Recruiters must evolve. That’s the mantra getting chanted with ever increasing volume around the blogs, speaking circuits and self serving espousals of supposed thought leaders of our industry.
It’s also a mantra I have subscribed to, and championed myself, for a number of years now. But has it got us anywhere?
Greg Savage (largely agency recruiter focused) says we must become marketeers. Paul Jacobs (more inhouse recruiter focused) says being marketeers isn’t enough and we must become even more immersive than that, maybe even gamers, creative designers, in order to snare our most prized prey.
Trade Me Jobs added video capability to their job listings this week. In a move akin to a recruitment agency announcing they are introducing a clever new concept, a 90 day placement guarantee!, this is hardly ground breaking stuff. But still, it provides recruiters another option (that SEEK has had for quite a while) to make their beseeching entreaties to the purple squirrels of the candidate world that little bit more creative, more immersive, more by design.
Still, very few recruiters are heeding this call to marketing arms. In reality the majority of in-house recruiters don’t have the budget, the wherewithal, or the basic desire to go to the effort of lifting themselves from their admin burdened funk and trying something different. Infographic anyone? Augmented Reality app guys? Nah, too busy with my compliance, sorry. As for agency recruiters, with our heads famously planted in the sand, it’s often put in the too hard basket, especially when the lure of placing a quick ad and making a quick fee still, incongruously enough, can actually still bear fruit.
The fact of the matter is that, whilst we pursue some Orwellian theory of Marketeer goood, Recruiter baaaaad, there’s actually plenty wrong with the world of marketing right now too. While we naval gaze at our supposedly “broken” recruitment model, there has been a piece of research from IBM revealing that 4 out of every 5 consumers feel that brands don’t behave as if they really know them. Something worth bearing in mind as we stumble blindly along our evolutionary paths towards more marketing-led recruiting.
I spied something on LinkedIn this morning from Madison that highlights the dichotomy faced by many recruiters seeking a new identity right now:
In my opinion this simple survey from Shereen really hits the nail on the head. All that glitters is not gold, and what we must never lose sight of, as recruiters, is how to actually bloody well recruit. Clever marketing campaigns, immersive branding, storytelling, apps, guerilla marketing all make you look forward-thinking, innovative and downright clever. But leading your horse to water is one thing. Recruiters still need to know how to make the horse drink.
Not for the first time, I defer the final point in this matter to the highly pertinent words of Matt Charney:
“Don’t believe that the changing marketplace or platforms have changed the fundamentals – and you should be investing in training people how to make a cold call, disposition a resume, write a job description or close a candidate, not buying a product aimed at automating recruiters into oblivion.”