In 1984, Sarah Connor narrowly escaped being terminated by a cyborg assassin from the future.
Are we in for another cyborg attack?
The job board giants, their niche job board counterparts, the usual social media suspects, new platforms like Google+, innovative ways to meet candidates like Twitter conferences:
Technology has made sourcing easier, and cheaper, for everyone.
Will third party recruiters be terminated by the rise of social media? Or will humanity rise up, take control this relatively new technology, and harness its power?
As a recruiter, what challenges do you face as companies have increased access to job-filling technologies like job boards, VMS systems, and social media?
How do you convince companies that using a recruiter is the better route?
The good news: Job boards haven’t killed recruiting. Just like the Kyle Reeses and human resistance fighters of the universe, recruiters who believe in their cause will achieve their objective. Third party recruiters who go beyond the job boards to find the best people/passive candidates will always be in demand.
The bad news: Cyborg alert! Savvy companies are using social media to find and seduce passive candidates. Social networks like Facebook make it easy for employers to tap into their network, announce they have openings, and receive referrals. Professional social media platforms, like LinkedIn, let anyone put their resume on display for the world to see. No matter what their status is - happily employed, ready for the next step in their career, or looking for work - professionals are making themselves approachable for networking and job opportunities by third party and internal recruiters/HR alike.
The better news: The human element prevails over technology. Sourcing isn’t the only benefit to using a third party recruiter. Having a list of candidates means nothing if you can’t sell the position to them, get them to sit down and interview with you, get their signature on an employment agreement, and get their foot in the door day one on the job. Sure, you can program a cyborg to create a Boolean string and search for resumes. But cyborgs can't appeal to a person’s emotions.
Access to candidates isn’t always the problem. The inability to hire the right person without wasting a lot of time is a problem.
As an HR professional, I found that I could always find and hire excellent employees (at all professional levels, including physicians and the highest level executives) without using recruiters. The tools and techniques recruiters use can all be replicated by internal teams. At the risk of being controversial, I think that recruiters may be on their way to extinction.
If the internal system is working just fine, thank you very much, probably not much reason to chase that business. If they're consistently losing top candidates, unable to get people in the door, or there's no urgency, then you speak to how you solve those problems. Access to candidates doesn't have a damn thing to do with real recruiting as far as I'm concerned.
Some organizations have the resources to get by just fine without using an external recruiter, as indicated by Clark. But not all companies have an internal hiring system that results in great hires. These are the scenarios in which competent recruiters can excel.
Yes, everyone has access to more candidates. But when everyone has the same level of access, the competition for top talent grows.
So how do you convince a candidate to join your firm vs. another? How do you reach desired candidates faster than your competition, and negotiate a better offer than the other company?
Zee goes on to say that because everyone has increased access to candidates, companies will begin experiencing more turnovers, unless their employees are not desirable, or they have clout as the best company in town. She says that higher turnovers in addition to shortage of top talent will heighten the demand of professional recruiters. I think she makes an excellent point.
Intuitively, it may seem that increased technology dehumanizes the hiring process, making sales and negotiating skills obsolete. However, the reverse is true in this scenario. Third party recruiters with the ability to close the hire are still an excellent asset.
Contingency recruiters can help companies manage time and the bottom line.
Cost of paying an external recruiter versus hiring an in-house recruiter. Your own trusted talent scout that costs you nothing. How cool is that?
Results-driven recruiters can get the right person for the job in the door fast. Companies pay a fee, but only for the right person. They have not wasted internal resources on sifting through hundreds of resumes and turning away unqualified applicants. Instead, they get a good hire to work right away, keeping productivity and profits at a max.
Technology cannot convey the passion a client has for their company, or a candidate has for their work. People still like working with people.
When a technology can look a candidate in the eye and dig out their deepest ambitions and motivations, and call a candidate who did not apply for any role and convince them to consider new opportunities - that is when I will start worrying about becoming extinct to technology.
We can't totally discount the machines. In the new climate, speed and effectiveness will keep third party recruiters in demand. A good recruiting software will help you manage the technological aspects of recruiting so that you can focus your efforts on the human elements that keep great recruiters in demand. Automated VMS solutions, social media buttons, a mobile app, and a business rules engine are just a few of the features a great ATS will offer to help you find and connect with top talent. Have a passion for your work, use your intuitive match-making ability, and the machines just can’t win.