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Recruitment 4.0: Crowdsourcing, Gamification, Recruitment as a Profit Center, … and the Death of Recruitment Agencies!

by
Matthew Jeffery
Aug 10, 2011, 5:50 am ET

4.0?

We’re only just digesting 3.0. But what direction are we heading in? Is it a coherent journey? Is there a clear destination/end goal?

4.0. What on earth could that include? How’s this?

  • Recruitment transitions from being a “cost center” into a “profit center”’!
  • The collapse and insolvency of many recruitment agencies.
  • Job boards stuttering and collapsing … and repurposing themselves
  • Companies hiring “through the sky” through external referrals and crowdsourcing
  • Exclusive/VIP/premium paid in-community content and paid mobile apps
  • Gamification shapes recruiting strategies and generates stickiness and virality
  • Companies rated globally by crowd opinions

Before anyone screams “unrealistic” or “utter fantasy” or cries B.S., let’s be clear that Recruitment 4.0 moves into the territory of vision. This is some years off. But by calculated hypotheses it is clear there will be a 4.0 and that it is a natural progression of 3.0 and builds sensibly on its foundations.

Let’s recap the different versions of recruiting.

Recruitment 1.0 encompasses traditional recruiting over a huge timeline, including good old-fashioned fax machines, print advertising, (post, spray ,and pray), and Rolodexes moving into traditional ATSs. Recruiters more focused on processes than end results. The basic any-bum-on-any-seat philosophy.

Recruitment 2.0 saw the move onto online and using technology for recruitment purposes, including the advent of online job boards & online CV searches. While the technology moved forward, the traditional methodology of 1.0 was prevalent, including online post, spray, and pray candidate attraction (aka the recruitment lottery of let’s hope the right-ish person looks at the online advertisement, at the right time and feels willing to go to the effort to apply).

Both Recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 were/are fundamentally focused on the active job seekers, (applying to vacancies, on agency books, and those watching job boards like a possessed predator).

Recruitment 3.0 is a huge leap as it moves recruitment out of its comfort zone. The beating heart of 3.0 is the non-active/passive individual and a focus on “best talent” and building predictable talent pipelines. In addition, the philosophy of “everyone is a potential candidate so engage them” is central. 3.0 takes us into building engaged, two-way, free-conversation based, transparent communities. This is anchored by things like employment branding, marketing, and PR. 3.0 is not only concerned with building communities but mapping key competitors and seducing cream-of-the-crop talent with your brand and in-house opportunities.

What is Recruitment 4.0?

Recruitment 3.0 is all consumed and focused on building communities. 4.0 is all about the value of those communities, both real and perceived.

Recruitment has traditionally been a cost center. It sucks money from the profit line like Count Dracula on a feeding frenzy in Transylvania, especially if agency fees are involved, coupled with advertising/job board fees etc. Add this up and it can be an overwhelming drain on resources.

Remember that many of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies are addicted to agency hiring and mass job board advertising like an alcoholic drawn to drink. Why highlight the Fortune and FTSE companies? Primarily they should have the advantage and resources to wean off agency addiction, source passive candidates far more easily than small to medium companies, (but funnily enough it is the small- and medium-sized companies who are far more fleet of foot and innovative).

Recruitment 4.0 sees recruiting move from being a cost center (a loss-making division) to being a profit center.

Reflect on that statement.

It’s huge and revolutionary.

Recruitment being a profit center.

“Impossible,” you cry.

Perhaps not if you reflect and apply some visionary foresight.

Recruitment 4.0 is some years off. But not as far as some may think.

Consider the world we live in. Value is defined differently. Companies like Zynga, Facebook, and LinkedIn have massive valuations, well above their profitability margins. Their reach and potential reach and the size of their mass following — an engaged following.

Our generation is living in the information age. The power lies in networks. Networks are data. Data is power. And data is money.

We all want data. Especially recruiters and marketers/salespeople.

So how does a community, (or let’s crudely call it data) = value = monetization = recruitment becoming a profit center?

There are several facets to recruitment moving to a profit center.

  1. Reduction of recruiting costs to a minimum, (agency usage close to zero, less need for mass job board advertising, reduction in number of in-house recruiters employed).
  2. This depends on building and nurturing a “qualitative” community, a strong employment brand, vibrant social networks, mapped competitors, and putting in place a predictable talent pipeline for key hiring channels.
  3. The community itself evolves into a self-service community, where recruitment can be executed by crowdsourcing, and by hiring managers becoming more engaged into pipeline generation and hiring. Everyone can use LinkedIn. Why not hiring managers?
  4. Value in the community is identified by both internal and external advertisers/marketers that allows for revenue for recruitment.
  5. A sense of increased value is attached to belonging/being part of that community, hence VIP/exclusive areas/content that people are happy to pay for.
  6. Gamification principles create more engagement and sense of belonging and stickiness to sites, hence driving potential of more opportunities for monetization.
  7. Actual games/cartoons/content that people subscribe to have repeat value.

Let’s look at some of those in a little more depth.

Traditional advertising is failing. The days of successful, targeted TV and print advertising are long behind us.

Ways to communicate, once limited and restricted, are now numerous and disperse.

Looking at TV, the former medium of choice for mass communication, now diminished, as people are now hungry for choice and happily spread their viewing over a diverse and numerous multitude of TV channels. If an advertiser manages to define a great TV slot to advertise to reach their target audience they are thwarted by the fact that people can now record and Tivo, hence skipping ads. TV advertising then is a busted flush.

Print advertising? Again, some national newspapers and magazines are spiraling downward from their heyday readerships. People tend toward reading the latest news online 24/7 or from niche web sites. They don’t want to wait the next day for old news. Print has had to be more salacious and do what it can to get the best scoops to get whatever sales possible. Online, people not only digest news, but have the benefit of posting comments and engaging in discussions.

So traditional messaging vehicles are struggling.

This coincides with a time when recruiter networks are expanding. Combine a recruitment database (with some companies having in excess of ½ million – million names), with social media networks, a targeted mass of names, email addresses, with perceived affinity to a business or product, and a growing realization awakens that this has a marketable value.

A marketing department does not have this scale, (or quality), of information on its database.

Recruiting does.

Now the first step is for recruiting to cross charge its marketing division to advertise to its database and community. Why not? Many marketing departments don’t see or understand the value of recruiting databases. They’re a potential goldmine of information and data … and potential business opportunities.

Taking this a step further, why not allow specific external companies the opportunity to advertise to your community? (Mindful of data protection and ensuring a community buys into contact by third-party advertisers). You remain in charge of the names and not divulging data, but certain advertising is safe to your community and could be revenue-generating for recruiting.

As this thought sinks in, revenue potential opens up.

The Death of Recruitment Agencies

At the same time, savvy companies will be seeing their recruiting costs decreasing.

As companies build their databases of talent, via sourcing, identification through LinkedIn, talent mapping, and coupled with their valued online communities, the need and reliance on recruiting agencies, both contingent and retained, will dramatically lessen.

This will also coincide with less of a need for corporate in-house recruiters. Hiring managers are more than adept at searching on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is greatly expanding its offering and making recruiting easier for everyone. Initiatives like ‘Genome’ from LinkedIn will radically lesson the need for dedicated in-house recruiters in the future. Coupled with your community recruiting on your company’s behalf (crowdsourcing of talent), the need for recruiters will lessen and hence accelerate cost reduction.

The very future of recruitment agencies depends on their ability to adapt to the new realities that companies are waking up to the need to break out of the active candidate pool and identify and attract passive candidates. If we take as an approximation that of the 100% of candidates qualified for your job, only 10% are active with agencies and job boards, then it’s the 90% who are more attractive to companies, and the agencies need to identify, attract, and present those candidates.

Contingent recruitment agencies, especially the large ones, are in the business of competing to be the first to present the CV of that 10% active pool, all trying to Bolt out the blocks. Unless they start to adapt by attracting and mapping out the 90% non-active and building their own communities, their model will face extinction. Now is not the time to rush and buy shares in traditional contingent operators as a long-term investment.

Even worse, the business model of traditional retained search and selection companies, as we reflect on it in this modern age, is founded on the delusions of lunacy. A client pays a 30% fee for first-year guaranteed compensation (or even just basic salary only), split into thirds, a third for commencement of the project and a third for presentation of a shortlist — the risk all loaded on the fee-paying client. Certainly, cost models will change toward loaded placement fees.

The irony is that search firm marketing is based on its peerless reputation as the ultimate Rolodex of all the golden names in the industry. Their network is the goldmine that we are seduced to unlock. If their databases are that peerless and they have done hundreds of similar searches, why then does it take four to five weeks for a shortlist? Perhaps that question is not raised enough.

The zealots will cry that the search agency is peerless in assessment and interviewing. But is that not we do in house? Why am I paying two-thirds of a fee without a placement? It’s even more laughable when the shortlist of contacts is most likely generated by a fresh graduate on $40,000 a year in the back room of the search agency, who then passes all their lead generation to the search consultant.

Alternatively, a growing trend is using a new breed of company that is engaged in market mapping, talent pooling, and recruitment research solutions — hence providing a company with a mapped market of qualified talent, with contact details and candidate profiles that the recruiter then follows up on. Not every company can afford internal sourcers, and this is the next best thing, and significantly cheaper/more cost effective than a full search.

However you cut it, the future is not bright for contingent and retained search and selection unless they adapt to changing new business realities. Not many currently have that foresight as they focus on short-termism. Hopefully agency CEOs have strong managers in their crow’s nest who are prepared to shout “iceberg ahead” before disaster strikes.

Job Boards Faltering

Coupled with the death/decline of agencies will be the faltering and restructuring of the large job boards.

As companies build their own recruitment databases and even more importantly their own communities, they can use creative ways to source talent.

Communities themselves will evolve around certain disciplines/careers/industries and hence negate the use for paid job boards. Why pay for a large job board in the active pool when we can reach passive candidates in a free community?

Job boards will have to look at community-building themselves and earn their revenue through product placement advertising rather than paid-for job advertisements.

Companies have always embraced the concept of internal referrals. Why not the reverse? External referrals — even better through crowdsourcing using their communities.

Naysayers will point to the rewards attributed to internal referrals, generally through monetary bonuses, and hence the difficulty of applying this externally as companies don’t want to pay for talent they would have got anyway.

But recent times have showed the power of recognition and “public reward” through games like Foursquare. People love the status of being the Mayor of a local curry house.

Why not take this principle into recruiting and reward referrals from crowdsourcing: Public recognition and rewards in the community, (badges, leaderboards), on a sliding scale to reach actualization of  ”real” rewards, be it monetary bonus, vacation, or a PC or iPad?

External Referrals through Crowdsourcing

Recruitment can learn a lot from crowdsourcing.

This term was arguably defined by Jeff Howe in the June 2006 issue of Wired magazine.

Howe states:

Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers.

Howe further drives this home by stating that “it’s only crowdsourcing once a company takes that design, fabricates [it] in mass quantity and sell[s] it.”

In laymen’s language, a company posts a problem online; a vast number of individuals offer their opinions and ideas as to how to solve it; the winning idea is rewarded in some form; and the end result is the company adopting the idea for its own benefit.

Some great examples of the power of crowdsourcing exist on Wikipedia: (the following are all directly quoted from Wikipedia).

  • In 2005, Amazon.com launched the Amazon Mechanical Turk, a platform on which crowdsourcing tasks called “HITs” (Human Intelligence Tasks”) can be created and publicized and people can execute the tasks and be paid for doing so. Dubbed “Artificial Intelligence,” it was named after The Turk, an 18th century chess-playing “machine.”
  • Cisco Systems Inc. held an I-Prize contest in which teams using collaborative technologies created innovative business plans. The winners in 2008 were a three-person team, Anna Gossen from Munich, her husband Niels Gossen, and her brother, Sergey Bessonnitsyn, that created a business plan demonstrating how IP technology could be used to increase energy efficiency. More than 2,500 people from 104 countries entered the competition. The winning team won $250,000.
  • The Democratic National Committee launched FlipperTV in November 2007 and McCainpedia in May 2008 to crowdsource video gathered by Democratic trackers and research compiled by DNC staff in the hands of the public to do with as they choose — whether for a blog post, to create a YouTube video, etc.
  • Facebook has used crowdsourcing since 2008 to create different language versions of its site. The company claims this method offers the advantage of providing site versions that are more compatible with local cultures.
  • General Electric organized a multimillion dollar challenge to find new, breakthrough ideas to create cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid technologies, and to accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies. The winner will be announced on Nov. 16, 2020.
  • The Vancouver Police Department has put up a website entitled Hockey Riot 2011, informing people about the VPD′s investigations into the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot. It also asks people to contribute any pictures or video that they may have taken during the riot, with the goal of identifying people who may have participated in the rioting. The site also reminds people to not use social media to take justice into their own hands, instead leaving it to the police. As of July 1, 2011, 101 arrests have been made.
  • IBM collected more than  37,000 ideas for potential areas for innovation from brainstorming sessions with its customers, employees, and their family members in 2006.
  • L’Oreal used viewer-created advertising messages of Current TV to pool new and fresh advertising ideas.
  • Pepsi launched a marketing campaign in early 2007 which allowed consumers to design the look of a Pepsi can. The winners would receive a $10,000 prize, and their artwork would be featured on 500 million Pepsi cans around the United States.
  • Unilever has recently decided to drop its ad agency of 16 years, Lowe, and has turned to the crowdsourcing platform IdeaBounty to find creative ideas for its next TV campaign. Unilever has worked with Lowe on the snack-food brand Peperami since 1993, but has decided to submit its brief out to the public, rather than a small team of creatives.

Ironically, Wikipedia is itself a successful example of crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing, as a concept, lends itself perfectly to recruiting.

Posing the question to your community, “We are looking for a dynamic Product Manager, with x/y/z experience … any ideas/recommendations?” will soon become a normal sourcing/name generating activity for recruiters.

The key is how to incentivize/inspire/motivate the crowd to do your recruiting.

LinkedIn gets it. It’s already making headway toward this goal, aiding a company’s ability to use employee networks and matching up people who are connected to our employees who closely match our job specifications.

But what about the wider crowd? That’s where attention will turn next.

Premium Paid Content

Recruitment 3.0 recognized that recruitment is fundamentally boring. People tend to only visit corporate careers pages when they are looking for work. There is no engaging “repeat visit” content that drags them back for more. Many companies are using social media as a replacement job board and listing jobs with hyperlinks back to the job site. It’s hardly the most engaging content.

Recruitment 3.0 involves building “engaged” communities. The key is compelling, rich content, creating a destination that people want to go to on a frequent basis. That is not a list of jobs.

Remember again that recruiting is not about “bums on seats”; it also encompasses nurturing a strong employment brand proposition, attracting and seducing those not familiar with your brand, and taking them on a journey to either apply to work for your company or be an active brand ambassador in your community.

As communities build up in 3.0, underpinned by engaging content, and when those communities reach a critical mass, the next step is starting to grant VIP access and exclusive content to community members. If communities are engaged, they will be, by definition, happy to pay to be part of the VIP area, and we will see the monetization of these communities and a potential revenue stream for recruiters.

Aggregating all your social media feeds — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube content, and your blog — is the first step. This could and should be aggregated both on your corporate careers site and your mobile phone app (for those who want to be part of the community on the move). A one-stop shop for people to engage and follow your company encourages repeat visitors.

This content on the social media sites needs to feel personalized and humanized, giving exclusive access behind the scenes of your company and the individuals behind it.

But what else?

Understand the public pulse. There is no better place than the Apple Store. This shows what content keeps people coming back and is most popular to download. And guess what that is:

  • News & Information (knowledge and exclusive access news)
  • Games (fun games but also including quizzes)
  • Comics & books (The appeal of an ongoing story that people want to follow)
  • Photography/photos/videos (uploading and sharing)

This content often focuses on getting people involved, something to do with your friends, and brings that “global community” together.

Each of these is “sticky” and keeps people coming back.

Why can’t recruiters use these same concepts as part of their community building but adapt them for their own companies?

Recruitment Embraces Concepts of Gamification

Gamification is the latest buzzword. What’s funny is that some well-known commentators are rushing to speak about this subject but end up mirroring granddad at the disco trying to throw “cool” shapes to the latest bangin’ tune but instead look rather doddery and completely out of touch.

People love to be entertained. Gaming is huge. Not just “serious” video console games like the Call of Duty’s, FIFAs, and Battlefields, or the PC games like World of Warcraft, but the spread of casual gaming whether on Facebook or on mobile shows the power of people of all ages wanting interactive entertainment.

Gaming educates us about the dynamics of engagement. (Some would take this further to addiction.) What a great game does is ingrain itself into the conscious and subconscious of the player. You think about it and love the roller coaster of emotions that the game takes you through. You may pull an all-nighter, or get up extra early to get in an hour or so before having to venture off to deal with humdrum reality. Escapism is the new drug of the austere Tens.

But what else can we learn? Casual games are the key to the door of mass/mainstream and that elusive community engagement via compelling content that we all seek.

Casual games are those that embrace all demographics, are simple, fun, accessible, and from which users get an instant form of gratification. This is different than “serious games” that are deeper experiences and are perhaps less accessible due to the time invested and the barrier of controllers/complexity of purpose.

Farmville on Facebook is a classic example of community-building and demonstrates some key buttons in engagement theory (in a social context). Farmvile has been such a success for a number of reasons. First, it recognized the unbridled thrill of “gifting.” When you first visit your farm, you don’t go straight to it but to a page with a list of gifts. Many games ask you to spam mail your buddies to play the game. Farmville cleverly goes further by allowing you to send a gift of an animal or plant/crop to your friends. Of course, when we receive gifts, we also like to give them back, starting the spiral of interaction.

Part of this psychology also encourages you to help your friends by reminding them to harvest their fields and to weed their farms. It’s very community-friendly stuff.

These gifts also have a perceived value. The whole point of Farmville is to build a busy and profitable farm and maintain it. But to do this, you need to build and grow the farm, which is time-consuming and takes a while to buy plants, crops, and trees, etc.  But luckily your saving grace is your friends as they help out by sending all these valuable items for your farm. Hence my farm looks better with more content so I will invite more of my friends to play, give them gifts, and expect/request gifts in return.  It’s a clever use of personal psychology and satisfaction of wants.

Farmville also gets that the game has to be accessible and simple. There are no extra levels; you just keep on growing the size and scope of your own farm. The only limitation is money. But having lots of friends gets around that.

Now the clever part kicks in. The game keeps you coming back. Certain crops you plant require harvesting at certain times. Some crops will die if you don’t come back. Strawberries mean you come back every four hours. That locks in an engagement and repeat visit. “I must log back in at 2 p.m. or my crops will die!”

Farmville also cleverly gets the whole concept of one-up-manship and competing to have the bigger farm, the more money, the latest gadgets 00 and that’s where monetization kicks in. Someone can pay to get ahead of their friends, and for many that is a key driver. “I must have the biggest farm and the latest items and be ahead of my mates!”

Hence Farmville teaches us there are three things to making social games huge viral successes: getting users to invite their friends (virality); getting users to return frequently (stickiness); and people competing to win/be ahead of their friends (showing off).

Interestingly, one of the first to understand these dynamics was the Hotel chain Marriott, which has released a Facebook game designed with the goal of introducing potential employees to life in the hospitality industry. MyMarriottHotel gives players the opportunity to “work” in various hotel roles, including hospitality manager. You can start by working in the hotel kitchens and gain points for excellent customer service and profitability. The game is geared to raising awareness among millennials to job opportunities around the world (cleverly available in five languages).

Critically for recruiting, the MyMarriottHotel Facebook game includes at the top of the game a banner shouting “Do It For Real” that hyperlinks to Marriott’s jobs site. Marriott’s goal is to fill 50,000 positions at its hotels around the world, helped by this game raising awareness, (predominantly outside the U.S.).

So what is gamification, and how can it be applied to recruiting?

Gamification is using game mechanics/methodology to inspire engagement in activities that otherwise would be considered boring or routine. Recruitment certainly sits within that definition.

Key concepts of gamification that recruiters can learn from when developing communities and building compelling, repeat visit content, include:

  • The key word when engaging in social media and community-building is remembering the key element, often-forgotten, is social
  • Keeping activities/content simple, fun, and interactive. When people read your blog/social media, is it light, carries pictures, short, informative, stimulating, or even entertaining to read?
  • People want to know what other people are doing, especially their friends. Can people see what their friends have been doing? People love engagement and giving their opinion, be it by rate-this-page, commenting, oropinion polls. These are all interactive elements that engage.
  • As people interact, degrees of personalization and humanization help, such as the uploading of avatars and/or people’s pictures. People prefer engaging with “perceptibly real” other people. Avatars aid that.
  • Are you encouraging sharing content/activities with your community? Are people rewarded or recognized for sharing content?
  • Inspiring members of your community’s “friends” to get involved and get their friends engaged, i.e. virality, sending community growth viral.
  • “Gifting.” Can content be shared amongst friends/can someone get something in return?
  • Keeps em coming back for more. Certain times of the day/week that the community has to be there. Prizes/giveaways ingrain this activity. Some companies do specific content “reveals” at certain times of the week. Live webcasts also encourage set-time attendance.
  • Competition against friends/leader boards. It could be quiz-questions about your company, the most referrals of job seekers, or the most comments made in your blog/social community. Leader boards keep people coming back to chart their progress and see who is on top, and if they are ahead of their friends.
  • “Easter Eggs” — those intentionally hidden features that people can’t find. Especially cool for college sections and can be used to encourage people to find about more about your company and unlock exclusive content.
  • Enabling unique experiences/personalization. Can people create their own unique user account, personalize their landing pages, and personalize their experiences?
  • Progress bars. People are addicted to completion, and progress bars are often used in online shopping as you are guided to place things in the shopping cart and progress to the checkout. Progress bars fit nicely with job application processes of a series of tasks that people will want to complete. “Completism” is a natural human psychological compulsion.
  • User-generated content, and games like LittleBigPlanet have showed us that people love creating their own content and sharing that content with the community. Can your community do the same, involving uploads to your blog/corporate careers site?

These concepts can all be applied to corporate career sites, which are purely a repository of information overload and fundamentally dull, and of course to mobile apps. People, bored sitting on the train, plane, and bus, want content to engage them.

Some corporate sites already include games and other challenges — almost always in the Careers section — and some companies have added game elements to the recruitment process.

Some are asking, “Is this expensive? How can a recruiting department make games? But at minimal cost there is a thriving development community and graduates studying at colleges who would love the opportunity and exposure that creating and publishing a game on a corporate site brings them. Development time on games for mobile is minimal but the key is fun (look at games like Doodle Jump and Flick Football, massively popular but simple to develop).

