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Abba – A Recruiter’s Lament


Guest post by Elkie Holland from Prospectus IT Recruitment.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the lyrics of “Ring Ring”  by Abba from 1973.  Listen to it again now and visualise a Recruiter sitting at their desk having advertised their latest job and waiting for the star candidate to call them.

I (recruiter) sit and wait and wonder about you (quality candidate)
It’s a dark and dreary night
Seems like nothing’s going right
(no placements)
Won’t you tell me how can I go on here without you?
(no quality candidate = no placement)

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

Is this a sad visualisation or a stark reality or perhaps a prophesy about to come true ?

Well, times have changed dramatically in the recruiting world and if Recruiters don’t change with it, they may well be sitting there singing this song.

You were here and now you’re gone
Hey did I do something wrong?

To be honest, the Recruiter may not have done something wrong, but they certainly aren’t doing things right if they’re still stuck with the mind-set of 1973 i.e. drafting up a nice little advert, placing it in the newspaper or trade magazine and sitting back and waiting for dozens of quality candidates to give them a call to tell them how great they are for their vacancy. 

Now I know 1973 seems a long time ago, and most many reading this won’t have been born then let alone been Recruiting at that time !  However, recruiting was still like this up until not so very long ago, except adverts were placed on the job boards rather than in newspapers or magazines.

Tell me, are we really through?
Won’t you hear me cry and you will know that my heart is breaking

The answer to this is that Recruiters are not finished.  They are still needed.

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Recruiters need to adapt and move with the times.  Unless you’ve been hiding under rock, then you’ll have realised that Social Media has arrived and it’s here to stay.   Social Media has turned the Recruiting world on its head.  Recruiters are being forced to ‘hunt’ for quality candidates rather than just rely on ad response and waiting for their phone to ring.

It’s not that quality candidates are all hiding or don’t have phones and never reply to adverts but they are now being approached in a variety of different ways.  Therefore, they don’t always need to hunt vacancies on job boards and respond to adverts.  If a quality candidate has a LinkedIn profile, chances are they get a half a dozen or so In-mails a week starting with  ……. “I hope you don’t mind the approach, but I found your details on LinkedIn and wondered if you would be able to help me/be interested in etc”.    They may also have a Facebook profile and have been sent a personal message, or have been contacted via their Twitter account.  So candidates are being served opportunities in more ways than just traditional advertising from recruitment agencies and direct employers !

Won’t you please understand the need in me
So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

So, if you’re a Recruiter and you’re just sitting waiting for the star quality candidate to call you, then this song could be your song very soon !   Instead of you lamenting that the candidates “understand the need in you” and that they “call” you,  perhaps you should understand the needs of the candidate and go to them.

1973 was a great place to be a recruiter (and so was 1983, 1993 and 2003) but times have changed and you need to change too.  2012 is still a great time to be a Recruiter but you need to adapt to the exciting changes of the time.

To summarise: 

I am not saying job boards are dead, I am saying that Recruiters are no longer needed.  What I am saying is that Recruiters need to do more and get Social if they wish to avoid adopting the Abba song “Ring Ring” as their Lament  !

One comment on “Abba – A Recruiter’s Lament

  1. Spot on!

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