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Recruitment 5.0: The Future of Recruiting — the Final Chapter

by Oct 12, 2012, 12:01 am ET

(This article was co-authored with Amy McKee, Sr. Director, Global Talent Acquisition, at Autodesk.)

Mobile …finally! DNA footprints in the cloud; recruiting back to basics: getting to know the candidate; the end of the traditional ATS; emerging markets dominate; augmented reality; disruptive marketing and stunt PR; the end of social media; candidate cloning and the end of recruiters as we know it!

The impact and level of debate created by Recruitment 3.0 & 4.0, certainly took us by surprise. Based on feedback, it is clear that there has been healthy discussion and many companies have re-appraised/reviewed their recruiting strategies.

Recruitment 5.0 is the final paper in the trilogy.

3.0 was all about building.

4.0 all about driving value.

5.0 is all about … Personalization, self-sufficiency, predictability, big data, and back to basics.

The defining features of Recruitment 5.0:

  • Mobile recruiting finally takes off and becomes the dominant channel.
  • Recruiting gets back to basics and focuses on building relationships. Included in this is a focus on personalization/humanization and dominating/driving communications.
  • Footprints in the cloud. Companies obsessively get to know their customers/consumers, and recruiters do the same with their “corporate” talent pools
  • Data DNA: Companies draw data to profile candidates based on online habits and trends.
  • Technological developments bring an end to the traditional ATS.
  • Emerging markets emerge and dominate.
  • Augmented reality and disruptive marketing dominate recruiting marketing.
  • As companies seek to attract the best talent in a candidate short market, they set up their own courses, universities/academies, and “clone” future employees.
  • As talent becomes more scarce, talent becomes more contract by nature and more flexible.
  • It’s the end of recruiters as we know it … the death of the recruiting profession?

Some meaty stuff.

Reviewing these bullet points, some companies are already experimenting and executing on elements, but as time passes, these will become dominant in our thoughts, plans and strategies.

Let’s explore in more detail.

Mobile Recruiting … Finally Takes Off

This may seem rather surreal to include mobile under Recruitment 5.0 Many would include it under Recruitment 3.0. But adoption of mobile has been super slow in adoption by recruiting, thus the placement in 5.0. There is a definite time lag in mobile adoption for recruiting purposes. (Embarrassingly, this problem is thanks to us in that we are not providing candidates the tools to look and apply for jobs on mobile and not the other way round, as candidates are wanting to use their mobiles to try and look for jobs).

The demand is there for mobile job search but the supply isn’t. In a recent study, Dr. John Sullivan & Associates, found that only 8% of Fortune 100 company careers sites are mobile enabled. Further analysis showed that of the largest 35 companies in the U.S. and UK, only four had mobile-enabled careers sites, with only one having a mobile recruiting app. That hardly screams mass adoption. That shouts of delay and skepticism and laziness in adoption.

Mobile is not the silver bullet of recruiting that many proclaim but it will become a key channel in the recruiting mix and arguably THE key channel. It cannot, as it is now, be ignored.

Mobile recruiting is not new. Five to ten years ago companies were experimenting with SMS messaging campaigns. That’s a long way from today. What is pushing mobile adoption and stimulating recruiting’s interest in mobile is the rise of the smart phone which is really making mobile a mass market medium. Based on current projections by Morgan Stanley, within the next three years, mobile Internet users will exceed desktop users. Some predict that this may even happen in 2013.

These final stats are powerful:

  • Mobile now accounts for 10% of Internet usage worldwide (this has more than doubled over last 18 months) (The Next Web)
  • 1.08 of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones are smartphones
  • Apple and Android represent more than 75% of the smartphone market
  • 7.96% of all web traffic in the U.S. is mobile traffic. That number skyrockets to 14.85% in Africa, and 17.84% in Asia — up 192.5% since 2010
  • 29% of mobile users are open to scanning a mobile tag to get coupons
  • 39% of instances where a consumer walks out of a store without buying were influenced by smartphones
  • 91% of mobile Internet access is for social activities, versus just 79% on desktops (Source: Hubspot)
  • Over 1/3 of Facebook’s users access Facebook Mobile; 50% of Twitter’s users use Twitter Mobile

Facebook said at the last GigaOM Mobilize Conference that mobile was its key growth area. It stated that it has more than 320m active mobile users who log into Facebook twice as often as desktop users. The CTO then said that “within 12 to 18 months you will consider Facebook a mobile company and not a social company.” That’s a bold statement.

Let’s turn now to recruiting and mobile.

Research is showing us that people are actively searching for jobs on their mobile phones. Interesting, while people are looking at jobs throughout the day, they wait until they get home and apply via desktop. The technology for applying and linking resumes/CVs is not quite there. Mobile Internet research shows us that the heaviest usage of mobile Internet is between 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Comscore estimates that the UK has 2.8 m job-seekers a month accessing job listing from mobile devices, with 67% looking every day. PotentialPark research that 88% of job seekers are or would search for jobs via the mobile Internet, with one in three job seekers wanting to actually apply from their handset.

Mobile offers great opportunities to build trust and brand awareness and engage with talent. In India, consumers are leapfrogging traditional media and the PC to embrace mobile devices, while low literacy rates spur the development of voice activated web sites and services.

Perhaps one of the reasons for low adoption of mobile is confusion over what to do. Go for a mobile-enabled site or create a mobile app?

mSite or App?

So what do you go for? An mSite or a mobile app? Or both? Let’s differentiate the two.

An mSite is a mobile-optimized website (i.e. a site that is visible on your desktop and can be viewed on a mobile device without a loss in visual). mSites will run on any modern smartphone. If a site is not mobile enabled, graphics may not appear, text may not load, and thus it may create a bad experience for the viewer. The design of an mSite is generally much simpler and cleaner with less emphasis on graphics. Too many graphics and download speeds with frustrate end users, and some phones like iPhone/iPad don’t support flash.

The big advantage to mobile-optimized sites is that they can respond to finger tapping and movement on screen, creating a more engaging and interactive candidate experience.

In comparison, an app is designed for specific mobile operating systems. Apps can be designed for iPads/iPhones, Android, Blackberry, etc, and are normally downloaded through stores such as iTunes and Google Marketplace.

What should your company have?

Ensuring that your careers site is mobile enabled is Step 1  It ensures that, after mobile optimization, your site is open to viewing on a range of smart phones and critically attracts mobile Google searches (mSites appear in Google mobile).

An app can provide a richer candidate experience, employment branding opportunities, and critically the advantage of push notifications. These are real-time messages that alert candidates of an immediate call to action like a job alert. Mobile phone users respond quickly to such push alerts.

Comscore estimates that 50% of all mobile Internet use is via apps (iPhone being the biggest).

Mobile Apps

So what should an app contain? At Autodesk we have been developing an app for quite some time.

The key questions that have dominated passionate debate have been:

  • Who will download the app?
  • Why should they download it?
  • If downloaded, why should someone keep the app live on their phone/tablet?
  • What causes people to repeat visit?
  • Why should passive job seekers (i.e. those not looking) download the app?
  • What does success look like?
  • How do we market and build a mobile community?

In many ways, you only get one shot at releasing an app and persuading people to download. If they download and they don’t like what they see, the chances of getting them to download in the future are slim (even if enhancements are made). This is why we have delayed the release of the Autodesker app. The key is releasing an app when you are happy with it.

To help you in your decisions over mobile apps and content, we are providing an insight into the Autodesk app as we ready for launch. This is by no means a perfect app but meant to stimulate your imagination for your own mobile strategy.

“Autodeskers” Mobile App Home Page

The home page is the hub of the app and contains key links to content throughout the site.

Keeping the app simple (and one that translate to iPhones & Android), the search functionality/tabs have been restricted to:

  • Home Page
  • Job Search 
  • Gallery/photos  (a section dedicated to images of what our software has helped create)
  • Social (One-stop social media aggregator)
  • Information (“About Us” and “Meet the People,” and so on)

The home page includes our game Fake or Foto where there are 12 pictures and people have to guess if they are real photos or computer trickery, (i.e. computer generated). It’s fun, but this also reinforces Autodesk’s software capabilities.

Continuing the theme of humanizing the brand, there is a montage of photos of people and a call to action to in the Meet Us section.

The home page also contains a link to the “Autodeskers” blog page. All stories/images/videos can be viewed and the reader can comment on all stories and share content across their social pages for their friends to view.

There is also a roll call of the latest jobs just posted. The page is dominated by an image which changes each time you log in/refresh the page. This keeps the page feeling new. We have also placed some a video linked to YouTube.

Let’s delve a little deeper past the home page.

Work with Us — Job Search

Mobile technology has been slow in linking in the ability to apply direct into databases. This is now a reality and one which will see the takeoff of mobile recruiting.

The key is that the job seeker can register for the latest job alerts as we post jobs according to their preferences, (skills, location, etc.). These alerts take the form of popup messages on their phone which are hyperlinked to the new job.

About Us — Company Information

Of course an app needs company information. While this can be criticized as just being about marketing spin, those in the app may want to learn more about the company. They may want to gain a feel for what life is like behind the corporate iron curtain. The goal is to inform a potential recruit/brand enthusiast about life at Autodesk. But this has been kept visual and kept brief. We took the opinion that if someone is in the app, we did not want them to leave the app to look at info on other Autodesk sites.

Look at Us — the Gallery

We wanted our app to be visual and feel fun, which was the goal of our Gallery section. It is certainly visual. It impresses the multiple ways that our software helps create the world around us, be it cars, bridges, buildings, video games, films visual effects or consumer products and apps like Sketchbook Pro, 123D Sculpt and Pixlr.

Meet Us — Humanizing the Brand

People buy from people. Thus the goal of having a number of employee profiles. The profiles are written in the words of the employees. We used pictures they have provided, (not corporate headshots looking like an employee caught petrified in the headlights of an incoming camera crew). This makes it feel more authentic.

