A Recruitment Revolution Is Upon Us

I am seeing a revolution happening in recruitment.

In the past 20 years, I have seen recruiting evolve drastically. Before the Internet and social media, recruitment was stripped down the the basics. Recruiting was all about a phone and cold calling. Recruiters would call candidates relentlessly and our best bet was to try and catch the candidates at night and at home. At this time, not everyone had a mobile phone or for that matter e-mail.

Then we came into the age of the Internet. Job boards quickly followed and Monster and Career Builder were household names for every candidate and recruiter. The best way to find candidates was posting a job. Both Monster and CareerBuilder had great resume databases and you could find candidates a heck of a lot faster than a manilla folder.

Job boards slowly lost momentum as candidates quickly got the “active” tag attached them when they were on one of those job boards. Certainly there was something “wrong” with candidates who have their resume on a job board. The top 10 percent wouldn’t dare publicly declare that they were looking for a job because that would hurt their negotiation power.

Then came LinkedIn.

Many recruitment agencies, corporations, and candidates bought into it. LinkedIn was the answer. Most everyone now has a LinkedIn profile. There was and is no shame in having a profile. No one could tell if you were an “active”or  “passive” candidate. Reality set in and people realized they should be a “passive” candidate. Economic uncertainty and recent history of recessions have forced us to look at taking care of No. 1:  Ourselves. Certainly our companies have shown us we are dispensable.

People are getting smarter though. Time will tell if LinkedIn is going away. LinkedIn is like the white pages in a phone book. It is a place to find names. As a consumer, we don’t need to buy LinkedIn’s recruiter product. There is still a majority of the population that does not hang out on LinkedIn. There is Twitter, there is Facebook, there is GitHub, there is Pinterest, there is Instagram, and the list goes on and on.

Big Data will allow us to identify the right talent quickly. They will be able to identify the right talent through all of the social media platforms and be able to tell by data who is the most qualified, who is looking, and when people are likely to make a change in employment. So, who needs to spend thousands of dollars on a product that is getting diminishing returns on your investment?

So, if we can identify the right talent quickly, where does that leave the recruitment industry? Recruiters won’t go away. Recruiting will go back to the basics.  People won’t be jamming out on their iPods looking through 1,000 resumes to send out 500 InMails to get a 5 percent response rate. The recruiters that will succeed will be the ones that have the two things we had 20 years ago — a phone and ability to cold call. A salesperson who relentlessly calls the right person.

The recruitment industry has gotten lazy and a revolution is upon us.

What are your thoughts? Can’t you see the signs?

Will Thomson is the Founder & President of Bulls Eye Recruiting, LLC which is headquartered in Austin, Texas. His organization recruits Sr. Sales, Marketing, and HR talent around the United States.  Will's 23 year recruiting career includes working for recruiting agencies such as Aerotek and also working as a corporate recruiter at Dell, eBay and Rosetta Stone.  Bulls Eye Recruiting was formed in 2012 as a blog which morphed into a recruiting agency in 2014.  His company works on both a retained and contingent search model for finding the best talent available in the marketplace.  

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