The Dumbing Down of Recruiting - Originally posted on Jackye Claytons blog, "The Pursuit."

"Much to learn you still old padawan."
... "This is just the beginning!" –Yoda

I didn’t walk 30 miles in the snow uphill both ways but I am
a bit old school. When I started recruiting, there was no LinkedIn, Monster,
CareerBuilder or other social media outlets that are used so highly today.  When I started in this business, the word
“recruit” was a verb.

Recruiting and sourcing has taken a dramatic turn, adapting
with today’s technology which has changed the game.  For experienced recruiters, these tools are
used to enhance the hunter skills that are embedded deep within the psyche of a
true recruiter.  Technology, while it is
so necessary to do our jobs, has changed the way we play the game as well as
changed the definition of what a recruiter does. Often we call it “Post and
Pray.”  I also refer to it as the
“Dumbing down of Recruiting.”

News Flash:

The Word “Recruit” is a

If you are not enhancing your recruiting hunting skills as
well as the way you use technology to find candidates, you will become obsolete
faster than you know. The landscape looks completely different (as it should)
then it did 10 years ago but in some interesting ways.  Look at the list below.  These were requirements for me and other
recruiters to keep our jobs.
  • Meeting Candidates
  • Checking References
  • Face to Face Interviews with Recruiters
  • Building Candidate Pipelines
  • Daily/Weekly Communication with Candidates
    Placed AND Sourced
  • Obtaining Candidate Referrals (Who do you
  • Understanding the Environment of the
    Company you are recruiting for
  • Skills Testing
  • Getting placements based on recruiter
    recommendation rather than resumes
  • 35% fees!!

Yes **Padawan, we used to get 35% fees.  That was when recruiters were looked upon as
valuable and resumes were faxed or mailed. (I told you I was going to show my

The point is this. We are in the people business, Posting
jobs, using job boards and scraping the internet should be a part of your recruiting
strategy but not the entire strategy. 
Meet your candidates.  Get
referrals.  Understand the market.  It may seem silly but face-to-face is making
a comeback. OK so I am old school, but give it a try.” If no mistake have you
made, yet losing you are ... a different game you should play.” – YODA

Good Luck!

**Padawan -  A
"Jedi" pupil, even with great skills he still needs to learn the Jedi

Views: 2671

Comment by Chris Grove on April 10, 2013 at 8:16am

Really just wanted to say what an excellent blog post.

It worries me how much recruiters are relying on Linkedin or Monster or whatever the latest CV sites are these days.  The best way to find candidates or clients always has been and always is referrals.  The best way to build a relationship and therefore to recruit is always face to face over a coffee or some beers.  Maybe I'm being old fashioned too but the fees are generally higher if the client knows and respects you and you'll have much more faith in your candidates if you've met them and know what makes them tick.  

Comment by bill josephson on April 10, 2013 at 9:33am


Excellent blog.  That was exactly the way recruiting was in the 1990's and even 1980's--I began 3rd party recruiting in 1980.

The way things are networking is important for candidate and Hiring Authority name leads generation.

I get hammered on the boards regularly by a few but will keep saying it.  Whether it be the technology/social media, offshore outsourcing, or an abysmal economy the biggest change I've seen from 2001-2004 and again from 2009-Present is a dearth of fillable jobs companies release or allow you to work on.

The candidates, assuming they exist based on the job description, can be found.  Relo's are always problematic, more so today.  But how many great (fillable) job orders do people get to work on?  Then, once released you have to work fast as the technology gives a job less shelf life speeding up your recruiting process, job gets filled through another source, in this economy put on hold, etc...Plus, often the hiring process is unwieldy.  In the old days a candidate would see HR, Manager, and Manager's boss--perhaps a business interface.  Today, up to 8, even 10 people at times over 6+ interviews with everyone getting in on the act.

I'd say it's workable jobs and company fee resistance based on the factors mentioned above that have also changed as more and more "passive/invisible" candidates are now visible thanks to technology.

Comment by kevin on April 10, 2013 at 9:41am

Great views and all valid

wouldn't disagree with anything said

You're all great people

Comment by Brandon Labonte on April 10, 2013 at 9:44am

I am all about using the tools for the trade. Lets assume that houses still had to built using hand saws and hand planers and ropes and pulleys, rather than skill saws table saws, electric sanders and crane lifts. That would be absurd if the tools to make it faster, more economical and often times better are available.