Talk With Us — Social Media Aggregator

Social media is key to gaining that repeat visitor and creating that reason to come back. Creating a “one-stop” for key social media channels on the app was central to its design.

Rather than have a candidate/brand ambassador visit each of our social media sites and waste time logging into each of them, the app presents the ideal way to quickly and efficiently join in with discussions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube. You can also view art created by consumers with Sketchbook Pro on Flickr. This page presents a key reason why people keep the app on their phone/tablet and come back for more on a daily basis.

Game Time

With a focus on why someone would download and keep this app on their phone, we needed another aspect to add to the social media one-stop aggregator. That was … fun and games.

Fake or Foto was born.

It’s a mix of real photos with images visualized with computer graphics. The challenge is to spot the difference and test your eyesight. There are 12 images and each can be enlarged to full screen. Then, boom, say if it is “Fake or Foto.” It’s great fun but more importantly people will subconsciously think “Wow, I cannot tell the difference between a real photo and what your software creates.”

Then hopefully they share the content with their friends and challenge them to beat their score. The goal is for the game to go viral.

Hopefully this section gets you thinking about what you can achieve with an app. But most of all understand the real power of mobile for recruiting and building your employment brand awareness.

DNA Footprints in the Cloud; Knowing Your Audience 

Only a few years back most people logged on to the Internet to access their emails, search the web, and maybe do some online shopping. Our corporate web sites were just “push-message” vehicles for corporate marketing to spread the message and detail product information. Corporate marketing was not even worried about how many people clicked “Like” on their page! We have traveled a long way since then.

Fast forward to 2012 and there are a plethora of online communities and social networking sites. We do most of our shopping and banking online. Some of us reinforce our beliefs and opinions through our crowds/friend networks. We rely far more on our “friends,” (often people we have never met) on social sites and trust their judgement on what films to see, what hotels to stay in, what holidays to go on, what cars to buy, clothes to wear, and stances to take on news issues. Social media has created platforms for individuals to become stars; e.g. Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, posting to YouTube in their “undiscovered” days.

More than 1.5 billion people are on social networking sites. Almost one in five hours is spent on these networks, increasingly on mobile devices. These social networks have been a cultural, social, and economic phenomenon. New social behaviors have been created, new freedoms gained. Social media has been used for organizing political activities as seen in the Arab Spring. Planning weddings. Playing games. Talking with companies.

Social media is not just about consumers/people. Businesses are rushing to use social networks and communities, to help them get “informed” opinions, generate new consumer insights, and conduct online focus groups. Companies are using the web to listen, watch trends, and monitor chatter (e.g. through Radian 6). In Recruitment 4.0 we referenced “Crowdsourcing,” “Crowdfunding” and the whole power of the crowd, which can be harnessed by business.

This is a lot of communication.  That is even more information. Information is data. Data is power.

Data is everywhere. Just take a step back and reflect on the explosion of data in the world today. Companies around the world are capturing trillions of bytes of information about their customers, suppliers, and operations. Coupled with that, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the Internet is fueling the growth in data and what can be learned about people and their habits.

Analyzing these massive sets of data — Big Data — will become the central point of competition, driving productivity growth, innovation — and this applies to recruiting.

What we do with this data in recruiting will be key.

Imagine a world in which recruiters receive job applications, weighted and analyzed based on data patterns and “footprints” in the cloud, which weigh & rank:

  • Skill sets
  • Successes
  • Strength and depth of networks (e.g. LinkedIn connections)
  • Experience  (People who have worked at certain companies have a better track record of success)
  • Educational background  (people with certain educations have a better track record of success based on your company’s previous hires)
  • Behavioral patterns  (“Footprints” in the cloud)/what sites have been visited
  • Psychological profiling (what people do and say)

Result: The computerized pre-selection and ranking of candidates. The “ideal” shortlist.

Appealing? Bizarre? Unethical? Legally sketchy?

Hiring managers want anything that provides them a clearer insight into an individual and reduces the change of a mis-hire. Big Data brings that one step closer.

The cost of a bad hire? Harvard Business School defines that as three to five times an employee’s annualized compensation.  In specialist functions it defines that as 10 times an annual salary. That’s a lot of money and wasted time. This is a cost that hiring managers want to avoid and if better assessments and insights into candidates help make recruiting more “predictable” then there will be an appetite for it.

Houston, We Have a Problem

This section of the article is controversial. There are risks and big issues surrounding data usage. This raises a host of ethical, legal, and other issues including privacy, due process, equality, security, and liability.   We are not advocating these practices and Autodesk does not engage in these practices.

Of all these, privacy is perhaps the biggest concern. Profiling technologies make possible an intrusive analysis of an individual’s behavior and preferences. Behavioral and psychological profiling are key examples. Profiles can reveal private and personal information about individuals that they might not even know about themselves.

Profiling technologies are potentially very discriminatory tools. They allow unequaled kinds of social ranking and segmentation which could have alarming effects; for example, profiled individuals may be excluded from important offers or opportunities by the nature of how they have been profiled. The process of profiling is more often than not invisible for those who are being profiled. This creates difficulties in that it becomes virtually impossible to contest being ranked into any particular grouping. Also, scarily, is the potential of profiles ending up in the hands of the wrong people who use the information for criminal purposes, such as identity theft. It will be interesting to see how this highly controversial area of evolves.

Big Data

Let’s explore Big Data some more.

The McKinsey Institute published a superb report in May 2011 entitled, Big Data: The Next Frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. In this report some truly impressive stats were published:

  • $600 buys a disk drive that can store all of the world’s music
  • 5 billion mobile phones were in use in 2010
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • 40% projected growth in global data is generated vs. 5% growth in global IT spending
  • 235 terabytes of data was collected by the U.S. Library of Congress by April 2011
  • 15 out of 17 sectors in the United States have more data stored per company than the U.S. Library of Congress
  • There’s $300 billion potential annual value to U.S. health care, more than double the total annual health care spending in Spain
  • There’s €250 billion potential annual value to Europe’s public sector administration — more than the GDP of Greece
  • A $600 billion potential annual consumer surplus from using personal location data globally
  • 60% potential increase in retailers’ operating margins is possible with big data
  • 140,000 — 190,000 more deep analytical talent positions and 1.5 million more data savvy managers are needed to take full advantage of big data in the United States

“Big Brother” data is monitoring and teaching companies about us as we speak. Consider all the millions of networked sensors which are in place in cars, iPads, and mobile phones. These technologies sense, monitor, and communicate data back to their originators. Our trends and behaviors are being monitored so companies can learn more and better tailor their propositions to the market: behavioral targeting.

The ability to study and  gain real value from data increases as the amount of data captured rises. Companies are using this to good effect already, especially predictivity. Amazon makes recommendations to you based on your buying and viewing trends. The same is true with iTunes and services like Spotify or Pandora. Recommendations are made for other bands or music that data match your current listening favorites. Both Apple and Amazon use this data predictivity or behavioral targeting to drive additional sales.

When a consumer or customer visits a web site, the pages they visit, the length of time spent viewing each page, the links they click on, the searches they make, and all the elements they interact with, allow sites to collect, store, disseminate, and analyze that data. This data creates a profile that links to that visitor’s web browser.

With the data collected, website publishers can use this data to group similar data matches together. When a visitor returns to a specific site or network of sites using the same web browser, those profiles can be used to target customers likely to be interested in their product. Most platforms identify visitors by assigning a unique ID cookie to each and every visitor to the site, thereby allowing them to be tracked throughout their web journey. The platform then make a rules-based decision about what content to serve. This in theory maximizes the chances of tailored messaging and greater sales.

If this drive to understand the “DNA” of candidates and the stack ranking of individuals is the future, you may ask for evidence today pointing to this.

Some technologies are available today to stack-rank candidates based on simple criteria. LinkedIn provides us candidate matches based on complex algorithms.

But what other examples, however basic, show us a potential of the future?

Tweet Psych is an example of psychological profiling that exists today.

Psychological Profiling on Twitter

Psychological profiling is a controversial area.

When people come in for interview they have their interview face on. Their polished personality is ready to go and they are well-rehearsed … and fake.

Some companies insist on psychological profiling through assessments.

But understanding a person and who they really are is important for a company since they want to avoid expensive mishires and “team disruptors.” If we deem that people are not putting an act on over social media and “speaking their mind,” then analyzing tweets can make interesting reading. While early days the basic technology is in place which is attempting to do this. Take a look at Tweet Psych.

Communication is a window into a person’s mind and the way a person talks can tell you a lot about how they think. Linguists have developed two methods to decoding the written word into a meaningful profile of a person’s cognitive processes.

One method is called the Regressive Imagery Dictionary. This coding scheme is designed to measure the amount and type of three categories of content: primordial (the unconscious way you think, like in dreams), conceptual (logical and rational though), and emotional.

The other method is Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC), which measures the cognitive and emotional properties of a person based on the words they use.

TweetPsych uses the both the LIWC and RID to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their Tweets. It claims to compare the content of a user’s tweets to a baseline reading built by analyzing an ever-expanding group of more than 1.5 million random tweets and highlighting areas where the user stands out.

The service analyzes the last 1,000 tweets; as such, it works best on users who have posted more than 1,000 updates. It is also better suited for running analyses on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform.

What is attempted to be measured?

  • Anxiety
  • Oral Fixation
  • Work
  • Positive Emotions
  • Negative Emotions
  • Social Behavior
  • Sadness
  • Spirituality
  • Swears (bad language)
  • Sexual References
  • Sleeping
  • Sports
  • Education
  • Self-Reference
  • Money
  • Entertainment

Once done effectively, recruiters will surely want to use this data. It will be a legal minefield and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

LinkedIn: “Pole Position”

Bearing in mind the two case studies above, and the whole potential in this area, who is in prime position to benefit from this desire for behavioral and psychological profiling?

