Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

Why Corporate Recruiting May Be Doomed

by Mar 10, 2010, 5:29 pm ET
Productivity change in the nonfarm business sector, 1947-2009

Productivity change in the nonfarm business sector, 1947-2009

How different is what you do today from five years ago? Are you able to find and hire top-notch people faster than before? Have you invested in systems, technology, and process improvements to lower costs and improve the speed to find and present qualified candidates? If not, you are clearly lagging behind those who have, and will have a tough time catching up. The corporate recruiting world is soon to be under full assault from the third-party and RPO world.

The evidence shows that increases in productivity significantly lag the investment in tools and process improvements. We normally first use new technologies to emulate what we already do in another way. It’s only after significant time that we begin to find new and innovative ways to use the tools and adjust our processes accordingly.

An example is the introduction of the typewriter. In the early days of the typewriter a manager would dictate to a stenographer who would take shorthand and then use the typewriter to create a document. This took two people and three steps. It took decades before we got to the point of eliminating the stenographer by having the manager learn to type and enter the document directly. But when this occurred, the profession of stenographer disappeared (as did shorthand), efficiency went up, and the number of people an office needed went down. While this is a very simple example, it illustrates what I mean: It takes a lot of time from the introduction of a new technology for people to learn how to use it and to adjust processes and structures.

From the 1970s through the mid-1990s organizations globally were investing heavily in computers and software and everyone assumed that because of those tools, productivity would soar. For anyone old enough to remember, that did not happen, and lots of economists called this the productivity paradox. It seemed that no investment in technology, computers, or software caused any major change in productivity. Then, around 1995 everything changed. Suddenly productivity began to climb. It has now settled back into a comfortable 2.4 percent per year growth which is still greater per year than before 1970. The great lesson is that investments in technology and process improvements pay off — but it takes time for that to happen.

Recruiting has seen no surge in productivity, and corporate recruiting functions may even be losing ground as the talent market becomes more complex and employer needs change. Relative to most other functions in an organization, HR and recruiting have made little investment in technology and even less in process improvements. A recruiter from 1970 would be very comfortable in most corporate recruiting departments today except for learning to use the computer.

My concern is that recruiters have been and still are too focused on the short term to see that investments they make today will eventually pay off — and pay off tremendously. If you have not made the investments, you are not only behind, but it may be impossible to catch up. Being able to use technology requires a learning curve that early adopters get from the beginning. Look at how hard it is for a middle-aged person to grasp the power of social media or to fully realize the capabilities of the iPhone compared to someone younger who has been working with these technologies from the beginning of their careers. Time is not our friend when it comes to adopting technology, so early investments pay off the most.

Here are a few ideas on what kinds of investments you should be making:

  1. Invest in software that will increase your ability to interact with candidates. This includes all sorts of things from websites and highly-targeted marketing systems to candidate relationship management tools. Most of you are still focused on the zero-value-add backend systems that do nothing directly to serve your customers: the candidates. Applicant tracking systems may be convenient, but they are the equivalent of order entry systems for salespeople. They are not going to make you better at finding candidates or getting them interested in your clients. You will need to refine how you source candidates and try to reduce the number of people you need to do each step of the hiring cycle. The goal might be for a single person to attract, source, screen, and present a candidate while the administrative tools automatically track everything that is happening and generate the appropriate reports and paperwork. RPOs and agencies have been working on these things for at least a decade and are about to reap its benefits.
  2. Invest time in thinking through how you recruit people today. How many steps, people, tools, and touchpoints are average? How much time does a recruiter spend per hire? What could be done to shave seconds or minutes off that? What would you have to do differently if a recruiter were to deal with twice as many requisitions as they do today? The answers to these questions can form the backbone of an improvement strategy that will pay back high dividends down the road. Several RPOs have made big strides toward integrating automated processing and tools into what they do. This has given them the ability to charge lower prices while maintaining customer loyalty. Over time, they will refine and improve the technology until it will offer them such a large time and cost-saving that very few will be able to compete with older and less technology-enabled methods.
  3. Move on from legacy systems and old technologies. Even if you have not recovered your investment, hanging on to obsolete applicant tracking tools, old databases, and inefficient processes will hurt you. Anything you own or use that is more than three years old and has not been upgraded is a candidate for the dust bin. Most technology has moved into the cloud or is delivered from an ASP. No software sits on your own servers unless your organization is large enough to need its own instance of the software. Almost every kind of software is being delivered as an app that can be installed on your mobile devices as well as your computers. Social media is dominating the sourcing arena and search is becoming easier to do, is likely to be built into applications, and is more powerful than ever. Resumes are being served up along with compilations about the candidates that have been scraped together from many different sources. Candidates are delivering their own “social resumes” that expand the information on the usual resume. You need to be able to accommodate all of this easily and quickly. Recruiting productivity will go up — I think exponentially — very soon. Most of this improvement will come from third-party agencies and RPOs. Unfortunately, the corporate recruiting world is still mired in yesterday and is unable to make the investments needed to move productivity up and to ensure success.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • John Coelho

