 19, 2010 at 5:10am
This is an interesting post for me, because I work for an Executive Search Company in which I manage all social media for the business.

I do agree that the world of social media and online networking has become extremely powerful and will undoubtedly grow within the near future. Sites such as LinkedIn are essential when searching for passive candidates and providing useful information about their company. However, there is no personal aspect whatsoever online and it all becomes slightly informal. It is exactly the same as online and offline shopping; a subject of which I have done a great deal of research into. Results proved that shoppers chose offline shopping over online every time, because of the social, interactive and 'real-life' factor; exactly the same with recruitment.

Candidates will search online for jobs, recruiters will search online for candidates, but none of this will beat telephone conversations and face-to-face meetings.

Great topic for discussion Mark!
Comment by Mark A. Leon on October 19, 2010 at 6:48am
Thank you everyone for contributing to this very, very engaging discussion.
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on October 19, 2010 at 7:53am
Not ever sure why i wanted my time, this is not a post I like at all...
Comment by Ken Forrester on October 19, 2010 at 9:00am
Let’s give credit where credit is due! This is a very successful post; it has a catchy title, it was expertly written and it generated passionate conversations to a very high level.
That said, I can understand Mark’s viewpoint because as a TPR, I specialize in the Industry that Mark is employed. In fact, Mark’s employer is/was one of my clients. And all the blog posts that I have written over the years are based on experience recruiting in that particular industry. The reason Mark can articulate with confidence about his view of TPR existence is not necessarily about recruitment in general, it’s about recruitment for his particular employer brand. That was the subject of one of my blog post a few months ago. You can read that post here. If there were more employers with a brand like Mark’s employer, then certainly he would have a point.
Comment by rachelhay@oceanedge.biz on October 19, 2010 at 12:32pm
I agree with what you are saying Robert, but have you used LinkedIn? I recently went on a training session in London which intertwined headhunting and LinkedIn and it is actually an extremely useful tool. However, the firm I work for prides itself on its headhunting techniques and skilled consultants, who are fully aware of the importance of direct contact and networking with candidates and clients alike.

Personally, I see social media as more of a PR and marketing tool, but I do recommend you have a small look at LinkedIn just to see what you think.
Comment by Greg Darmenio on October 19, 2010 at 12:58pm
Yes, Just like COBOL was to make everyone a programmer and the Computer was supposed to eliminate paperwork. Automation was supposed to give everyone a shorter work week to enjoy their hobbies.

Will this work like they did?
Comment by Marc Roberts on October 19, 2010 at 2:39pm
Pam, you said it best. While its true that many large firms are spending tons of money trying to eliminate agency fees, they still need us. ANother fact is that the small to medium size company with limited HR resources cannot either afford to spend money or resources onsocial media intiativies and they still need the help of professional search firms. I have talked with a large number of large clients an they are finding as Pam said a great deal of white noise that is very labor intensive. Social media also makes it a bit challenging when you may want to recruit from a close competitor. Having a third party resources is always helpful. Social media is not with out its problems as we have all heard about the privacy breach being investigated through Facebook. People are going to be more and more reserved about how much and where they post their private information. Wait till companies figure out a productive means of using Linked In to market their wares and you'll see how fast names begin to be withdrawn.
Comment by Paul Alfred on October 19, 2010 at 3:17pm
@Robert ... If you think companies are not looking at how they can improve on their ROI through the use of Social Media and by bringing in Third Party Recruiters in-house - keep your head in the sand. Just like moving from the fax machine to email - technologies evolve and they impact how we do business. You can't be blind to this speaking of COBOL (@Greg) from the mainframe days when is the last time you have seen the need for a COBOL Programmer -that should tell you something ....

As long as our industry remain a People to People business there will be a need for Third Party Recruiters - yes we do provide a valuable service "still"- but we need to keep abreast of technologies that can improve on the cost per hire to clients - and we need to observe how Companies utilize these technologies "effectively" to improve on any inefficiency as it relates to Talent Acquisition ... We can't work in our own little Universal bubble.
Comment by Marc Roberts on October 19, 2010 at 4:48pm
Paul, I agree that firms are always looking to improve on the cost per hire. That is why I have run a successful business for the last 16 years, providing executive search services on an hourly fee basis. We are lowering the cost per hire for our clients an average of 60% or more. We have large corporations as well as small to medium size clients as well. There are many ways to lower ones cost per hire without giving up the personal touch and professionalism that a recruiter can bring to the table. For high level recruting do you really want a lower level person making the initial contact. Recruiters are always a companies ambassadors in the marketplace, hence, the more expereince the better.


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