LinkedIn of course is in the pole position.

Though it may not want to follow certain paths such as psychological profiling for ethical reasons, if it wanted to it has access to:

  • Skills/expertise
  • Experience (companies worked for, etc., and length of time at them)
  • Career progression (duration at certain positions and their seniority)
  • Training and development
  • Education
  • Further education
  • References
  • Interests groups/associations/discussion groups members
  • Comments made in those groups (maybe analyzed psychologically)
  • Personal information
  • Articles we read
  • Articles we share
  • Profiles we look at/befriend
  • Size and quality of our networks
  • Updates we make (again analyzed against certain data)
  • What we click “Like” on

You get the idea. Obsessively knowing your audience is key for business and recruiting.

Reflect on this: Your/Our DNA and footprints are embedded all over the cloud.

Recruiting Goes ‘Back to Basics’: Identifying and Building Relationships with Candidates and Keeping it Simple; Personalization Added to Humanization

Remember the good old days of Recruitment 1.0, at the very start.

Recruiting was about building relationships. It was essentially a sales profession. It was about getting to know candidates and their motivations and providing great candidate experiences.

This has been lost over recent years.

The reverse has happened. Candidate care and building relationships has not been a priority for recruiters. This can be linked to the reliance on technology. Recruiters are not picking up the phone and speaking to candidates but instead relying on emails and InMails, posting jobs to job boards, and then waiting for the electronic response. When candidates apply for a job they get a standardized bounce-back email with the hallowed words “thank you for your application. A recruiter will review your skills and experience against those required for the role.”

The reliance on the bounce-back email when someone has applied for a role is one of the criminal injustices of recruiting in this generation.

Recruitment 3.0 detailed the candidate experience and how to influence each stage. Recruitment 5.0 looks at getting back to the very basics of recruiting:

  • Picking up the phone
  • Building relationships with candidates (even if they aren’t a candidate today)
  • Identifying key motivators for candidates
  • Understanding business strategies and cultural fit
  • Advising the business and being a consultant on the talent market

We cannot get away from technology and mass communication which actually assists recruiters. But, how can we can take the data we have and personalize or humanize the message to candidates? How do we get back to the basics and reconnect with individuals and form relationships?

Back to big data. In the era of 5.0 we strive to get more data on people and understand trends and behaviors, and a key driver will be personalization. This is particularly true in terms of defining a great candidate experience and employment brand marketing. Technology has a part in providing a better candidate experience, whether real or perceived. Personalization technology adds to perceived personalized candidate experience.

Wikipedia defines personalization technology as enabling “the dynamic insertion, customization, or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user, based on the user’s implicit behavior and preferences, and explicitly given details.

Any content (content includes images and text), can be inserted to a form of communication, and that communication could take the form of an email, app, social media communication, and it is personalized for that individual. An individual communication for an individual! Thus, making the individual feel more special!

Companies not only seek to personalize emails/direct communication to individuals. Web pages can be personalized based on an individual’s characteristics, (e.g. interests, social category, context …). Shopping sites are great at this — Amazon, iTunes, Wal-Mart, etc. Personalization leads us to make the assumption that the personalized changes are based on implicit data, such as web pages looked at or items purchased off the web. Personalization is differentiated from customization. Customization is where a website only uses explicit data such as ratings or preferences.

There are three categories of personalization:

  1. Profile/group based
  2. Behavior based (also known as Wisdom of the Crowds)
  3. Collaboration based

There are three broad methods of personalization:

  1. Implicit
  2. Explicit
  3. Hybrid

With implicit personalization the personalization is performed by the web page (or information system) based on the different categories mentioned above. With explicit personalization, the web page (or information system) is changed by the user using features generated by the system. Hybrid personalization combines both features and gains the best of both worlds.

Creating a personalized experience is key to 5.0. Whether that is achieved through a back to basics approach or whether that is through the use of personalized technology both are key to make a candidate feel special and cherished. It’s time for recruiters to get back to basics!

The End of the Traditional ATS

My dad always told me that a good workman never blames their tools.

But don’t we hear recruiters doing just that every day?

More often than not, at the root of their gripes is the amount of work and effort that it takes to source and engage great candidates and then lose that momentum by lacking an effective central repository to store, access, and mine all those great leads (both as an individual recruiter and as a wider team).

How often do you hear recruiters bemoaning their company’s ATS, or talent acquisition system? The clarion call is heard of recruiters squealing: “Our ATS is too slow”; “Candidate information is out of date”; “It takes too long to add candidates”; “The search functionality is bust”; “It requires too many clicks to get to the information”; “It’s impossible to segment the data”; and “I can’t target/market to the candidates I want.” Sound familiar?

But maybe we are on the cusp of a new era. We may not hear these Twitterings of discontent again. So here’s a bold prediction for you.

Within three to five years there will be no need for a traditional ATS. LinkedIn will have made them defunct.

This may seem farfetched to many. But take a step back and review today’s reality.

The issue today is that recruiters are still building their talent pools outside of the traditional ATS. Not every candidate applies for a job via a corporate careers site, (which is the standard route into the ATS). Maybe recruiters are proactively sourcing candidates in LinkedIn and reaching out to passive candidates via InMails; maybe they are doing Boolean searches on Google; maybe using job boards or storing info in Excel spreadsheets. Many companies may be doing good ol’ fashioned headhunting and picking up the phone and networking.

How much of this information gets back to the ATS? In reality, very little gets back into the ATS and it becomes more of an offer-processing tool. Given demands on recruiters to find the best talent, leaders can’t expect, and would not appreciate, recruiters spending their time in data entry mode getting all this data registered into the ATS.

This poses other more serious questions if an ATS is not capturing all candidate applications or pipelines. What happens to those talent pools if and when a recruiter moves on? How good can the candidate experience be if they are left rotting in a solitary recruiter’s inbox? Which company would want to lose that information? By not using a central repository to record, store, and track talent, how much talent are we losing or ignoring?

So what’s the solution if ATS’s aren’t fulfilling their very core goals?

Here’s where we keep an eye on what LinkedIn is doing.

LinkedIn is moving into this space through several initiatives. First of all, “Work for us” allows companies to post advertising/employment branding information on their employees profiles on LinkedIn, so when someone looks at an employee’s profile they will be subconsciously taking in the company information.

Talent Pipeline is another step forward with several key benefits. It’s essentially a CRM which allows leads to be centralized — whatever source they have come from (company careers sites, ATS, job boards, direct sourcing) — in one place. It permits all these leads and CVs to be imported from anywhere into LinkedIn Recruiter, allowing recruiters to search, track, and share leads like any profile sourced from LinkedIn. Recruiters can then organize and evaluate pipelines with the ability to use tools to add tags, source, status, and notes. They can even run activity reports.

What’s great about this is that most ATS’s have a lot of stale data. Over time CVs need updating so a database will always be dying over time. How many candidates send in updated resumes to an ATS? People tend to consistently update and maintain their LinkedIn profile. Talent Pipeline transforms these stale leads into dynamic LinkedIn profiles by connecting outside leads directly to their LinkedIn profiles.

The last benefit is that Talent Pipeline connects an entire recruiting organization on one platform allowing lead sharing, activity updates, and access to the latest information for all the team. It finally brings the technology of search agencies to the in-house recruiter.

Some will rightly point out that this LinkedIn functionality does not cover all ATS functionality. True. But it does show a clear step by LinkedIn and one that will have recruiting organizations asking whether it is time to switch off the current ATS.

This is not a promo piece for LinkedIn but recognition that traditional ATS systems have not made the right impact for recruiters. There is a void and that void will be filled and companies like LinkedIn are forging the way.

Emerging Markets Emerge and Dominate

By 2025, it is forecast that annual consumption in emerging markets will reach $30 trillion. This represents the biggest growth opportunity in the history of capitalism — a phenomenal opportunity!

The Industrial Revolution is widely seen as one of the most important events in economic history. Yet, in many ways, this will pale into insignificance. The rise of a new consuming class in emerging countries is the predominant trend, something that all companies want to be part of, shape, and exploit.

CEOs at most large multinational firms admit that emerging markets are the key to long-term success. But the problem is many execs are stumped by the complexity of taking advantage of this opportunity. Despite these execs running companies that are bigger, have superior product technology, larger capital bases, and the best marketing tools, they are struggling to compete against local companies.

This is demonstrable through statistics. In 2010, 100 of the world’s largest companies headquartered in developed economies earned just 17% of their total revenue from emerging markets, but these markets accounted for 36% of global GDP, (and projected to contribute more than 70% of Global GDP growth between now and 2025).

By 2025, McKinsey Global Institute estimates annual consumption in emerging markets rising to $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion in 2010, and accounting for nearly 50% of the world’s total, (up from 32% in 2010). As a result, emerging-market consumers will become the prevailing dominant force in the global economy. In 15 years, almost 60% of the approximately 1 billion households with earnings greater than $20,000 a year will live in the developing world. In many product categories, such as white goods and electronics, emerging market consumers will account for the overwhelming majority of global demand. That is a seismic change.

Trailblazing the way forward is a new generation of consumers, in their twenties and early thirties, who are confident their incomes will rise, are highly ambitious, and are willing to spend. Already, more than half of all global Internet users are in emerging markets. For example, in Brazil, social network penetration, even in 2010, was the second-highest in the world. A McKinsey survey of urban African consumers in 15 cities in 10 different countries found that almost 60% owned Internet capable phones or smartphones. As e-commerce and mobile payment systems spread to even the most remote hamlets, emerging consumers are shaping, not just participating in the digital revolution.

The preferences of emerging market consumers also will drive global innovation in product design, manufacturing, distribution channels, and supply chain management. This impacts on our world … recruiting.

