So many things were supposed to replace recruiters. The Internet was supposed to replace recruiters. Then big job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder were supposed to replace them. During the past few years, social media (specifically LinkedIn) was supposed to do the job.
But recruiters are still here.
Why is that? Well, the answer is actually rather simple:
Recruiters provide value to their clients that the Internet, job boards, and social media (including LinkedIn) do not provide. Let’s explore that recruitment value, shall we?
Recruitment value vs. mistaken assumptions
There is a reason why “conventional wisdom” dictated that all of these things were going to run recruiters right out of business. That reason basically boils down to a set of mistaken assumptions. Those assumptions are as follows:
- There’s really no difference between active job seekers and passive candidates.
- You can hire the same caliber of candidate without a recruiter than you can with a recruiter.
- Identifying a potential candidate is the same thing as hiring that candidate. (Or at the very least, once you identify them, it should be relatively easy to hire them.)
- All you have to do to source quality candidates is post a job on the Internet, and they’ll come running.
As a recruiter, you probably laughed out loud over the absurdity of these assumptions. None of them are true, of course, but has not stopped certain people from believing them. However, since they weren’t true (and will never be true), that’s why the Internet, job boards, and social media have not been able to eradicate recruiters.
So to illustrate recruitment value, let’s debunk the four myths presented above:
#1—There’s really no difference between active job seekers and passive candidates.
There IS a difference. Active job seekers may or may not be employed. Passive candidates are almost always employed. In addition, passive candidates typically represent the best candidates in the marketplace. That’s because their current employers are keeping them both busy and happy. Or happy enough. Because active job seekers initially want a new job more than passive candidates, employers often make the mistake of believing that active job seekers should be given preference. While it might be true that is overall easier to hire active job seekers, that does not necessarily mean they are better in quality than passive candidates.
#2—You can hire the same caliber of candidate without a recruiter than you can with a recruiter.
This misnomer “piggy backs” off the previous one. If there’s no real difference between active job seekers and passive candidates, then you should be able to hire the same caliber of candidates if you only focus on active job seekers. And do you necessarily need recruiters to uncover active job seekers. No, you do not. But since we already debunked myth #1, this myth is also debunked.
#3—Identifying a potential candidate is the same thing as hiring that candidate.
Or as stated above, once you identify a potential candidate, it should be relatively easy to hire them. This is also tied closely to the active job seeker vs. passive candidate debate. According to this ever-growing “myth cluster,” on you identify a candidate, you’re identifying an active job seeker, which is just as good as a passive candidate. And since they’re an active job seeker, they’re motivated to find a new job, which means they’re motivated to work for the organization with the open position. Which means they’re as good as hired. Not!
#4—All you have to do to source quality candidates is post a job on the Internet, and they’ll come running.
Well, active job seekers will come running, but passive candidates will not. In fact, passive candidates will not even see the Internet job posting. That’s because they’re not actively seeking a new job. And if many of the best candidates in the marketplace are passive candidates, that means many of the top candidates in the marketplace are not seeing the employer’s Internet job posting. The bottom line: if an organization relies solely on job postings, then they can only hire the best candidate who responds to their posting and NOT the best candidate who actually exists in the marketplace.
Multiple forms of recruitment value
So when it comes to the value that recruiters can provide to organizations, that recruitment value can be defined and measured in a variety of ways. Or put it another way, there are a number of different ways that recruiters provide value to their clients that the Internet, job boards, and social media do not. Those ways include the following:
#1—Knowing who the best candidates are.
Recruiters already know who these candidates are, and it doesn’t matter if they’re active job seekers or passive candidates. (Most of the time, they’re passive candidates.) Whereas hiring managers would have to expend a ton of time and energy trying to find said candidates, that is not the case with recruiters.
#2—Being able to contact those candidates quickly.
Knowing who the top candidates are and knowing where they are constitute two different things. Recruiters already have the contact information of the top candidates. That way, they can reach out to them quickly when they have an opportunity that might interest them.
#3—Presenting the opportunity to those candidates.
Presenting an employment opportunity to a candidate is an acquired skill. It’s not just a “simple phone call.” This is especially the case when you’re dealing with passive candidates, who, as we’ve stated, already have a job and are being kept relatively happy by their current employer.
#4—Convincing the candidate to pursue the opportunity.
There is where REAL recruitment value becomes evident. That’s because when the person picks up the phone, they have no idea that the employment opportunity exists. As a result, they are not pursuing that opportunity in any way, shape, or form. It’s the recruiter who convinces them to do so. It’s the recruiter who . . . recruits them!
And that’s the value that recruiters provide to employers. It should be part of a recruiting agency’s value proposition, and that proposition should be communicated to clients and potential clients in as many different ways as possible and as often as possible.
Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars on our website. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.
Industry trainer Amy Bingham of Bingham Consulting Professionals has a webinar video on the Top Echelon website that can help with the dilemma posed in this blog post. The title of that video is “Thinking Ahead: 3 Musts to Building Your Firm’s Value.”
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
- Big Biller recruiting software
- Top Echelon split network
- Top Echelon Contracting contract placement services
For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.