Many recruiters are currently using Empire Avenue as a way of engaging with communities and making new contacts. Some are even using it as a sourcing tool to recruit from. For those who don’t know, Empire Avenue is fundamentally a stock market simulation social network game that encourages users to buy and sell shares of people and websites. Players have their own portfolio in a virtual economy and earn money, called Eaves, by investing in other people. This sees your own net worth rise by encouraging friends and community members to invest in you. What is cool is that when all accounts are linked together, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs, your net worth rises based on the content you either create or share. What’s cool about this approach is that it combines simplicity with what we do on the web every day: creating and sharing content. Interestingly, Empire Avenue mimics the other sites as it’s also a social network itself. It’s allows opportunities to connect and debate with others by finding affinity groups (“Communities”) within Empire Avenue. Clever engagement mechanisms at play.

Concurrently, Google is also on the move with its Google News Badges. We all read the news, and applying the above theory — let’s call it gamification methodology — Google has created “Google Badges.” Google News users in the U.S. can earn different pins for reading the news, starting with bronze and moving up to Ultimate. There are more than 500 badges available to suit all types of interests, such as “stock market,” “Harry Potter,” and U.S. elections. These “Google Badges” follow closely on the heels of Google launching its own social network, Google+, and is increasingly trying to get people to share content via its network of services in a similar fashion to Facebook.

This will sound very similar to users of Foursquare. Foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on mobile phones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application, and select from a list of venues that the application locates nearby, e.g. restaurant, library, pub, house, etc. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges.”

The first time a badge is unlocked on Foursquare, be it an easy achievement (like the “Superstar” badge for 50 check-ins), or one that comes as a surprise (“Douchebag Badge,” which is unlocked after checking into venues tagged with “douchebag,” or the “Don’t Stop Believing Badge,” awarded for checking in to three venues tagged “karaoke” in a month), the game keeps people engaged with rewards that makes members want to use the system even more and compete with friends. Especially those who live or work in close vicinity of each other as they compete to be the Mayor of a location.

Why is gamification so important?

Interestingly, to give more credence to this area, Gartner, in research published in April 2011 stated: By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application.

That’s a big statement. 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

Many commentators see that naturally fitting in the corporate careers site.

Perhaps gamification will be taken more seriously among current recruitment leaders moving forward.

Global Community Rating of Companies

People trust each other and members of their community far more than they do advertising or company communications. Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers, talked about the impact of social media. One of his key points was that 78% of consumers trust each other more than they trust advertising — which is why they read blogs and go to chat rooms.

There are many examples to back this up, particularly when we go on vacation. The holiday industry has had to get far more authentic and responsible in its communications. No more fantastic ratings of restaurant food when it is tripe; no more “the beach is in walkable distance” … but only for those who are happy to walk for two hours; and no more “great local entertainment” when it is two people playing spoons. Why is that?

Many people now check out Trip Advisor and read how people have voted/rated their vacation/hotel en masse and then read through some of the commentary. Real. Authentic. Trustworthy. No hidden agendas, just shared experiences.

Companies value their placing on “best companies to work for” and “great places to work” lists. And these are a mix of internal questionnaires of employees’ experience and then a specialist evaluation of policies and internal structures by a panel of experts.

Glassdoor is the closest to a trip advisor for recruitment. Its bias is more U.S.-focused and needs to hit that critical mass to be held in the same esteem.

As we head to 4.0, those principles behind Glassdoor will see job seekers trust the crowd, and companies will value that authenticity far more than traditional manufactured best-places-to-work lists.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Some reading this will rightly raise the question of whether this is all this scalable. Cynics will openly proclaim there will always be a need for local agencies to hire receptionists, builders, joiners, hairdressers, admin assistants, and hosts of other roles. Screams will be heard:

Job boards will never die!

This was all predicted 10 years back and it never happened!

How can a small company generate its own community?

Many criticisms/protection of vested interests will emerge in this debate.

They’re fair points to discuss. Interestingly, when Hard Rock Café wanted to open a new venue in Florence, perhaps the initial reaction of many recruiters was to advise them to go to local “high street” agencies, or place an ad in the local press, even on a job board. The Hard Rock took a different approach and used Facebook to reach out and recruit. It built a community around the new venue opening. Hard Rock needed to hire 120 staff across eight categories from waiting staff, barmen/women, to accounting. It was inundated with responses and was able to interview 600 candidates for the roles and whittle down to the 120 needed for opening.

Whatever the size of a company, all the concepts here are relevant. It may be that a company does not have the time to build its own community but will be able to access other communities and groups, be they local or discipline-specific, such as hairdressers, and crowdsource their vacancies.

Technological, access to information, and communities know no boundaries. That’s the difference the past 10 years have made and why jobs boards and agencies have to adapt, or else.

Conclusion

Recruitment 4.0 is a long way off; yet, many of its concepts are resonating today and being built upon and planned. Some early adopters are even implementing some of the component parts. 4.0 is a natural progression from 3.0. It takes the community concept to the next level.

While some will be initially shocked at the radicalism involved at suggestions of recruitment transitioning into a profit center, crowdsourcing talent, and entertaining/gamification, with a period of reflection it makes sense as a natural strap-on to 3.0 communities.

Many of the recruitment leaders in place today are not ready for 3.0, let alone 4.0. They have been schooled in traditional recruiting techniques that will soon be outdated and detrimental to their business. Many more are worried about process than end results. Where does your leader stand?

Imagine those recruiting leaders who can go to their CEO and demonstrate that they have been able to map out competitors, and identify and build relationships with cream-of-the-crop talent. Leaders who have helped shape and who have put in place engaged communities with positive two-way communication social media channels, thus enhancing employment brand attractiveness, (with a positive spinoff for the consumer/product/service brand), and have hence been able to slash expenditures on recruitment and are now coming up with proposals of how to turn recruitment into a profit center.

Compare that to your current recruiting leader. Are they shaping your future in this direction?

Who do you think your CEO would prefer as a recruiting leader? The one described above or your current one?

There is plenty above to chew on and debate. Agree or disagree, what is certain is that exciting times lie ahead for recruitment.

And before someone asks, will we see an article on Recruitment 5.0 anytime soon? Not from Autodesk. We’ve got to focus on delivering 3.0 and 4.0 with the great team at Autodesk. There’s lots to do and achieve.

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.

  1. Marie Ashton

    Great article Matthew. A lot of food for thought here!

    Many companies are clearly thinking ahead and engaging candidates in a new and exciting way. It’s also great that more companies are looking at passive talent and market mapping to engage with cream of the crop talent who are not looking for work and are not engaging with employers/agencies at all.

    Change is inevitable and recruiters will fall by the wayside if they are not able to adapt along with the changes in society: Social Media, recruitment apps, gamification – as you say, we are already seeing this. Also, as more and more companies start to look at mapping the market and their competitors, those recruiters who are not able to support this will (if they haven’t already) start to see an effect. We are busier than ever as more and more people take this approach!

    Marie Ashton
    Head of Client Delivery
    http://www.mytalentworks.com

  2. Ken Ward

    MJ,

    Thought provoking discussion as usual, though I did find your arguments here uncharacteristically messy. I also take issue with your constant repetition of the phrase, “recruitment is boring”…..if so, you’re in the wrong game mate, time to get out. I accept that the process behind it (either as a jobseeker or a recruiter) may become tiresome, but boring? Never!

    Gamification is, as you note, the latest buzz phrase, but one I find that is often ill thought out and applied. Farmville is not the paragon of engagement, and ironically drove many of the constant policy changes on Facebook to combat spam and a poor user experience. I do however declare an interest in this space of course!

    You are and have been a passionate advocate of the power of brand and community and we have shared many a discussion over this, though I would be fascinated to see how many of such communities a job seeker would have to be “engaged” with in their job search. I will concede that for the big brands (perhaps the FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies that you sneer at?!), may already have the brand momentum to attract such a community but my gut tells me that this lends itself more to graduate and entry level recruitment.

    I do however agree that hiring managers should be more engaged in the hiring process through the use of the social media that they have access to, however to suggest that this will replace the corporate recruiter is unrealistic. From my own experience, we can assist them in taking out the fear some may have of engaging externally, fear arising either through ignorance or corporate policy, but these guys actually have day jobs!!

    I’m sure my lone voice will be shortly drowned by the flood of MJ fanboys!! See you soon for a beer

    Ken

  3. Matthew Jeffery

    Hey Ken.

    Thanks for going to trouble to reply. Always love a healthy debate with you.

    I think you perhaps misunderstand the ‘recruitment is boring’ tag. It refers to people’s willingness and enthusiasm to go to and revisit corporate careers sites, outside of looking for a job.

    I am sure you don’t go to a corporate careers site on a frequent basis to look at a list of jobs and find that appealing, especially as you love working for Playfish & EA so much.

    Our job is to provide a compelling reason for people to come to careers site when they are in passive mode. Sure you agree that is not a list of jobs.

    You will also note I also that there is never a better time to be a recruiter and up skill. This is all part of that.

    Yes, we agree on Gamification, and the simple arguments are learning from the masters of engagement like Playfish and learning from them/you on how to keep people coming back for more.

    Interestingly many articles on gamification focus on plugging a game into a corporate careers site or just adding badges, but as you know, it’s a whole lot more than that.

    As to your comments on the FTSE 100 & Fortune 500 companies, I would say that sneer is the wrong choice of vernacular. What is surprising is how little effort the bigger companies, with resources at their disposal, go to in making them easy to access, understand and want candidates to apply for.

    Conversely, some of the small to medium enterprises to go more effort, often as they don’t have the brand pull, and are doing some great stuff. Applying for a job is simple. The company gives a great insight into what they do, career structure, culture, training & development, rewards etc etc. That gives a great insight for a job seeker and makes someone feel at easy to apply.

    There are plenty of examples of companies who are larger, who should do more, to give the job seeker an insight into their company and prospects.

    As you say, lets meet for a beer soon, although as usual, I am sure it will turn into many :)

  4. Keith Robinson

    So the Brits steam in… boy Matt another long and extensive article and argee with Ken the MJ fans will love it.

    As you know people like Alan Whitford and myself have been saying for 10 years and more that the recruiting functions can become prof a it center but some things need change for this to happen;

    1) Recruitment Depts need to think and act like marketing depts.
    2) Marketing, HR, PR and Recruiting functions need to come out of the silo and communicate.
    3) Marketing and Recruiting teams need to understand that a “candidate is a consumer and the consumer is a candidate”. Most organizations have huge potential recruiting pools BUT most sit in the marketing function and can be found in marketing CRM systems
    4) Recruitment needs to understand that CRM = Candidate Relationship Management and you need to market to your “talent pool” to build a relationship with it – not just search it.
    5) Think like a medium/publisher – Content is the King BUT data is right up there.
    6) Death of is a great sound bite BUT… you and I have debate this often… and no I’m not a dinosaur far from it but as I get wiser and much of what I still don’t always like still exists – including traditional companies and work patterns… will the company exists in the future and will we need recruiters at all.
    7)Gamification – neat but been around for a long time MI5 built a game nearly 7 years ago but agree they are cool, they are viral, they are great content for mobile so YES they will grow in use BUT only for the big boys.
    8) Rating sites get fiddled and this is a fact unless you build well controlled, policed and closed sites.
    9) Content well that is what my new company is all about – producing content that engages the audience/community. That requires insights, research and understanding of your community. What content do they and will they want/consume + what content they want from you as an organization AKA think like a marketer.

    BUT a good piece of writing but I do prefer those video interviews you and i do!!

  5. Recruitment 4.0 vision | RecTec

    [...] van de Haterd op 10-08-2011 15:48.My good recruitmentbuddy Matthew Jeffery recently published his recruitment 4.0 vision on ERE. Since I love a man with a genuine vision, I will advice everybody in the industry to read it [...]

  6. Bas van_de_Haterd

    Once again thank you for the genuine vision on this ‘boring’ sector we work on. I think this sector has way too few people that actually have a vision (I’ve yet to meet 10) that’s something else then: “like now, with a few changes”. So thank you for that and keep it comming.

    I do however have some disagreements / nuances with your vision, but that’s what it’s a vision for, right? Looking into the future is never a straight line.

    Since my comments nuances and comments were so long I wrote a blog about it. I don’t think comments should be that long since then other people that reply later won’t be read. http://www.rectec.nl/2011/08/10/recruitment-4-0-vision/

    However, I don’t want to push my own blog here just like that, so a quick summary.

    On the death of recruitmentagencies: I agree that most of the current ones will meet their maker soon. But I do see a few bright lights everywhere. In Holland we have one agency that uses the principles of ‘valuation after the fact’. In other words, you get to decide what to pay them after placement. With those business models I believe they will survive.

    On the other hand there is a big market for specialised agencies I believe. Not the general big ones, but niches. I think a SME IT company should be good at hiring IT people, but that one time a year they need to hire a sales people an agency could, and often should, come in (see the long argument in the blog on this one).

    Jobboards: agree with the general ones, but I do believe in the niche onces again that are linked to communities like ERE.

    Premium paid content: don’t bother in my humble opnion. The potential monay doesn’t make it against one potential loss of candidate. Those are much more valuable.

    And size does matter. Not in the way most people think, but it does matter. Size matters in the way you apply all of this. Size matters in the execution. Size matters in your strengths and you should always use your strengths and not bitch about the strengths of others.

    So that’s my 2 cents, summarized :)

  7. Matthew Jeffery

    Hey Keith.

    Hope you are well legend.

    Always a healthy debate with you. I think we would debate apples v pears :)

    Yes, Alan Whitford is a legend. Good, sound arguments never lose their force, whatever the timescale.

    Good arguments will always be good arguments.

    Glad you agree that the goal of a Recruiting Leader is not only to deliver great candidates/hires but also reduce costs and aim for a profit centre. However, old the argument, now is the closest that we can get to it being a reality.

    Only advice is dont fall into the trap that ‘Gamification’ is about creating games. It is about learning from the principles and philisophy of games about engagement, how to get people to repeat visit.

    Oh and fanboys…lol. I wish I had even 1 Keith. You should see some of the Tweets and emails I get, especially from agency recruiters who like to debate that their model works and is fine and wont consider a suggestion of a need for change).

    Lets meet up soon. Crazy times. Hope you are well legend.

  8. Thomas Mulhearn

    Interesting! I’d comment more but I have to get in my airjet car and take off. We’re vacationing on the moon this year before I start my new job on the Martian Colony. (anyone who came of age in the 60′s will get the reference. LOL)

    This is a comprehensive prediction of the future of recruiting, except for one thing. It ignores human nature and the nature of employers. Hiring managers are curious creatures. They want their jobs filled and they want them filled NOW. They may have been keeping the opening to themselves for 90 days but NOW they want it filled, and don’t give me a bunch of stuff about pipelines, passive candidates, branding, etc. Just find me the person that fits my needs that I can hire. And that’s where recruitment agencies fit in, because that’s what we do.

    Sorry about the sarcasm, but with all due respect, this fits into category of “wouldn’t it be nice?” In my humble opinion.

  9. Matthew Jeffery

    Hey Bas.

    Hope all is good in Holland.

    You are so right. It is tough for anyone to put their head above the trenches and state a view, let alone a vision. I often read great articles on ERE and read people shooting them down. Which is kind of sad. Debate is good. It helps us all learn. I hope more people leap on and write their own articles and visions for the future.

    Again on the ‘boring’ comment. The boring element refers to many corporate careers site, facebook pages, Twitter pages etc which just become de facto jobs boards. I cant imagine a non job seeker actively looking at a corporate careers site outside of looking for a job. So a list of jobs is boring. Sorry. Does not thrill me. Key is content that engages and inspires and we all need to drill that point home :)

    Bas, please keep up the great work in your vision and debates. Many in Holland really look to you to lead the charge with new ideas :)

    Yes, not all recruitment agencies will die or fade away. It is more a call to adjust strategy and appreciate the new environment. Some small ones are really adapting and will be strong players. But, like you, agree many will go.

    On those niche IT agencies. Those people registered on the books of those niche agencies, also hang out on line, in communities there, hence, in-house must be focused on penetrating those communities :)

    Let’s see on premium content. Lots to reveal soon and I will report back. I genuinely think you will be shocked at what we are planning. Will reveal soon.

    Great stuff Bas.

  10. Tony French

    I have worked in the IT Recruitment industry for 20 years, mostly in Toronto, Canada but also in Manhattan, Boston, Ottawa and Dublin (branch offices). I have never worked in an environment with an “any-bum-in-any-seat” philosophy and it has ALWAYS been about the passive job-seeker. People who responded to print ads in 1.0 and postings in 2.0 simply complimented the overall process but rarely represented the placed candidate. When I was trained in the industry our candidates brought their resume to the interview and that was the first time the hiring manager viewed any of their details. We were trusted with understanding the requirement, their environment and business and we would only send out elite candidates, otherwise we would lose the account. I think 4.0 will have more to do with surviving “agencies” recreating themselves as thought leaders and advisors and take ownership of branding, screening and global resource management. I see more and more senior level professionals removing their profiles from LinkedIn every day and the large Banks and Insurance companies with expensive Vendor Management tools have not realized the overall ROI that they were promised from what I gather.

    My two cents.

  11. Matthew Jeffery

    Hi Thomas.

    Wow :) Love your sense of humour. I hope you have a smooth ride in your airjet car later today :)

    This is all about the concept that of the 100% of candidates right for your role, only 10% are actively looking now. How do we get to that 90% passive pool, keep our company front of mind, and when needed get them to apply to us or recommend their friends with the right skill sets to apply. Putting 3.0 & 4.0 in place will help your role of bum on seat far easier.

    I guess today that the pressure on you is to fill a req yesterday. That you actively rush to locate a candidate via a job board, your database, staff referrals or agency, (ie the active 10%, which the best candidates may not be part of and looking), that you interview those candidates, who are interviewing elsewhere and then you offer and compete against other company offers.

    A Vision is always of the future. But some are doing some of these things now. Hence the real examples pointed to.

    And it’s up to all of us to show what a future can look like, that makes sense, otherwise we are on a journey to an unknown destination with no end goal :)

  12. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Tony. Love it. Sounds like you are ahead of the game :)

  13. Paul Basile

    There are a lot of interesting anecdotes and specifics in the meandering post. But it misses, in my view, the point.

    Shouldn’t we think about what is the problem and the opportunity? The problem is that companies don’t often enough hire the right people into the jobs; the evidence for that is beyond debate. And, therefore, people find themselves not in the right job. But we know how to get this right. Best practice exists. And that best practice is to use assessments for the person AND for the job, and use them scientifically, with validated instruments, at scale and online. THAT is the future of recruitment. The rest is interesting but won’t solve the problem or tap the opportunity: high-potential workers who should be in a different job.

  14. Ian Alexander

    Love the marketing thinking. Great direction. But your core value to your target market is your jobs. You can try and incorporate all the buzz words and trendy, soon to be gone games and social networking fads you want, but unless you find a way to let/help your target market build THEIR OWN COMMUNITY around your valued asset (jobs), then you will fail. You’ll look cool and hip doing it, but you’ll fail.

    And BTW, you probably have between 25 and 100 different target markets , given your individual mix of jobs, locations and talent profiles.

    Very telling that you view Apple stores as the ultimate place to take the public’s pulse! It’s a perfect place to take a certain very defined slice of the public pulse. I think the Apple sentence sums up the flaws in the marketing logic I find in the portion of your post I read before my attention span exploded. Sorry to hate. I appreciate your direction, it’s just hard not to jump in with the contrary.

  15. Brian Kevin Johnston

    Matthew- Your intuitive about 3.0/4.0 on many fronts. As long as the gap for TOP recruiters paychecks/commission stay the same, (Top Third Party Recruiters earn 5x+ more than Top Internal/Corp Recruiters) You will not be able to staff the rainmakers to implement your strategy. (Crowd-sourcing requires leadership/influence) Your well-written “pie in the sky” article (content) is/are just words that lack prudence….

  16. Thomas Mulhearn

    Matthew, I think the distinction between process and project recruiting is important. Process recruiting (4.0) is about continual sourcing and reaching out to all the sectors of the workforce on an ongoing basis. This is what recruitment agencies did before the great meltdown in 2000. Since then employers selectively use agencies to fill a specific position, when they want to make sure that someone is working on it and making it their business to fill it. Our business is now 100% contingency search. Unfortunately, while process recruiting may adequately fill 80% of the open jobs, the 20% need someone to take the bull by the horns and the responsibility to fill them. Someone has to do the legwork; someone has to convert the passive candidate into an active candidate; someone has to do the interviewing, selection, preclose and closure.

    Filling a key job is a matter of one person talking with one candidate, making a connection with the hiring manager, making the RIGHT match. Until Recruiting 4.0 can take the Human out of Human Resources agencies will survive and thrive. My 2 cents…

  17. Sarah Jenners

    This is a great article. Thank you for posting ERE. I took away some great new learnings and ideas.

    What strikes me is some of the comments made in this thread are very prehistoric. This comes across as a vision document, putting new ideas out there for discussion and debate.

    Much of this article is not as radical as perhaps it makes out. Lots of this is already being done,(as some of the examples illustrate).

    What is sad is reading some of the ‘couch potatoe’ comments who happily criticise but rarely come up with a valued idea or comment. It is easier to criticise than to innovate. I do get angry at the ‘cant be done brigade’. They state that things should always be done in a set way. It’s always been done this way, no need for change! Things cant change. These are the very same mentality as the killjoys who said that man would never fly. Man would never land on the moon. We would never see moving images on a box in the comfort of our own home. That we would never be able to speak to people across the world on a computer.

    Neanderthal man is alive and well.

    It just makes me angry, on a daily basis, that people close off to new ideas and there are people in these comment threads who fall into this definition.

    Still, fast forward a few years, and they will be left behind, perhaps writing their thoughts on a blackboard with chalk!

  18. allison madison

    Recruiting (or sourcing, or talent acquisition or whatever you want to call it today) is and has always been about relationships. Its about understanding people. Its intuitive and human. Recruiting Technology in its infancy (ie 2.0) managed to drive a wedge between people through the recruiting process. Recruiting technology now (3.0) is barely crawling, but has managed to put the humanity and relationships back into the equation. My hope it that technology will improve and enhance the core purpose of recruiting which is relationship building.
    But, while I can understand, and agree with many of your points, the “death of agencies” is rather counter intuitive to me. In large measure, unless you have a mammoth recruiting machine (which is the antithesis of the point of the emerging technology and recruiting) I don’t think your average small to mid-sized business has the need or the bandwidth to build and maintain all the “passive-candidate” relationships. I would argue that a true recruiting firm (not a churn and burn outfit that does only work on the 10% active job seekers) that builds long term relationships with its candidate (active and passive) pools are inherently valuable to businesses. A staffing firm that builds long-term rapport with clients and candidates over the course of their careers can definitely bring value to both the candidates and companies and a depth of knowledge and understanding to both parties.
    Bear in mind that the vast majority of businesses in this country have 50 or fewer employees. They are not concerned with “employment branding” and being “linked in” and tweeting about every activity of their day. They are occupied in the business of keeping in business.