To win in emerging markets, developed market companies must be willing to embrace massive changes fast. Companies will need to be able to reallocate resources quickly or face being wiped out by local competitors. Research points to emerging market companies redeploying investment across business units at much higher rates than companies located in developed markets.

Unskilled workers may be plentiful in emerging societies, but skilled managers are scarce and hard to retain. In China barely two million local managers have the managerial and English language capabilities multinationals need. A recent McKinsey survey found that senior managers working for the China divisions of multinational firms switch companies at a rate of 30 to 40% a year (five times the global average).

Barely half of the executives thought their organizations effectively tailored recruiting, training, and development processes across geographies. In a recent McKinsey survey, data showed that just 2% of their top 200 employees hailed from key Asian emerging markets. That is a scary trend.

How should companies react, especially developed market companies? Some companies are increasing salaries to win. As we recruiters know, this is often a temporary solution. In emerging markets, global firms must develop clear EVPs to differentiate themselves from local competitors. In South Korea, L’Oreal made itself the top choice for female sales and marketing talent by creating greater opportunities for brand managers, improving working hours, expanding the child care infrastructure, and adopting a more transparent communications style. Other Western firms, like Motorola and Nestle, have enhanced their employment brands by building relationships with employees’ families.

Deepening ties between key corporate functions and emerging markets can create opportunities for local talent while enhancing organizational effectiveness. Companies like Cisco, HSBC, and Schneider Electric have benefited from strengthening links between headquarters and high-growth regions and offering emerging market managers global career paths and mobility programs.

Given the leadership requirements of emerging markets, global companies need ambitious talent development targets. They need to multiply the number of leaders in emerging markets tenfold — and to do that in one tenth of the time they would take back home. For example, in India, the Reliance Group (the largest private employer) addressed a leadership gap (a need for circa 200 new functional leaders to support growth initiatives) by recruiting a new wave of 28-34 year old managers and enlisting help from local business schools and management experts to design new development programs.

It will be interesting to see how many recruiting leaders and recruiters from the West relocate to help drive talent acquisition in the emerging markets. What is clear is that the “Global War for Talent” will be the most furious in the emerging economies that will need that talent to grow, expand, and win.

Augmented Reality and Disruptive Marketing … Disrupt, Disrupt, Disrupt

As companies realize the importance of employment brands and the value they bring to building “best-quality” workforces and of course retaining the best staff, employment brand messaging and marketing will start to converge and look very much the same. Companies will all be competing for market share and mind share and need to try and differentiate and be unique in their offerings.

Current EVP messaging focuses on companies proclaiming:

  • We offer the best career development
  • Work/life balance, spending more time with your families
  • Culture — work hard/play hard
  • Climb the ladder, gain promotion
  • Show me the money … pay & conditions

There is a limit to the positioning a company can have. All companies claim to be unique in what they offer new employees but, in reality, few are that different.

Fast forward down the line, as attracting and retaining talent “differentiators” are so similar between companies. How will a company stand out? How does a company “shout out” in the market and get noticed?

If everyone looks the same, then talent will be staring into a sea of blandness.

Therefore, the emphasis will be on augmented reality, disruptive marketing, and stunt PR to get noticed.

We all know that brand is about reputation. It’s what we hear, think, and feel about working at a company. We care about what other people say about a brand, how they rate a product. For example, 2012 marketing data shows that conversion rates are 105% higher when ratings and reviews are used by customers.

So what’s next? Giving customers ways to experience the brand in increasingly personal and emotional ways.

In Recruitment 5.0, augmented reality will be central to employment brand messaging and marketing.

The whole thrust of Recruitment 5.0 is about learning about our communities, gaining knowledge of them, analyzing data about their behaviors — and going hand in hand with that is personalization. On the candidate’s side, as we open up our employment brand, we become more transparent. Candidates will want to experience us.

Experience a company? What does that mean? Work experience? Nice videos? Employee profiles?

Experiencing in Recruitment 5.0 embraces the concept of augmented reality and augmented reality marketing.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Computer graphics today are almost photo realistic. Think of films like Avatar, (designed using Autodesk software), and the gap between graphics and reality is blurred, (almost indistinguishable to the naked human eye). Today, researchers and engineers are partnering with marketing and taking cutting-edge graphics and integrating them into real-world environments. This technology is called augmented reality, which blurs the line between what’s real and what is computer generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel, and smell.

What’s the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality? Virtual reality creates immersive, computer-generated environments, but not in real-world environments. Augmented reality is closer to the real world as it adds graphics, sounds, touchy/feeley feedback, and smell to the natural world as it exists today. Video games and mobiles phones are driving the development of augmented reality.

Augmented reality will start to change the way we view the world. Imagine walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays (currently rather cumbersome spectacles but one day these specs will look like an ordinary pair of glasses or Ray-Bans), informative graphics can appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements would be refreshed continually to match your head movements. (Interestingly, there are iPhones which replicate this today.)

Augmented reality is being enhanced and driven by University research. In February 2009, at the TED conference, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of MIT shell-shocked the audience with their “SixthSense” augmented-reality system. SixthSense relies on some basic components: A camera, a small projector, a smartphone, and a mirror. These simple, off-the-shelf components only cost circa $350, meaning a technology that will be relatively cost effective to introduce.

All of these components wed together in a lanyard that an individual wears around their neck. The user wears four colored fingertip caps, and these are used to move and manipulate the projector images.

The projector effectively turns any surface into an interactive screen. The basics of the system is that it uses the camera and mirror to examine the surrounding world, then feeds that image to a phone, (which processes the image, gathers GPS coordinates, and pulls data from the web), and then projects information from the projector onto the surface in front of the user, whether it’s a wrist, a wall, or even a person. Because the user is wearing the camera on their chest, SixthSense will augment whatever they look at: for example, if they pick up a can of a drink in Wal-Mart, SixthSense can project onto the can information about its ingredients, price, and nutritional value. Even cooler is that it could project customer reviews.

Image-recognition software coupled with augmented reality will, quite soon, allow us to point our phones at people, even strangers, and instantly see information from their Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn, or other online profiles. With most of these services people willingly put information about themselves online, but it may be an unwelcome shock to meet someone, only to have them instantly know so much about your life and background.

Software today exists that can “listen” to music and then identify the track name and artist within seconds. Facial recognition is next.

But, like with Big Data, we are back to privacy concerns.

But consider this: recruiters, attending events, going to university campuses, standing outside competitors and identifying key prospects, scanning photos from news stories and then receiving their personal details — e.g. a LinkedIn profile through that facial recognition.

Sounds bizarre now. But we are not far away.

What else does augmented reality bring?

It can give people a real experience of your business, real insight. Imagine a 360-degree view of your office. A candidate gets the chance to “experience” the office and see a desk with their nameplate, and then the ability to upload a photo of them sitting at that desk. Many variations can be developed on this theme, including fun elements like creating a newspaper front page with a massive headline, “X joins Autodesk,” with a picture of the individual scanned in.

Imagine scanning a recruiting ad online, in a magazine, on a billboard, or even walking past an office block, and immediately having a list of relevant jobs presented.   The jobs will be matched against your pre-stored skill sets. A host of information could also be made available including company information, employee profiles, and reviews from sites like Glassdoor. The possibilities are endless.

Augmented Reality and Mobile: a Case Study

There is no point about talking about future technologies like augmented reality without looking at practical examples.

Mobile is a key adopter of early stage augmented reality.

Take a look at Blippar. This is the first image-recognition phone app which a goal of bringing to life real-world newspapers, magazines, products, and posters with exciting augmented reality experiences and immediate content.

Blippar is working with some of the biggest and best brands in the world today, including Unilever, Nestle, Heinz, Diageo, Xbox, Samsung, Cadbury, Domino’s and many more.

The apps use image recognition to launch interactive content on the user’s phone, so an image or logo on the ad is the trigger to launch content on the phone. This Omega watch campaign is a great example.

The print advert has James Bond standing posing, looking suave and sophisticated, with his watch dominant.

With a mobile phone, installed with the Blippar app, scans over the ad and the watch, and brings a 3D version of the watch to the mobile screen.

With this 3D watch image, your can then hover your phone over your wrist and this then allows you to try the watch on. You personally experience what it looks like on your wrist.

By offering a simpler user experience, the Blippar apps have the potential to become a valuable tool for multichannel marketers, offering potential for extending campaigns beyond print, billboards, or whatever advertising medium is being used. And this has great potential for recruiters.

As with QR codes, these apps mean that brands have an opportunity to adapt their marketing messages based on where consumers are geographically when they see them, and also what that location may tell you about their habits.

What is the difference between augmented reality and QR codes?

QR codes are well known for their rather ugly black and white pixelated box (which are added to advertisements). Augmented reality apps like Blippar automatically have an aesthetic advantage over QR codes. Blippar is integrated in the creative (invisibly), and takes the creative itself (the whole poster, a logo, the product itself) as the trigger for an interactive engagement. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk above shows the effect visually.

The only engagement QR offers is a web link to a smart phone (assuming the pixelated box is recognized from a photo the phone takes of it).

It can offer a whole world of potential virtual content on the phone screen including overlayed 3D experiences (3D product views, games etc), video, e-coupons, GPS enabled directions to nearby outlets, web links and more. QR codes could be redundant in the future. 

The Limitations of Augmented Reality

At the moment much of augmented reality is geared to cell phones, (while not exclusive, mobile is the current main vehicle).

Mobile phones have their disadvantages. People may not want to rely on their mobiles, which have tiny screens on which to superimpose information. Wearable devices like SixthSense or augmented-reality capable contact lenses and glasses will provide users with more convenient, expansive views of the world around them. Screen real estate will no longer be an issue.

