I was a guest on Paul Paris’s ex-recruiter show on Tuesday. During the call I made the statement that there is no recruitment god that brought a flurry of tweets and quite a lot of comment. To clarify for the hard of hearing, I did not say “There is no God!” Please don’t burn my house!
My point is that there is no divine path to success in recruiting. The key is finding the right model for what works for you, your business, and your market sector and in some cases your national culture.
Just recently i have read 2 blogs from people whose views i respect @AndyHeadworth & @BooleanBlackBlt. Glen’s (BooleanBlackBlt) blog covered the talent pool v just in time sourcing debate. Readers from the U.K. may not be familiar with the sourcers role, for clarity, they are not resourcers. A sourcer identifies candidates on the web, profiles them and delivers names and profiles to the recruiters to make approaches and build relationships. Other sources such as @MaureenSharib are phone sourcers who find people using the phone. this is a technique we are more familiar with in the U.K. in the name gathering stage prior to headhunting. If you are interested in finding out more about sourcing you can listen to an excellent show by Maureen and @radicalrecruit, Talk Sourcing.
Glens point was that it is far more effective to source the market once you get the green light from your customer than it is to stockpile possible contacts in a talent pool. His argument is that you can not possibly maintain a relationship with 5000+ people in the hope that you might get an opportunity for them at some stage. I don’t disagree with this argument which is why i favour a much smaller talent pool (probably no more than 50) who you can maintain a relationship with. @alanwhitford would describe this as the talent puddle, a theory i prescribe to and promote to my customers. Personally I think this is because i have always been sales focused and taken the approach that it is easier to find a job for a candidate than it is to find a candidate for a job. Glen would no doubt disagree because his skills lie in the mysterious arts of sourcing and boolean strings. I get bamboozled by exercising simplest search concepts, try as I might, I’m not that technical. I can however, build great client and candidate networks and sniff out vacancies for my placable candidates. Applying basic retail principles I promote my stock and know who is most saleable. I also have a strong belief that candidates are increasingly looking for relationship and understanding over speed because decision making takes twice as long right now and the candidate is looking to the recruiter for good advice. Trust is essential and this can only be built over time.
Andy’s excellent blog Sirona Says questions if recruiters are apathetic, confused or have they got their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to social recruiting.
I know where the question comes from, I spoke at the R.E.C. convention with Andy and @MattAlder on social recruiting and it was concerning how little involvement recruiters had in social recruiting. The fact that 1/3rd of the delegates attended our session shows me that there is at least some interest and a curiosity to do more.
Prompted by another great blog post from @mervyndinnen on the same theme and some evangelical posturing by others, I took a look at the statistics. Without boring you, I can confirm that the proportion of recruiters with Linkedin profiles (1/3rd of U.K. recruiters) is about the same as the rest of the population when it comes to using social media.
I don’t think there is enough use of social media for building client and candidate networks, but equally i don’t believe those that steer another path will become extinct or worse recruiters. I know some excellent recruiters that would rather streak naked down the high street than use twitter. They see it as time consuming and largely ineffective in generating revenue. I argue passionately with them but I also recognize that something else works for them.
Personally, I’m more concerned by the lack of phone time in many recruitment businesses, with limited time invested in building relationships or getting to know people. Despite all the tools available, for me, the phone is still the best one. Social recruiting will give those who use it well a real competitive advantage provided it is combined with good recruitment practice and it is the passing of these practices that we should really be lamenting. I think more emphasis should be on encouraging those who are using social media as a recruiting tool to use it properly before too much damage is done to other recruiters that are using it well. Once this is achieved, maybe then we should be encouraging others in to the arena and not before.
In summary, Glen and Andy make excellent points, as do many other commentators on these subjects. Both routes work well for both of them and they should not change. While we have to be open to other ways of doing things, and should never be scared to try doing something different, there is no one divine path to recruiting success. Find the path that suits you best and don’t change your route as often as you change your pants. there’s no recruitment god that knows all the answers and no substitute for hard work, honesty and activity.
Be ambassadors for good recruiting, whichever path you choose.