  19. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Paul: interesting point, although I don’t agree with you. You are right that most companies don’t hire the right people for the jobs. The question I’d like to ask: do the right people want to work on a payroll? Or are those in general just the mediocre people? I think in many cases (say 25%) it’s not possible to hire the right people, since they won’t be hired.

    But then you bring in science. Sorry, one thing that the past few years tought us is that if there is one thing you don’t want, it’s science into ‘social’. Scientific research has been wrong… almost each and every time. If I hear the frase, it’s scientificly proven in something different then math or psysics I know one thing for sure: doesn’t work in practise! And even with math and psysics the’ve been wrong more often the right.

    @Ian: you are right that it’s not all about being hip. You need to make sure it fits your process being hip and hip differece from sector to sector. But to be honest, knowing Mat, he understands that better then most.

    @sarah :)

  20. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @allison: I have to disagree with you there. As you can read in my response blog, I used to work at a 80 people IT company. Like you’re 50 people employee company. One of the main reasons for our success (and the lack of it at many competitors): we did build work on our employer brand. Not in the way most think, 99,9% of the Netherlands never heard of us. Good. We only wanted those few to know us, and with success…. Did we use agencies? No, except when recruiting non IT personal, since we didn’t really understand them.

    I now work with a small IT firm again (as a consultant). They grew from 60 to 100 last year… during crisis. Why? Because recruitment is a focus. Because we do tap into the market. One of my key elements when I started was ‘the new brand’ and I talked to my client today. She told me last year everybody ran away from their booth at a recruiting event, now they are comming to it on their own. Simply because the look, the feel and the message is clear and attractive. For every SME recruiting should be a core business, since people make the difference at your company.

  21. Peter Macdonald

    A very thought provoking article Matthew, and I agree on most points. However I believe there are two issues that affect the ability of your brave new world to occur. Firstly hiring managers are useally time poor and don’t have skills in or interest in recruitment. Therefore without a HR team behind them (especially true in small companies) the most efficinet and cost effective way to recruit is still to utilise an external agency. Secondly recruiters such as myself who are carving a niche in a specialised area will always be in-demand. For example a small manufacturing or services company that employs an accountant will rarely have the networks or even skills to recruit another accountant should that accountant leave their company. There is a place for agencies in this post GFC world but they have to find their niche and work it.
    Cheers from OZ

  22. Rebecca Gutierrez

    Great article, Matthew!

    I do believe that there’s really more to come with regards to recruitment. One element of this change are the millennials. Know more about their impact on jobs or employment at http://crowdsourcing.org/l/2901.

  23. Kevin Wheeler

    Matt,

    Thanks for a great, thoughtful and stimulating article! Well written and excellent points.

    I think one could make a case, however, for a reverse version of your vision where agencies dominate and corporate recruiting goes away. All agencies are for profit, as you put it, and unless they deliver what the customer wants, they disappear. Good RPOS are finding great success here in the U.S. and I think some will reinvent themselves and others appear. You can refer to my ERE article on the end of corporate recruiting I wrote a few weeks ago for my thoughts here.

    With the nature of work changing rapidly and the size of large companies shrinking due to cost cutting, automation, productivity increases, and increasing tendency to outsource almost everything,I can’t see recruiting inside corporations surviving except in those few megaliths that may exist.

    I agree that social networks, gamification, etc. will be increasingly important. I would point out, however, that even HardRock and other firms that have used social networking extensively have largely outsourced the implementation of their programs to outside individuals or organizations. They have not done it themselves.

    I also find it doubtful that most hiring managers will feel comfortable, capable or find the time to tap into even the best of social networks to find candidates. Maybe, but unlikely.

    We could engage in a long debate and conversation over the use of paid, engaging content. I am not a believer that that can work for a lot of reasons. I will write something about that on ERE soon. Hope to see you at TRU LONDON in a few weeks and discuss this more over a few beers!

  24. Fusion-io and Nvidia Demonstrate 1080p Video Wall | Social.net

    [...] Recruitment 4.0: Crowdsourcing, Gamification, Recruitment as a Profit Center … Aggregating all your social media feeds — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube content, and your blog — is the first step. This could and should be aggregated both on your corporate careers site and your mobile phone app (for those who want to be part of the … Read more on ERE Media [...]

  25. Gareth Jones

    Hi Matt, great and thought provoking post as always. I agree pretty much across the board and its the industries lack of ability to look beyond the end of its nose that prevents recruiters and companies from seeing these trends. couple of points from me though:

    1. Recruitment 1.0 was not about attraction – im old enough sadly to remember it was the days of pre fax machines where a lot of recruitment was proactive and the passive candidate was targeted a lot more than they are now. Rec 2.0 introduced the reactive and ignored the passive

    2. Response is a mugs game – at #srconf i mentioned that our industry – thanks largely to the internet and the job boards – has been built around response and that proactive resourcing has all but died. Thats the fundemental question to ask about recruitment strategy – is it proactive or reactive. I wrote a post on that too but the overall feeling was that i was dumb because response is where the money is.

    3. Job boards dont deliver – and cannot measure their effectiveness beyond apps. Ive measured job boards to placement – it appears very few people, if anyone, in the UK/US has also done this. Either way, unless they can improve their less than 1% annual strike rate before the majority of clients start to measure them properly – which they will – they are toast. If anyone wants to talk about job board measurement see me after class ;)

    4. The ‘Employer Brand’ is so yesterday and no longer relevant – organisations and what they do are becoming so transparent that having a separate brand proposition for employment is lame. Its all about having a compelling brand proposition – period.

    5. There is currency in the community – community is key and i said that at #SRCONF too. But it wont be about talent communities as we think they are today. We will connect more.

    6. Executive search is in for the biggest fall – as you say, they are not immune – see my bog for more thoughts on the demise of these guys. But agencies too, especially generalist ones have a big headache coming and i cant believe they cant see it.

    7. Size doesnt matter – i believe i said that at #srconf and was laughed at was i not?! It’s the title of my next blog as it goes which will be out soon but you are spot on. Money no longer talks. People do.

    8. Gamification – faddy. Powerful yes, but faddy and will be largely non essential in the new order as a real strategy. People connect over lots of things and if the core glue isn’t there in the community, no amount of gamification will ensure stickyness. It is already becoming tiresome to be ‘gamified’ wherever you go.

    9. Crowdsourcing – huge and we have only just hit the tip of the iceberg. What we are seeing today has nothing to do with social media. We are only now seeing the true impact of the internet – give it 10 years and things will be very different when the true impact of this social phenomenon kicks in. like i said, money no longer talks. People do. I repeat for effect ;)

    I could go on, but then id be challenging you in a comment length dual. Perhaps best continued over lunch?

  26. Gareth Jones

    Hi Matt – forgot something. Your comment:

    “Now the first step is for recruiting to cross charge its marketing division to advertise to its database and community.”

    Very good, but your statement is actually applying marketing 1.0 tactics to what is a very astute vision – tut tut, you should know better ;)

    The truth is, customers, employees and candidates are one and the same person. They are all customers, just at different points in their lifecycle. Those companies that realise this and focus on creating a great experience at whichever touch point the person finds themselves at will win.

    So its not about separate databases at all. Its about one single one – your global customer community.

    I shall go now… ;)

  27. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Kevin: I recently heard somone say that for any vision, the exact opposite usually seems just as true and is just as likely. Even more, I think both will happen and are right :)

    @Gareth: at your point 3: I know a lot that do by now, although few that actually take action on it.
    On your point 4, the employer brand is alive and relevant. It’s just not that managable. You’re brand is what people say about you when you’ve left the room (Jeff Bezos), now it’s what people say about you on Facebook. It’s relevant, just not traditional marketing. And agree 100% on your point about crowdsourcing…

  28. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Paul Basile. Hope you are doing well. You raise a great point. But key is that companies dont and wont invest into identifying who is the best talent out there. Mapping competitors. Reaching out to high performers. Building those relationships ahead of demand. Part of this is of course the whole debate that of the 100% of skilled people for any role, only 10% are active. How do we identify relationships with that other 90%, or at the very least dent that huge figure. hence Employment Brand and ways to attract and engage talent kick in, as ideally we want as much of the 90% to approach us proactively.

    But so many issues surround all this. Companies hire square pegs to fit square holes, when the best hires may be round holes that dont fit but offer so much more.

    We live in a fun world :)

  29. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Ian Alexander. Thanks for taking time out to comment. You really nail a key argument. The balence between pipeline, employment branding and seeking to look cool but failing.

    Totally right that however sexy all the gizmos look, they need to have a ROI.

    Our balence is building value communities that yield both Employment Brand resonance and of course deliver pipeline. Sure you agree that a traditional corporate careers site, with a list of jobs and some marketing spin about how great it is to work for your company, it’s uniques culture etc, isn’t engaging or a reason for someone to visit outside of job search.

    Marketing teams have been great at marketing products/services but not so much their own company. People want to know what happens behind the doors of a company, the people, their experience, the culture, the fun etc. Hence social media can play a great part in breaking down that corporate mystique and removing the corporate iron curtain.

    Hence the whole argument, how do we create communities that repeat visit, contain people that we want to hire plus has people who will champion a company.

    Companies need to market themselves a little harder to make them appealing to job seekers. Even the biggest companies out there, with great corporate brands,aren’t great to work at. Reading Glassdoor shows that.

    Love to debate this over a pint sometime Ian :)

  30. Lisa Scales

    Hi Matt

    Great article and so many points that I agree with as you know but Sarah Jenners sums it up well so I won’t go on however I do want to make a point about people like you that put their visions “out there” – well done you – you stick your head above the parapet and allow these conversations to exist – I think that in itself deserves applaud

    Lisa

    PS What’s with the length of the article and also the readers comments?! – my default setting has been reduced to 140 chars these days – bitesize chunks are good for me and my time ;o)this post could be have been in a series!!

  31. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Brian Kevin Johnston. Totally agree. That’s why a big change is needed. That starts slowly but will snowball. Imagine a CEO at a dinner party speaking to another CEO about recruiting. One is talking of their Recruitment function mapping out competitiors, building communities, employment brand initiatives, crowdsourcing candidates, and actually reducing costs, with candidate quality going up, and that initiatives were in play to turn recruitment into a profit centre.

    The other CEO quietly reflects that they are spending money on recruitment agencies, massive search fees, little employment brand initiatives.

    I am guessing that CEO will come back and that recruiting leader will be carpetted.

    Many are starting to do a lot of these initiatives, Corporate Recruiting Leaders will be under pressure to deliver and add more value against their peers, and this will impact those huge fees that recruiters at agencies are charging.

    Hope you agree Brian that times will change.

  32. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah Jenners. You certainly made me smile. LOL. Loved your direct style. I hope that you write an article would be an interesting read.

    I dont really know what to add to that.

    It’s good to debate all ideas. If something is right, an argument reinforces it is right. If something is wrong, then course correction is good. Debating all ideas is important.

  33. Recruitment 4.0 « Rage on Omnipotent

    [...] Recruitment 4.0. [...]

  34. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Alison Madison. Yes relationships are the key, that will never change. Key is maintaining an ongoing engagement with a talent pool. People send a cv in and more often or not they never hear a thing back. That is not a relationship. And companies have databases of probably many thousands of names.

    These people should have a relationship with a company. Social Media, email mailshots, provide that ‘relationship’ of keeping in touch.

    And tweeting or Facebooking for the sake of it, is worthless. Done properly, it becomes a great source of pipeline. Whatever the size of company. Don’t forget, building a social media community is not about waiting to see who joins, it is about who to target the people in the right talent pools to join your community…and then engage with them.

    There is a lot of strategy behind this.

  35. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Bas, your comment at 5.06pm Aug 10. Perfect Perfect example and case study for all. Love it :)

  36. Sarah Lenton

    Hi Matt,

    Another great article prompting lively debate for which we all thank you.
    Personally I don’t find your ideas that radical; and I agree with your thought process when it comes to the evolution of the status quo to 4.0. There are conversations being had out there around the topics you’ve covered, but, as you can imagine, many of them remain just conversations!
    Recruitment as a profit centre could and should be a reality, and it’s another topic that’s been banded around in conversations I’ve been privy to. Actually, it’s been whispered in conversations I’ve been privy to. I think that one could be a little while in the making, but as social media gathers even greater pace and weight in the eyes of organisations I do believe that recruitment, a function which (in many companies) has well and truly embraced and understood it, will get more notice from the rest of the corporation and will have more clout to have those conversations.
    It’s difficult to say this without it sounding like a pitch or a ‘suck butt’ (I love working with Americans, they have the best insults), but I’m part of the team behind MyMarriottHotel. So first off I’m thrilled you’ve picked up on it, and that it’s met with your approval. Secondly, Marriott as an organisation have been very conservative in the past; so for them to do something like this was a real achievement (and only done through some really passionate people in the Marriott team).
    Now if Marriott can do it, then the naysayers might want to reconsider their ‘it’ll never happen’ stance: even the big corporates will get on board when they see the results. Now sadly, I’m not able to share those results publicly at the moment, but I can tell you that purely from a FB FanPage perspective, Marriott have doubled their numbers in six weeks. Given that the primary goal of this game is as an brand engagement tool, we’re very happy so far.
    So not much in the way of debate Matt, more of a endorsement (as if you need one!). Perhaps it’s more of an encouragement: I don’t think you’re a million miles away and I do think that many of your predications will, in one form or another, come to fruition. What I wonder is the longevity of some of these ideas – if there’s one thing that holds true at the moment is that change is the only constant. Shelf life might be the bigger issue (is anyone still using Second Life?)….
    You might want to take a breath before the next instalment, you’ll run out of numbers by the end of the year.
    Sarah.

  37. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Peter Macdonald. Great points. And of course some of the niche agencies will survive and thrive. Sure we can agree that many of the bigger recruitment agencies, be it large contingent players or Search & Selection Agencies, will either have to adapt or die. Their scaleability is downward rather than upward. Hence my personal investment into shares will not be with some of those guys :)

    And interestingly, some accuse me of anti agency. I smile at this. I was ex Agency and learnt a lot of great skills, from great mentors and owe a lot to them. My last two recruiters I have hired have come from Agency side. Their hunger and passion to succeed is perfect for in house :)

  38. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Rebecca Gutierrez. Thanks for the compliment. Nice :)

    Also nice use of the comments threds to link to an interesting article.

    Thanks again :)

  39. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Kevin Wheeler.

    First off thanks for taking time out to comment. As you know I am a huge admirer of all you do for recruiters and challenging the status quo. Your radicalism & pragmatism, really stimulate thinking and debate :)

    Yes, I really enjoyed your article on the end of Corporate Recruiting. Fascinating read and the comments thread was equally as compelling. In many ways I can agree with you. How, as they appear contradictory arguments.

    Well, many recruiting functions if they continue as they are, they are pretty much worthless. Some companies are relying on recruitment agencies. If in-house recruiters are being fed agency cv’s, what is their point? Vut out the middle man and let the agencies feed the hiring manager direct. If agency recruiters are just posting on job boards and presenting back cv’s to hiring managers, again, not a rocket science, agree with you Kevin, cut out the recruiting function.

    Some of the best businesses across the world are relying on lazy recruiting practices. As a hiring manager I would certainly think, I can do it better myself.

    Where the in-house function adds value is when they are more proactive. They reach out into the passive pool. Talent mapping, building communities, nurturing Employment Brand initiatives, building predictable talent pipelines etc. That’s where hiring managers just dont have the skills, knowledge or time to make a difference. Plus recruitments need new skill sets. Including marketing, PR, CRM, Direct Marketing and better communication & presentation skills. Many recruiters in the current model will be out skilled and need to look at new professions :)

    Agree on elements outsourcing and the Hard Rock example, which Bill Boorman led from the front in helping build a community. Key is not only building that community but nurturing it and keeping it well fed. Perhaps that element ie the nurturing is best in-house, spread across numerous headcounts as to not disrupt the day job.

    I really cant wait for your piece on paid premium content. I will look out for that on ERE. I would love to debate with you. Also, the proof is in the pudding.

    Consider this. And yes, I am talking scale here. If the average app on the iStore is £0.59. Lets say some companies have a recruitment database of 500,000 names. Basic maths I know, but say that database all bought the app, and there was compelling content, that’s £295,000 revenue. That’s the salary of maybe 7 recruiters covered, (sourcers).

    You will quite rightly point and say well not all 500,000 will want to pay that. Then this does not take into account, social networks build, power of viral campaigns etc.

    What content will cause people to want to pay, hopefully the above answers that. Rest assured goal is to prove this point and things are in development that people would want to pay for as it engages and has a repeat value :)

    And yes. beers, dinner and lots of chat at TRU LONDON. Cant wait to see you buddy. Been a while. Safe travels

  40. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Gareth Jones. hey buddy. Hope you are well.

    Proactive recruitment is where it’s all at. If recruiters rely on reactive measures like job boards, they will be relying on recruitment lottery and the right’ish person seeing the role, have the right’ish skills and then being bothered to apply for it. That’s a right lottery :) And of course many people out there won’t see the advert, hence the best candidates may not be applying. Plus many candidates mya not know of your company, never heard of it or may have preconceived opinions that stop them applying. We need to be proactive and get round that :)

    Employment brand is not dead. Companies do arrogantly rely on their Corporate brand, because they have great products or great sales. But take a look on Glassdoor and you will see it is not always a great experience working for those companies/ ‘I get lost in the crowd’. ‘One of 100 new hires’. ‘No training & development prospects’. ‘No pay rise, new starters get more’. ‘No Promotion prospects as new starters hired in from above’ etc etc

    Companies have to be more transparent about what it is like to work for them, career prospects, training & development, working culture. Hence companies have to sell themselves better to attract talent, especially mid to smaller companies. This is employment brand territory not general brand.

    Totally agree on building communities and also that search agencies will struggle.

    People misread gamification. It is about learning the laws of engagement and stickiness from games. What causes people to come back/repeat visit. This is not all about bades/rewards or actually games, it is about the philisophy of engagement.

    Crowdsourcing will be massive..agreed. And lunch, hell yes :)

  41. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Lisa Scales. Thanks for the compliment.

    You too put your head above the trench and put radical suggestions, (that work and will be the norm in years to come), but face the frustrations that Sarah Jenners refers to :)

    I hope may reading this article look at Tribepad as part of their recruiting solution.

    On the length of the article, yes, we debated a small release each day but opted for a one off, as there is so much great content being released daily on ERE :)

  42. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah Lenton. Loving what Marriott have done, and its a big step forward, appreciating the rather conservative reputation of the past. I love what you guys have done and continue to do.

    I am sure that you will be a great case study when you are ready to reveal results. And results are two fold. People will naturally jump straight at number of hires made. But your campaign is so much more than that, its great Employment Branding for Marriott, priceless in some ways, and if you gets hires from it, bonus.

    Can you say, appreciate you cant quantify at this stage, if you are making hires from this app / game as yet?

  43. Brian Kevin Johnston

    Matthew- Thanks for replying and taking time to further the discussion…. I agree that change is in inevitable, which is why I am creating the “inbound recruiter” (crowd sourcing recruitment essentially) brand. In my life/work experiences, compensation drives behavior. The article would have more merit if if the title was “…..And The Death Of Corporate Recruiting Departments” Third party Search has been and always will be the “innovators” in our industry. Why? Compensation Drives Thoughts/Behaviors/Actions/Results…

  44. Paul DeBettignies

    Matthew,

    Maybe I missed this along the way… what is your definition of a “Talent Community”?

    Do you think as the economy gets better/worse the opt in of folks will change too?

    Do you think that some skill sets are/will be more likely to join them?

    What I mean is, it has been easy to build some “talent pools” “pipelines” “talent communities” when the economy has been in the tank but as some skill sets have seen much greater demand (think IT) do you think there be less of those opting in?

  45. Matt Alder

    Despite risking sounding like the kind of MJ fan boy @kenward referred to, I have to say that this is yet another great article! Some great thinking here which takes current trends and models them through to a vision which ranges from reasonably credible in some places to absolutely inevitable in others.

    Speculating about the future is always interesting but perhaps the key point for me here is the amount of people in the online recruitment industry who are missing the current trends Matt is picking up on and how they are changing things right now.

    I’m staggered that a large number of job boards and ATS vendors don’t seem to have picked up on the fact that employers can now reach vast audiences of passive candidates in a structured and increasingly effective way. This has enormous implications for the way the online recruitment industry has operated and made money for the last ten years or so and as it industry it now needs to innovate fast.

    The future might not entirely play out in the way Matt predicts but the present is absolutely here now. If the online recruiting establishment doesn’t wake up quickly then there is no point them speculating about recruitment 4.0 or even recruitment 3.0 because they won’t be here to see either of them

  46. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Brian Kevin Johnston

    Would love to know more about your plans for the ‘inbound recruiter’ and your crowdsourcing ideas. Sounds very very cool. And would love to know more. I think many would as it has the potential to be leading edge.

    Will beg to disagree on third party search. At the very least cost models will have to change. Third/Third/Third will have to shift loaded to placement. The identification stage is the easiest for clients to do, lets be honest. Most shortlists can be done via LinkedIn and a little Boolean search.

    I tend to sway to if you can afford search and retained assignments you can afford an in house team ;)

  47. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Paul DeBettignies

    Thanks for reading and taking time to ask some questions. Interestingly, some ask why I reply to every comment, if someone goes to the time to read an article and then write about it, very least for the author to reply back :)

    So your questions. It is all very easy to build a community. That could be a load of followers on twitter, Facebook fans etc. Key is for a ‘Talent Community’ is building an aggregated community which comprises those in your recruitment database, (warmest propospects), LinkedIn discussion groups, (warm leads), with your blog followers, twitter followers and Facebook fans. Some want to work for you, some never will, some just want to talk with you or see what their friends doing, hence the ‘Talent Community’ is that ‘targetted selection’ who have the skills and talent that you would consider them for a job. The rest are brand ambassadors who cheer your company from the highest roof.

    It is also our goal to target and attract people into that talent community. Hence there are groups to infiltrate on LinkedIn for example to attract into your community eg worldwide java developers.

    Hope that makes sense.

    As the economy worsens more will opt into communities but this may not be the best talent, hence the importance of segmentation and understanding the community.

    Good question on skill sets. Obviously IT & technology skillsets will be very savvy, but so too are sales, marketing skillsets. We will see communities build around hairdressing, joiners, electricians etc as we move down the time line.

    Grads are also very savvy, especially post grads in Alumni networks :) (Who very few recruiters ever target).

    What’s your view Paul?

  48. Susan Strayer

    Re: @SarahLenton
    To follow up on your question to Sarah, I manage Marriott’s employer brand and hired Evviva Brands, the agency (that Sarah’s a part of) that helped us develop the game. Many thanks for the shout outs.

    To an earlier point, online games for recruitment have existed (in the UK, and with the US Army) but I think we’re the first to take it social and embed as part of a larger social strategy that’s about engagement.