An overreliance on augmented reality could mean that people are missing out on what’s right in front of them. Imagine an interview and company walk-around/tour. Recruiters may prefer to let candidates use their augmented reality iPhone applications rather than show them round, even though the recruiter may be able to offer a level of interaction, an experience, and a personal touch unavailable in a computer program.

Despite these concerns, imagine the possibilities: you may learn things about companies that you have always wanted to work at by pointing your augmented reality-enabled phone at the office building.

The future of augmented reality is clearly bright, even as it already has found its way into our mobiles and video game systems. Added to this augmented reality and new experience for candidates is the need to be seen and stand out from the crowd.

Hence the acceleration of disruptive marketing — to gain attention.

Disruptive Marketing and Emotion 

Disruptive marketing is not just about shock. It is about emotion. Creating a lasting feeling. Planting a seed that will grow in someone’s mind.

Recruiters and employment branders are fighting for the attention of potential candidates, people who have already been reached by competitors and who aren’t necessarily looking for new options. Hence, down the line, a “new marketing” will be needed by recruiters.

What is disruptive marketing? Disruptive marketing is a marketing message/initiative that serves to disrupt a market space and interrupt the reader of the message by combining new technologies, new business models, new markets, and a new approach to redefine conventional thinking and consumer behavior.

Being disruptive creates attention. In business this is a good thing. It means getting noticed. Gimmick marketing will quickly be frowned upon. Effective disruption is an art and is not easy.

There is a fine line between disruptive marketing and stunt PR. If the goal is to get noticed, then there are some interesting ideas below.

A few years back Electronic Arts in Canada wanted to hire programmers. It produced the advertisement at the very top of this article, in programming code, (which effectively tells the programmer that EA is hiring), and strategically placed it on a billboard outside a competitor. It was certainly noticed and caused controversy in the games industry.

A current trend is the art of “projection advertising,” using projections onto well-known landmarks. This form of disruption is popular with journalists for photos for the national media (great brand exposure). Why not for recruiters wanting exposure for smaller brands?

In Recruiting 5.0, employment brands will need to stand out. Augmented reality, disruptive marketing, and stunt PR will be key in that goal.

End of Social Media — All Media Becomes Social

Just as we don’t use the term e-commerce, the term social media will fade away.

As companies seek engagement, seek to understand their audiences, to listen, to crowdsource, and humanize experiences, all media and communications will become social by nature.  (That includes all consumer, corporate … any communications by a company!)

The need for “social” is removed.


We Create Candidates … Candidate Cloning

As the global war for the best talent continues, companies will be posed with a set of new questions and challenges:

  • We want to hire the best talent; there is a global war for the best talent … it’s not easy to hire “the best”
  • The experienced talent pool is shrinking (less talent to pick from)
  • Talent is less loyal, moves jobs, and is more expensive

Given these questions and challenges, more employers will start to look at new solutions. Companies will consider creating their own universities, academies, educational facilities, or training development programs to ready future talent for immediate worth to their business. We know that many companies already sponsor courses and partner with academics on course criteria. This is the next natural step.

There is enough average talent to fill roles, but companies gain competitive advantage by hiring the best. I love this slide based on data by the Journal of Applied Psychology  which tries to visualize the difference between a top performer and an average performer.

If companies are truly serious and focused on hiring the best performers, first they should define the key skills they possess. What makes them a top performer? Can they be created or trained?

All skills being equal, what distinguishes top performers from the average is what behavioral researchers call “emotional intelligence competency.” Emotional intelligence is a term popularized by Salovey and Meyer which details a combination of traits, values and behaviors that is viewed as the most powerful and reliable predictor of success in the workplace. These traits, known to you and I as “people skills” include self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills.

In 1997, Goleman wrote a paper called: “Working with Emotional Intelligence.” This brought emotional intelligence to the fore. Goleman studied 286 organizations worldwide where job competencies of star performers at every level were analyzed. Twenty common competencies were identified, and classified within four broad categories; all but three are emotional competencies (click to enlarge):

This is quite revolutionary by nature. Don’t reach the conclusion that cognitive abilities (IQ, technical skills, etc.) don’t play a role in successful, productive work performance. Of course they do. However, if two individuals have comparable technical skills, research indicates that the individual with strong emotional intelligence (people skills) will be more successful and productive on the job.

The “Global War for the Best Talent” heats up. The experienced talent pool shrinks. As companies continue to expand, especially in the emerging markets, will companies feel the need to “create” their own talent?

Some may argue that some companies are doing this already. Most larger companies have dedicated training programs for new and existing hires. Companies focus their time on defining and then targeting the “best universities” (their definition defined by the talent they seek), and then partnering with professors to help support, nurture, and bring on the best talent.

Would company-run universities/academies/degrees/qualifications appeal to students? To understand that, we have to understand what’s happening right now.

For some, a degree is a waste of time and money. Some courses and universities have spurious offerings.  Students may be better off taking advantage of some of the new online universities. This includes Udacity. This online institution is attracting bright talent around the world as they seek to democratize education. To hire this talent requires a change in thinking by businesses and especially the recruiting gatekeepers.

Some will say this is sensationalism and headline grabbing. But underlying real issues need to be considered by students, parents, business leaders, and politicians. It is our duty as recruiters to pick up the baton to drive awareness and change.

Yes, great entrepreneurs, like cream, will always find their way to the top. But let’s be honest: most businesses would not have hired the likes of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates based on their qualifications. As recruiters, we should naturally ask ourselves: who and how much raw talent are we missing out on?

Conclusion? This article’s aim is to stimulate debate and thought. It hopefully will encourage some recruiters to be more vocal about the inside practices of assessment and filtering within their businesses.

It’s the End of Recruiters as We Know it …

A powerful headline. (“Perhaps sung to REM’s phenomenal tune “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”)

Under Recruitment 3.0, we saw the drive away from the traditional core skills of recruitment. The “new” recruiters need skills in marketing, PR, communications, CRM, direct marketing, and database segmentation.

This drive continues through Recruitment 3.0 & 4.0, and into 5.0.

But 5.0, which is some time off yet, begs the question, do we need recruiters at all?

Will recruiters become obsolete?

Let’s look at why that could be.

The presumption is that talent acquisition and identifying talent will become easier. Recruitment 4.0 “crowdsourcing” will show the power of the crowd in sourcing talent. Just sending a message into a company’s networks yields immediate high-quality candidate recommendations; 5.0 sees the next step.

“Big data” allows for companies to quickly assess the best candidates for a role. In those assessments, behavioral, psychological profiling, from data patterns in the cloud, allow for “greater predictivity” in hiring.

Imagine a hiring manager who can:

  • Seek recommendations from crowdsourcing
  • Source candidates from “the cloud”
  • Have candidates profiled and use “predictive fit” from behavioral and psychological traits

Perhaps hiring managers will able to do their own thing. Perhaps marketing will take over employment brand messaging. What is the role for today’s recruiters? Discuss in the comments section below.

Recruitment 5.0 Conclusion

Here we are. The end of the final paper Recruitment 5.0 in this trilogy.

What struck us writing this was that many of the talent acquisition leaders in place today are not ready for 3.0, 4.0., and let alone 5.0. They have been schooled in recruiting techniques that will soon be outdated and detrimental to their business. Many are more focused on 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 build relationships with the best talent. They have created a predictable talent pipeline. Leaders who have created engaged communities with two-way communication, thus enhancing employment brand attractiveness while enhancing the consumer/product brand. Imagine leaders who are embracing gamification and crowdsourcing. They may be producing content and creating VIP areas that could be monetized. Recruiting leaders who have been able to reduce recruiting spend while delivering top talent to achieve business goals and drive company revenue. Leaders who are directly impacting a company’s bottom line.

Compare that to your current talent acquisition leader (which may be you, with so many being ERE readers and conference-goers). 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 and you may agree or disagree. There are certainly exciting times ahead for recruiting professionals.

Whatever your views of this paper and the previous ones we hope you seek to challenge the status quo. Blaze trails and help to elevate our great profession and come up with new ideas. We’d love for you to share your thoughts below.

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.

  • Jennifer Candee


    I haven’t had the luxury of time to see your new site but I understand first hand the pain and agony of putting forth a new careers site and trying to take into account all the corporate details, what they want for a variety of reasons that typically don’t align with talent acquisition and trying as well to appease other markets and regions.

    I would be frankly hugely embarrassed to show our own careers website to this group (of course, I have now just opened myself up to this, haven’t I?). There is always a host of detail that no consultant or candidate can understand as to the reasoning a variety of decisions are made.

    I feel for you having gone through this myself and it sounds to me like you are making key changes, trying things out with a goal to make them better – not perfect. We are doing the same. SABMiller, as a large multinational, had to make a very difficult decision to go with SAP for our ATS as our entire back end global system was migrating to SAP (this will not be finished until 2020). We are highly decentralised and this is a HUGE undertaking to get our 75 markets under a centralised system but still keep them decentralised. Of course, each market wants their own system and has their own needs and laws which underpin their requirements.

    A variety of consultants on this forum have indicated that markets should just all have their own systems for their market but that isn’t possible for us at this stage of growth – in reality, we need to be able to have the oversight and reporting of the 80,000 employees we have as well oversight into the number of openings across all markets at any one time. I couldn’t even begin to estimate this today.

    So why SAP? I fought tooth and nail for a real ATS but each one we looked at would not seamlessly integrate with SAP and that was a strong requirement. Whilst they all say they do, I could not find one multinational that didn’t have huge issues and costs associated with the integration of the two and didn’t have ongoing issues with them (I’m speaking of the Taleo’s and Kenexa’s of this world). Whilst I still maintain that it still would have been a better decision to go with a widely recognised ATS (which SAP isn’t), at some point, I had to pick my battles and raise my white flag. I fought hard. I lost. I warned what the issues would be and now we have them. Now what we need to do is champion the system to get the markets to use it (I cannot even begin to tell you how hard that is for me). But this is the only way we can get things to change. To show the drop off rates in applications, to show applicant views on LinkedIn to the few that actually make it through our system. And we are working on it. It will take a LONG time but it’s what we can do within the parameters we’ve been given.

