LONG LIVE THE RECRUITER!
It has become easy to search for jobs and prospective employers online. You can upload a CV to hundreds of recruitment sites that will attempt to ‘match’ you with roles that are appropriate to your experience, and there are countless recruitment sites out there that allow you to set up e-mail notifications to inform you of new opportunities as soon as they arise. Great, right?
So, does this mean that the professional recruiter has a limited future?
By no means. At the heart of any professional recruitment firm, there are a series of core principles: finding the right person for the right job at the right time and within the right economic criteria. Delivering against any one of these principles is, in reality, a challenge of some magnitude.
The right person for the right job
Recruitment professionals spend years developing their talent matching skills to find candidates the right job. No online employment ‘matching’ algorithm could ever hope to factor in the myriad facets of cultivating a relationship; understanding candidate’s values and needs; their suitability to different organisations and roles; and the mentoring and coaching necessary to ensure that they present themselves in the best possible light.
Nothing can ever replace the face-to-face meeting between recruiter and candidate. With such a high percentage of communication being non-verbal, this gains far more than a telephone call, email or social media conversation. Similarly, online resources do not offer screening or checking; verifying credentials and references quite commonly identifies candidates who may have been economical with the truth. Most importantly, the entire face to face interview process will allow the recruiter to accurately filter and match; a process otherwise falling to the client to handle – at considerable cost.
Cultivating and maintaining relationships with employers requires enormous effort and culture understanding. Trust is built through long-term performance, with professional recruiters consistently demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the skills and team fit required by employers. In the ideal world, an employer would interview only one candidate for a given role, so good is the fit. It does happen – but rarely with candidates sourced through online mediums.
The right time
Some recruiters appear to have an almost uncanny ability to pre-empt employer requirements or changes in market conditions. A happy coincidence? Rarely. Industry professionals devote a great deal of time to researching the job market and the demand for specific skills or in specific sectors. As a result, when a need arises, the recruiter will almost invariably have appropriate contacts within their talent pool, actively seeking a new role. Online resources, in contrast, will tend to have to diffuse pools of active searchers.
Time is money
The vast majority of employers are time poor. They have teams and businesses to run. Strong candidates are usually in the same position. Time is quite literally money for both parties. Any failure in the pre-screening, verification and matching processes is expensive for all concerned. And professional recruiters’ fees pale into insignificance in the face of a poorly conceived hire.
The internet is an excellent medium for building the talent pool; for advertising positions; and for initiating contact. Professional firms have a strong web presence which adds value, attracting and retaining high calibre candidates and clients alike through the provision of information on trends, salaries and industry-specifics, together with a range of tips, techniques and advisory material. But can the internet alone economically deliver against any of these core principles? Of course not.