    So for us, we’re not looking to track actual hires. We want to focus on our brand first, what it’s like to work in hospitality and give people a taste of the Marriott employment experience in a fun and engaging way.

    I don’t see recruitment in numerical levels — 1.0 through 4.0 — since where you are and what you do in terms of recruiting strategy is a direct reflection of your company strategy and what works best. We’ll always be looking ahead to the trends to come, and in some cases embrace that first mover advantage as we’ve done with the game. But in other aspects we may not.

    I greatly appreciate your reflections about moving forward but also caution my peers that it’s not about one tactic or technology. It’s about a holistic strategy–how do things fit together and why. Thanks again for including us!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks for featuring the game. We’re learning more and more about gamification and how we can use it to showcase our brand and the reality of working in hospitality in a fun and engaging way. We’ve been soliciting ideas for our next round of games and we want feedback from the crowd. I’ve also long been a believer that the way people are social recruiting right now isn’t really social. There are better, more community-based and crowd-energizing ways to do it. Pop by our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/marriottjobsandcareers and play the game! Let us know what you think.

    Susan Strayer | Senior Director
    Employer Brand and Marketing | Marriott International
    http://www.facebook.com/marriottjobsandcareers

  49. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Matt Alder. Great comments. I am your fan boy. Matt Alder rocks :)

    It is kind of weird how many people in the online recruitment space just dont see whats happening around them….or perhaps they do and are too afraid to face reality or are too scared of what is confronting them and are being left behind.

    What is funny is that yes, some really dont get the fact that recruiters can reach huge audiences of passive talent, in a cost effective way, with minimal effort. But others are doing this already and they are scratching their heads and saying none of this is new, and questioning why others are not doing this. Listening to speakers at conferences, audiences are divided between those who are doing it and those who are shocked at revolutionary new practices. That shows up in this comments stream.

    And yes, I am not a fan of hanging concepts on pegs like 3.0 / 4.0 but whatever people want to call it….it is change, it is real, it is happening, people are responding and some are being left behind.

    Look forward to seeing you soon Matt. You da legend :)

  50. K.C. Donovan

    Matthew if you view our mission you will understand that we are a huge fan of the points you have mentioned…actually thought that with your past work at EA that you would have mentioned gaming earlier in the 3.0 article as part of today’s recruitment marketing solutions – its not coming to a galaxy far, far away – its here NOW! The social gaming wave is no fad either – gaming use has overtaken email use globally for instance and any given day more than 100 million people play an Online Social Game – some fad…

    But…yes there are some buts…I find in congruent that you suggest pushed advertising is dead (I agree as only 14% trust it), but in the same breath, suggest to push ads to your Talent Community for a profit! Hard to fathom…besides there are much better ways to make recruiting a profit center.

    I completely agree with Kevin Wheeler that it won’t be the recruitment vendors that go away but the in-house recruiters. It might be hard for you to digest being on the inside…but if solutions continue the way they are heading we won’t need in-house recruitment vendor managers much longer. Now you won’t need 9o-95% of the Agency recruiters either – so maybe that will take some of the pain away… We are convinced that networks and communities will create the scene where the career consumer will be educated enough to make their own choices – and companies will pay more for the best talent by category. As people begin to rank themselves with validated assessment – the market will change as it will be all on the table – behavioral assessment as well as functional so “fit” will be available (sure this is 4.0 – but it is beginning to happen already…)

    Finally, from our experiences, you get little accomplished from a hiring engagement perspective with these Talent Communities of 50K – 500K or 5M members. In fact, these aren’t really Talent Communities pre se – sure they are communities of some kind (data bases really – interesting that you used the “data” term many times). To be a group for talent engagement to be effective – 150 members is the highest amount one should allow (this is not an arbitrary number – we’ve built them for almost 10 years…). Maybe a new name – Talent Neighborhood – would be better…

    No question you “get it” Matthew and thank you for your ideas (in this day and age wonder how many will actually read the whole article – they should!)…its interesting that much of the best talent mgmt thinking and innovation seems to be coming from your big Island lately (Tribepad, Talentworks, BNT, etc.). Keeps us on our toes – love the energy!

  51. Do Recruiters Need Representing? Or Enlightening? « T Recs

    [...] then I read today a well thought out, well-argued piece – Recruitment 4.0: Crowdsourcing, Gamification, Recruitment as a Profit Centre … and the Death of Re… – from Matthew Jeffery. Here is a thought leader within the wider recruiting industry who has [...]

  52. Dave Martin

    Matt,
    Enjoyed the article and find myself agreeing and disagreeing all at once! The methodology I agree with 100%, however, I do wonder if for many companies such approaches are just too hard to achieve without external support. Many organisations are typically poor at change, and a well oiled clever agency that recognises its days are numbered will convert its services to help organisations achieve the change. This is obviously going to be an RPO model, which many firms should adopt in order just like they may outsource their IT or building maintenance or security. Others, with more agile cultures will prosper by adopting the model internally.

    As you know, we recently discussed some great external referral concepts over dinner, this approach really should be taken up by more firms. The reward could be tailored more closely to the job role and the skills communities that the employer is attempting to infiltrate. Clearly there are a heap of logistic issues, many that I could see being handled at an employers online community level.

    Readers that know me, will be aware I recently took a career change, moving away from an job aggregator and mobile recruiting firm to join BraveNewTalent.com a rapidly growing and exciting talent community platform. My decision to land here was significantly fueled by my own vision of the future on online recruitment which is reasonalbly similar to your well worded Recruitment 4.0.

    Before signing off, I must mention Gamification. Firstly, yep cool great! BUT so many people leap into this and just make a horrible mess wasting time, money and discounting a killer concept from future use. I wrote a blog post highlighting some deep cutting approaching that MUST be followed if anyone wants to get this right!

    However, I wrote a more recent post challenging when a company should adopt gamification and how much pimping up a process / product as a game may distract from the core. I would be very interested in your comments on how well cooked you like your gamification!

    Thanks for sharing and driving an valuable debate.

  53. Gareth Jones

    @KC Donovan – Hi KC, it hink you make some interesting points. I didnt mean gamification is a fad and it will disappear – i sadi faddish! We have become obsessed with it and as usual are going over the top. Great communities have existed before gamification and in some places its become irritating.

    And thats the point – communities are not new. Exploiting them has become so. but to many – especially recruiters and very much so the creative/recruitment advertising ageny crowd – just another offering. ITs not, the social dynamic is very different and i see do many agencies peddling ‘talent community building’ just as they did ‘web site building’ 12 years ago. Truth is they dont understand social, let alone community.

    RE talent communities – my thoughts on those are well documented. If you go out with the explicit purpose of trying to build one you will fail. As you say, what is a talent community? Its an overused phrase and in nearly every case where they are mentioned its simply an interactive job seeker environment – i wouldnt even call it a community.

    Many people forget that community has happened, offline and online for years and banging up a ‘site’ does not hey presto a community make.

    I also agree the reduction in active recruiters – in house or agency – will occur over the years. Super connected teenagers and 20 somethings of today, are not going to pick phone as CEO’s or line managers tomorrow and ask someone to ‘get me some CV’s’ No, they will just tap into their network, which will be so easy by then.

    Great debate – and we are keeping you guys on your toes arent we. First the film industry, now recruitment. What next?! ;)

  54. Sarah Lenton

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the encouragement, I’ll be sure to pass it to the team at Marriott. We (at Evviva) are looking forward to the next set of stats (as Marriott manage the analytics themselves – another sign of the degree of commitment and ownership felt towards this area) and you can be sure we’ll be seeking permission to share as much data as we can.
    Sarah.

  55. Matthew Jeffery

    @ KC Donovan. Great to hear from you mate. Hope all is good :)

    We many ways we agree. In terms of In-House, a key driver for the future of recruiting is the drive down in costs. As crowdsourcing, communities of Talent become the norm, it is self evident that the need for large in house teams will diminish, hence driving down costs & then allowing for the opportunity for recruiting to move to being a profit centre.

    Certainly a huge swathe of the current agencies today, will be gone or far far smaller in the next 15/20 years.

    Some of the ‘more experienced’ will say, been there done that, heard it all before, the death of agencies etc. People said this 10 years back and they are still here today. Well, whoever said that 10 years ago was off kilter but the nay sayers should not discount the advances in technology. Even taken at the level of LinkedIn was not there 10 years ago, which, with its own advances is making recruitment far easier for all, even those hiring managers.

    The need for in-house will be less but will still be there. Community Managers, recruitment marketers, content dj’s and of course those recruiters who can interview and assess will all be needed. The needs for low skilled recruiters will be next to zero.

    Thanks for the great comments KC. Appreciated.

    And yes, some really good thinking, Tripepad, BNT, AllTheTopBananas and Talentworks are really impacting the world stage. It’s good that we are able to work amongst all the riots ;)

  56. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Gareth Jones. Loving the points you make. And agree.

    Some of the community building companies today are floundering as they know that communities are key to recruitment’s future but just dont know how to harness them or build them.

    Some are content to help build a Facebook community and lets be honest its easy to get 5,000 fans on a page. But what is the value of that? It depends on who are the fans. If they are randoms or all staff or ex staff, its all low value. But if you can build communities with the ‘highest value’ talent, that is a win.

    We all know and can point to communities of java developers, marketers, sales people. That has value. Key is attracting those people into your own community.

    Building a community is not easy but it can be done through targetted communication and compelling content.

    Gamification again is just a philisophy. If everyone adds badges and rewards, it pisses people off and has no value but there’s lots of tricks to play to engage. Our goal is to show that.

    Many will say rubbish, but as @ Sarah Jenners says so brilliantly, many fear change. Who knows what the future holds but lets debate it, come up with new ideas and embrace change.

    Sure you are up for that Gareth?

  57. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah. No problems. What Marriott is doing, (supported by you), is innovative, radical, fun and it will be great to see results.

    I know some will be critical as they will just want pure bums on seats stats and lets say that is 10/50/100, whatever, that will exclude all the Employment Brand recognition and those who subconsciously will now, when travelling, think what hotel shall I stay at, and Marriott will pop into their mind.

    It’s a winning campaign. Nice :)

  58. Matthew Jeffery

    Just noticed I did not reply to @ Marie Ashton.

    Great points Marie. I think that the core offering of Recruitment Agencies and Search & Selection agencies will have to react quickly to the likes of Talentworks.

    Talentworks has a compelling offering that trumps both contingent operators and also the big search boys.

    For those that dont know, Talentworks core offering is market mapping, talent pooling and recruitment research solutions to the corporate market.

    Trumps contingent agencies as they are engaged in the passive market, the active 10%. Market Mapping has the advantage of hitting the passive pool and getting the best from competitiors.

    Trumps Search agencies, on pure cost advantage. You get an agreed target client list, contact details and warm leads for a fraction of the price of a full retained search.

    Yes, of course, the full assessment and interview is not included but the key there is that in-house interviews should be robust enough and always takes the final decision and hence not a part that will be overly missed.

    Obviously, highlighting Talentworks here because of the value of their offering and vision that will see them face intense competition as others react to their model and seek to duplicate or squeeze them.

  59. Gareth Jones

    @matt – lol up for it? You kidding me? Ive been beaten to within an inch of my life over the past 12 years because of my views on the changing landscape – and recruitment in particular – check out my blog! Im with your vision 100% of the way.

    Back those 10 years when people were predicting the death of this and that, as you point out, it didn’t happen immediately, but its starting to now. The problem is we tend to over hype and estimate the pace of the changes. but they do happen. Print advertising for recruitment – well and truly dead. Didn’t happen within 3 years as predicted – but gone within 10. Some trade mags no longer publish on paper – industry stalwarts – gone!

    When i took on the job of running a recruitment business in 2003 the first thing i did was stop the print spend. Everyone said i was mad. Id link to think i was ahead of my time ;) I could see where it was going but then i came from outside the industry.

    When i was warning organisations and latterly recruiters about the impact of the internet back then, everything including tech was immature – and its only just now – just – really maturing. So you are bang on – LinkedIn wasn’t around and so it was difficult to articulate exactly what that change will look like but to ignore the fact that it will change and instead focus only on the fact that visionaries cannot explicitly outline how etc is stupidity.

    This is what is happening with your views and anyone else who dares to think longer term. The vast majority of those inside the industry are just too close and wedded to their existing business models to appreciate, anticipate and embrace change. Its an ongoing business challenge, not just one limited to recruitment lets face it.

    Bring it on – the more radical the better.

    Oh, and id say if there are communities where talent exists – marketeers, Java experts, sales people etc – which there are, i totally agree, why spend effort, money and energy trying to get them into your own community? I think that’s the fundamental people are missing – you need to find a credible, authentic and commercially viable way of gaining permission to be in their communities instead, no?

  60. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Gareth Jones. Loving your vibe. Just been cruising your blog. Lots of great commentary and ideas in there.

    Scary how putting new ideas out there can lead to a ‘stoning mentality’ in the stocks. Kinda funny eh. Sounds like you have enjoyed the same kind of reactions over the years.

    Loving your action on print spend. I bet some thought you were nuts. Who’s right now? hhhmmmmmm. What are your critics doing now from that era Gareth? Are they still in recruitment?

    Roll on the recruitment revolution. Funny thing is in the great circle of life, 30 years from now, will we be the ones saying ‘it cant be done’, ‘it wont be possible’ and other hungry recruiters challenge us to open our minds lol.

    Hope not…..

  61. 5 Recruitment Marketing Articles of the Week « Recruitment Marketing Innovation, Technology and Ideas

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  63. K.C. Donovan

    OK – you’ve lured me in! We have been building Communities since 2001 and through them have helped dozens of companies and almost 800 people find roles that they have craved…

    There are probably a few dozen myths that have cropped up about “Talent Communities” and a few other “facts” that get bandied about as well. I can dispel one or two here…

    1. Gareth is “spot on,” talent communities are a misnomer – there is no “cookie cutter” or neat trick that can be given to each company or function area. Take one look at Tribepad and then compare it to BNT – one is customized and client centric and one is formulaic and career consumer centric – who do you think we are more concerned with as a competitor? Not a commercial – but we as an industry have no idea what we are doing yet – my firm has been doing it for years and still approach each project as if it was our first because each situation is usually so different…

    2. Large Communities are good for marketing brands – not so good for engaging in talent. We aren’t even crawling yet in this arena – yet millions have been spent on FB and LI Group and FP’s with no real idea of what to expect or provide. Companies have hired HR Community people to respond to the thousands of Likes and Followers – for what purpose? Sure, people are connecting for job openings here – but they are the same people that would apply (probably already had before connecting) – there is no metric that says ROI is worth it. I know of one 50,000 person company that is spending most of its time repairing the damage their Social Network groups have done and can’t wait for a smaller “micro-community” approach (much like we have been providing for a decade…).

    3. People “on the beach,” about to be, or with one foot out the door – are the only ones who “join” Talent Communities. As Matthew so eloquently points out, consumers view “careers” (especially Gen Y) as a downer. After 60 years of putting career consumers through the ringer to get an interview – we’ve conditioned everyone to view career activity like a trip to the dentist. Only 5% of US workers do anything proactively to build their careers. Talent focused groups will only lure back the jilted 90% by making career activity the enriching, rewarding and exciting endeavor it should be. Without changing the marketplace perception Community based talent will only offer the active job seekers another path and will not engage the masses…

    4. Talent Communities are certainly NOT new. Every contingent or retained agency has one and has had one since they first one emerged back in the 1940′s and 50′s. Companies with an ATS or some method of capturing the people that have applied have one. They just haven’t had the foresight, will or energy to leverage it beyond the tactical project or req that is in front of them – but they have one. Anyone with an active Rolodex of contacts has one… What is NEW is how to make use of the Social Networking norms that FB, LI and TW have brought to our culture. There has never been a better time in history to take that Rolodex and make it something more…but you have to take a new approach that won’t include resumes, job ads, screen outs – or anything to do with “recruiting” because the 90% will run for the hills…

    O.K. – enough…I have given plenty of my competitors and the wanna be Agencies out there that throw the term Talent Community and Gaming around like they invented it – too much info…(if you want to know how to do a game that is a game read Jon Radoff’s newest book…). Oops I said no more concepts revealed! My staff is switching off the DSL…got to gooooo…

  64. Social Referral Recruiting Revisited #ATCSource #TruRomania #Trulondon #SocialRecruiting « Norton Folgate: The Recruiting Unblog

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  65. Matthew Jeffery

    Just read a great article posted by Bill Boorman on Social Referral Recruiting ie Crowdsourcing.

    It’s well worth a read here: http://networkedblogs.com/lAQST

    Lifting one paragraph from his 3,500 piece:

    ‘Matthew Jeffery of Autodesk wrote recently in his excellent post, recruitment 4.0 that the future of recruiting, along with manyother points, lies in an organisations capability to crowd source and gain internal and external referrals. These referral applications take the hard work out of the matching, stretching reach beyond memory. The key factor here is that the technology makes referrals quick and simple to effect, critical when you consider the time pressures employees are under. While Matthew’s post might seem a pipe dream, with the technology, reach and creating a referral culture, it is not inconceivable that all sourcing and hiring can go this way’.

    Bill gets it….as he always does :)

  66. 1, 2, 3, גיוס חברתי 4.0 | EfratAghassy.com

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  67. Phil Roebuck

    Hi Matthew – great read my friend! I love the bold statements reference agencies and job boards and absolutely agree without question that the inevitable will happen to them unless they adapt and take on board many of the points you’ve mentioned – we all know that for many recruitment leaders – this in itself is going to be a massive challenge;)

  68. Phil Roebuck

    Hi Matthew – great read my friend! I love the bold statements reference agencies and job boards and absolutely agree without question that the inevitable will happen to them unless they adapt and take on board many of the points you’ve mentioned – we all know that for many recruitment leaders – this in itself is going to be a massive challenge.

  69. Tony Mancino

    Mj

    I like the creativity Matthew! Definitely some ingredients for a debate but I have to agree with you, job boards are definitely faltering we are seeing more advertising companies partnering with each other to attract and maintain their presence in the market as recruiters are using other means of communities to their candidates. More and more job boards are now coming to terms that companies are now able to source direct by networking sites, LinkedIn, FB etc, self generated communities and referrals. Regarding referrals, this is an excellent source for employees referring candidates to the business so we should think ahead and start using our network to refer candidates and definitely these sites channel can exploit further if you consider how big your network is. Its would be disappoint for any company if they didn’t take advantage of this means of recruiting!!
    There will definitely be a reduction of agencies, debatable if we will see “the death of agencies” especially if companies are not using their in-house recruiters to adapt to the style and approach of recruiting. The days of sitting back and letting the CV’s come piling in are far gone! However there will always be a small company, willing to put in the extra effort to pay for their overpriced house, and base on pride of owning their own recruitment agency. However, even if these small to medium companies need to be creative by mapping their customer market well otherwise they are setting themselves up to fail.

    I think recruitment is already a profit centre if you consider the amount of money we save a company if you calculate the direct v’s agency hires. I like the idea of a Gameification and driving this idea via multiple communities and channels to attract the talent. The key is maintaining the interest! You need to constantly keeping changing and exciting the media to attract to you site. I can see this raising a few concerns with corporate marketing especially if they are not aligned with the whole concept of social media, however when has marketing been ahead of the game in technology and social networking…??!! Saying that, this would certainly work well if the content works well with the companies brand. Debate if it would work for all companies as individuals need to be passionate and attracted to the brand.

    Nice work MJ. I love the ideas. Have to say reading through some of the negative comments, they do make me laugh as its funny how companies are still not moving forward with how the world is evolving.

  70. Matthew Jeffery

    @Phil. Great to hear from you legend. As a recruitment revolutionary you get the need to push the boundaries and ttry new things. Its important to progress and advance change. Very cool.

    Beers soon buddy.

  71. Matthew Jeffery

    @Tony. Thanks for the great comments. Much change is coming. Be it building communities, job boards faltering and the death of swathes of Agencies.

    Add to this, as you identify, some internal battles as Corporate Marketing and Corporate PR face an inevitable truth. They are no longer in control of the message. Whatever they put out there can be questioned and changed by instant communication and debated by online communities. Losing that control is scary.

    Because recruiters have always dealt in a ‘people currency’ often recruiting functions are ahead of their Corporate Marketing and PR teams, especially when it comes to Social Media engagement. Trouble is that recruiters and their leaders have to be strong and not give in when they face internal opposition to their new ideas. In many ways this is natural.

    Kinda weird to see recruiting innovating and some marketing departments playing catch up.

    Lots will happen and for many reasons, now is an exciting time to be a recruiter.

    Cheers Tony.

  72. Matthew Jeffery

    @Tony. Best add before I forget that extremely lucky that Autodesk PR and Marketing teams are well ahead of the innovatory curve. Which is exciting. I know of many companies that could learn a lesson or two from the Autodesk teams. :)

  73. Dave Heilbron

    Dear Matthew,

    Recruitment 4.0 (or 5.0) is already happening in the Netherlands. Recruitment agencies only survived the latest economic crises if they have specialised themselves (e.g. actuary, healthcare, etc) where it has always been difficult to attract candidates (as demand is higher than supply). Your info is especially true for regular marketing, sales, finance or any other general management role.

    Dave Heilbron

  74. Matthew Jeffery

    Hey Dave. Yes, agree that recruiting is very ahead of the curve in Holland. Certainly some innovative thought leaders there.

    On the death of agencies, many on this thread would also point to the USA where there is more of a self service mentality. In EMEA, particularly the UK, there is more an a culture of dependency on Agency recruitment. And amongst some of the H.R.and Recruiting leaders a lazy acceptance of that culture of dependency. That has to…and will change.

    In terms of the thrust of this article ie recruitment as a profit centre, gamification, community building, crowd sourcing etc, many companies in Holland still have lots to do :)

    All exciting eh Dave?

  75. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Dave: that’s just pure BS. Or did I miss the news that YER, Michael Page, Ebbinge, Sthree group and all the others went into banckrupt?

    And Mat is more then right, the rest of the article is about real new recruitment and that’s not going on in the Netherlands anymore then in other places. Many, or alomst all, have much to do. Crowdsourcing? Community building? A few SME’s are doing that, like seats2meet.com or Multiscope. But the corporates? Not really, always half baked.

  76. Ken Ward

    Hey MJ,

    Lot sof interesting discussion here as usual, some truly thought provoking stuff. Maybe a little off topic, but wanted to explore your thoughts on the “death of agencies”. In some markets, definitely from my financial services experience, the agency dependence often comes from the candidate side, as opposed to the “lazy acceptance” by HR and Recruiting Leaders. As you know, I am anything but a fan of agency dependence, but interested to see how you think we can break this dependency.

    For the record, I am excited about much of what you say, but thoughts are going round my head in terms of how many communities a candidate can become actively engaged in before reaching saturation point, and then reaching for an agency as an aggregator of opportunities?

    Cheers!