    In the interim, I have a long list of much better enhancements for our careers website, however, not being centralised has it’s barriers. We still need to direct candidates to each local company’s website or local ATS until they are all on SAP so it looks and functions in a clunky manner.

    So – direct sourcing. I personally have any candidates coming direct to me. I will upload them if they are good to the ATS but personally I work through Avature CRM. I would never send a Director level candidate to apply through our ATS anyway – especially when direct sourcing. So…we are still highly effective in our recruitment even without a great ATS.

    Not even remotely close to ideal. However, I truly believe that any other in my position would have had to do the same thing or vote with their feet and leave over this issue. I chose to stay the course and look to the long term and see what I can do to bring things to the 21st century during my tenure.

    @Tania – I applaud what you are doing and fully understand that there are so many variables in any organisation that you need to take into account. No one external to your company can fully appreciate that. You aren’t giving up and you are trying different things to make it better. Best of luck to you – given your tenacity, I can tell you will hold your own!

  • Tania Craig

    @ Jennifer

    Thank you for your words of encouragement, that means a great deal coming from you. We too, being a decentralized, global organization had some very difficult decisions to make around our ATS and what worked best for us and our needs. Like I said in one of my previous comments, if I could have merged two of the systems together, it would have been so much more attractive to us!

    We have had a lot of technical and user related issues with Taleo and continue to optimize and work on these on an ongoing basis, its a full time job on its own and my team is very very lean.

    I know we still have many opportunities to further enhance and tweak our candidate experience which is why every week I am working with not only my team, but the TMP team to make sure we keep making improvements. In the end, the data will help us. As for your thoughts on drop offs, we are facing that same issue in Australia right now and are trying to address it. To be honest, any roles Director or above are generally direct sourced and to your point, they are more high touch and the recruiters often end up creating their profile for them.

    I would love to compare lists :) I bet they are probably very similar. I guess I like to celebrate the smaller milestones as I think of how hard we have had to work to get where we are today. But you can never give up the battle.

    I feel I am in good company and that feels very reassuring!

    Thanks again Jennifer!!!!

  • Jacob Madsen

    It might have been more appropriate to have given Tania feed-back off line and not in such a public forum as this.
    We are all ‘work in progress’ and have to work/function within the constraints we have budget, structure or other, and as much as your comments may be valid, given how negative they were outside an ERE discussion group might have been more professional.

  • Bas van_de_Haterd

    @Jacob: I disagree. I was ‘told’ I shouldn’t criticize the old site too much so I didn’t. I however made a promise and being a man of his word I keep that.

    And to be honest, to consider this negative… well… I’ve been very nice in my opinion. Trust me, I’ve been very nice. There are two ways to take this, this way (wow, public critic, I need to fight that) or the other way (darn, it doesn’t seem like it’s coming across like it should, we should work on that). The fact most react in the first way is why we give candidates such bad experiences.

    But like I said, since my comments are not wanted, I won’t give them anymore. To be honest, the excuses made sort of disappoint me. There are many reasons why 60% of the Fortune 500 companies won’t be that in 2020. Many of them can be read here.

  • Jacob Madsen

    Nothing wrong ever about being honest and that is the way most of us would like things.
    All I am saying tailor comments to forum in which given, some things are OK to have aired warts and all in public, others less so, nuances that is what I am talking about.

  • Jacob Madsen

    Fascinating stuff that I have just come across, and right along Rec 5.0 thinking

    ‘The reasons why people click’

    Newly published book by Nathalie Nahai ‘Webs of Influence, the psychology of online persuasion’

    Check it out, it is exciting stuff and with science behind.

  • Jacob Madsen

    Told that weblink not working, – try this:

  • Matthew Jeffery


    Just taking some time to read what people are thinking of Facebook’s foray into recruitment.

    I am often accused of being a LinkedIn fanboy. But as I have always said they are in pole position but pole sitters don’t always win the Grand Prix.

    One of those that could storm through is Facebook. They have the mass market, (what 850million to LinkedIn’s 150m, yes there are more kids and more social there but kids become candidates!!).

    Several people have been building this up to me, telling me to watch Facebook seize the recruitment market.

    However, their FIRST attempt is like qualifying a potentially fast car at the back of the grid. P24!!!!

    Very disappointed at their first attempt. They need perhaps some people giving them a better steer!

  • Matthew Jeffery

    @Lucian Tarnowski

    (Whilst I am replying to Lucian, please feel free to join in and state your views. I love this area).

    Hey buddy. Great to speak the other day. Looking forward to seeing you next week.

    I promised to come back to you on your comments. This area of 5.0 has surprisingly had less comments, (‘Candidate cloning’), but is a real passion. I remember Lucian when we discussed Education and skills over lunch some time ago. I share your passion but what’s great is you devote a huge chunk of time to education, skills the future talent and hence have massive credibility in this area.

    First off thanks for the great comments. They mean a lot.

    In terms of ‘candidate cloning’. You make some awesome points. Key is what ‘communities’ will bring. ‘Communities’ are key, (that’s why you spend so much time with BraveNewTalent building them)!!. ;) A wise strategy methinks.

    Love your point on content and engagement. ‘Killer content’ drives loyalty and trends than singular adverts. Whoever can create that ‘killer content’ will command the crowd!

    I had not seen your article before: : Thanks for sharing. Powerful article. And guess what, if there were a ‘University of L’Oreal, University of Google, University of Microsoft, University of Nike’ etc, they would be oversubscribed. Talent would be more ‘ready’ to ‘hit the ground running’, as skills relevant to work would be taught. Skills like communication, presentation, team skills, leaderships skills, (all the soft skills), that are not taught at University and students lack.

    Of course, many Corporates would turn into predator mode and wait for students to finish at these Universities then either headhunt/seduce them with money & promises immediately, or wait a year, (real experience), then hijack them.

    Lucian, like you I do worry about current trends in education. Key for me is for any student in selecting a Degree course can answer this question: ‘Will this course make more employable’? Currently we see some Students studying for courses that do not achieve this and on courses that, in a nice way, are frankly a waste of their time. We have seen many Universities react to market forces and offer ‘popular courses’ that get them bums on seats and funding but do not help the student. (It is understandable for a University to seek more Students and funding but not good for business when seeking to hire them if they lack the skills). We see the decline in numbers of people studying ‘core subjects’ eg maths, sciences, computing etc. I have, in the recent past, tried to help Manchester University attract more students for maths and computer science.

    Also I am not even touching on fees. I won’t touch on politics and fees here. But if a student is paying, (these are UK figures), £9,000 course fees per year, that’s £27,000 for a 3 year course. On top of that, there are living costs, (food, drink, subsistence), then investment in books and equipment and then rent for students digs. Hence, on average, a 3 year course could set a student back £50,000. That is a massive investment.

    If there are no jobs, (as there are for many in a recession), and they lack skills that employers want, (studying Degrees that don’t have relevance to skillsets), then that student, as many do, start their professional life serving coffee at a Starbucks or stacking shelves at Tesco, (very worthy jobs but not what we want a student who has invested £50k into their education to be doing).

    For many, apprenticeships / alternative qualifications could be more beneficial.

    As Recruiters we have to be more proactive in helping these students take the best choices. Too many Recruitment Leaders keep quiet. Our companies need to ensure they employ Grads, (many do, I include Autodesk here with a dedicated UR scheme).

    Anyway, I could go on Lucian. I know we are on the same page. See you next week.

  • Matthew Jeffery


    Thanks for publishing the link to Nathalie’s book:

    I am ordering a copy.

    And thanks for all your passion on this thread. Brilliant stuff.

  • Jacob Madsen

    ‘Man is only great when he acts from passion’
    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Matthew Jeffery

    @ Jacob.

    ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world’.

    Harriet Tubman

  • Matthew Jeffery

    Reflection point. Consider this……

    If Business Leaders, (CEO’s), are talking about talent and the ‘failings of the education system’ in the UK, why aren’t Recruitment Leaders?

    Why are Recruitment Leaders so mute on this subject?


    ‘The education system in the UK is fostering a “cult of the average” that is both failing the brightest schoolchildren and failing to produce students who have the skills and behaviours that businesses want, according to The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), in a report released today. HR magazine’s next lunchtime debate focuses on the UK skills gap.

    The CBI has called for a radical rethink of England’s school system, including the abolition of GCSEs at 16 and a break from the “exams factory” of the national curriculum and league tables’.

    These sort of comments by the likes of the CBI will lead to ‘Candidate Cloning’, as discussed above………………..

  • Bas van_de_Haterd

    Well, my dear mr. Jeffrey, there are two reasons for that.

    First of all: most recruitmentleaders don’t even dare to stand up in their own organizations (like to be honest I’ve seen in this thread a lot too), let alone the rest of ‘the things’. There is a simple reason for that: if you don’t stand out, you don’t get blamed. I once make the statement (and got killed for it, as will I be here again) that if your firm has to lay off a lot of people, the recruitment leader failed. Period. No excuses, no BS about markets and so on. Since we all say talent is the one thing that differentiates us from the competitors, it’s the head of TA that didn’t bring in the right talent. Think about it. In every crisis (even this one) their are plenty of companies doing well (very well even). But that means you need to stand out.

    The second reason I’d like to give by example of a meeting I had last week actually, about a new book (I’m not going to be writing).
    She: This suprises me
    Me: What
    She: Well, I thought you were HR and recruitment, but now you’ve been going on about education
    Me: Yes, tell me, what’s the difference
    She: eeeehmmmmmmm

    Yet there are very few that see it as a whole, integrated part. Hell, we even have seperate ministeries in Holland: Education, Economic affairs, Social Welfare. They are not even in the same budget…

  • Matthew Jeffery

    @ Bas.