    Not scared at all. While technology makes things easier it doesn’t make phone calls for you and is doesn’t help you develop long term relationships which is still the only factor that matters in our business. Strategic recruitment is still referral driven and always will be.

    I see young recruiters today that are too reliant on technology and are adverse to pick up the phone. I run circles around them and always will. Also, I’m niched in my business and am an expert in it. 95% of third party vendors that call me fail baseline technical questions that I pose to them. While I enjoy your articles I have to disagree with you that corporate recruiting will soon be put out to pasture.

  • http://www.johnsumser.com John Sumser

    This is a time of serious disruption but technology isn’t the only thing. Efficiency in Recruiting isn’t going to solve the dreadful track record most recruiting operations deliver. (In executive placement, a failure rate of 30% or 40% is considered normal. In lower level recruiting, getting it right still means a 20% defect rate.)

    While there is an onslaught of tools and technologies, none of them seem to improve judgment at the point of hiring. Even fewer address obvious improvements in effectiveness (like disciplined onboarding).

    I am particularly impressed with Recruiting solutions like the Army’s videogame. It attracts candidates and then serves as the training platform for the early stage of the career. This sort of tight coupling of Recruiting, Talent Management and Learning is sort of the opposite of many of the emerging tools.

    It’s really easy to confuse faster with better. Now would be a good time to take a long look at things that might be better.

    Thanks for launching an interesting conversation, Kevin.

  • http://www.hirelabs.com/blog Saleem Qureshi

    @Kevin
    Your post caught my eye. Kudos for raising this issue and then backing it up with some insights. The trends are changing, and so recruiters have to change their mindset according to Gen Y. Blue chip organizations are now forcing recruitment managers to modify their recruiting process in order to successful recruit right people for the jobs, and this all can be enabled through wisely investing in technology or outsourcing the process.

  • http://robjannone.wordpress.com/ Rob Jannone

    Great piece Kevin! It has been my experience that internal recruiting departments have numerous challenges to productivity gains in recruiting that the 3rd parties and RPO firms usually manage better. Perhaps a proximate cause of that is the tunnel vision that can take hold while running an internal process because they are measured on process adherence and service delivery to internal customers , while RPOs and 3rd parties are constantly seeking both new technologies and techniques to drive greater efficiency. In the Corporate recruiting setting, the reward is almost intrinsic, while externally the reward is higher profitability.

    And I couldn’t agree more with the concept of leveraging technology effectively. One of the facets that qualify RPO as RPO is Technology that is integrated into process and workflows and measured to optimize its use and effectiveness. It is one of the efficiencies that allow RPO firms to lower the cost of hire.

  • http://robjannone.wordpress.com/ Rob Jannone

    Great piece Kevin! It has been my experience that internal recruiting departments have numerous challenges to productivity gains in recruiting that the 3rd parties and RPO firms usually manage better. Perhaps a proximate cause of that is the tunnel vision that can take hold while running an internal process because they are measured on process adherence and service delivery to internal customers , while RPOs and 3rd parties are constantly seeking both new technologies and techniques to drive greater efficiency. Internally, the reward is almost intrinsic, while externally the reward is higher profitability.

  • http://www,dtg-usa.com Joe Sabrin

    Recruiting 2010 and forward will be addressed by a keen eye for talent and management desire to step up and hire “A” players. Only experienced recruiters have that ability and relationship. Two of my clients have been listening and are upgrading only after attritution or expansion. The next few years will allow smart corporations to develop great teams.
    Joe Sabrin 212-736-9544
    joe.sabrin@dtg-usa.com

  • Tom Bell

    Kevin, great article and resulting comments. Having fixed many recruiting teams; simply put, recruiting is the alignment of people, process, and technology. It amazes me how many organizations try to function with each of these in silos, or worse, knowing one of them is not working at all. A good talent management professional’s success is predicated on the ability to lead all three. Years ago, success would pivot on the people side and I believe it still does. But without the right technology to enable people’s success and drive the process, you will fail every time.