    Ken

  77. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Ken: interessting point you make. There is most definitally a cultural difference at work here. In The Netherlands 60% of the college or uni grads will to everything they can to NOT apply trough an agency, including not applying at all. Only about 40% don’t care or like them.

  78. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Ken. Hope all is good buddy.

    You are spot on. And totally know from experience that you don’t need agencies. Very cool.

    For the socialolgy experts there I am sure there is mileage in looking at the culture of dependency in the UK. This spans more than agencies.

    The Communities argument is very valid. Yes, it is up to a Corporate to creating engaging communities but there is a limit to the number that a person wants to be part of….and participate in. Yes, we can argue on the need for compelling content but that will boil back to time, and number of communities people want to be part of.

    That’s when the wider communities yield value. Those that gather round disciplines and skill sets. Like the communities you are active in Ken eg java developers. How can crowdsourcing work and be effective in those, will be the key.

    So answer is I guess a company will map talent, build its own community/s and maximise external communities.

    Cool stuff to think of. And you do it daily and are there mate.

  79. Gareth Jones

    @Ken & @Bas – re your point about community saturation – which is why the future is about going to the communities where the people are already living out their lives, online and offline, rather than building ‘talent community’ after talent community that will have no stickiness at all.

    Too many organisations are jumping on the community bandwagon – largely fuelled by creative/ad agencies peddling yet another “we will build one of those for you” solutions – without understanding community at all. They think that building one is the answer and its not.

    The future is definitely very interesting.

  80. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Bas.

    Utopia does not exist yet. Companies who do all this. Cool examples of bits and experiements undertaken.

    Which companies do you rate. Sodexo’s, pepsico’s?

  81. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Gareth. Totally agree mate.

    I do see value in companies having their own communities but the external ones, online, that you refer to are where its at ;)

    Good stuff.

    These online communities will form naturally around common shared interests. So won’t be build or manufactured by companies seeking to build communities through marketing. So not only the death of agencies the death of online community builders Gareth?.

  82. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Mat in Holland Sodexo and Pepsico aren’t frontrunners at all. I’ve read about their international activities, but I don’t judge (positive or negative) untill I have a clear understanding of what they really do and how it’s embedded in the company. So I can’t comment on those. I know that almost everything done by the corporates in the Netherlands looks great in the media, but it’s seldom embedded in the company and the fact that total results are seldom given tells me enough. The great examples I know are mostly SME’s, like seats2meet.com (where I’m actually sitting right now).

    @Gareth: I agree that talent communities should not be like they are now. However, I do believe companies can facilitate them, as long as they keep the talent at the centre. Problem is, most advisors say, of course, when the recruitment manager says he of course wants to keep his competitors out. That’s not a talen central approach.

  83. Size doesn’t matter… « Inside My Head…

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  84. Porteur Keene

    Hello Matthew

    Hope all is well

    Liked the article, very insightful, and as you can see http://www.changeboard.com has morphed from jobs to jobs plus content to jobs plus content plus community! Keep up the good work! We will !!

    Porteur

  85. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Porteur. Hope you are well legend.

    Totally agree that as many job boards falter, Changeboard will prosper as it innovates, adds contents and builds communities.

    Some of the bigger job boards will 100 per cent copy your model Porteur, which they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Advise others to watch Changeboard and its innovations planned for the future.

    Beers soon Porteur.

  86. Matt Wells

    Very interesting post. As the owner of a network of niche job boards, I recon its innovate or pack up now!

    But am i slightly confused about the notion of a ‘talent’ community as (i believe someone else pointed out) that won’t this attract those active jobseekers? Then is this not an elaborate candidate database (which you already have)?

    Also if these communities are hosted externally (i am assuming you mean on the likes of LinkedIn and Facebook and/or utilising journals, blogs etc) then all of this is very visible and you run the very serious risk of ‘leakage’ to your competitors talent pool? Or are you relying on creating a brand with a higher gravitational force than your competitors?

    I like the idea of the gamification. One of my favourite websites is threadless.com which is a t-shirt company which allows designers to submit designs from a brief and other members get to vote, with the winner(s) getting their design in print. Gamification doesn’t need to be like super Mario, just a hook to keep ‘candidates / talent / users / customers’ interested and coming back.

    But this is all marketing right?

    Don’t all these ideas also include all the techniques that marketing and sales organisations should be using?

    If so i would have thought the biggest breakthrough would be better communication between the recruitment team and marketing and the rest of the business?

    Like I said, great post, very thought provoking and you have certainly baked my noodle…thanks (I think!)

  87. 4.0, 5.0 – Het einde van recruitment? | wervingsvisies

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  88. Alan Whitford

    Hi Matt

    Well, I did this yeaterday and lost my connection on the train, and then the comment content. Oh, well, the joys of the technology that enables Recruitment 3.0 and 4.0 :-)

    I have waited for the dust to settle, the attacks and counter-attacks from around the world to slow down before adding my $.02 to the debate. And, for me, that is exactly the point of what Matt does best – get the ball rolling, stimulate debate and use controversial opinions to make sure we are actually paying attention. Hey, it works. At the time of this writing, 87 comments have been posted on the ERE site. Debate is ongoing between commentators like Bas van de Haterd in the Netherlands, Gareth Jones, Kevin Wheeler, Ken Ward, Keith Robinson, Sarah Lenton and a host of others from both sides of the Pond.

    I am writing a fuller blog post which will appear on RCEURO.com.

    However, one thing I find interesting is the almost complete lack of comments from corporate/in-house recruiters. Maybe Kevin Wheeler is right after all, the corporate resourcing team is what is really heading for extinction. Or are they too bogged down in the HR ‘stuff’ to spend time reading and commenting on trends?

    Come on folks, Matt is fighting in your corner. Come out of the shadows and let us know what real recruiters – and even hiring managers- are thinking. It is what we do with the SRCONF series (and you can engage with Matthew in Paris on 1 December at SRCONF 2011 Paris) – bring out real users with real stores of success – and failure. Let’s keep debating – does Social driver Recruitment 3.0 or is the other way around? And, let’s not stop dreaming about Recruitment 4.0 and beyond.

  89. Ken Ward

    @Alan Whitford, just checked my job description, yup…I’m a corporate recruiter!

  90. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Alan Whitford. Thanks for the great comments. You Sir are a real legend. Your thoughts about the future of recruiting have been spot on for years. A true legend.

    Probably being very controversial, but after attending many conferences both here and the USA and meeting many recruiters, there are loads of in house recruiters who are happy to accept the status quo. To sit on the sidelines and observe and chunter to themselves. Many recruiting leaders today are schooled in the H.R. Mould, which had traditionally been very conservative and not embracing innovation and news ideas. Of course that is quite generalist by its very nature as a statement. Things will change.

    I do love the point of CEO’s at a bar. Having some pints or glasses of wine. The subject turns to recruitment. One complains that they spend all their money on agencies and are struggling for talent. Another CEO says that their recruitment leader has invested time in mapping competitors, identifying talent communities, building their companies own talent community, embarking on Employment Brand activities, built social media channels which marketing and PR also engage in and has built predictable talent pipelines in the passive pool……plus now is looking at recruiting initiatives to turm recruitment into a profit centre.

    What do you think the reaction will be. Who will the CEO’s recognise as the recruitment leader of choice. It will happen.

    Key to breaking this process is the process of Recruiting Recruitment Leaders. Still many are passed to traditional search agencies who are schooled more in ticking the traditional recruitment leader boxes. And not taking any shortlist risks. ‘Let’s present this recruitment leader because they have industry experience’. No matter how dull and non change focused they are.

    Harsh?

    For others to debate ;).

  91. Matthew Jeffery

    Interestingly I have had private emails and calls, (which I won’t name as not fair without their permission), asking why I refer to the death of agencies. Is this talking them down abd adding to their demise? And some saying we will never see the big agencies die.

    Happy to address this.

    It is not talking them down. As several agencies are doing, they are adapting. Changing and broadening their model. Some agencies have asked for my direct advice on their model and I will be happy to help.

    To be clear, those agencies that don’t adapt to the changing realities, will die. If every car on the Formula 1 grid is being upgraded, while some teams rely on their brand and own arrogance, they will be soon left behind. Common sense.

    The questions that agencies need to ask themeselves are:

    1) What is unique about what we provide
    2) Is our pricing model fair?
    3) Is our pricing model anchored on less risk for corporates than agencies. Eg the traditional search pricing model of third for project start, third shortlist and third on placement is clearly a rip off in this era.
    4) What is our access like into the passive pool?
    5) Would a hiring manager or in house recruiter be better off just using Linked-In? What value do we add?
    6) Do we present too many candidates to too many clients?
    7) Do we truly partner with clients or just after their money?
    8) Do we have account specialists who know about businesses or just enthusiasts after quick revenue?
    9) What are in house teams able to do better than us? How do we trump them?
    10) Have we built our own engaged talent community?
    11) Do we have predictable talent pipelines in our own key disciplines or industries.
    12) What is our own Employment Brand? Do we have the best. Recruiters? How do we reward them? Is it pure commission. Do we develop their careers?
    13) What will be our business model in 5 years and 10 years? Are we prepared?
    14) How do we engage with social media channels? Do we embrace them for Brand purposes or candidate pipelines or both?

    So I am not anti agency. I was agency and many of my core skills were learnt agency side.

    The last two recruiters for in house were agency as they are hungry and work at a pace.

    What agencies need to do is get ready for the future. But many, in a common sense way, are focused on revenue today. Not the future. And when the future arrives they will be found wanting, left behind and many will die.

    Not all….as they would have adapted. Today.

    d

  92. Todd Raphael

    Matt (Wells, not Jeffery) … I’ll take a couple of your questions.

    1) You asked about talent communities … arguing that they are just pools of job-seekers. Generally I agree with you that it is often being done that way – like the call to join the talent community at http://jobs.medtronic.com/

    But a talent community need not be made up of active job seekers. Say some ESPN producer or editor or whatever wants to start a community of journalists interested in ethics and sports, or something like that — something interesting beyond a community of people who want jobs. I join because I’m interested in the topic, and a year later they mention a job opening. The content, not a job, is the lure.

    2) You said “if these communities are hosted externally, then all of this is very visible and you run the very serious risk of ‘leakage’ to your competitors talent pool?” Again I see the point – imagine Autodesk’s competitor putting ads up on Autodesk’s community! But two counterpoints: 1) A community can be mainly internal: for example, say some company holds a monthly happy hour at its headquarters, or perhaps uses a Jobfox-style tool where a recruiter can build a network of people. 2) If a community is truly a community, one would hopefully have some allegiance to the brand by virtue of their experience in the community, not because of the company’s brand name. Take, for example, a small less-known college that builds a sense of belonging and trust with high school students over time. Sure, it’s still difficult for the college to recruit against MIT and Caltech, but nonetheless, the small college has built a ton of good will among its “talent community.” Thus the relationship, not just the database, is what makes the community successful.

  93. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Todd. Some excellent points there. Can’t disagree. Hope Matt Wells replies to them :)

    Loving this debate. So great thoughts.

  94. K.C. Donovan

    Matthew: I had to chuckle at your mythical description of the CEO’s at the bar discussing recruiting…and the example of competitor mapping, Talent Community, employment brand, etc.

    It reminds of a story where 15 years ago a handful of NYC based IT “chop shop” recruiters amble over to the Bryant Park Cafe and after way too many pints decide to write down everything they hate about their work on bevnaps…after a while there were more than 30 of them strewn all over the bar. With slurred speech one of the recruiters says, “wanna build the best agency in the world…do everthin opposite from what is found on those bevnaps!” The least baked of the group shook his head to knock out a few cobwebs and said, “what did you say?” and then looked back at the notes. Before the bartender cleaned them up, he quickly scooped them into his pocket and left the bar. The next day he quit that chop shop and did just as his friend had suggested…(true story).

    Interestingly enough a few years later the business he starts becomes one of the first Talent Community Management companies in the business. The connection this story has with your previous post is that for ten years this company experienced much of the Recruiting Leadership you described – in fact in in the early days some clients weren’t able to make use of the Communities that were built as their staff was incapable… The good news today is that some of the Recruiting Leaders ARE groping for new solutions. They realize that they can no longer maintain the status quo to meet their goals – and when more companies like Auto Desk or PepsiCo or Sodexo who are leading the way are written about on this site and others – the new concepts will spread. I am convinced that we are just beginning to crawl where Social Recruiting can take us and when the market figures out (as Todd so aptly pointed out) that Talent Communities don’t have to be lists of active Job Seekers developed on LI or FB, and the other 90% of the workforce begin to show a voice – as an industry we will begin to climb up on our two feet and begin walking. There are leaders out there willing to make a go of it – at least in the U.S. – and more will certainly follow…

  95. Alan Whitford

    @ken ward. Hi Ken. My apologies for not initially recognising you and the great company you work for. However, I would suggest that my comment ‘… almost complete lack of…’ left room for you to be recognised as the corporate recruiter who has put his head above the parapet. I have worked both sides of the street, been on the vendor side and the consulting side and also work as a media owner, supporting all aspects of our industry. So, guess I fit in both boxes…
    Love your continued contribution.

    @Todd. Great points and terrific to see you participating in your own debate. Say hi to the team for me.

    @Matt. Cogent explanation about the items for agencies to consider. Way too logical and business like though :-)

  96. Matthew Jeffery

    @ KC. Love that true story. It’s a funny old world.

    But in that hypothetical CEO conversation, sure you agree on the end outcome. And love to know how many Recruiting Leaders you rate? I am sure less than more?

    @ Alan. Business like comments for Agencies. Lol. Trouble is so many are living on the revenues of today. I am sure some of the shareholders will be asking some deep questions of the leadership in the months and years to come. Its the balance between making revenue today and building for the future.

  97. Matthew Jeffery

    Interested. @Todd @Matt Wells @Gareth @Alan @KC

    Obviously all seeking to define a community and it splits between ‘manufactured’ corporate communities, and those communities formed as part of a common interest/s.These communities could be founded on any interest or skill set.

    So in either community, how powerful do you see ‘crowdsourcing’. Ideas is self explanatory. But for recruiting. WiLl the power of the community bring companies the hires they need. Throwing out, ‘Anyone recommend a great Sales Director for Russia, any leads’, will that be the equivalent of internal referrals but external.

    If internal referrals run between 30 to 40 percent of a companies new hires. Will external referrals and crowdsourcing equate to that or be more.

    And what’s the incentive for the crowd? Start with ‘marketing led reward’ eg badges, league tables etc and build that to monetary rewards. We can’t reward by money from the start as we may have got the candidate through normal means but someone in the crowd who refers say 5 people who are placed, surely we can reward them?

    Love your views guys. Fascinating.

  98. Melanie Hayes

    Matt,

    An insightful piece… as usual it makes for interesting reading. You do make some valid points although I have to agree that I think 4.0 is some way off. (I do agree with you points on crowdsourcing, job boards, recruiters – both agency & corporate).

    You highlight one issue relating to corporate recruiters… I worry that there are not enough capable recruiters out there who have the right skills or quite simply ‘get it’. After tele-screening several recruiters for a role in my team I am amazed at how many actually don’t get 3.0 even though they claim to on their CV’s!

    I suppose one of my biggest concerns is that there must be a limit to how many communities people will sign up to. The pessismist in me thinks that this is only ever going to make my role more of a challenge considering I work for a company that is one of the worlds biggest secrets – so driving people to us in order to share our compelling vision gets harder.

    That said… I will no doubt be raving about 4.0… once i’ve fully delivered on 3.0.

  99. K.C. Donovan

    A couple of things…first you are absolutely right that there are way fewer progressive recruitment leaders out there than what I’ll call traditionalist leaders…our focus has always been to find a forward thinking Leader and build a lengthy relationship with the company. This is why we have always worked with a smaller group of clients – but had numerous Communities and neighborhoods working for each.

    As for Crowd Sourcing, many companies have been using this tactic to extend beyond internal referrals as you describe – most for cash rewards – and they really aren’t blowing the doors off with success. The theory being – what the Hell – let’s try it if we don’t make a hire it costs us nothing (I’m referring to the U.S. here). Those with any success are companies well known as being great places to work in the first place…

    Here is why I don’t see it as a mainstream option in the U.S. today – YET! 90% of U.S. workers “in a job they are capable of doing” have a negative perception in general about hiring initiatives and typically zone out when they come up. Of course active job seekers are all over crowd sourcing, talent communities, SoMe referral apps (Beknown, etc.), and anything that will get them access to a new or better job. Until exploring career options is made to be the exciting, enchanting and fun activity that it SHOULD be – this scenario will not change. It makes sense that people should be interested in proactively improving where they spend 70% of their time – their job/career – right?

    Most of the new HR concepts coming to the market just shuffle around the same people that job ads have for years… Until there is a cultural change in the way workers view recruiting, what you refer to as “manufactured corporate communities” is from where I sit the preferred method for success. Now there is a way to get people excited and begin changing the Talent Culture…and you brought it up in your 4.0 article…but that is for another discussion!

  100. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Mel Hayes.

    (I am a huge Mel fan. BTW. A great visionary recruitment leader).

    I totally agree with you on several points. First on the quality of many recruiters out there. I have been interviewing and seen many many recruiters, (from both big brands and so called cutting edge recruiting departments), and have been SHOCKED at the lack of quality at times. Some times I have driven home from work and been very despondent after the high of finding a great candidate on paper and then meeting them and wondering how they actually make placements. I often ask others if I expect too much….but then I hear from others like you that you are frustrated and that indicates an issue.

    I must add that I have also met some Recruiting Leaders and I really step back and wonder how they are in place in very influential roles. But I suppose that is true of all professions and walks of life :)

    In terms of communities, I do agree, there is a limit to how many communities people will want to be part of….from a corporate perspective. But there are 2 types of community. The ones we will build for our corporate purposes, (ie Employment Branding engagement vehicles & hiring pipelines), and those other communities, that are not anchored round a corporate company but round issues or skillsets. There are communities of Java developers, alumni (University courses) communities, marketing communities, which are ripe for recruiters to build relationships in and understand ‘driving issues’, build credibility and then source from.

    Exciting times lay ahead.

    Mel, you will be one of the key drivers :)

    Looking forward to dinner shortly with you :)

  101. Matthew Jeffery

    @ KC Donovan.

    Love it, I agree with you that there are fewer progressive recruiting leaders out there, and the volume lay in traditionalist recruiting leaders.

    Hence, those that have opinions, push new concepts, have to shout a little louder. Change is inevitable. KC & a host of others just have to shout louder lol.

    What is interesting is that ‘Process’ has come to rule the roost. Recruiters & their leaders champion putting in place systems of rules, layers of bureaucracy and claim that as an achievement. Rather than looking at the end outcome and what the result is. How does this help attract more candidates? How does this enhance the candidate experience’ often put aside to the love of rolling out a new shiny ‘process’.

    Some will say ‘ya boo shucks’, traditional recruitment works, new ideas are pipeline,….let’s see who is around in 10 years time…. ;)

  102. Matthew Jeffery

    Just as an aside. Very cool that Graham Snowdon, Journalist at the UK National newspaper, ‘The Guardian’, has written an in depth article today in the Work section on the ‘Laws of the Social Recruiting Jungle’ and refers to ‘Recruitment 3.0′ and some of the issues we debate on ERE.

    As @ KC refers to. The more we can debate issues and new thoughts and hit national mediums the better. And there are some great recruiting thought leaders doing this.

    Here’s the link.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/aug/19/rules-social-recruiting-linkedin-twitter-facebook

  103. Sarah Jenners

    I am enjoying reading this thread, if only for an ego massage as there are some people who really fear debating change. This may be right, may be rubbish, but some on this thread really must live their lives stuck in treacle and too scared to move or try new things. Perhaps too many recruiters are full to the teeth of the naturally conservative DNA of HR people?

    Communities, ooohhh scary. Lets debate the term and concept and avoid the big picture. Whatever. Its a group of people talking to each other that some of us want to try and hire.

    Sorry but much of this is common sense to me as a way forward.

    I hope that some comment thread writers take a step back and look at themselves and their fear of discussing new ideas.

    Melanie, I really do agree with you on the quality of many recruiters. It is a low skill profession and entry bar is low. Cant do much with your life? Work on a check out at Wallmart or become a recruiter and make some money. Until we, as a profession, take ourselves seriously, upskill, dump some of the poorer recruiters, our credibility will be down there with car salespeople. Many of whom would make better recruiters!!!

  104. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah. I love your direct style.

    Perhaps you have something with the comment on car salespeople. Some could probably be good recruiters :) lol.

    @ Sarah. Would love to know what your vision for recruiting is?

  105. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Mat & Mel: Usually I’m not a big fan of long discussions, but I’ve been following this one to the end by now and I do have a nuance to make concering the ‘how many communities will someone join’ issue.

    I think it depends on what’s described as a community and what it takes to join. Look at the number of Facebook fanpages that are liked / joined. All in potential communities (note the word potential here). So I’m not sure if there is a limit.

    There is a limit in time however spend on them. But then I’d like to remind you a phrase of Seth Godin in Linchpin: nobody is brilliant all of the time, but we are all brilliant some of the time (although in some cases I sometimes doubt that, but that’s a different story). What he says, also in Triiibes, is that you take a different role in different communities. If I look at myself, I love taking the lead. I usually say that in many cases nothing gets done if I don’t. Knowing Matthew, he loves that role too. But I’m also a volunteer at for example TEDxAmsterdam. I genuinly love playing second or third violin there. So many great people taking the lead on several things that I don’t have to worry. I love it, because I have to worry about almost everyting else. Different roles in different communities let for more communities people can be a part of. Not pushing everybody into the same ‘do this, then we’ll like you and might hire you’ system works much better.

    @Sarah: love your direct approach. You know I actually suggested that a few times here in Holland to several people. Problem was that if we had my standard of a good recruiter, we needed to dump 80% :) But seriously, I did suggest it, I even suggested that if people worked for some specifi companies that are known for their terrible wat of doing business, we should not hire them anymore. People didn’t agree. In Holland we even have people admitting the law is ‘optional’ when you’re a recruiter, in public, even those get the spotlight and people still do business with them. So I love your thoughts, but I’ve given up hope.

  106. Sarah Jenners

    Thanks Bas.

    Dont give up hope my friend. Whilst most recruiters would be better off flipping burgers in a road side cafe, there are some great recruiters out there, who take pride in our profession.

    Recruiters are salespeople. Pure and simple. We market, entice, hook in and sell and convert. No BS.

    That is not an HR skill. They slow up, put in place rules, add bureaucracy. Why? To justify their existence. If there were no rules or minimum rules, there would be no need for HR teams. Pure and simple. (What a great world that would be).

    When an HR professional wakes up in the morning, their first thought is ‘what rules can I make today’? That’s their equivalent of an orgasm.

    Hence, the many recruiters out there, who have come from HR, still have the DNA to look at rules as a big win ie add process after process. Sales people ask how do I make the sale. That’s it. Thats why so many HR leaders are poor recruiters.

