Recruiting Goes Mainstream With Reality TV, Exposing Tech Divide Between Corporate and Executive Recruiters

logo_toprecruiterWith more than 11.8 million unemployed Americans (and millions more globally) it only makes sense for anything recruiting or hiring-related to get a lot of attention. In fact, recruiting has gone mainstream enough to garner not only national attention from businesses and their C-suites, but also its own reality TV show.

I was recently given the opportunity to participate in a new web-based reality show called “Top Recruiter 2 — The Competition.” Along with a colleague, I was able to build a challenge for six of the world’s best recruiters, all competing for the title of “Top Recruiter.”

The show afforded an up-close and in-depth glimpse into the world of recruiting and what it takes to attract, engage, and hire the best talent. While the contestants ranged in background and experience, they fell into two major groups with three corporate recruiters and three executive search recruiters. The key difference that emerged between these groups was how they embraced technology.

Comfort Levels

The corporate recruiters seemed more comfortable with recruiting technology as a whole. It makes sense — using an applicant tracking system to help manage a high volume of positions and candidates was already part of their daily job.

The executive recruiters, on the other hand, relied less on recruiting management systems and more on networking technology like LinkedIn, their own personalities and techniques, and a black book of connections to get the job done.

At the forefront of this divide was the use of company career sites to attract and educate candidates. A company careersite is a recruiting tool that gets a lot of play with organizations and their in-house recruiters because it’s one of the first interactions job-seekers have with a company — one that will either make them want to apply, or leave them with a bad taste in their mouths.

Executive recruiters weren’t using career sites to draw in candidates nearly as much as their corporate counterparts. They were mostly bringing potential hires in through relationships, viewing the job of aligning and educating candidates as theirs, not the technology’s.

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The divide may be driven in part by the job composition and compensation model. Corporate recruiters, on one hand, have other tasks and don’t get paid on a per-candidate basis. As a result, they seemed more apt to understand the benefits of the entire spectrum of recruiting technology, including the importance of a strong company careersite.

Looking beyond the use of technology, their styles and approaches were very different. As a group, the executive recruiters were much more aggressive and appeared to represent both the candidate and the company while the corporate recruiters seemed more focused on the company’s goals and the alignment of the candidate to their organization.

Understanding how each approach aligns to the employer’s need and considering factors like budget, time frame, the position level being recruited, and internal resources can help determine the which recruiter will best fill a job opening. Technology divide aside, both corporate and executive recruiters can provide unique and valuable services to an organization.

How are you, as a corporate or executive recruiter, using technology to your advantage?

As the director of product strategy at SilkRoad technology, Tom Boyle has more than 15 years of experience in Web-based talent management software including recruiting, vendor management, onboarding, performance management, learning management, and social media. His passion is working with sales, marketing, and industry analysts to share the unique value propositions these solutions bring to customers and the overall talent management market.

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