    I love the fact that CEO’s, speaking through the likes of trade bodies like CBI, (very respected in the UK), are discussing education and talent. It’s such an important issue.

    But when I look at recruitment news websites, few recruitment leaders do speak. A disconnect maybe. Leaders talk of it, many recruiters don’t. It’s a shame as this is an area that can be influenced. It’s key to recruitment as it is about future talent and pipelining.

    And Recruitment Leaders have a duty to comment on the issues of the day.

    I am passionate about this subject. Bas you will be happy to know that I never shy away from speaking my mind. Take a look at this interview with one of the videogames leading industry sites, (not a recruitment website),

    Bas, I do agree that it is easier to remain quiet….that’s a strategy I know several peers employ. At times I don’t blame them ;) lol

  • Jacob Madsen

    ‘HR is there on the favour and grace of the business’, what the business says and wants is what we deliver and work towards.
    ‘HR is a service function we are here to help and assist, – if they ask us we will advice and help, if they don’t and wish to run things their own way, then so be it’.

    Above two phrases heard/seen expressed more than once from very senior HR managers in very substantial companies.

    I have yet to meet a strong minded and someone who has and will stand up and speak up HR manager/director, it is simply not in their nature and their function as ‘go betweens’ mean that they are more often than not ‘fence sitters’.
    I believe that if you ever want a vague and a non descript function in a company, HR is a good place to look.
    Just left a company that due to HR director not speaking up, raising their voice wrong hires made and subsequent financial challenges (sales people hired not producing revenue)
    With 90% of all TA managers/functions reporting into HR/HR leadership, you will find that they may speak up internally (if they dare), but if they know that it is like hitting a pillow and no response/result then they simply give up, as they know it is to no avail.
    Speaking up and taking chances takes courage and guts, and carries the risk that someone may not agree or feel it inappropriate and decide better off without. Unless there is knowledge/certainty of an alternative employment around the corner few dare to speak up and challenge, this apply not only in HR and TA but across the board. The current economic climate has made people meek and taking the safe route rather than stirring things up.
    So as much as we may have another opinion very few can afford taking any chances.

  • Matthew Jeffery

    Interesting, as this thread is in its last embers, I have been reflecting on this thread / discussion.
    I also spoke to a well-known Recruitment Leader today who said to me much of 5.0 was too futuristic and they would not be thinking of these issues for years.
    Hhhhmmmm. I was kinda sad at that.
    Whilst portrayed as a ‘future’ paper, much of this is here today and can be shaped / used for ROI by business.
    - Mobile recruitment, (mobile site optimization and / or mobile apps), is here today. ROI demonstrated by Chris Bradshaw, Mike Taylor, Dave Martin in this thread.
    - Big Data (Given the number of big data articles on ERE at the moment, it’s here).
    - ‘Candidate Cloning’, (Microsoft is already doing this). And the seeds are there, when bodies like the CBI moan about the quality of talent, solutions will be forthcoming. (CBI complains of ‘Exam Factory’ Schools HERE:
    - ‘Recruitment back to basics’. Candidate experience in recruitment is generally poor and a number of companies are all over enhancing candidate experience, measuring it, hence ‘back 2 basics’ is already here.
    - ‘Death of the ATS’. This thread has really demonstrated that there is no one solution that has market support and credibility. NOT ONE.
    - Emerging Markets dominate. The trends are there for all to see. Most recruitment leaders dedicate more of their time to Emerging markets today.
    - The most controversial point of all was augmented reality. Surprisingly it merited less debate than other areas and when addressed was casually dismissed as too futuristic.
    I love this area and see so much merit for recruitment, (especially I suppose as I have been privy to some of the great ideas being developed by recruiters for recruitment out there. Wish I could reveal here).
    Hopefully, given I can’t say much, I can use some links to inspire…..maybe…lol

    Just wanted to share some more thoughts & links round augmented reality. It’s here but also vision stuff ;)
    As quoted in the paper, Augmented Reality will be driven by mobile, (and we are seeing some great examples already).
    Videogames are a great avenue into the mainstream / gaining mainstream credibility.
    - The Playstation 2 kickstarted and drove mainstream adoption of DVD.
    - The Playstation 3 drove mainstream adoption of Blu-Ray.
    Now, heavy rumours / leaks are focusing on the next Xbox, (some call it Project Durango).
    The next Xbox may well have Augmented Reality aspects. If so, that will drive AR, along with Mobile, into mainstream thinking and acceptance. No debate there.
    Take a look HERE:

    Not only Microsoft and Xbox are looking at this. Google are experimenting:
    This is not saying that we will all walk round in hideous glasses but AR can be done without glasses.
    Look at the latest 3D Tv’s. yes, they are expensive but manufacturing costs drive down and sales increase.
    This is a TV most would love. HERE:
    I really advise people to have a look at some of this content. If only to understand AR more and to spark their own ideas for recruitment. – watch some of the session videos – the AR experts/practitioners are predicting 2014 as the year AR will go mainstream.

    Now recruitment and AR.
    I am not going to list my ideas here as would lose competitive advantage. But for example, I saw a great example of recruitment AR in the Deloitte NZ grad magazine last year, with a grad popping out of the page and speaking to the reader/students. Very cool.

    Outside of recruitment, take a look at these:
    Augmented Reality and cars:
    Samsung’s new smart window:
    Oakley in visor displays:

    Roll on 2014, the year of Augmented Reality.

  • Jacob Madsen

    OK so Rec 5.0 is visionary and for many a ‘pie in the sky’
    However really quite simple and as you Matt come from a leading edge tech company that are pushing boundaries this is where the true ‘competition for talent’ is the hottest and where it is a question of do or die.
    The arguments are absolutely clear to everybody to see that the general competition is hotting up and moving with increasing speed.
    Convergence of skills, the competition coming from India and China ever increasing (that adapt and learn faster than we can imagine) the as in this thread discussed lack of ability to ensure next generation being educated well enough (for e a c h of the 16 IT Universities in India there are 10.000 applicants!).
    As always we see those companies that truly understand this landscape (Autodesk being one) react and adapt applying the Rec. 3.0/4.0/5.0 thoughts to their TA focus, as for them it is a question of a chance of being here tomorrow.
    As with recruitment agents still thinking it is year 2000 they will quickly die as they simply haven’t understood the world and their needs. For those that if not embracing Rec 5.0 then at least showing an interest and keeping themselves updated, they stand a better chance of adapting and surviving.

    Your piece and trilogy is therefore education to the TA community, and then it is up to each individual how much or how little they wish to take away and implement, at least now we know.
    I for one would never have realized what out there and possible if not been part of this journey, and for that I (and I reckon quite a few others) thank you.

  • Ted Meulenkamp

    loved the discussions, just didn’t have time to respond to many of them.

    Just 2 things:

    Your thoughts on this (candidate cloning?)

    ATS: at Roche we are starting a discussion internally (I’m part of the 3 man band driving this) whether we can actually live without an ATS. We are planning something very cool around this and someone of you will be able to participate :-) can’t say much more but you are going to love it.

    thanks Matt for having sparked what must have been the most passionate and longest discussion on any recruitment article.

  • Matthew Jeffery


    Cheers mate. Means a lot from you. Miss you buddy. We only seem to get to spend time in Las Vegas. Lol

    Last point first. Love to see what you and Roche do about ATS. You guys are radical and push the industry. I can’t wait. Please let me know, whether on or offline, what and how you intend to do this. We are also looking at how to work round zero ATS. Our discussion lies round LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline and using Workday to process. Of course some will say that we are disadvantaged by relying on a 3rd party who own the data. But really, in reality, how much ‘value’ does an ATS have. (Argued this point above and won’t write again lol).

    Whatever you decide Ted and Roche, others will follow. No doubts.

    On your point one and the link, I have several concerns. Data should be used as extra information to steer decisions. Not make them. Have strict data tests with strikeout marks whereby they won’t be seen by recruiters because they scored low.

    I don’t think many companies would employ the likes of Alan Sugar or Richard Branson based on their qualifications. Many companies are missing out on the best hires by data pigeon hiring. Data is a steer not a decider. And those that are entrepreneurial and are inventive and get in front of recruiters need to be reviewed, even if they lack the marks.

    People tell me that Google are best at recruiting. As your link shows they have high test marks to secure interview. Then a candidate goes through a large number of interviews. Is this best? Leave you to decide.

    For the mid to senior roles, sourcing teams should have mapped the market for the best.

    At Universities, companies have their partner target universities and work with Professors to identify the best and most relevant talent.

  • Matthew Jeffery


    Thanks for all your great comments. This has been a fun debate. I got so much from the comments section. Very cool.

    Keep on pushing mate.

  • Matthew Jeffery
  • Ted Meulenkamp

    very true what is being written there. I was in the loop around August that it was coming and have (via Work4Us) given a lot of suggestions but the monster they created is an utter failure.

    I believe they have the market for a recruitment app, the crowd is there, the will is there and companies are willing to spend money on it. Just imagine being able to get targeted jobs in your news stream (only visible to you) on the site most people in the world spend their online time at.

    The only thing is that they put their worst developers on it. They will get there and it will eat away from LI for sure.

    And please, don’t get me the argument of FB is for pleasure and LI is for professional. Be futuristic!
    And please 2, don’t tell me you won’t be able to find your candidates there. 22% of the population of FB is >45 years so we are talking 220.000 people which is more than the whole LI population (take out the 45m grannies if you want) :-)

    I’ll get back to you on the ATS but our thinking is alike. Great things will come shortly :-)

  • Matthew Jeffery


    May surprise you that we are relatively on the same page.