    Bas, you agree? Or are you an HR worshipper?

  107. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Sarah: I don’t agree, but not because I’m an HR workshipper.

    I don’t agree that recruiters are sales people. Why? Because sales is all about the sale, about the kill, no matter when. Recruitment should not think about getting in the candidate (like the client), but getting in the RIGHT candidate. That is a fundamental different thing then sales.

    To give you an example of this. I do a lot in corporate careersites, but I get most of my knowledge from the top in E-Commerce (and SEO, etc). The interessting thing the top analysts and marketeers see in discussions I have with them is that they just have to focus on optimizing conversion. Get as many ‘viewers’ converted to ‘buyers’. I however don’t want as many as I can applying to the job, I want the right ones. My clients don’t have unlimited jobs, like Amazon has unlimited books.

    A bad client doesn’t cost you much, usually you still make a profit if you do it right. A bad hire costs the company a lot of money.

    As for HR professional: I think you have two kinds. You have the ones you describe, making rules and keeping to them. I’ve met some (like I’ve met some good recruiters) that actually have one job and that is to make sure the professionals in the organization can do there job to the best of their abilities. I have no problem with those.

    When you say that HR don’t make good recruiters, true, most don’t. But then again, we agree that there are not too many good recruiters arround, so.. what does make a good recruiter?

    My 2 cents: a marketeer. But then a genuine one. I wrote a blog (in Dutch) recently stating that recruitment = marketing (many say that), but most recruiters don’t have a clue what marketing is. I think recruiters should be involved in all 4P’s of marketing. Product (meaning the job). They should be talking to the line about the contents of the job. Price, the salary. Place: the location of the offices for example and in the end promotion (yes, the employer branding part). But since I’m from origin a marketeer I’ve noticed most marketeers… aren’t that good either.

  108. Ted Meulenkamp

    Hi Matt, another great article and you certainly have put a lot of effort in it.

    I personally don’t like adding versions to anything that isn’t software. For me recruitment keeps evolving but we can’t put a clear “version” to the state of recruitment.

    Anyway, first hand I know you love to fire up the conversation and you are one of the best recruitment leaders in Europe (and perhaps globally). Great way to get everybody talking.

    But here we go with some of my comments and forgive me if some of them have already been mentioned in the comments but I just got back from vacation and didn’t have time to read all 104 of them

    Recruitment becoming a profit center?

    We shouldn’t confuse what we are: a cost center. It’s very simple:

    A cost center is part of an organization that does not produce direct profit and adds to the cost of running a company. Examples of cost centers include research and development departments, marketing departments, help desks and customer service/contact centers. We can thus add “recruitment” in to this group.

    There is nothing wrong with being a cost center by the way. I of course get your point but I really don’t think we should get into “selling” ads to other companies to access your talent pool! Putting myself in the shoes of a candidate; I would be very annoyed if I joined the Autodesk Talent Pool and would then receive ads for whatever external product? I wouldn’t even want to receive Autodesk ads! A definite no-go area for me.

    If you want to find a way to fund your organization look internally and have your internal clients pay for your service. They want to hire? They can go externally and spend money on an agency or pay a (lower) fee to you. Then it’s up to you to make sure your control your spend on the usual things and “make a profit”.

    So yes we should try and be as efficient and lean as possible and lower our spend but trying to really generate revenue shouldn’t be the concern of recruitment.

    Recruitment Agencies will collapse?

    Let’s hope so! I really prefer not to work with agencies and often consider them a necessary evil but we need them nevertheless. However good your recruitment team and your internal database is, there will be moments that you simply can’t handle the volume, the specific needs, the extreme urgency etc and you will have to use an agency.

    And let’s face it, there are simply a lot of companies that don’t want to build an internal team or companies where it doesn’t make sense to do so. They will always be looking to work with an agency. There is more then enough market for them and I think there always will be.

    Oh and I do recognize that there are some very good agencies out there!

    Job boards stuttering and collapsing?

    Same here. You and me will use less and less job boards (and then perhaps only very niche job boards) but again, there are so many companies that will just keep on using them. And posting a job on Linkedin is not “social recruitment”. It’s posting on a “social” job board.

    External referrals through crowdsourcing?

    I love the idea but it’s not new? We already had some companies try this (they all failed and I can’t even remember the names). Crowdsourcing for recruitment is something that will happen naturally (and we can surely help there) if we start pushing more jobs to employees profiles (or they like, share, RT or +). People will share your jobs with their friends if they think it’s a match with their profile. That is what friends are for. They won’t be motivated by money (your own ERP doesn’t significantly respond to an increase).

    At Roche we will start testing a new tool that will enable employees to connect their networks to our job openings and the system will send them an email if their is a match with one of their connections. They can then send it out to those contacts but they can as well share those jobs on their own social media profiles. The future of crowdsourcing is already here!

    Premium paid in-community content and paid mobile apps?

    I doubt that my passive candidates would pay to get access to exclusive information? And would you want to ask that from your potential candidates? I’m just wondering what kind of information you want to offer that is so special? You know that we are working hard on bringing engaging information to our audience but I’m very hesitant to asking money for it. You may want to have them do special activities (sign up for a newsletter, register in your talent pool with a resume or linkedin profile, refer 5 people to your FB page etc) but a payment?

    Gamification?

    I love gaming and I think it’s a great recruitment tool but often very expensive and only for specific audiences.

    Companies rated globally by crowd opinions?

    Isn’t that as well the power of your employee referal program? People trust the opinion of friends and/or current employees more than anything else. As your rightly said; turning to social media for instance I would never buy a book on Amazon or book a hotel that has a bad rating! The power of such a rating is incredible and I think glassdoors has hit a sweet spot. But again, that is already happening! And unless you have a really bad score, in how far will it really influence your decision to join a company?

    Love your article but many of your points are really already happening for a lot us and things like trying to generate revenue or have candidate pay for content is not really they way forward (IMHO)

    The future?

    Let’s get authentic! I think a lot of companies are now looking into building the talent communities that you mention which for me means bringing job seekers (active and passive) information about jobs (not job postings), how we develop people, what kind of careers opportunities there are, our EVP, our way of live etc. Not brought by recruiters but told by our employees (I guess that is your 3.0? I keep losing track). Let’s get rid of the agency build/communication driven career web sites and make something truly personalized (no, Roche is not there yet but working on it).

    People want authenticity and want to know what kind of company they are going to work for. Let’s put those candidates central and provide them with the insights they are looking for.

    Another thought: Facebook is going to be the major recruitment source in 5 years time.

    and Alan, one more count for the corporate recruiters :-)

  109. Sarah Jenners

    @ Bas

    Seriously man. You trying to wind me up and seek a reaction.

    Recruitment is all about sales. Sales takes many different forms. And I equate sales with quality not just the kill. You ever heard of relationship sales? That is what recruitment is founded on.

    Look at the sales model Bas. Its about identifying propospects, qualifying the best ones and then using your beloved marketing to stimulate that person into BAM the sale, which for recruitment is getting them to opt in and say, ‘yeh dude’ I want to work for your company.

    If you think more about marketing, what do you do. Throw up a sexy image on a job board and then hope and pray a great candidate applies. No way Jose. Its about idenfying, qualifying leads and then selling that baby, in a relationship way, into the ‘recruit’ stage.

    That’s how I recruit. Its the classic art of seduction. Something most men are poor at! Well from my experience.

  110. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Ted.

    Wow. Thanks for the lovely comments mate. Really quite humbling and I really very much appreciate your thoughts. Sharing the mutual love back, you know that I see you as one of the most dynamic & innovative recruitment leaders in Europe, (& Globally). Always a pleasure to engage with you on subjects and its cool to call you a friend :)

    In terms of the label. I do tend to agree that people love to have ‘something’ to hang their hat on, ie the terminology of 3.0 & 4.0, provides that coat peg. It allows for easier labelling and scaling what can happen. But like you, in reality, and in non journalistic versions I dont label or need a coat peg. So lets agree on that one :)

    Totally agree on your points on cost centre, but not your overall thought. Think bigger than the cross charging for lists but the communities and content and preium content that can be charged for, at the same time as costs are coming down, (zero or minimal agency fees, less recruiters in house, less need for paid job boards), hence costs are really down, to allow for striving to profit centre. Lets see. I know people like James Mayes, who will join this debate tomorrow, believes recruitment can and should be a profit centre. I am in that camp, years down the line. Will show you some plans off record when we next meet. I am sure that you will embrace knowing you.

    I think we are close on the overall vision on agreeing, some nuances.

    And Facebook as THE recruitng tool. Interesting. I have faith that the brains at Linkedin wont lose the war. Lets be honest, LinkedIn has 100m qualified candidates/community size. Facebook has 400m. But mostly unqualified.

    So LinkedIn will have to adapt their model to ensure they can reach to scalability of a Facebook, hence they will have to consider going more social in their approach, (especially amongst the High School kids and Graduates, which is where Facebook gains mass).

    Facebook have the scale and have to overcome the philisophy of that they are pure social. They have the 400m. Yes, many are kids. But those kids become candidates and will look for a job. Personally, BeKonwon, it done correctly, could be huge. Just it is not being done effectively right now. Those guys need to reevaulate their model and adjust if they want to be taken seriously.

    Fascinating times :)

    Ted, you are LinkedIn Vegas?

  111. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah. @ Bas. I have settled down with some popcorn and ready to enjoy your discussion lol. Although, I must admit Sarah, that I have also often compared the art of recruitment to the art of seduction, but tend to think that seduction involves both marketing & sales ;)

    @ Sarah. You haven’t stated your vision of the future of recruitment? What’s that?

  112. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Sarah: I’m not trying to provoke you, I just disagree with you. Recruitment isn’t sales. It sometimes has some sales elements in it, it just isn’t.

    You talk about relationship sales, my favourite kind. Identifing the best prospects, yet… you still have in theory an unlimited amount of potential prospects. You don’t have that in jobs. Most companies are still fine with a client, even if it wasn’t on the hit list. Recruitment doesn’t like a CV’s that are totally wrong.

    Second: you didn’t read what I said about marketing and you’ve made it intro marketing-communications again. I know that very few recruiters have any idea what marketing is about, but the communications (the fancy ad) is that absolute last part of the process.

    You look for the right people for the job, I think recruitment is also about creting the right job for talent that wants to work for you. There is a reason that most big companies go banckrupt or fire thousands of people. They fill jobs that are absolete and don’t innovate. Why? Because they have structure (yes, here you are right about HR that thinks in job descriptions, rules and bureaucraty). I like recruiters that create jobs for talent. Usually they are called entrepeneurs by the way…

  113. Sarah Jenners

    Matthew. My vision for recruitment. A world I dont have to report into HR and have to sit and define if I have adhered to stupid new processes they have designed but do not add any value and get in the way of recruiting.

    A world that HR is accountable for attrition levels and retention rates rather than shouting at recruiters to hire, hire and hire again, when attrition is at a rate of 15-20%, hence losing staff quicker than we can fill them. Is that commercially sound? Why dont Execs call them on it.

    In a world that people take decisions instead of sitting on a fence and looking to solve things by long winded conference seeking the consensus road of mediocre opinions, That focus groups dont become the norm for people to absolve their decision making abilities. (Which happens now). We pay you, Mr/Mrs HR Director $150-200,000 dollars to take decisions not stall things in focus groups for 12 months and then take scientific decisions.

    A vision of a company that the management appreciate that what recruiters do is vital to their success. Who we hire and attract is the profit centre you talk of. Who we hire defines the culture and the bottom line profitability.

    That recruitment is rewarded in bigger $ Dollars than the HR puppetmasters we report into.

    That a cool enough Vision.

    Bas. If you were seducing a woman, how would you do it?

  114. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Sarah: I didn’t dispute the fact that recruitment is a lot like secudction. One of my key phrases in training usually was: look it at is dating. Do you walk into a singles bar asking every woman to marry you? No, so why do you do that as a recruiter? Put the relationship (job offer) in on the first date?

    But I do dispute that seduction is like sales. Because (here we go again): I’m not looking for as many woman as I can to marry, I’m looking for the one. In Sales, for me as an entrepeneur, it’s even forbidden by law to only have one client.

  115. Sarah Jenners

    Bas. I think we need not be overly hung up on finding ‘the one’. As a girl I often think of my prince in shining armour arriving on a white charging horse, as most girls do. This is the Disney view of life.

    Sometimes, it is best to think outside the box and not just find ‘the one’ ie the perfect fit to a job description but sometimes the best ones out there dont fit the business, dont match the job spec and could add more value to the business.

    To find the one it means kissing a lot of toads till you find your prince/princess.

    And sometimes businesses have to take a risk on talent who dont fit the spec, maybe they have to reorganise internally to fit the new talent in.

    One night stands can lead to relationships!

  116. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Sarah. You are indeed a master of the generalist statement but must say refreshing in your directness.

    I wont join you and Bas’ conversation on seduction and recruitment, (which is causing me to chuckle I must say), but appreciate you posting your vision. Much is agreeable, perhaps too generalist.

    It sounds like you have an issue with HR. I must say, from personal experience, I have been fortunate to work with some stunningly good HR Professionals, both at EA & Autodesk, who certainly dont get a kick from creating rules for rules sake. They looked at how they could improve the working life of all employees and hence enhancing what the business can do.

    However, I know of friends and met some HR Leaders at events and must say I too have taken a deep breath. But equally, as said many time, I have met recruiting leaders I could never respect or would want to work with or for, I am sure many on this site would point at poor marketing and sales leaders, hence there will always be good and bad talent.

    On those Recruiting Leaders, some super well known, hold down big jobs, way outside their competency level, but they have been clever in recognising their limits and have a super good team that props them up, while they enjoy the champagne lifestyle.

    Sarah, you are right on attrition levels. It is a key measurable and must be a key focus for business and HR Leaders. I know of several companies where the recruiting team gets hammered to make hires but at the same time their attrition level points to a major problem. Its akin to working on a sinking ship where the recruiters have to bail the water out to keep the boat afloat but water is still coming onboard.

    I also agree that Recruiting needs a far better boost in its image. HR is legitimised in many ways by having an agreed entry bar ie a qualification eg in the UK CIPD. Recruiting is open to all and that leads to all sorts ‘having a crack’. Most people ‘fall into recruitment’ and dont have it as a career aim, (me included), but I love it and will be one of those championing what we do until my last breath :)

  117. James Mayes

    Hey Matt – this is one we’ve talked about in brief previously, great to see you really stirring the pot. There’s a whole lot going on here, so it being Sunday morning, I’ll keep it brief now and come back for more shortly. The bit I want to get stuck into immediately is the profit vs cost centre argument.

    You know I’ve backed this idea for many years – indeed, I’ve thrashed out the arguments for a number of experienced HRD’s in the past. In the first instance, it actually comes down to whether a company conceptually believes what it says. I’d frame it like this:

    “Our people are our biggest strength”. Heard that one before? I have, a million times over. If an organisation believes that, then it also believes those people are the absolute core of making profit. To suggest that acquisition of that talent can only ever be seen as a business cost seems completely contrary to the entire people/biggest strength argument.

    Talent acquisition should be viewed as neither a profit or cost centre, but as an independent P&L. If it’s delivered as a top-end service, and engages in full employee lifecycle (particularly talent retention, mobility, and productive use of available resource), it can have a hugely benefit impact on the bottom line. Conversely, I think we’ve all seen examples where bad talent acquisition leads to under-performing projects, late deliverables, etc etc.

    To me, this kind of thinking should start with management and technical consulting firms – hugely dependent on available resource to deliver as contracted. If the resource isn’t available, the firm takes a hit on contracted values for the project, a hit for which recruitment is responsible. If the firm delivers early and bonus clauses are triggered, does not recruitment also deserve some credit?

    These firms have both the business model and the brain-space to develop this kind of thinking, implement it, and start giving recruitment the P&L recognition it deserves. Of course, for those who like having to justify every dollar they spend, the cost centre model will continue to suit just fine….

    Thanks for this Matt… Looking forward to getting back in when I have more time!
    J.

  118. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Sarah: If you are saying there is more then one ‘the one’: totally true. Everybody brings something different to the table, both in work as well as in relationships. However, just like with recruiting, I’m not looking for a harem, I’m looking for someone to fill the position. Not 10 people, like I’d love to have as clients in sales. The fact you keep diverting the conversation in order not to admit I might have a point is interting, it sure shows me you’re a woman :)

    @Matthew: you’re a wiser man then me, not getting stuck in these conversations with a woman…

  119. Matthew Jeffery

    @ James Mayes. As ever radical thinking. I like the phrase you end with:

    ‘…..for those that like having to justify every dollar they spend, the cost centre model will continue to work just fine’.

    That will stir some up. I am sure @ Ted will disagree with that.

    Can’t wait to see what else you have to say. Love your forward thinking James :).

  120. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @James: love your way of thinking. I’ve asked this question several times in management teams: if your people are your biggest asset, why do they count as costs on your P&L and not as assets on your balance sheet?

    Interestingly enough, this would totally alter the need for reorganisations that major companies have every few years, since they need to write off assets as the fire people. It’s a lot closer to the truth (since you loose stuff with losing talent), but the excel sheets will give totally different outcomes.

    I think you’re also dead on with making it a different P&L. The problem with defining it as a cost centre is that management usually tries to keep cost as low as possible (not looking at the income, since there is none in a cost centre). Yet we also know that the best talent doesn’t come for companies that threat them like cost (hence the reason so many are self employed now).

  121. Emma Mirrington

    I have been following this thread with great interest and am now compelled to add my thoughts as a corporate recruiter in the UK…
    First of all Matthew thank you for being brave and putting this out there! I love people who make a stand, challenge the status quo and make me stop and think and re-evaluate what I’m doing and you certainly do that! It would be great if we could have more ‘angels advocates’ like yourself and focus on the what can be done rather than the can’t..
    Ultimately for me recruitment is quite simply all about engagement and as a corporate recruiter we live and die by the power of our networks – internal and external, candidate and stakeholder. Looking at the candidate side of things then it’s great that these days companies exist to help us map and build these networks- 4.0 for me is how I make those networks live and sustainable moving forwards.
    The debate around whether this is recruitment 4.0 or 1.0 is not necessarily the main issue for me here – actually depending on our target market we need to be able to seamlessly slip between all four. You need to be able to interact with your potential talent pool on their terms, offline, online, wherever, however and whenever they prefer and the mediums will continue to blur, shift and change depending whether you are liasing with Generation X or Z!
    I believe there is still a place for excellent job boards, there is still a place for the really great agencies. The quality and relevance of these will set them apart and they will thrive and prosper – for those that don’t then watch out!
    However the challenge for all of us recruiter, job board, agency, ats provider is making sure we evolve at the same time as our target talent pools and that we listen to whats needed and ACT! I do believe Matthew is spot on in terms of crowd sourcing – wouldn’t it be great if ATS providers could support this sort of referral functionality?!
    Well this is my virgin ere comment – thanks MJ for the stimulation and I look forward to reading more!

  122. K.C. Donovan

    Wow!

    Recruiting is a form of art and seduction…could be the most poignant line in the thousands that are written in this blog and thread…fantastic!

  123. Sarah Jenners

    Bas. As you refer to me as ‘woman’, in a caveman way, I will call you ‘little boy’ in return. Deal? LOL

    So what is your vision of recruitment utopia? I m intrigued as seems you given this all a lot of thought!

  124. Matthew Jeffery

    @ KC Donovan

    Loving the whole seduction discussion and lets be honest, there is a whole lot of similarities and Sarah makes great points, as does Bas.

    Enjoying this whole thread actually :)

  125. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Sarah: Well, obviously a lot gets lost without non verbal expressions, about 80%, and in this case a lot. My ‘woman’ remark has nothing to do with caveman thoughts, but everything with typical female trademarks in discussions I guess most men here will recognise :)

    My utopian vision on recruitment? That’s going to take too long to write in a reaction, so let’s make it a short version.

    First I hope that some day recruiters will start acting as problem solvers. That means if the ‘hiring manager’ has a problem, the recruiter will look at the full spectrum of choices. Hiring someone, taking on a freelancer, looking to co-creation with the crowd or maybe even crowdsourcing the problem. Recruiting should be about solving problems that have to do with people and often the solution isn’t hiring someone on the payroll.

    The second utopia I hope to see is that they start acting as ‘markeeers’ towards the organization itself. So get the discussion going about the job itself. Look at that P from Product (what does someone do) and see how you can change it to make the job more attractive. Look at the P from place and take on facility and general management in discussions about new HQ’s and offices from a labour market perspective. So look at your job in a bigger picture.

    My third utopia is for recruiters to get ethical. Several agencies can be described as ‘legalized crime’, ‘human trafficing’ and so on. I hear corporates complain, but then still do business with them. And when will recruiters stop working for them? Simply when we stop hiring people who worked there. You have a job at XYZ? For over a year? And you didn’t feel the need to trhow up on a daily basis? Sorry, you’re not our material. This can start easily, when someone does call even though you put the ‘agency calls not appriciated’ under an add, just black list them (and keep to that list).

    That, in short, are my hopes for recruitment.

  126. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Emma Mirrington, (who for those that dont know is one of the most forward thinking future recruitment strategists I have met, Co-Founder of The Firm recruitment community and Head of Recruitment at Mars Confectionary…hence a rock star).

    Thanks for the great comments Emma. Means a lot.

    We are very aligned on things but what is exciting is the possibilities for everyone:

    - Recruiters: Upskill. Learn new skills.
    - Agencies. Adapt new business models…or die
    - Job boards. Adapt, offer something new…or fade away
    - Corporate Communities. Build and engage & show value
    - Normal communities. How adapt to recruiters
    - Recruitment Leaders: Be replaced or embrace change
    - Technology: Replacing need for recruiters and making life easier
    - ATS’s merging into ATS with joint CRM functionality
    - Crowdsourcing and internal referrals rule recruitment
    - Recruitment embraces so much more than its traditional remit, powered by communities, content provision and of course the philisophy of gamification
    - Recruitment becoming a profit centre
    -

  127. Ted Meulenkamp

    @Matthew, I’d love to see your plans. I’d be very interested in how you would let recruitment “make money” and stay focused on what we need to do. I’m sure you have fascinating ideas!

    Perhaps I’m not visionary (enough) but how would you have recruitment as a department with a separate P&L? You can’t (easily) put a monetary value to the performance of someone and then say recruitment has made a profit for the company because they sourced that person? And would you then take that profit out of the sales department’s because revenue can only be listed once. It may, as James mentions work in certain environments but I have a hard time seeing that in other companies. It may certainly work in a model where you show the (hypothetical) value you are generating but putting in real life P&L’s? Perhaps we should look at how goodwill (an intangible asset) is handled in a balance sheet?

