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Hold the Recruiter Obituary

Pic Credit: Soundite Blog

You will have read all the posts recently about recruitment dying, and how all companies are going to source their staff directly, and all recruiters might as well shut up shop and go home.

From all the talk, the best trade to be in is undertaking, because there are going to be plenty of funerals to arrange what with recruiters, job boards, print media and working life as we know it, all heading to the cemetery.

Seems bloggers, especially recruiters strangely, like nothing more than posting a quick, 400 word obituary.

You know the types: “Everyone else is rubbish apart from us”. Recruitment is full of them. As an industry, we are our own worst critics.

Sorry to disappoint, hold the blog page, don’t quite press publish on the obituary just yet. Recruiters might have to evolve and find new ways of shaping their offering. Value and efficiency of service may well become more important. Recruiters will have to change the way they work a bit, but I’ve been around the industry for 27 years, and I can’t remember a year when something didn’t change fundamentally, either as a result of legislation, technology or market demand. Plenty have been changing already, just look at the range of offerings and specialisation now.

Recruiters are actually quite good at adapting, surviving then thriving. As Monty Python says, “Not dead yet!”

Inspired by Michael Carty’s series over at XpertHR entitled “If I could change one thing about HR”, here is my version, “If I could change one thing about recruiters.” (hope Michael doesn’t mind!)

My one change would be:

A new fee structure, with recruiters rewarded for retention over bums on seats. An annual fee for the working life of the candidate, rather than a one-off hit. This would encourage matching for long-term fit rather than matching to get the job, as well as fostering an ongoing relationship with the candidate, as a career manager rather than an introducer.
This would make managing the relationship between client, recruiter and candidate the priority, rather than managing the transaction, which is the case now.
I believe this would be better for all parties, and would only help recruitment to evolve.

Thats my thought for the day. What is the one thing you would change about recruiting in order to evolve the industry?

Keep being ambassadors for great recruiting



Xpert HR

One comment on “Hold the Recruiter Obituary

  1. Bill, good god who are these people who are seriously trying to suggest the recruitment industry is on it’s way out??!!
    In my opinion, at least 50% of the recruitment industry is absolutely tosh; barely worth the fees charged, demonstrating a lack of internal recruitment capability, let alone externally; but it is too big and too entrenched to be ousted. Yes the `big boys` will see depletion in their sales figures, as more corporates find better measures for larger scale recruitment, but they will still bill £billions collectively each year.

    I totally agree that the modern recruiter – usually the smaller one, with lighter feet and less baggage – will adapt to modern methods more effectively – and as you say, maybe more cost effectively.

    I dislike your proposed fee structure. Recruiters cannot recruit for retention, they can only recruit for cultural and skill set suitability at the time of recruiting, with a view to retention. Only the clients themselves can be actively responsible for effective retention. The minute we start charging on retention alone, is the minute clients start recruiting and sacking at will to cater for short term needs and save fee costs in the process.

    The essence of what we do ISN’T broken – otherwise we’d be struggling to make a living – but the methods of attraction are changing. If we adapt to those, and still deliver high quality time-saving specialist services, then the obituary writer can save his ink for the fax-machine-salesman, and never consider the recruitment professional.

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