 The "verb" recruit is still an action in ALL talented recruiters who are driven to help people. So part of me agree's with the post and part simply wants to side with the power in technology. There are somethings that all recruiters have access to and from my perspective has taken a back seat to social media and emails...The Telephone!

I firmly believe in not reinventing the wheel. I do think that recruiters should straighten the spokes and add air to the tube. Recruiters can be more effective if they pipeline a set amount of potential candidates daily and call them all, NOT send emails. the tone and excitement of an open opportunity can not be sent in written words. 

I will close with this. I also quote Yoda and his amazing insight to life. "No! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try." Thank you for sharing your thoughts and look forward to more posts.

Comment by Nigel Coxon on April 10, 2013 at 9:54am

Set out my stall to recruitment, but long in the tooth.

The recruitment industry suffers from poor perception and I have to take issue with this article, or at least ask a question: Do you really think there are recruiters out there using NOTHING but linkedin to recruit?

'cos to be honest I don't think it can be done. It's an introduction service, nothing more. It may indeed be the best way ever to introduce your service to clients, your vacancies to (potential) candidates, but I'll bet no one ever resorted to introducing their candidate to the hiring manager as a linkedin contact instead of arranging an interview.

We use linkedin. A lot. But we do all the other stuff too - we meet candidates at university recruitment fairs. We go out on visits to customers and potential customers. We still interview our candidates face to face. We go to seminars, not just because the subject matter is relevant, but also because we might end up sitting next to someone we can introduce ourselves to.

My point is there are already plenty of hiring managers out there whose attitude to recruitment is "Pah, dead easy, you just post on linkedin and sit back and wait for high class candidates to apply". We don't need people who work in recruitment reinforcing the fallacy!

Comment by Donna Capolongo on April 10, 2013 at 9:57am

More right on target about this subject, you could not be.

Comment by bill josephson on April 10, 2013 at 10:04am

LinkedIn is a tool, but I believe recruiting's a contact sport where you have to ick up the phone and "touch" them.

Many Hiring Managers' mind set today seems to be they think the top shelf candidates are lined up around the block cause they have an opening, and combined with technology there's no need to ever pay a recruiter fee again.

Their perception or their reality is why, IMO, quality fillable jobs to work on are at a minimum.

Comment by Theresa Hunter on April 10, 2013 at 10:29am

It is a very good post.  I have only been  a recruiter since 1998 and I remember with my first company we did not even have access to the internet.  We had an internal database to help source for companies to either recruit from or to.


If I can add my two cents here is what I see in my industry.  There are 6-8 recruiters working on any one position as my clients do not seem to have favoriites.  They will look at your candidates more closely if you have placed a really good candidate with them but they do not give you the first shot at it.  It is truly an old way of thinking and I do not have much luck with getting them to set up the interview without first seeing the resume.  "It is the way it has always been done."  Believe me I have tried.  I interview everyone of my candidates before I even do the presentation to the client and they still want to see the resume.  With my clients I have as a minimum of a 6 month guarantee period.  With a sliding scale on how much of the fee is returned based on how long the candidate was there.  I know some of you would say I would not work with a company like that and I would say you would not be working in this industry than.  All of my clients have the guarantee provision in their terms.

I spend more than 90% of my day on the "phone".  I like to talk and hear what the candidate has to say or not say.  I do use LinkedIn sometimes I still don't understand how it works but will find a possible candidate to speak with.  I cold call all day long and I will be honest I very seldom ever met my candidates.  I am lucky and have been successful at what I do.


Thanks for the great post and the dialogue it inspired!!


Comment by Stephanie McDonald on April 10, 2013 at 11:14am

I agree that recruiting is a contact sport but I remember that my candidates don't always want me to contact them via the same methods I used 15 years ago when I started. I'll call, text, IM, email, drop by, whatever it takes to get the right person in front of my client. 

A friend was screening a candidate recently and realized the recruiter who presented the candidate had never actually spoken to him. If I ever had a third party recruiter pull that it would be the last time they ever worked with me. She was much more kind to this agency recruiter than I would have been. I'm fine with not "meeting" the candidates I work with, but always speak with them and actually interview them..imagine that!

Comment by Theresa Hunter on April 10, 2013 at 11:21am

Hi Stephanie...yes I speak with my candidates sometimes more than once before I do the actual candidate interview.  I ask quite a few questions in my interview process so I get a better feel for them.  I also prep them for all interviews whether it is a phone interview or face to face.  If an offer is extended and accepted I than help them with the resignation from their current employer.  I also keep tabs on them for at least 3 months after the hire.


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