    Tom Bell
    tbell@hodesiq.com

  • Tom Bell

    Kevin, great article and resulting comments. Having fixed many recruiting teams; simply put, recruiting is the alignment of people, process, and technology. It amazes me how many organizations try to function with each of these in silos, or worse, knowing one of them is not working at all. A good talent management professional’s success is predicated on the ability to lead all three. Years ago success would pivot on the people side and I believe it still does. But without the right technology to enable people’s success and drive the process, you will fail every time.

    Tom Bell
    tbell@hodesiq.com

  • http://kenforrester.ning.com/ Ken Forrester

    It takes courage for someone especially with Industry credibility to say the things to the ones that need to hear it the most!
    In this case I am referring to the employers that are paying recruiters (internal/external) to deliver talent. And for that Kevin, you should be commended.

    With that said, I agree with you, somewhat!

    I believe that corporate recruiting has played significant role in the recruiting landscape and most likely will continue to play that role simply because the largest percent of hires have been and will continue to be the traditional lower level, support oriented and re-occurring type roles. For those roles, it makes economical sense to leverage resources and seek economies of scale to fulfill those needs and at the same time attempt to mitigate operating cost. And, that is where technology, specifically the job boards, ATS and internal recruiter model came into play.
    Corporate recruitment’s biggest challenge moving forward will be their effectiveness in managing the internal recruitment process for the higher level, hard-to-find passive candidates for mission critical roles. That is an issue that technology by itself cannot solve!

    But, let’s not put the blame entirely on HR, they were oversold. They sincerely believed that with technology, recruiting would become so easy, even a caveman could do it, and the thought about all that money they would save on agency fees became the motivator.

    Kevin, as you pointed out; where we are right now and how we got here is not the real issue! But if we continue down this path will our Industry collapse like the real estate/mortgage Industries and what can be done to prevent it?

  • Eric Mraz

    Great article Kevin – you bring up some great points. However a more fitting title to your article may have been: Recruiters That Don’t Innovate Won’t Last. While improving technology and implementing more efficient process is one part of the solution, the best recruitment strategies put PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS first and will always trump an automated software program or faster and easier to use aps. The best recruiters utilize technology as a part of their strategy to aid in their efforts to stay connected with candidates and the community.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/lexisnexiscareers Stephanie Huff

    I inderstand where you are coming from and why you think the way you do, but I think that the title should read “Why the Third Party Recruiting Agencies May Be Doomed”. Because as a corporate recruiter I can honestly say I would be shocked if all this technology that is out there to leverage will continue to give third party recruiters any true competitive advantage. If companies with an internal recruitment funtion are using the right tools like you suggested, which my company definitely is, then there will be no need to spend the extra millions of dollars every year to use externals even on the high level, very senior and professional roles. Because corporate recruiters can now have access to the same people by using the same resources whereas before companies were not investing in the tools or were not aware of them. And today they are. Many more companies today are jumping on the bandwagon and becoming earlier adoptors of all the technology out there.

    I would agree that for those companies that are not being early adopters of the new technology available for recruiting, their internal recruiting functions will fail. But for those that have caught on and are using the right resources, the third party recrutiers are getting scared!

  • http://rivieraadvisors.com Dan Kilgore

    Kevin,
    Well thought out presentation. The dire picture you paint of the pending extinction of the corporate recruiter may be on target, but I’m a bit more optimistic.
    While the need to remain current with the tech tools we have today is clearly vital, I think it is no more so than the need to attend to the other two legs on the three-legged stool of Recruiting — People and Process.
    While the technology will expedite communication and transactions, if the processies are broken, it will only result in faster disfunction. And if the speedier communication misses the target of attending to the person-to-person relationship, again the stool will will falter.
    The key then is juggling all 3 successfully, and that is easier said than done!

  • Dave Rosewall

    You make some interesting points in your article, as usual, Kevin. However, I do get tired of the stereotyped pronouncements about how middle-aged people find new technology / media “hard to grasp” – or the implied converse, that everyone born after 1985 is a natural techno-whiz. I’m doing just fine with my iPhone, thanks. Your case could have been made just as effectively without these comments.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks again, Kevin. IMHO, we will continue to need Corporate Recruiters, Contract Recruiters, Contingency Recruiters, Retained Recruiters, Sourcers. However, what they are expected to do and the percentage of them in the overall mix may change considerably.

