In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Joe Light (Recruiters Rethink Online Playbook) suggests employers may have put on their recruiting thinking caps. Light discusses whether employers and recruiters are shifting their focus away from job boards and towards more personal (and productive) recruiting methods.
“About 24% of companies plan to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards this year,” reports Light.
Duh. Why this change?
“We need to reach candidates earlier, before they’re being pursued by competitors.”
“Now, the company is hiring different types of recruiters who specialize in headhunting, including finding candidates to poach from competitors, rather than those who are good at processing and filtering applications.”
Companies are dumping the job boards, and instead putting recruiters out in the field, to talk to people. Duh.
Why is it so difficult to understand that smart people prefer to do business with others they know and trust, or with folks who are personally referred to them by trusted contacts? While most “headhunters” don’t hunt (just dial for dollars), the best earn their $40,000+ fees (per placement) by going out into the world and talking to, meeting with, forming relationships with, the shining lights in the fields they hunt in. This should tell any job hunter something important: It’s the people, Stupid!
Joe Light is shining the light (sorry!) on a sea change in recruiting. The smartest companies don’t even need headhunters, if they put their best managers out there to find great candidates. This isn’t rocket science. But, nor is it the stupid database game that most seem to think it is. You can’t get a job by having a machine plaster your resume all over kingdom come, using “keywords” and “semantic analysis algorithms.”
TheLadders, Monster, CareerBuilder and that ilk are fascinating businesses — they make wads of money while their products don’t work! (They represent the “source of hires” about 0.7%, 4%, 3% of the time, respectively, according to annual surveys done by CareerXroads.) Yet personnel jockeys continue to throw cash at them.
While the trend seems to be changing, I worry about one of the last bits in Joe Light’s article:
“Instead of using senior recruiters to filter through the company’s applicants, lower-level screeners process them first and only hand off the most-qualified.”
Really? Just how does a company get better candidates, when it uses lower-level clerks to sort out the best candidates? Gimme a break. Sometimes the problem of “mindless recruiting and hiring” is a bigger part of a problem corporate mindset than we realize…