As the job market continues to heat up, there’s lots of buzz in social media on how to access, recruit and secure ‘passive’ talent.
Couldn’t help but notice the same old claims of the death of the recruiting profession and how social media would funnel interested candidates into a company’s arms through effective branding, internal recruiting, great ads, etc. so they no longer would have to pay those pesky external recruiting fees.
It seems I’ve heard claims of the death of my profession before. The rise of Monster.com in the last century specifically comes to mind. BTW, I find it ironic that it’s primarily staffing agencies that advertise on sites like Monster these days.
And of course now it’s Linked In. Let’s face it, LI is a powerful tool. Utilized by in-house recruiters, search firms and candidates alike, it’s a powerhouse of name/resume resources. It’s an avenue for job posting, branding, blogging and sharing. And Linked In is really tapping into the talent acquisition aspect. Imagine making money connecting people to one another!
I’d like to address the ‘death of recruiting’ aspect in all of this. Particularly for the rookie recruiters, who are already facing steep competition from in-house recruiters, social media and their own ilk. After almost thirty years in the business, with at least 4 recessions under my belt, I can assure you our business is alive and well. Not easy, mind you, but alive and thriving.
Search professionals have some advantages that their in-house counterparts don’t. Hunger for one thing. Let’s face it, We are paid for performance and the stage changes with every job and client. We are the middleman –and even though our client pays the fees, our responsibility is to broker a hire that both parties are enthusiastic about. This also give us a certain amount of objectivity (or should). We are required to be strategic, build trust, relationships and influence outcomes. A seasoned recruiter is paid for his/her connections, credibility, insight, closing skills and trustworthiness. And ultimately, for results.
We are perceived as the experts (and damn well better be) and when working at the senior levels, treated as confidantes, business partners and the go to person regarding not just talent sourcing, but what’s happening in that particular talent pool – and by both client and recruit. Those of us who settle for being treated as tools or as a mere addendum to a company’s own efforts, are sure to feel embittered, used and discouraged. And they will also feel poor.
We are paid big fees for a reason. Our ability to build trust and relationships, to ferret out information and connect the dots makes us invaluable. Will we get every job available? No. Do we want every job out there? Hell no. And why do you think there’s so much buzz about companies sharpening their internal recruiting tools? It’s because recessions don’t last forever (as much as this one seemed to) and employers are realizing they will quickly need to leverage talent to stay competitive.
So even though we won’t fill every job or satisfy every client ( I refer to this as the humbling factor), our aim should be to do so to the best of our ability and within reason.
There are always companies who have urgency, a specialty hire, a confidential replacement or are new to town and need a knowledgeable and connected resource. And since it is so competitive out there – whether it’s you and 3 other agencies, or your client running ads, it becomes even more imperative that you work on filling the worthy jobs for the worthy clients. Aim your time and your talent where it’s appreciated and that goes equally for working with both clients and candidates. Your time has value as do your relationships.
The most successful recruiters are savvy to building long lasting relationships while seeking opportunities to continually build new ones. They become experts in their niche. They build credibility and respect. They, in turn, are respectful, circumspect and discreet. And maybe most importantly, they embrace their profession with passion and a high regard for integrity.
The upshot is that we bring something unique to the playing field. We add value, change lives, contribute to the bottom line and often save the day. And by the way, we are the epitome of the new buzzword of the day – disruption!
So whenever I see a push towards squeezing out agency fees, I feel assured of a long and prosperous future.