    Lets see (IMHO) who the “winners” and “losers” of this might be:

    Corporate Recruiters-
    Winners: Those who can provide high-touch, high-value add ($50+/hr) project management, process improvement, or closing skills.
    Losers: Anyone who doesn’t provide these skills, anyone who does things which can be easily eliminated, automated, or outsourced.

    Contract Recruiters-
    Winners: Those who can provide the same type of high-touch high value add skills onsite and on- demand as listed above.
    Losers: The same as the losers in the corporate recruiter world and anyone who only works virtually.

    Contingency Recruiters-
    Winners: Those who can find and develop “purple squirrel” candidates” and those who can CLOSE, $100k+/yr recruiters.
    Losers: Those who can’t do the above and those who find candidates using sources similar to this note on a website I just saw:
    “Any resumes sent to us which can be found using the following Job Boards: CareerBuilder, Craig’s List, DICE, HotJobs, or Monster, or utilizing the following Search Engines: Ask, Google, Vivissimo, or Yahoo will be considered your company’s gift to Silver Peak and may be forwarded to our recruiters for their attention.” Other losers: hardworking, good-but-not-great agency recruiters with mid-level incomes.

    Retained Recruiters-
    Winners: Those who provide high-touch high value-add services developing and closing candidates who other recruiters can’t.
    Losers: Those who don’t do these things.

    Sourcers-
    Winners: Highly-skilled, low cost (~$10/hr or less) virtual telephone and internet sourcers. Those who can find and make a living sourcing “purple squirrels” for $50+/hr. Trainers of both these types of sourcers.
    Losers: Anyone who can’t find “purple squirrels” and expects to make a decent living, sourcing trainers who don’t show how to find “purple squirrels” and make a business of it.

    Your thoughts…

    Keith

  • Martin Snyder

    Stephanie I think there will always be a role as intermediaries for third-parties; even if all sides have perfect information, for a number of reasons. Firm A will not directly hammer Firm B, or it becomes all out war, cats and dogs living together, end of life as we know it etc..

    Kevin, don’t let unproven age assumptions creep into your thinking- it’s a pretty famous fact that Facebook users are trending hard toward older folks- your mom now has more chance of being your next FB friend than anyone else….same with Technology- there are vastly different lifecycles for different items, even in the same value chain.

    Software often (to people’s great surprise and sometimes expense) can last far, far longer than anyone expected. There are still a ton of VAX systems out there (as one example)- what tends to happen is that new stuff gets built onto old stuff, making getting rid of the old stuff ever more difficult.

    Sometimes technology hits a plateau that lasts for a very long time- look at jet airliners, now 50 years in their modern form- while a 707 from 1960 might be smoky and analog, its pretty much the same item as you fly today otherwise. Our air force will be flying 80 year old
    B-52′s before they are finally shelved.

    The key, as in almost every aspect of life, is fitness for an environment. Understanding the actual environment, your place in it, and what is going to happen to it are the keys to survival and prosperity, regardless of trends, hype, rules of thumb, etc.

  • Mary Lasko

    I looked forward to reading this article until I came upon the statement “Look at how hard it is for a middle-aged person to grasp the power of social media or to fully realize the capabilities of the iPhone compared to someone younger who has been working with these technologies from the beginning of their careers.” This type of blatant bias and “stereotyping” without any fact based evidence to validate it (scholarly or other), rendered everything else you wrote simply irrelevant. It’s a sad day in “Employmentville” when this ERE platform is used to promote discrimination of any kind.

  • http://www.newtonsoftware.com Joel Passen

    Having started one of the first RPO’s for tech / knowledge workers in 1999 and having running an RPO until early 2008, I can tell you that it will be a long time before the corporate recruiting function goes away. But, I agree with Kevin here. It is clear that change is imminent. Just look at the number of RPO’s sprouting up around the country.

