If you look at the last 10 or 15 years and the list of technology changes that have come to recruitment, it is amazing that the list has not impacted recruitment agencies even more. There are some recruitment organization basics that seem to remain firmly in place despite the pace of change inside and around recruiting. Here are the things that I see:
- The telephone is a powerful tool. Yes, the phone is what moves candidates from passive to active, from prospect to client, and from candidate to employee. While a recruitment organization might be able to complete a placement without LinkedIn, Monster or your ATS/CRM system (even if difficult), an agency probably cannot make a placement without the use of the telephone. With the advent of mobile recruiting and smart phones, the telephone will grow even more in significance as the tool to recruit, but for a completely different set of reasons.
- Candidates are the grease that keeps recruitment moving. Sure nothing happens without a job opening…I know…but jobs ebb and flow based on external conditions and the economy. Without a candidate, the process grinds to a halt. The pendulum has swung in favor of candidates once again. I hear of multiple offers and many turndowns for prized candidates with the right skills. The best candidates have a list of recruitment agencies in hot pursuit.
- HR is slow to move. Clients read the newspaper too much. Clients believe they are in the position of strength because they are offering a job during times of significant unemployment. The client expects to have their pick of great candidates. Recruiters know the best candidates are frequently employed and require a darn good reason to make a change. While clients ask to see “just 3 more candidates,” the real prize candidate has accepted a job with the competitor or has taken the counteroffer.
- The resume/CV is still the currency of recruitment. Personally I have been involved in the vetting of candidates for a position. We have one candidate with a well-known industry track record, yet I still wanted a resume. To me it is the price of inclusion. I do not believe you will change jobs or accept my position if you lack the passion to create your CV/resume. I can use a LinkedIn profile or some detail pulled from Facebook, but until you give me that standardized resume (that has been the currency of recruiting since long before my time), I am not convinced you are a serious candidate.
- When things get tough, clients turn to recruiters. Clients have worked to remove recruitment agencies from the list of tools used to complete a hire. They use in-house recruiters, job boards, social media, and a dozen other tools and techniques. But when all else fails, as it often will in a candidate-driven market, clients call a recruitment agency. If recruiters continue to perform, this too will be slow to change!
I welcome your point of view; please comment or add to the list.