Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore

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Oct 25, 2012
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The recruiting industry is growing and evolving, yet I see many recruiters with their head buried in the sand! In all honesty much of the structure of recruiting firms now mirrors the “look and feel” of a firm in 1975. Sure we have added PC’s, job boards, LinkedIn, etc., yet most still use the same tired structure, and processes as the industry used decades ago.

On the other hand, I have seen some recruiters go 180 degrees the other way by attempting to do all their business via email, job boards, and LinkedIn without really trying to build deep personal relationships with their clients and candidates.

So where is the industry going? What are the trends that are showing that they will alter the way we do business? These are questions I asked a while ago at my closed door retreat and mastermind meeting with 16 of my platinum coaching members.

Because I had recruiting firm owners representing three countries, 10 different states, and multiple industry disciplines the emerging trends and strategies came from multiple perspectives.

Here are just a few of the trends and ideas that emerged:

Recruiting/Candidate Sourcing

Name Gen:  For $5 to $20 per hour you can have key target names harvested in quantities you can’t easily get on your own. This should free you up for more strategic business development, as well as hiring and onboarding more recruiters. If you are a solo, outsourcing research will provide you with a larger pool of candidates to fish from. This will increase the likelihood of you making the placement, while simultaneously eliminating the need for your clients to “need” to work with your competitors.

Gen Y: These candidates are just starting to enter the work force in large quantities. The oldest of this generation are in their mid-twenties. Many call these people the “entitled generation.” While this is debatable, the fact that they are the LARGEST generation ever in our country’s history is not. There are more humans in the generation Y age group than there are Baby Boomers! On the other hand, there are 11 million fewer Gen X candidates (27 to 47 years old) than there are Baby Boomers. This is why we are seeing a shortage of so many mid-management candidates; there are simply fewer of them.

How are you dealing with the shortage of Gen X candidates and how are you prepared to deal with an abundance of Gen Y candidates in the next decade?

Client Development

More and more our group is seeing prospects and clients that are trying to claim ownership of all candidates in their database, and in some unique situations, if they are on LinkedIn. Yes, we had a few examples where companies said if the person was on LinkedIn that their internal recruiters would call them. Imagine that! They think they own the rights to someone on LinkedIn!

Whether it’s LinkedIn or their own database, recruiters are in effect being asked to identify the best talent in the client’s database for NO FEE, simply because someone may have entered their resume months ago.

If you see these clauses in fee agreements you are being asked to sign it is imperative that you develop a VERY STRONG value proposition as to why it is in the client’s best interest to remove it. I had a client recruiting firm owner bitten by this clause. They blindly signed the agreement, made a placement where they managed the process, and after the invoice was sent, HR said the person was in their database! This is a trend that will continue as long as we as a profession continue to market “resumes” to the marketplace.

Forget the Resume, Sell the Process

As a profession we need to market the PROCESS of identifying the candidate as THE PRIMARY benefit of working with us.

When one markets the process and how we speak with candidates who often are not looking when we call, combined with our ability to sell them on the client’s opportunity, that’s where we truly provide value. If we continue make our communication surrounding the “resume” of the candidates we find, we perpetuate the commoditization of our profession, as more and more data is available online.

To counter this trend set expectations with your client prior to working on the search. First, ask the client to what extent they will be actively looking internally to fill the position. Often, the most they are doing internally is “screening.” If this is the case, propose to them that some of the candidates you surface will probably be in their database, and unless they are active now, you expect full compensation because you were the one who engaged their interest. Next, ask them if they have a short list of people they are going to call but simply have not yet. Have the client email you just the raw names so you can establish candidates you should not call and should not present.

If the client is not amenable to this, proceed cautiously!

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.