    The fact remains, RPO’s have their work cut out for them. Selling an outsourced recruiting solutions is a hard. You’re truly selling the invisible. As Kevin mentions, technology will change this. Before new tools became available, the buyers of recruitment outsourcing solutions had little more to go on than a sales pitch, an SLA and some promises. Today, with the right RPO software, recruitment outsourcers can gain an incredible advantage during the sales process: proving that their solution is more complete, more modern and more efficient than competing solutions.
    I wrote an article recently on how to choose RPO software. Yes, my company builds RPO software but, I’ve run RPO engagements with other solutions so the article isn’t as biased as you’d assume. We actually have has a couple of RPO’s using our platform for over 2 years and we just started to market it because we have seen a major increase in demand this year. Must be a sign of the times.

    Good post Kevin, relevant.

    Check out my blog post on choosing RPO software here.

    http://www.newtonsoftware.com/blog/2010/03/01/how-to-choose-rpo-software/

  • Kevin Wheeler

    Thanks for all the great comments. If all that happens is that we have a deep discussion about the future of corporate recruiting, I am happy.

    I apologize to anyone offended by my “age” remarks. My point, though poorly made, was that age does matter and that the older we are the more likely we are to reject emerging technologies as fads. Individual cases may be quite different. I agree this was a generalization and I, myself, am well into the Baby Boomer years but tweet, Facebook and do other social media.

    I would also like to stress that I do think people matter a great deal and that relationships are the core of any successful recruiting instance. My point is that relationships can occur in LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media. There is no need for a face-to-face presence to have a relationship.

    Technology combined with appropriate processes and focused around people are the elements of a winning formula. If this did not come across in the article, I apologize.

  • http://www.blog.engineeringsolutionsteam.com Kirk Abraham

    Mr Kevin Wheeler, with the movie that should’ve won best picture in mind, Avatar, I see you… :) EXCELLENT piece and you have a new fan…me. Thank you!

    Kirk Abraham
    EASTeam@mrindianapolis.com

  • Martin Snyder

    Looking forward to meeting formerly digital-only friends next week in San Diego- I’ll be the phat and bald one in transparent plastic glasses, tagging along with my MST partner who always appears to have left his surfboard parked outside.

  • Arthur Oscher

    Kevin: Thought I would add my two cents. Yes, it is quite important to constantly be looking to use the best and latest technology, but it is only as good as the people using it. I agree with the above commenters that emphasize the human side of recruiting. The best recruiters are the ones who could still do their work without any technology tools. An individuals skills in evaluating candidates and being a good consultant to the hiring managers is tantamount.
    Don’t agree with your comments about “middle aged” people.
    Quite unfortunate that someone with your background and experience would add fuel to the stereotype the media hypes to make any older generation look uphip. I still do not see much difference between generations as the marketers would have us believe. Being competant with technology is an individual trait.
    Anyway, thankyou

  • http://www.peakorg.com Mark Moyer

    Hello Kevin,

    Good article and the follow up comments have covered a diverse array of perspectives within the recruiting community.

    I have been an executive recruiter for twenty years focusing on financial services, mostly here in NYC, and can safely state that corporate recruiting has impacted the search landscape. Quite frankly, I am surprised it took so long for the financial institutions to bring recruiting in-house. However, I must add that corporate recruiting can never completely replace third party executive recruiters, (sorry Stephanie!) but can provide a strong complement to their efforts.

    An experienced third party recruiter with an established candidate and client base has a much stronger reach within the industry, especially towards those passive candidates that have not posted their information on any of the social media sites, or have not expressed any interest in leaving their firms. They have developed the trust and respect among their contacts to be able to extract information that a corporate recruiter often cannot.

    A corporate recruiter typically does not have the time available to truly drill down into what makes a specific candidate tick, and where that candidate really wants to be. They are often handcuffed by whatever ATS system they are asked to use, and by other substitutes to a face to face meeting or in-depth phone conversation.

    Throughout my career a large percentage of my placements have developed from candidates that never would have made it through the intricate network of filters that corporate recruiters often use via the various ATSs, job boards and search engines that Keith H references above.

    With that said, I also agree with Ken F that many roles should and will be filled with either corporate recruiters or RPOs. My perspective as a third party search provider is that I am “marketing” a diverse array of positions and companies to my candidate base, whereas the RPO and corporate recruiter is limited to marketing positions within their firm only. My ability to provide that menu of possible job opportunities is a major reason that candidates will continue to maintain a strong relationship with their favorite one or two executive search professionals in the face of the ever-expanding footprint of RPOs and corporate recruiters.