    We have two companies here enviously eyeing each other.

    LinkedIn want to have Facebook’s scale and numbers.

    Facebook want to have LinkedIn’s professional community, (another great area for monetarisation).

    In theory, it should be easier for Facebook to claw the victory here. But as you say, their best development team and minds are not on this.

    LinkedIn remain on Pole……

    Thanks on the ATS.

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  • Matthew Jeffery

    Hey all.

    Following on from our discussion / healthy debate on Recruitment Awards.

    There is another UK Awards ceremony tomorrow night. Exciting times.

    It is the ‘In-House Recruitment Awards’. See HERE:

    I enjoy looking at who is nominated for what and seeing what people have done/achieved.

    I especially love to see the individual awards.

    The Best In-House Recruitment Manager (nominees)

    Jonathan Duval (Tullo Marshall Warren)
    Jo Bowman (Shield Guarding)
    Sean Lightfoote (Incisive Media)
    Lou Ryan (HJ Heinz)
    Hilary Anderson (Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
    Jason Gowlett (Direct Line Group)
    Kim Greenhill (Healthcare at Home)

    The Best In-House Recuiter (Nominees)

    Daniel Lawton (Three)
    Shohail Shaikh (Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
    Jessica Coelho (FT)
    Ross Henry (Direct Line Group)
    Jamie White (Dennis Publishing)
    Paul Copley (Blast Radius )
    Tony Mancino (Autodesk)
    Simon Daykin (Healthcare at Home)
    Emma Luto (Bakkavor)
    Olesia Kennett (Bakkavor)

    Will be interesting to see who wins :)

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  • Matthew Jeffery


    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:

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

  • Matthew Jeffery

    For those that have not seen this….

    Recruitment 3.0 the video!

    Some cool information on there.

  • Jacob Madsen

    Someone appear still doing their best to keep the old dog (3.0) alive (ha-ha) or is it missing the conversation and discussion?
    I am sure your many fans and followers eagerly awaiting next move and insight! – that is how it goes when something is stirred in people!

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  • Alex de Soto

    Wow! I’ll have to come back to finish reading all of the comments, but Jeffery has certainly made a huge contribution to the conversation.

  • Matthew Jeffery

    Hi Alex. Thanks for the comment. I am quite old fashioned. If someone has gone to the effort of reading this article, which is long, then gone to the effort to write a thoughtful reply, then it is the least I can do to reply.

    And I look at other people who write articles and they don’t have the decency to write replies. Really arrogant and annoying. Another form of ‘post & pray’. Post an article and pray it does well. lol

    Alex, please do let me know what you think.

    I am reading a lot at the moment and intrigued that there is little innovatory thought or initiatives in the marketplace right now. Always feels like a plateau moment.

    Strange to think this article is nearly a year old now. How time flies ;) lol

  • Jacob Madsen

    388 Threehundred and eighty eight and 10 months of conversation and s t I l going, amazing
    And testament to that probably no one ever stirred the minds and the interest of so many. However as you point out Matthew a plateau and a worrying one in my view. If we look at the state of the Western World and needs in getting it right for sustainability and to hand over to our children, never has the need for innovation, evolution and pushing the agenda been greater than it is today. OK so we are supposedly on our way out of 5 years of down turn, but the fundamental problems have not been fixed and Europe still has 19 million unemployed, why I dare say a long way off from claiming ‘on the way to recovery’ At the core or at least playing a significant part is the whole subject of recruitment and getting the right people employed. We know that a seriously small fraction of companies do anything seriously about these matters, follow all the advice and ideas there may be and are at the forefront and pushing boundaries. But they are a minority and they remain being a minority. At the same we have a range of what I term ‘usual suspects’ like you used to be Matthew before ‘retirement from the public stage’ that are out there at conferences and the like talking, explaining, blogging and such about the talent acquisition Gospel. And that is great and they should all be lauded for it, but it does not really make much of a difference in terms of uptake and in pushing the subject to the next level. When you look at the reaction that ERE contributors get for their efforts in bringing subjects to the table, for discussing matters and in trying to stir debate then it becomes clear that it is a lot of effort for little reward (in the form of comments and other contributions) why 388 comments is near magical. When Todd write about Maersk Oil game Quest For Oil which is exactly along the lines of Recruitment 4.0 then it receives less than 5 comments, actually If I may say so surprising as here a true example of using a game to entice and engage potential future employees. It is as if there is indifference and lack of participation overall, that no one can or will pick up where you Matthew have left the scene 10 months ago and take the subject further. And that is what I find deeply worrying. I have seen enough examples of what is being done out there to realise that there are light years between what Recruitment 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 try to advocate and what is reality. I have spoken to world leading companies in their fields that are so far behind the curve and with such desperate needs and paying so little attention to the subject of recruitment and attraction of talents that I am dumbfounded. Companies that ought to be at the very forefront and driving best in class talent acquisition, yet with some that have not even got on the starting block. It worries me on a grander scale, as to me failure in getting this right directly potentially impact the livelihood of these companies. I could be indifferent and say this is the law of the ‘jungle’ and survival of the fittest, but when we know through what so many learned people say on forums like ERE when we know what works and what does not work, and what can more or less be directly adopted and implemented then I despair in what I see. To me evolution is about constantly asking questions and seeking answers, to challenge status quo, to have a thirst for knowledge and to in every possible way attempt to enhance what is and see where new other and better solutions can be applied. Someone in an earlier ERE discussion said that recruitment folks in the trenches were too busy to take time to look up, to participate and to take a more active part in discussion etc. and I understand and acknowledge that argument, but I still see that subjects and discussions stay far too much within a close knit group that fundamentally speak to each other. I think that is a pity, and I know that so much could and would be different if only more folks actually took a little time out to check out what can be done and what is driving the agenda. Doing the same as always is not the answer, and for some the challenge of dealing with vast amount of open vacancies against in some industries and locations very significant structural, market and geographical challenges require a whole new approach, for the sake of survival. Some areas such as engineering and IT will over the coming years face the biggest shortfall and need seen for a long time, furthermore a lower uptake in certain studies and availability of graduates will mean that some companies and industries will experience lack of resources that may be a direct that to their operational capacity.

  • Matthew Jeffery


    @Jacob. You are on fire. Thanks for the nice compliments. Appreciated.

    Don’t worry, I am not retired, taking a break from the scene. Over exposure is never a good thing. I am enjoying not speaking at events, (since last October),and intend to not speak this year, maybe next.

    It’s fascinating. I have been avidly reading the ‘thought leaders’ out there and surprised at the lack of innovation and meaningful direction at the moment.

    Part of the recruitment plateau at the moment is that there is a huge expanse of recruitment leaders in place who just dont do our profession justice. Satisfied with the status quo, minor improvements and relying on the active pool for candidates, (job boards, agencies, corporate job board addicts),they wont move the needle. Its amusing to see some in big positions in their company, thinking they are doing a great job, their companies thinking they are doing ok, but not knowing what they could have and what they can do. Sad indicment really.

    Jacob, on your point about Graduates. Take a look at the latest edition of Recruiter Magazine. (Look at the inside back cover). I wrote an article on the ‘Lost generation’ and questioning whether degrees are a passport to success. If early talent do not decide to study for degree, then that defines that the ‘BEST’ talent may not have a degree in the future. I am sure that Richard Branson and Alan Sugar may agree ;)

  • Jacob Madsen

    For fear of being one of those that speak to themselves and as I do not want to clog up this space, re ‘your lost generation piece’ It is quite extraordinary and spectacular (alas negatively) how utterly wrong and how utterly messed up anything from senior politicians and business leaders have managed to get it. Show me where generally and in most countries a strong link with what is needed and what comes out of the educational institutions (I accept that there are some very positive and good examples, but they a r e in the minority) Why the world at large have done away with apprenticeships is a riddle to me, and why no country globally have a law saying that if a company/organisation of 50 or more employees and say have 20% profit or more then they have a compulsory duty to take on apprentices/interns etc. The problems we have c a n be solved through will and initiatives and quite frankly we owe it to our children!

  • Matthew Jeffery


    Fascinating times. Given the issues surrounding the ‘Lost generation’, how often do you hear of recruitment leaders discussing this? How many articles do you read on this, with Recruitment Leaders input? Very few. Surely this is a subject for discussion? But it isn’t and is ignored? Where’s the leaders?

    Interestingly, as a parent this is an issue close to my heart. As we look down the line, is it essential for my daughters to have a degree? Of course yes, if they were heading into a career in Law or medecine, its a no brainer. But a more general degree, like Business studies or say what I have, Politics & Economics, I am less assured that is the best route. For the reasons stated in my article.

    Interesting times Jacob. Interesting times…..

  • Raphael Debatty

    Future of recruitment is mobile, YES, but not only.
    Recruitment is directly linked to the current financial crisis. The amount of job offers is so low compare to the amount of candidates looking for a job. This impacts the way companies are recruiting: Too many profiles, not enough time to check all of them, low budget for recruitment, …
    We believe in another way to recruit effectively on internet. We called it –
    We want recruiters to meet candidates online and with no delay! Chat, Video-webcam, those tools can strongly accelerate the recruitment process. Internet is a powerful way of communicating, let’s use it properly.

  • Matthew Jeffery

    Interesting developments since this was written.

    Re-reading some of the quotes above, would lead you to believe that Big Data was a fad and that augmented/virtual reality was a pipedream in recruitment marketing.

    Big Data needs no comment as it dominates recruitment discussions.

    Augmented Reality. Mars have won Recruitment Awards for their innovation in this field.

    Virtual Reality. Well Facebook believes in it. Facebook are a key Social Network for Recruiters. Exciting times lay ahead for innovative recruiters…..

    Maybe there is a Recruitment 6.0………………….

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