There has been a lot of chatter lately about how changes that are coming down from Linkedin as well as other major social networks are going to be the end of agency recruiters. There has been more chatter also regarding how the third part recruiter is no longer needed. I say, really? While I applaud the internal recruiters that make it to the top of their game. Those who successfully market their openings, do a great job of sourcing, contacting, interviewing, negotiating, and on-boarding deserve great credit. This is really one of the parts of the discussion I agree with: in house recruiters are getting better at it, and have more tools to get it done. But, the idea that the third party recruiter is going by the wayside because of a job board, social network, or any new technology is naive and well, dumb.
I remember the first time I heard this negative statement. For me it was when email became hot. At the beginning email was seen as the new super communication tool that would allow clients and candidates to contact each other in private. No longer would the recruiter who was faxing resume’s be needed. Candidates would contact clients themselves over the World Wide Web and not longer would agency recruiters be needed. Uh, yeah. Killed us. Somehow I was making placement after placement.
Then the big one. The killer of all killers. The job board. What! A new way for candidates and clients to contact each other quickly and easily, privately and without the need for a pesky recruiter? Taps was playing, Monster and Careerbuilder were growing, and I was making placement after placement.
And now, yet once again, a new enemy of the recruiter was coming. (Hear Ominous Bells Ring!) Social networks were going to end the industry forever. Linkedin, Facebook, and social networks that are focused on skill sets are going to be the end. These websites are going to build internal networks and job search functions that will put candidates and clients in touch with each other quickly, easily, and privately. No longer will that pesky recruiter emailing his resume and candidate profile be necessary. Well that is it for me, an agency recruiter. I am turning off my phone. Shutting off my internet. Closing my business and going home. Why go on? How could I combat this? I guess by making placement after placement.
I appreciate those recruiters who write these posts. They want publicity. They want to be read and want to stir the pot. Or they want to create fear and prop themselves up a bit. OK, I get it. But the fault with this logic is the assumption that the need for talented recruiters who work as an outsourcing function to an undermanned HR department, or as an asset to an overburdened CEO, would simply go away. Yes, some internal recruiters will be able to do a better job and get greater results. Especially the talented ones. However in my experience candidates enjoy the interaction I have with them. The want my market knowledge, advice on how to interview for the position, and my negotiating skills when it comes to contract time. My clients want the same thing. Someone to help them with a process. Someone working on it full time.
The bottom line is that the “recruiting is dead” hysteria is unfounded. Until every company, hospital, start up, and non profit hire a full time staff of recruiters to fill their current openings, there will always be a need for agency recruiting talent. Maybe the herd will get thinned out a little. Some of those that give recruiters a bad name may go away. But I am sure that the need will remain as along as humans need humans to do human things. And recruiters, internal and external, will continue to make placements after placements.
By Noel Cocca
Partner and CEO of RecruitingDaily.com LLC - Fan of good recruiting talk, seeker of gadgets and adoring father of my kids. When the screen goes dark you can find him coaching baseball, downhill skiing, or looking for ways to make life easier for his wife.
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