    Cheers,

    Mark Moyer

    mmoyer@peakorg.com
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/1markmoyer

  • http://www.linkedin.com/lexisnexiscareers Stephanie Huff

    Mark: I do agree that Corporate Recruiting will never eliminate Third Party Recruiting completely. I was being more sarcastic than anything. But it will definitely separate the GOOD Recruiters from the GREAT by elimating those outside agencies that are not thinking outside of the box and not being true head hunters and strong networkers. Those agencies that rely on just using their internal databases and resume databases are doomed to be swallowed whole in the market today (and there are some of these out there!). Even as a headhunter at heart I will always need to have a few agencies to rely on when my workload becomes unmanageable. Because yes, there is only so much bandwidth tat even a GREAT internal recruiting department has at any given time.

  • Keith Halperin

    I agree with Mark and Stephanie. IMHO, TPRs should make 30% fees (and not less) for working really hard and doing what corporate recruiters and CRs can’t easily do. I believe the same about sourcers: they should be paid at least $50/hr finding purple squirrels that can’t be easily found by the and not what clients are too lazy or ignorant to do themselves.

    -kh

    I found this on a corporate website (with modifications)

    “Any resumes sent to us which can be found using the following Job Boards: CareerBuilder, Craig’s List, DICE, HotJobs, or Monster, the following Search Engines: Ask, Google, Vivissimo, or Yahoo will be considered your company’s gift to us and may be forwarded to our recruiters for their attention.”

  • John Coelho

    The majority of corporate recruiters that I know cut their teeth on the aganecy side for many years. They bring the headhunter mentality with them and are good at.

    There will be a time when I need outsourcing help in the future and I won’t hesitate to pick up the phone when it does. But they better have a firm understanding of my industry and be somewhat knowledgable of my business and operations. Anything less than that will be a waste of my time and hurt my bottom line.

  • http://www.1stgig.com Angela Lazaridis

    I don’t think that corporate recruiters will ever disappear. I do think though that they need to refine how they source candidates. There are new technologies out there that can save their company time, money and increase the long-term placement of a professional.

    1stGig.com is a new, revolutionary tool that dramatically streamlines the process of sourcing college graduates and early career professionals. 1stGig.com uses a precision matching tool to identify talent within this sector. It reduces costs and only presents candidates that are serious and qualified. No more weeding through hundred and hundreds of resumes. Its a great tool that I believe will change college recruiting programs for the better.

  • http://www.1stgig.com Angela Lazaridis

    I don’t think that corporate recruiting will ever disappear but I do believe that the way they source candidates does need to be refined. Technologies if used appropriately can improve the efficiency of the recruiting process resulting in time and money saved.

    A new technology that I believe is going to dramatically improve college graduate recruiting programs is 1stGig.com. 1stGig.com is a revolutionary tool that streamlines the college graduate recruiting process. It uses a precision matching system that saves time, reduces costs and increases the probability of a long-term placement of early career professionals.

  • http://www.1stgig.com Angela Lazaridis

    I don’t think that corporate recruiting will ever disappear but I do believe that the way they source candidates does need to be refined. Technologies if used appropriately can improve the efficiency of the recruiting process resulting in time and money saved.

    There is a new website, 1stGig.com, that uses a technology that I believe is going to dramatically improve college graduate recruiting programs. 1stGig.com uses a precision matching system that streamlines the college graduate recruiting process. It saves time, reduces costs and increases the probability of a long-term placement of early career professionals.

  • https://myjobreferrals.com Matthew Franzen

    Excellent article! It will be about finding the right technology to address the problem at hand. Other industries have become more efficient with technology and lowered costs. Recruiting is one of the last industries to pick up on this, mostly likely because of it’s size and fragmented market.

    Recruiting will always involve developing & maintaining human relationships on the hiring side, which takes time. What is ripe for the largest returns from innovation is the sourcing side of the equation.

    Let’s look at recruiting from an operation management standpoint: It’s hard to be more efficient with the company’s internal hiring process if it’s outside of your control. It is within your control to become more effective/efficient in sourcing quality candidates in a shorter period of time and get them interviewing ahead of other candidates.

    From an OM perspective, that’s where recruiters can make the biggest improvements to their transaction ‘cycle-time’ and spend the time saved in developing & fostering new client relationships. Those who don’t will end up having to work longer and harder to make placements as the front-runners put sustainable automated processes in place to locate qualified candidates from the mass of data that is the internet.

    Matthew
    MyJobReferrals.com

  • https://myjobreferrals.com Matthew Franzen

    Excellent article! It will be about finding the right technology to address the problem at hand. Other industries have used technology to become more efficient and lowered costs. Recruiting is one of the last industries to pick up on this, most likely because of it’s size and fragmented market.