    Again, I get the thought and I’m with you but in practical terms it will be very hard to realize. Please educate me as I think it’s an interesting discussion :-) Oh and in my vision recruitment would never report to HR but to the business they support. That would most likely eliminate the whole discussion.

    Facebook has 736 million people on the site. 65% is between 25 and 64 and 35% is under 25 years old. People of the age group under 25% is where the change will happen as Facebook is in their DNA. The live and breath it and that is where they spend their time. Most of them have never heard of Linkedin. That would mean that if enough companies get serious with Facebook for recruitment they don’t need to go anywhere else. All our pages (should) have our employees speaking about what it’s like to work there, your recruiters are leaving comments with candidates and you can have jobs posted on your wall or through an app on a tab. Facebook is already widely used for campus recruitment as it is the place (as you said) where they are. Why would they go to LI if they can find the same or better information on FB?

    I’m sure LI has the brains to stay afloat and I love the page but I see FB as a serious threat for them.

    Matt, I won’t be in Vegas unfortunately.

    Love the conversation

  128. Gamification: Talentpools | RecTec

    [...] ‘talent pool management’.In het uitstekende artikel van Matthew Jeffery over ‘Recruitment 4.0‘ op ERE sprak Matthew al over de toekomst. Steeds meer organisaties zullen aan Talent Pool [...]

  129. James Mayes

    @Ted – thanks for bringing the sales revenue into the thread – it was something I didn’t have time to get to on my last comment!

    You’re right in that revenue should only be credited once – but therein lies part of the current problem. Revenue is credited to the sales team – yet most service-focussed companies (and certainly, the UK is a service economy) sign multi-year contracts. In most cases, the sales team are involved up front to get the deal done – the actual revenue created is then dependent entirely on the people delivering the service.

    More often than not, the sales team only start to re-engage with the customer as contract renewal hits the radar again… maybe the answer we seek lies in splitting the revenue across the teams. If the team delivering (i.e. the people hired in Talent Acquisition) were more adequately recognised for their part in revenue creation, it should become easier for TA to justify the investment needed to build an awesome talent acquisition and retention function.

    Maybe the reverse also works – if delivery teams underperform because Talent Acquisition isn’t up to scratch, maybe the TA team loses it’s revenue credit – in P&L terms, it becomes loss-making and therefore potentially the solution is to kill the existing function and outsource to someone who can do a better job. Wonder how many RPO deals have come about in that way, but done more on gut feel than hard data?

  130. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Ted and @ James Mayes. Loving this whole discussion on financials. Very few get into discussing profit centres, revenue potential, P n L’s. Very refreshing and very very cool.

    I still also believe that Talent Acquisition can be revenue generating and earn real money for the business. I don’t want to go into this too much and give away too many ideas before we’ve had a chance to implement them, (and either be successful or crash and burn), but there is lots of potential.

    As the article alludes to above, there are ways to generate revenue. And lots more beside.

    As a taster. Think of the potential for the events we run, (or more importantly could run). Think of the value and potential of ‘the crowd’. Think of all the above ir the ‘value’ of the internal database and communities. The potential for premium and exclusive paid for content. The value and principles of ‘gamification’.

    There is lots of potential. I wish I could give more examples, but gotta save some suprises.

    And before someone says, what’s the point of Talent Acquisition making money? Well, remember the slow times. The times that we have to lay off recruiters, good recruiters, because of temporary hiring freezes. This model helps maintain more stability for recruiting leaders in keeping great recruiters and tooling them with new skills.

    Hope more comment on the whole profit & loss points that James makes. And love to hear your views @ Ted.

    Great debate :)

  131. K.C. Donovan

    In 1999, I was asked to help a high end Data Center mgmt company hire about 1,000 new emps in 8-9 months. The challenge was that they were needed in 8 different locations – and to also support the existing London, NYC and Santa Clara NOCs. Anyway, I decided to build an “Agency” within the organization replacing the existing HR Agency Vendor Mgr types. The obvious problem was that if we were to bring actual recruiters used to commissions, competitiveness , etc, we would have a real problem once we got closer to our goal. Making the problem even more daunting – to meet the goal we needed Candidate Relationship Mgrs (we actually thought we had invented the term at the time…) to manage the remote hiring locations and a very large team at corporate to source and recruit the Net Ops Admins and Archs that were not merely hanging around to be recruited… (no Linked In or Facebook back then…). Basically, we needed a team of 28 people to meet our objectives – and the idea was not to go with contractors because we wanted the staff to be passionate and focused – and…I had sold the COO on the idea that as the mass hiring initiative wound down, we would transition our teams efforts to offer additional services to our Data Center clients – who also were experiencing great growth and having as much difficulty as we were in recruiting technical talent…(sounds familiar to today, doesn’t it?). So 12 years ago, we created the profit center you guys are talking about today… Incidentally, the London recruiting team was the most backward and difficult to work with – they couldn’t fathom at the time that we would actually recruit from a competitor…man how things have changed as the English seem to be leading the recruitment cutting edge today…

    Lastly, Emma if you’re reading…please consider relocating to the U.S. and/or being an international Corp Recruiting Icon – we could sure use a Corp Recruiting Leader as proactive as you in my neighborhood!!!

  132. Jason Mathues

    Good article, but I disagree with a couple of points.

    “Both Recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 were/are fundamentally focused on the active job seekers, (applying to vacancies, on agency books, and those watching job boards like a possessed predator).”

    I agree with this statement, but what you described is not “recruiting” at all. Anyone can teach a Generalist or Admin to post an open position, and with any ATS, the applicant would go straight to the job applied for, and end up in some box (or the black hole as some call it)

    In my opinion, “recruiting” is, and always will be, about what you described in Recruiting 3.0. The ability to build and nurture relationships, and to find the best talent (most of them ARE passive) for the position. I would argue that 4.0 is an extension of 3.0 (say 3.5), and is not a new way of recruiting, just an improvised process. Again, you can teach an Admin or a Gerneraliste how to spam on a Gamification social media sight to generate traffic, but do you want to just attract anyone and everyone?

    Also in my opinion; Agencies are, and will continue, to be around because they aren’t enough “great” recruiters to have in every company. Mostly you’ll find “C+/B-” recruiters, and rarely will you find a company that needs to use an Agency with an “A” recruiter in their organization. If you ran the numbers, I’d bet that you’d find 90% – 95% of people fell into recruiting, rather than people growing up and saying “hey, I want to be a recruiter”, hence the numbers. The Agency Fee also exists because you’re paying for their network. It takes time to build relationships, and basically, you’re paying to speed up the process.

    Job Boards are a good place to get the “low hanging fruit”, but not really for the long-term relationships you strive to build. LinkedIn is a great for sourcing, and arguably so is Twitter and Facebook (though I would suggest to create 2 profiles, one personal, and one professional).

    Just my two cents… – 2nd generation recruiter

  133. Recruitment is geen sales (pur sang) | RecTec

    [...] is sales hoor ik veel recruiters nog wel eens zeggen. Recentelijk ook in de comments op het recruitment 4.0 blog van Matthew Jeffery op ERE. Nu heeft recruitment bepaalde elementen van sales in zich, maar het is zeker geen sales. Er zitten [...]

  134. Jamie Leonard

    Controversial and thought provocking as always Matt. I think with job boards, you’ve very flippantly dismissed a multi billion dollar industry a little to easily. As companies improve their own sites and in turn, their seo and even ppc, job boards will lose candidates to Google for job searches. In LinkedIn and BeKnown (and any other business networks that come along) the CV database will die. But job boards are still in their infancy and not to rigid to adapt, the way print wasnt. The key to their survival is about adding value to a persons job search, beyond the confines of their own site. What is that? If I know I wouldn’t post it on a blog, I’d be selling it to Monster, but I don’t. But they’ll figure it out. Looking forward to hearing you speak at our next event Matt. can’t wait to see what you and Mr Alder come up with. http://reconverse.com/2011/08/17/recruitment-3-0/

  135. Vic Okezie

    Excellent post by Matt (the Legend) and lots of great comments by Recruitment extraordinaires, who are a lot smarter than I am.

    I shall not comment on the usual suspects: recruiters, job boards, ATS, agencies, talent communities etc. You know who you are and what you need to do, in order to evolve.

    But can I just say, that having tested several Social Software platforms for Employee collaborations in the last few months; its just amazing what innovation is out there within other business sectors. These guys are adopting crowdsourcing, gamification, tracking ROI realtime and demonstrating strong business intelligence.

    Most comments in this debate have indicated that Marketing as a function is very business focused (I quite agree) and some have suggested that the problem with ‘Recruitment’ is its strong relationship with Big Brother HR. Either case, what do you make of an industry that uses a lot of technology, but that is still stuck in its ways?

    You’d find that the issue is not on the technology or the ‘shiny’ tools out there for recruiters to use. It goes back to the psychology of the industry itself.

  136. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Vic. (You are the Legend man). I cant wait for SR Conf in Paris. Will be one of the highlights of 2011. People should google and go attend as lots of revolutionary stuff will be discussed there.

    Yes, some other functions are getting ahead of the curve or ‘talking the talk’. I would look at marketing as one, but where a lot of the traditional marketing departments are making THE biggest error known to man, they use new technology & social media channels to ‘push’ messages. Traditional marketing 1.0 techniques. Shout at the crowd. Instead of ‘pull’ and engaging.

    So there is still mjuch to play for.

    And yes, lots of cool technology and gizmos but many not being used properly or maximised.

    You hit on a key point. The psychology of the industry itself. That is quite a defeatist and traditionally conservative philisophy.

    And Vic.

    I just received an email from a very good friend and asked that this debate should go back to the very basics and posed these questions.

    Forget about social networking and all the fancy technologies out there today and go back to the early days:

    - What makes a good Recruiter? Think about the best Recruiter you ever met. Why were they so good?
    - What makes a successful Recruiter + Potential Candidate relationship? Think about how you battled to close a candidate, to bring over someone who originally said ‘no’ to you.

    Also – are social networks for passive job seekers or active job seekers?

    I am sure my answers will be mightily different from many others…..

  137. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Jamie Leonard.

    Interesting stuff. Love the debate :)

    Obviously this is a period of years before the job boards will vanish or have adapted so heavily to be indistinguishable from today.

    So the argument I am saying is, as a corporate recruiter, why should I pay to post a job on a jobs board, when I can ‘crowdsource’ candidates either from my corporate ‘built’ community or from specialist niche communities out there.

    And dont forget, the corporate communities that we build will include ‘targetted’ people we have seduced into that community. This is not about creating a Facebook page, leaving it to build followers, (who could be randoms), and then posting up ‘we have a job for product managers in Austin, any reccomendations’?

    Corporate recruiters want & need to unlock the passive pool. Job boards are all about the active pool.

    I cant see many companies, in 10 years time, paying to place a job advert on a job board.

    And what would I do if I were a job board? Start building communities of talent, building ‘relationships’ getting known for that talent and deep contacts, and build a cost model not founded on posting jobs but on ‘placement’ & ‘brand’ advertising and premium content.

    Some will say pugwash & rubbish. But if I were to launch a job board, free to corporates to post jobs, especially the most soughts after companies, and have deep, passive communities that I could encourage ‘crowdsourcing’, methinks this model would quickly resonate and see other job boards collapse ;)

    Agree?

  138. Jamie Leonard

    Ok, so they build communities, and I agree, “hard linking” with candidates is a must, but what happens then? All of a sudden you’ve got 20,000 people. So you make it easier for them to find the right area of the community, so you build a search that allows them to find it. And maybe you add some jobs in that area. Maybe you allow them to upload their CV or profile, so recruiters can find them. Bam! You’re a job board again. Job boards are, by nature, somewhere people that want to find jobs go, so they’ll always be for the active candidate, whatever they tell you about “passive can be found through our CV database” or not. You can call it a community, a database or a pink frog. If it looks like a dog and it sounds like a dog, it’s a dog. Communities on job boards will never exist in your context, as you’re there for a reason. If I go to the butchers, Im there to buy meat. Get what Im saying? Cant wait for the 15th ;-)

  139. Melanie Hayes

    Some good questions on your earlier post Matt – I am going to give my thoughts on the 1st. I am a big believer that you have to get the basics right before you can start moving on to the sexy stuff… Hence the reason I’ve spent the last 12 months attempting to do just that. In order to deliver a compelling story and engage your audience and do all of these things in lean, efficient ways you need GREAT recruiters… And finding them can feel a bit like trying to find the holy grail, spear of destiny etc… For me, as cliche as it might sound, its quite simple – a great corporate recruiter is someone who can effectively manage the needs of the business with those of the candidate. Someone who has the ability to adapt their style to suit the audience… Has impact & influence, can build great relationships, has pace & energy and a real passion to understand their remit. And most of all truly ‘gets’ what recruitment is all about. All the great recruiters I have ever met love their job and it shows in everything they do… You can’t be in this sector and it just be a job – you’ll be mediocre at best!
    That said, I’d also say that those needs change dependant on the type of stakeholder/candidate that sits within their remit. My team definitely wouldn’t be delivering good results if I had recruited identikit resourcers! I could quite happily discuss this topic all day…

    I think you may notice that the search for a great recruiter is high on my agenda at the moment :)

  140. Melanie Hayes

    Some good questions in your earlier post Matt, I am going to give my thoughts to the first question. I am a big believer that you have to get the basics right before you can start moving on to the sexy stuff… Hence the reason I’ve spent the last 12 months attempting to do just that. In order to deliver a compelling story and engage your audience and do all of these things in lean, efficient ways you need GREAT recruiters… And finding them can feel a bit like trying to find the Holy Grail, spear of destiny etc… For me, as cliché as it might sound, its quite simple – a great corporate recruiter is someone who can effectively manage the needs of the business with those of the candidate. Someone who has the ability to adapt their style to suit the audience… Has impact & influence, can build great relationships, has pace & energy and a real passion to understand their remit. And most of all truly ‘gets’ what recruitment is all about. All the truly great recruiters I have ever met love their job and it shows in everything they do… You can’t be in this sector and it just be a job – you’ll be mediocre at best! That said, I’d also say that those needs change dependant on the type of stakeholder/candidate that sits within their remit. My team definitely wouldn’t be delivering good results if I had recruited identikit resourcers! I could happily discuss this topic all day but for fear of boring people I will leave it at that….

    I think you may notice that the search for a great recruiter is high on my agenda at the moment :)

  141. Emilie Dixon

    This is a fascinating debate. First off, a qualification, that I work at Autodesk on Matthew’s team in EMEA, hence declaring an interest. Plus I have to watch how much I say because Matthew may kill me lol.

    I must admit, before I joined Autodesk and started getting involved in futuristic discussions, I would have completely laughed at some of the suggestions in this article, especially in relation to recruitment becoming a profit centre. I think several others in this thread also feel that this is a big step, maybe too far. But I have to say, the more I have been involved in future planning, and the preeminent launch of some very cool ‘Talent Acquisition tools’ the more that this is makes sense…not just sense….common sense. I would love to go into more detail but I am sure that I would be shot but suffice to say that ‘engaging content is king’. (People will naturally ask….’What is that engaging content’?….and there are hints to that content in this article. Love to say more about our plans but I am sure more will come to light as development nears completion).

    The whole community debate needs to be anchored on differentiating between the communities companies will develop and the communities that will evolve naturally. Looking at Company ‘manufactured’ communities, it is key to recognize that individuals will only be part of a limited number of communities, people can’t or won’t join more than 5-10. If they do, they won’t be qualitatively participating. Hence key is content. If someone will only actively participate in a small number of communities key for those companies building their own ‘communities’ / ‘talent communities’ is how to keep people coming back for more. The ‘treacle effect’. How do we get ‘sticky’. That is not content on jobs, that is ‘humanising the brand’ and adding elements that people enjoy, again I won’t list here but the ideas in this article I think will be mainstream in the years ahead.

    The other type of community ie that forms naturally by individuals uniting in a common interest is potentially a greater value. As said many times before in this article, these form round different issues / common themes, like skill sets, (sales, IT, Marketing), special interests etc. Hence a perceived value in that community be it ‘crowdsourcing opinions’ or ‘crowdsourcing candidates’.

    Such a cool time to be a recruiter. Recruitment can naturally evolve into a profit centre. It will be interesting to see people’s reactions in the years ahead when some companies recruiting teams turn from cost centre to profit centre. Those laughing from the sidelines now will be left with a little egg on their faces. Sarah Jenners says it well. Those laughing now, would they have laughed at the idea of cars, planes and space travel. Today’s weird and curiosity becomes tomorrows norm….

  142. Russell White

    As always, Matthew has written an article that provokes arguement and response! I see the central tenet of this article as is the external (or indeed) internal recruiter role days numbered. My answer is no, not in my career at least. 4.0 will happen, but the recruitment approach MJ describes, a line manager must have access to the whole universe of people capable of fulfilling the role he/she are seeking to fill. This will not be possible and companies will continue to pay specialists (like me) to tap into my network to fill their roles. Equally they will rely on my skill to identify those indviduals who have the right ‘personal style’ as well the pre-requisite skills based on my understanding of their business. In 4.0 speak – you want my data – you pay for it.

    I understand from others that Job Boards are losing their effectiveness – some though are doing better through specific content led & social media strategies.

    Matt is 100% correct about communities – I did a project for a company on exactly that 12 months ago building a pool of potential candidates/prospects/competitors.

    For me recruitment is all about profit – but not short term gain!

  143. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Jamie Leonard. Love it. I also cant wait for the 15th. Interestingly I think it could prove a heated and electric meeting. Well I hope so ;)

    So you obviously make very pertinent points on a community. And lets add to that. A Facebook page with a list of jobs is a de facto jobs board, not a social community. A Twitter page with a list of jobs hyperlinked back to a jobs site is still a de facto jobs board, not a social community. BUT a company will still beat their chest and say that its a social media success.

    There is so much spin and false information and definitions in this area.

    But whilst we disagree on the fundamentals, I am sure we can agree that communities are and will be bigger in social media channels.

    Whilst LinkedIn sits there and wants the volume of Facebook. Facebook sits there and wants the legitimacy of LinkedIn. Perhaps one should buy the other :)

    Point is that we as companies have to crack ‘crowdsourcing’ of ideas and ‘crowdsourcing’ of candidates, (both different things of course). Goal is not to create de facto job board communities.

    A corporate community, (ie set up by a community), is about transparency, information, ‘humanising the brand’ exclusive info, laced with an undercurrent of come work for us we are great. Content is key.

    There is such huge potential.

    See that Jamie?

    Jobs & recruitment is boring. A community founded on that would be as exciting as going on a roller coaster with no electricity.

  144. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Matthew: what I find interesting in this discussion is that a lot of people respond to your ‘talent community’ and then have a totally different idea about that term that I know you have (and I have). To be honest, I don’t know of any really good management talentcommunities. I hear a lot of people talk about it, but few do it. Almost all still say for example a talent community should be ‘that of a company’, while I would state the company is irrelivent (except for funding it) and the work should be at the centre. Let in competitors, why not? (Just make sure you have an advantage). Maybe a good idea to write something about real talent communities?

  145. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Melanie Hayes. You are a legend. Love it.

    I could discuss this all day with you as well. Just need a bottle of Gin and a bottle of wine and we are set :)

    I have been interviewing recruiters to hire on my team. A scary and frustrating process. Now I have to see I have felt super despondent at times. Excited that I have found on paper a great recruiter, working at a super company, (some big and impressive companies and some fiery startup’s), looked and read LinkedIn endorsements and been super excited to meet them. Then I have met them and felt like banging my head against the wall and gone into ‘how do I pad this interview out and give the candidate a great experience’ mode.

    Why is that?

    1) Too many recruiters are prepared to accept the status quo. They dont question or want to change.
    2) When you delve into how a recruiter generates pipeline, too few come back with inspiring proactive ideas. ‘I post on Monster/job board’. ‘I use an agency’. ‘I use internal referrals’…that excites me, then I am told, ‘Yes, we send out a Hot Jobs email every Thursday at 5pm’.

    Arrrggghhhh

    I want recruiters who excite, get passionate about the company and fire up candidates who love that passion.

    I am tired of meeting the stereotypical recruiter who is like the character in ‘Little Britain’ who says ‘Computer say no’.

    Perhaps LinkedIn can release a new app that provides crowdsourcing of recruiters, that a recruiter is ranked in a table based on their level of ‘likes’ / endorsements etc and some rankings, from experience members of the recruiting community are worth more votes. At least we could all then see the best recruiters ;)

  146. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Emilie Dixon.

    LOL. Took me by total surprise seeing your comments. Welcome to the debate. LOVE IT.

    A short comment as I agree with you 100%, (as you know as I love debating and working on this with you). If anyone wants to know who will write Recruitment 5.0, it’s more likely Emilie than me ;)

    And thanks for not revealing anything too much lol PHEW..

  147. Gareth Jones

    Ive been on hols and missed all the action!

    @Bas – agree, most dont seem to have a handle on what they mean by a talent community. I think a company trying to build a ‘talent community’ around their brand is folly. go to where the people are – they are already in communities. As you say, the company is irrelevant.

    Communities already exists, and lets not forget they are not just inside bits of ‘community tech’ they are multifaceted – across many platforms and tools, online and offline.

    Where people gather around a subject of interest is where, if its a hot spot, you will find talented people and the best industry players – NOT just jobseekers. And they wont be talking about jobs and careers.

    The REAL smart organisations will be enabling and funding these communities invisibly, allowing competitors in and total openess and freedom across the network.

    In 2008 i spent months looking into this and put forward a strategy to my then employer, a large independent recruitment company, that we should move into enabling communities invosibly. Of course, no dice!

    There are no real talent communities – like i said, just good communities with talented people in them.

  148. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Gareth: agree, but with a nuance. Last year I said: go where the talent is. Built it on an existing platform. That’s no longer a ‘must’ with the openID structure of Facebook and so on. As long as you connect with Facebook and don’t make them register again. Or you could call this building it on Facebook :) Semantics.

    There are communites arround, but not on everything and sometimes you can still do a lot better. I do believe that companies can build their own talent communities, but like you said: not with their brand in the centre, but the focus on the talent in the centre. I’ve recently send Mat a ‘great’ idea on this, who knows me might actually see something on this in 2012 :)

  149. Gareth Jones

    @Sarah Jenners – Recruitment is full of a lot of crappy people – especially the agency market mainly as a result of the sales focus – its the root cause for so much of the poor execution. Recruitment might be about sales to you, but it shouldnt be. And no, im not an HR worshipper!

    HR are not responsible for turnover rates etc – that a leadership issue and there are a lot of crappy leaders out there.

    Contrary to what you have experienced, there are a lot of smart HR folk out there, just like there are recruiters, who dont wake up in the morning and think ‘what rules can i make up today”!

