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Is this the Death of Recruiting as we know it?

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

Having owned & operated a recruiting firm for nearly 15 years now, I’ve seen numerous articles try to address this question from a variety of paths.  AI2Early on, the thought was that Monster & CareerBuilder were going to all but eliminate recruiters, then came along social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc.  From there, we’ve seen Indeed, LinkedIn, and even the hiring of external recruiters to join corporations and do the work internally.  Now we’re hearing about AI (artificial intelligence) and the impact it will have on recruiting.

Have all these things changed recruiting – sure – but have they eliminated the need for recruiters?  

No – it has and continues to force the bottom feeders out and it is becoming much more sophisticated, but it has not eliminated the need for a true professional recruiter.

Before I answer the question “Is this the Death of Recruiting?”, I want to squash a perception that is out there that recruiters get paid for finding a person.  While this may be the net result, what is forgotten about is the “art of recruiting”.  There are sourcing geniuses out there who can match keywords with the best of them. This is only one element of the recruiting process.    The great recruiters are ones that can handle the challenge of dealing with two sides and keeping the process moving forward.  They are a coaches, confidants, psychologists, friends and should ultimately be the “voice of reason.”

The death of recruiting has already started and will continue to progress forward as we see a shift in supply & demand from a jobs & candidates standpoint.  Call it tension or a perfect storm but it is here.  AI3For years, most companies have taken an arrogant posture to recruiting.  They have created one-way interview processes that focuses on “why should we hire this person or why should we not hire this person.”  Well I’m here to tell you that there’s a rude awakening for most companies large and small.  While high-potentials have always had options, you are going to find that those who are not considered high-potentials are going to demand more from companies due to them having more options as well.

How can a recruiter improve their game?

  1. Most recruiters have focused on getting orders from companies and then sourcing candidates from the market. Recruiters are going to need to shift and focus as much, if not more attention on the individuals and build strong relationships with them.  A talent agent of sort like we tend to see in sports.
  2. Recruiters are going to have to qualify potential customers even tighter up front and ensure they can successfully help them company acquire talent.  We at TYGES have traditionally turned down 25% to 30% of potential business for a variety of reasons. AI5I expect this number to rise so we can focus on working with companies who are serious about talent and are making adjustments to their process in order to better fit the market conditions.  I have a saying that goes “It’s as important to know what you’re NOT going to work on as what you will work on.”
  3. Recruiters will need to turn away individuals who are not serious about their career and lack a true game plan.   We cannot help everyone.

What can individuals do?

  1. Manage your career.  We put business plans together for business ideas.  Why not put a career plan together for your career?  This career plan can help guide you as you begin to get calls from companies and/or recruiters to ensure that it meets your criteria both personally & professionally.AI4
  2. Partner with a professional recruiter in your space. Build a long-term relationship with them and stay connected with them throughout your career.
  3. Don’t jump company to company – get promotions internally.  Don’t expect them – earn them.
  4. Stay humble – nobody likes a jerk.
  5. Stay focused on your overall plan.  While being pursued is flattering make sure it lines up with your career plan.

What can companies do?

  1. This is where a major overhaul is due.  It starts with posture & culture.  First and foremost, keep the talent you have.  It’s so much easier to keep people than having to go the market and get them and it costs a lot more money.  Invest in the Talent Development & Retention process and be deliberate about it.  This needs to become one of the top 3 priorities for a CEO.AI6
  2. Build the farm system; spend time, money, energy, etc. on getting people in to college internships and learning to train these people up in to roles.   It is so much more fruitful and profitable than having to buy talent.  It gives you a sustainable edge over other companies.
  3. Whether you need to go to the market to recruit or recruit internally, change your posture.  I’m not saying eliminate challenging interviews.  The best talent want to be truly interviewed.  I’m saying speed up the process. I’m saying sell the company and yourself as much as you expect the interview candidate to sell themselves.  Show them that the most effective marriage is one where two parties come together and want each other.
  4. Be proactive. Most companies wait until a resignation to start the hiring process when if they just look their business plan and align it to trends in promotions, resignations, retirements, etc. this becomes a predictable math equation.  In today’s world, once a need is recognized it’s already too late.  The amount of productivity/costs lost during this process is much higher than hiring all the time and bringing people in to the organization even when there’s not a open requisition.

So the death of recruiting is not caused by a new job board or the latest and greatest social media tool, but rather a change in supply & demand without adjusting to market conditions.  We will all change eventually – the question is, will you proactively change or will  you miss the mark and lose ground to leading recruiters, people, and companies?  I go back to an article I read in 2003 that stated that profitable companies with a great product & processes will go out of business because they do not know how to acquire, onboard, and retain Talent.

This is just one man’s opinion. I would appreciate your feedback.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.


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