    Recruiting will always involve developing & maintaining human relationships on the hiring side, which takes time. What is ripe for the largest returns from innovation is the sourcing side of the equation.

    Let’s look at recruiting from an operation management standpoint: It’s hard to make the company’s internal hiring process more efficient if it’s outside of your control. It is within your control to become more effective/efficient in sourcing quality candidates in a shorter period of time and get them interviewing ahead of other candidates.

    From an OM perspective, that’s where recruiters can make the biggest improvements to their transaction ‘cycle-time’ and spend the time saved to develop & foster new client relationships. Those who don’t will end up having to work longer and harder to make placements as the front-runners put sustainable automated processes in place to locate qualified candidates from the mass of data that is the internet.

    Matthew
    MyJobReferrals.com

  • http://www.ckrinteractive.com Kristen Tom

    While I agree that technology has definitely changed the way we communicate and attract potential employees, I still think traditional ways are somewhat apparent. I don’t think that we can cultivate strong relationships solely by the means of social media. We may be able to start some new ones, but it takes more effort than a tweet or comment to create lasting relationships.

  • http://garethmjones.wordpress.com Gareth Jones

    Hi Kevin. Interesting post but I would have to say I think it’s the other way round – I don’t see corporate recruiting suffering at the advance of third party and RPO’s!

    Your comment “RPOs and agencies have been working on these things for at least a decade and are about to reap its benefits.” is way off the mark I think, from my experience in the UK anyway.

    Third party agencies, in the main are laggard businesses that have refused to challenge their own business model in over 40 years, which is why you are accurate when you say an old school recruiter would be comfortable today. And, a significant amount of them are ‘quick buck’ thinkers. Hence, the very short term nature of the industry in regards to improvement and investment. The whole industry is built this way and in my opinion the shift is too great to make any significant changes.

    And, apologies, but RPO’s are no better. Apart from a handful of good ones – there are very few – the rest were born out of traditional recruitment companies who were only looking to put in place a service that protected their traditional business via ‘vendor neutral’ type agreements etc (That phrase makes me laugh every time!)

    Currently, very few of the solutions out there address the real critical issue – time to hire. The lead times have not really changed over the years yet this is where the real savings, both in time, energy and cost are. Instead, we have been obsessed with cost of hire and this is wrong.

    I would also say that the candidate experience, at the hands of all three – third party recruiters, RPO’s and Corporate recruiting departments – leaves a lot to be desired.

    All of these issues stem from one root cause – the way organisations consider recruitment as an operational rather than strategic activity. Of course, many would say that recruitment, or talent management/acquisition is strategic but its not. A fancy title does not change anything.

    As an example, compare ‘strategic customer marketing’ activity and investment in an organisation with ‘strategic candidate acquisition’ and the difference is marked. Both in terms of investment and experience.

    Things are changing of course, and the maturity of online technology especially is creating some opportunity for change but its very very slow.

  • Pingback: 7 Best Recruitment Marketing Articles of the Week (3.14.10 – 3.19.10) « Recruitment Marketing Innovation, Technology and Ideas

  • Pingback: The Real Problem in Corporate Recruiting : ERE.net

  • Pingback: Why Corporate Recruiting May Be Doomed | Baitbox.co.za

  • Michael Wilder

    My comment is (1) late and (2) beside the point, but I’ll make it anyway.

    You wrote: “An example is the introduction of the typewriter. In the early days of the typewriter a manager would dictate to a stenographer who would take shorthand and then use the typewriter to create a document. This took two people and three steps. It took decades before we got to the point of eliminating the stenographer by having the manager learn to type and enter the document directly. But when this occurred, the profession of stenographer disappeared (as did shorthand), efficiency went up, and the number of people an office needed went down”.

    I understand your point, but I really do question whether manager’s being their own secretaries truly represents an increase in productivity. As the owner of a small business, I am amazed at all the things I can do faster and more ‘efficiently’ than ever…but I am dismayed at how little time it leaves me to think about where the future is headed and run my business proactively rather than reactively.

    From this perspective, I would question whether recruiters need more relationship management TOOLS or whether they need to put away some of these tools and least some of the time and just try to have better, smarter and more ‘real’ relationships.

  • Pingback: ‘winning’ at talent acquisition « hr rockstar