    Perhaps you should up your own career game a little and go work for one of the better crop of companies that employ a slightly higher calibre of individual ;)

  150. James Mayes

    @Bas “As long as you connect with Facebook and don’t make them register again. Or you could call this building it on Facebook”

    As you may know – we do this already at BraveNewTalent – but I don’t completely agree with your proposition. Where we can have people use Facebook Connect, it’s easy for them, and we benefit from social graph insight – the data should allow us to build product with far greater intelligence, give more consideration to “recommendation engine” type functions and so… but we also allow a manual sign up, with no requirement to use Facebook Connect. Why? Two reasons:
    1) Not everyone believes what Facebook says about privacy, and they simply WILL NOT be persuaded to use Facebook Connect for a professional scenario
    2) Not everyone is on Facebook. *Gah* Yep, I said it. The secret’s out. Yes, FB can make life easier in many ways – but like ALL social recruiting, no single element will ever provide the panacea, because as humans, it’s the odd-ball, the non-conformist, the one NOT on Facebook that sometimes has precisely the talent you’re looking for.

    That’s what makes it fun ;-)

  151. Matthew Jeffery

    @ Gareth. LOL> You are brave baiting Sarah Jenners. I sure that @ Bas will warn you against that ;)

    Popcorn. Tick
    Wine. Tick
    Comfy chair. Tick

    Wait for Sarah…lol.

  152. Gareth Jones

    @bas – agree, single sign on makes things a lot easier, but im not going to sign into something – or stay in it/keep coming back and contributing – if its not compelling and or its a one trick pony etc. totally agree that there is still plenty of opportunity and or its not done very well in places – hence my work in 2008. Im still working on it now too, both for myself and with clients ;) A lot of what is out there is legacy publishing platforms/sites that are trying to ‘socialise’ elements of their legacy offering which isnt really working, hence the opportunity i think.

    Interesting stuff! Let me know if you are ever in the UK, would be good to catch up over coffee.

  153. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Gareth: I don’t think the signing up is the problem. Look at how many likes people give to pages. Look at how easy people sign up and never come back. The signing up, if you make it easy enough with single sign on, isn’t the problem. It’s the staying there, comming back a second time, contributing the first time, that’s the issue. Why? Because most companies start, then want to create a crowd, then start investing. But that’s ‘corporate central thinking’. You first need to built a platform, even without a single reader, then you start building a crowd.

    I’ve started several blogs in my life, pretty much all met their targets (or were way beyond expectation), both for myself as for clients. Why? Because we started with content, and we only started communicating about it when there were a few dozen articles on it. So everybody visiting, from ‘day one’ (actually that ws usually month 2 or 3, but the visitors thought it was day one) saw that we were serious. Being active, even when nobody else is, is the task of the ‘creator’, then people come back.

  154. Gareth Jones

    @Bas – sorry, i obviously didn’t make my point very well because im in total alignment with you. As i said, the log in isnt the issue – “Im not going to stay or come back if its not compelling”. You can make it as easy for me to join as you like but i aint staying if its not sticky. So yes, sign in as you say is not the issue – content is.

    In fact i would go further and say – context rather than content. Im not a fan of talking about ‘content’. too many people, including some of my past clients, are obsessed with putting content up or providing content, thinking it has to be articles etc. Content can be conversation. Indeed in a lot of successful communities the conversation IS the content largely.

    I also think there is a fairly informal spirit nowadays that allows people to build from zero and be transparent about it – you dont have to pretend its a living throbbing community before people take it seriously. Its all about positioning. Things have to start somewhere and many are very forgiving and understand that, mucking in and building it with you. I have first hand experience of that with my own community.

    I do agree too that the ‘creator’ initially must play a part. But the way i see it is they have to be an active member of the community. to see it as a short term job, as a quick fix to get things up and running is unrealistic. Over time, as momentum builds with others, the need to ‘feed and seed’ becomes less of a burden for the creator as you put it.

  155. Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Garth: we agree. Content is king, context is the emperor (and as you know from the Royal Wedding, emperors still rank higher than kings). :)

    Of course you need to give the community space, but never expert them to take over. You can become less of a creator, but in my experience, you still need to produce at least 50% of everything, or pay someone to do that or there need to be huge, huge benefits for others to do so.

  156. Sarah Jenners

    Gareth. You are a cheeky boy, in a flirtatious way. Not like Bas.

    But Gareth it sounds like we are about to disagree and fall out. Shame.

    You say I should up my career BUT it sounds like you work as a consultant. I always say that consultants like to talk about it but never actually do it. Rather like going to a peep show, happy to watch and advise but never do it. Maybe, you should upskill your career and ‘do it’, not talk about it. ;)

    As to HR. Of course there are some great HR leaders. The best HR leaders are those that do nothing.

    But come on Gaz. How many HR Leaders do you know that report into Recruitment leaders. Very few. Most Recruitment leaders report into HR. How messed up is that?

    So philisophically we are saying that recruitment is important as the talent WE hire, affects the profitability and the future of the company, but we have to report into the people who organise payroll, put in place training and are in charge of the rule book, esp overseeing the disciplinary process. Is that really more important than who we hire?

    And yes, attrition is an HR issue. Do you see it as a key function of the cleaners or security guards? No, I hope not. Who is responsible for overseeing performance reviews, competency of managers, culture, staff communication. Oh yeh. Remove attrition from HR and they have few metrics left. Oh wait. The number of employee appraisals completed in an ANNUAL review.

    While I am being sarcastic, you get my drift that HR is not more important than recruitment.

    Gaz, as you go into companies with your notebook and sharpened pencil, maybe you could advise Business leaders that perhaps HR should report into Recruitment?

  157. Gareth Jones

    @Sarah – you are too easy ;)

    You see, that’s the problem with you sales recruiters – so focussed on the sale that your not paying attention or doing your homework! I may be a consultant now but it’s only recent. I’m putting my 23 years real experience – including as a recruiter – to good use. I won’t tell you what else I did during those years – that’s your job ;).

    Also I have to take you up on your point about “the talent WE hire” – come on, you know as well as I do that recruiters don’t hire anyone. They find people. The hiring manger does the hiring. Not that the job of finding the right people is easy, oh no. Been there.

    Again no, attrition is not an HR outcome. They just clear up the mess of poor management and leadership and also of, guess what?! Oh yes! Bad hiring decisions! But that wouldn’t be in anyway your responsibility would it?!

    Recruitment reporting into HR? Seriously, it’s not that simple. It’s all down to the calibre of the organisation and their people strategy. High quality, strategic people management integrates incoming talent with a great incumbent talent strategy and in this case I know it works fine. But I also know places where it doesn’t and regardless of who reports to who, it fails to deliver.

    Having said all of that, they say that companies that have always had HR and or recruitment can’t manage without them and those that never had them do just fine! The most successful company in Brazil for example has neither. What does that tell you?!

    Break the rules? Bring it on. I spent most of my career looking for rules to break. It’s one of the reasons I’m happy doing this – I don’t have to live with the excuses for not breaking ‘em! ;)

  158. Sarah Jenners

    @ Gareth. I certainly have never been called easy before. Cheeky young boy.

    OK, you have 23 years of doing it, in the old days of the fax machine and job boards. Your consultancy period takes you out of the cutting edge innovation stage where you have to truly grapple with results and new techniques, instead of being a teenage scribbler and just writing about it. I still believe in the motto, ‘Those that have it…do it. Those that dont, teach’!. Surely you must grapple for real power, the power to take a decision, not just write shopling lists ;)

    Your comment on hiring shows how out of the loop you are. Like a Victorian gentleman cryo frozen and just thawed out in 2011, confused at the changes around you but clinging to your Victorian beliefs.

    Of course WE hire. We source the candidates, we pre screen, we present the shortlist, (maybe present 2/3 qualified candidates), and then, we interview with hiring managers, we lead loop reviews and our hiring manager will trust in our lead. Yes they take the FINAL call, but we have controlled all to that point.

    But you may have been one of those traditional recruiters who presented 50 cv’s to a hiring manager, never qualified and left the hiring manager to their own practice?

    But that’s not recruitment. That is slavery. Slavery to laziness.

    Of course attrition is an HR stat. Does the CEO really monitor the quality of management, staff satisfaction surveys, whether all are doing what they should, whether people feel motivated in their careers. If you truly put this at the door of business leaders, your understanding of commercial decision making, needs you to reappraise and perhaps get a simple business book.

    So question for you Gaz.

    What is more important for a business?

    Hiring great talent?
    Great HR Processes.

    I know you will sit on the fence like humpty dumpty and say both.

    The most successful company in Brazil. LOL the bastion of modern business. If Microsoft or Walmart had neither that would be a better example.

    Break the rules. LOL. That’s a brave statement. Do you feel excited when you go 1 mph over the speed limit. Oh you rebel.

    (Yes, cheekily written and take it in that spirit).

  159. Gareth Jones

    @sarah – fished in! Look, you really need to start doing your homework. About me and the Brazilian company. They are growing faster than either MS or WM. And have been doing so consistently for more than 15 years so they cant be that bad. Check them out.

    Oh, and attrition IS an HR stat. But thats not what you said. HR dont cause attrition, poor leadership does. Dont shoot the messenger! Oh, and I noticed you ducked the question on responsibility for bad hiring decisions… ;)

  160. Sarah Jenners

    @ Gaz. Fished in. Not at all. Educating you in the art of recruitment. I am sure that you have nothing on your fishing rod that would reel me in.

    But I do appreciate you joining in and debating this as breaking away from your consulting crayon set and drawing pretty charts and pictures must be a love of yours. You must be the Rolf Harris of recruitment. ‘Can you see what it is yet’? LOL

    Me doing my homework. Bit rich from a teenage scribbler lol. Growing faster than MS or WM. That’s not hard. You consultants always play with stats.

    Let me tell you something. My local chip shop used to be staffed by one person. They now have 9 staff. Wow they have grown in staff 900%. That’s fatser staff growth than MS.

    In terms of revenue, I hear they now pull in 8 times previous revenue. That’s a faster growth than MS.

    You love playing with stats. And I note in a previous post you agreed ‘size does not matter’. Now it does. You confused ;)

    Finally, you concede a point to me. Wow. unusual for a man to admit they are wrong. Attrition is an HR stat. Thanks.

    And I dont duck any questions Gaz. yes, recruiters are part of the mix and quality of hire by recruiter should be measured. If a recruiter has a poor average quality of hire, they should be fired. Simple.

    I suppose Gaz you advise on ‘Quality of hire’ stats. What stats would you advise your client to ‘measure’?

    I hope I get to meet you. Are you in the USA. No perhaps not. Probably in a little country like the UK where its easier to hack it ;)

  161. Gareth Jones

    @sarah – ive forgotten more than you will ever know about recruitment… ;)

  162. Ken Ward

    @Gareth/Sarah, play nicely or you just wait til your Father gets home!

  163. Sarah Jenners

    Garry boy.

    Now who is ducking the question. Quality of hire?

    I agree with you that you have forgotten more about recruitment. Very refreshing honesty. It shows. Perhaps you need a consultancy to advise you? Maybe a refresher if you forgotten?

  164. Matthew Jeffery

    Credit to @ Bas who has written a great article on his blog on the death of corporate in house teams v external agencies.

    Well worth a read:

    http://www.rectec.nl/2011/08/26/agencies-or-internal-recruiters-whos-dying/

  165. Michael Fisher

    Hello All,

    I am rather late to this discussion…was directed to it by someone else today.

    A thought provoking and original article Mathew. It has prompted some great responses and more than a few that veer towards the opposite.

    In scanning the comments so far, what clung to my mind most readily was the use of the word “Gamification”. What is it that gives anyone the right to think of Recruitement as something that involves or even implies that it is any way realted to playing games? Those that think in that way certainly should not be allowed within a ten mile radius of any point of influence in the Recruitment profession because their mindset is wrong and irresponsible to start with. They damn themselves with their own inappropriate use of language.

    Some in this thread are notably responsible and know that they influence others’ career prospects and futures…and I believe they manage that responsibly. Others are demonstrably playing around like immature children, uncaringly substituting noise for reasoned analysis. Is their talk about adding value to customers/clients? Or, is it more about taking a straightforward process (when compared with many other activities) and making it look complicated? Is it about them being heard rather than about them adding to the value of a discussion?

    Innovation is one thing but valueless noise and overcomplication are completely unnecessary. I have not read of any innovative initiative here…it’s all renamed processes and actions that have existed for years. The only differences here are the names and the web’s vast ability to broadcast them.

    Using the engineers’ rule of thumb that works in most cases, “the more complex a system becomes, the greater is the probability that it will fail”.

    The main reason that people should be recruited is because they can and do perform their remits well, whatever that remit happens to be. It has very little to do with their social networking abilities. So let’s get our ducks lined up in the right order.

    Some things do not need to be changed so why change them? If anything needs change in the Recruitment profession, perhaps it is the freedom of almost anyone to call themself a Recruiter.

    Talent in Recruitment and elsewhere does not reside exclusively in one ringfenced location. It does not fit neatly into one preconceived idea, especially if that preconception comes from those who have minimal experience and certainly no appreciable basis for judging others. It certainly does not come from a software program or any particular social networking site.

    Recruitment should be a vocation. Unfortunately, it seems that for most who practise it, it is anything but that.

  166. M R

    This is not news. Those of us who have been in recruitment Trenches a lot longer than 10 years(who did not imediately work ourselves into a management role and thus away from the day to day hunt) already know this and have seen the evolution of recruitment over the years.

    In the end, it is still the “sell” of the position and brand of a particular company that will get the candidate to move, regardless of how they’re found. And that, takes personal skill. Not high level gee whiz, let’s do this or that.

  167. Paul Maxin

    Matthew, my apologies for coming to this really late. I was chilling out on holiday when you originally posted. Congratulations on stimulating so much discussion in your usual thought provoking and provocative way. I don’t disagree with much of what you write.

    However, my challenge is that your vision of “Recruitment 4.0″ could perhaps be better termed “Recruitment – Back to The Future”. Passive candidate development, market mapping, gamification (modern term for old concept), candidates as consumers, privileged access to knowledge and communities are nothing new. What happened is that, under the “efficiency” banner and the advent of the first ATS, recruitment became an automated process where the candidate effectively became a product on a production line as opposed to a real person who wished to engage with and have an experience with a potential employer. It was linear, one dimensional, focussed on time and cost savings at the expense of quality of hire.

    What’s happened is that some companies and recruiting functions have finally woken up to the fact that one size doesn’t fit all. That talent acquisition strategy has to be aligned to the business strategy and that any “processes” (or “activities” as I prefer to call it)need to be driven by the strategy, as opposed to the other way round. Therefore some are rushing to get back to the future and do all the things that used to happen before the 21st century. What’s different though is that the platforms or landscapes to do that has fundamentally altered. We do need to reach out to and engage our candidates via their mobile, digital and social touch points. The potential for viral engagement there is awesome. Equally the consequences of getting it wrong can be even worse.

    Actually, for recruiters – now is the time. For “old” hands like me who have been in recruitment for 25 years it represents a wonderful opportunity to impart what I used to do, and to engage with more social savvy people to truely realise those possibilities.

    To succeed you must be the best at what you do for a specific audience, and I think your analysis, provoking though it is, is somewhat Anglo -American in its presentation (even down to US spellings:)) Let’s face it, the majority of internet access in Africa and parts of Asia is still done via feature phones, print media is still massive and growing in India (a not insubstantial market for many). One size doesn’t fit all the tools and mechanisms for engagement need to be adapted to your target population. Thanks for posting though – very stimulating.

  168. Keith Halperin

    REALLY late to the party:
    Who has time to develop communities, gamification, passive candidate relationship- building, etc? Hiring managers want candidates NOW.
    My colleagues and I would LOVE to work on these things, but no bandwidth.
    We’re open for offers to do it, if anybody wants help…

    Cheers,
    Keith
    keithsrj@sbcglkobal.net

  169. Jamie Leonard

    For those interested, Matthew Jeffery gave a presentation at our last event, followed by a round table discussion on the subject of this post, with some leading industry figures. Here it is. http://reconverse.com/2011/09/23/audio-of-round-table-discussion-recruitment-3-0-4-0/

  170. Jon Gwynne

    4.0? I work in Western Australia in the mining industry, and we are very much back in the 2.0 – 3.0 that you were refering to.

    I am a boilermaker and a lot of my friends don’t even know what linkedin.com is they just give you a funny look, I know I have tried, this might be because we are blue color workers.

    Jobs advertised on Linkedin.com are mostly jobs out of the paper, I know this is not how you were referring to that site, but as a tradesman working in the resources boom in Australia it is very much in the agents control.

    Over the next 10 years they are going to need an extra 100k+ workers, most of these will be blue color, the agents want be able to keep up, it was a mess back in 2006/7 boom. So yes it might be open but not in the same way as the professorial recruitment is open on linked in.

  171. Michael Fisher

    Very interesting comments throughout.

    The idea that any medium or agency can seamlessly reach most potential candidates and most employers is nothing more than a myth perpetrated by those who have little understanding of the real world. The point remains that the more we twist and turn the meaning of recruitment into “gamification” etc., the further we move away from the core issue.

    In my experience most but not all ‘recruiters’ know almost nothing about the positions they seek to fill and they are barriers to effective recruitment rather than enablers or facilitators.

    We only have to consider the previously quoted instances of young, inexperienced back-office graduates ‘filtering’ applications and CVs to understand that the prospects of many well-qualified, experienced personnel have to clamber over a huge wall of recruiter dumbness to get to the candidate shortlist. That is inverse logic.

    IMO the only way forward is to have one very low cost (to candidates and employers) international website to which all candidates can post their CVs that can then be searched by all DIRECT employers. It is becoming more obvious every day that recruiters are largely unnecessary, expensive and non-value-adding.

    Add to the above that there are now so may Recruitment Agencies and Job Boards that matching candidates and employers have little chance of meeting. The market for ‘recruiters’ is saturated and the rare good ones get lost among the crowd.

    ‘Socialisation’ has vastly increased the audience and increased the number of recruiters but by doing so it has diluted recruitment effectiveness. In other words, recruitment effectiveness has been diluted more or less in direct proportion to the number of “recruiters” and job boards. Has anyone counted them?

    ‘Gamification’ and the commoditisation of people by those whose idea of professionalism seems to focus more on illusion and spurious nonsense. Many recruiters blame others for their own shortcomings while simultaneously using software filtering systems and tsunami waves of self-adulation rather than doing their jobs properly.

    I suggest that the best way forward is to get rid of 99% of recruiters or stringently regulate their practices and revert to human (non-computerised) selection processes by responsible and direct employers who, if they are responsible, will get involved at all stages. We may then have a chance of seeing some sense return to a professional process that somehow has fallen prey to many amateurs who would not pass the tests they impose on others.

  172. Keith Halperin

    @Jon: Any of your folks over there in WA open to sponsoring some expereinced American recruiters to help with the 100k folks they need to hire? There are loads who’d jump at the opportunity, and I’m one.

    Cheers,

    Keith
    keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

  173. Keith Halperin

    @ Michael: In an ideal world, candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers would plan well and act professionally, and hiring decisions would be made rationally for the mutual benefit of all parties. As Behavioral Recruiting shows, people are prone to hidden biases and prejudices, which I label the GAFI Principles of Greed, Arrogance, Fear, and Ignorance when displayed in the typical Anglo-American hiring situation. (Other cultures have other operating principles: one culture [who shall go nameless for now] has been described as operating under the CHAV Principles: Cruelty, Humiliation, Anger, and Vindictiveness -these folks have had a tough 1000 years…) IMHO, until all the parties recognize that these exist and work to take them into account instead of ignoring them, recruiting will not get substantially better for anyone.

    Cheers,

    Keith

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  180. Matthew Jeffery

    Fascinating debate. Reflecting on this still further provides further interesting developments.

    For those that doubt the power of ‘the crowd’, we are seeing more and more examples.

    This is crystalising in ‘crowdfunding’. This is an ultimate form of democratic capitalism, with entrepreneurs framing an idea or concept, then harnessing the power of ‘the crowd’ to seek buy in and investment into that idea.

    Let’s look at one recent example. I will refer to the videogames sector where it is super diffficult to get funding for new game concepts. Tim Schafer of Double Fine has pitched an idea to the ‘crowd’ and his ‘community’ and has been seeking investment.

    Take a look at the incentives provided for different levels of investment. All bases covered. From $15, on a sliding scale, up to $10,000 & above.

    As you will see from the page hyperlinked below, he now has over 70,000 investors and raised over $2,247,795.

    That’s the power of a crowd.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

    Now….anyone want to argue that the power of the ‘crowd’ cant be used for recruitment…..and perhaps used to move Recruitment to a Profit Centre…..

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  182. Matthew Jeffery

    Thanks again to everyone who joined in this discussion.

    I am currently finishing off a final version ‘Recruitment 5.0: The Final Chapter’.

    For those that are still on this loop and have ideas of what else is innovative and involved in the future of Recruitment please do post below and share. Would love your ideas.

    Thanks in advance to those that make the time to post ideas. Thanks.

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  190. Matthew Jeffery

    Hello all.

    Thanks again for all your contributions to this article and debate on the future of recruitment.

    Please note that Recruitment 5.0 THE FINAL CHAPTER in the trilogy of papers has just been published. HERE:

    http://www.ere.net/2012/10/12/recruitment-5-0-the-future-of-recruiting-the-final-chapter/

    If you get a chance, it would be great to hear your views and debate the ideas of Recruitment 5.0.

    Thanks all. Appreciate your time.

    Matthew

  191. Matthew Jeffery

    VIDEO of LINKEDIN TALENT CONNECT LAS VEGAS KEYNOTE PRESENTATION 2012

    Hi all.

    For those interested, here is the video, (excluding the Flashmob, which will be published soon once we have copyright clearance for using Michael Jackson Material), for the Keynote Main Stage Presentation at Linkedin Talent Connect Las Vegas 2012 that Amy McKee and I gave.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rTPWcCvTSsI

    It includes an overview of Recruitment 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.

    Thanks

    Matthew

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  193. Recruiter Richards

    The thought that any agency’s can seamlessly reach most potential candidates and most employers is nothing more than a myth perpetrated by those who have little understanding of the real world. The point remains that the more we twist and turn the meaning of recruitment into “gamification” etc., the further we move away from the core issue. In my experience most but not all ‘recruiters’ know almost nothing about the positions they seek to fill and they are barriers to effective recruitment rather than enablers or facilitators.

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  196. Matthew Jeffery

    All.

    Once in a while an awesome article comes out that is well worth investing time in reading.

    If you have not seen Glenn Cathey’s excellent article on Sourcing 2.0, I strongly recommend that you grab a hot cup of tea/coffee and settle down for an awesome paper.

    Take a look here:

    http://booleanblackbelt.com/2013/02/the-end-of-sourcing-1-0-is-near-sourcing-2-0-just-beginning/

    Great work Glenn. Looking forward to seeing what Sourcing 3.0 looks like ;)

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  198. Matthew Jeffery

    For those that have not seen this….

    Recruitment 3.0 the video!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17C6A-J9jhc

    Some cool information on there.

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