Calling all HR departments – don’t hire talent alone!

HR departments think they’re being innovative by ignoring recruiters and reaching out to potential candidates direct on social networks. They are not. They’re wasting resources. If they really want to save time and money, they must hire a new generation recruiter.

According to the society of HR management, 84 per cent of companies are now using social media to recruit job seekers direct.

The reasons for this are many and varied, but among the most important is that they no longer believe traditional recruitment companies actually have the right talent in their network.

Companies are now wise to how old-school recruiters actually operate in the digital world. HR departments know that many conventional head-hunters sign-up to professional social networks and scroll through hundreds of unfiltered profiles to find candidates. They know recruiters are using a variety of off-the-shelf software tools and ‘clever’ search programmes to harvest talent (and their email addresses) from social networks. When a list of ‘talent’ has been formed, recruiters just cold call the people they’re interested in fire. Or fire-off a speculative email. Or reach out blind via a social messaging marketing tool. None of the latter are much more sophisticated than old-school cold-calling. And just as ineffective.

Away from social networks, HR departments are also fully aware that recruiters are project-based animals, deploying a weak business strategy to attract the talent they have promised their clients (but don’t have in their ‘database’). Once a recruiter wins an assignment, they place an advert on a jobs board, conjure up some simple social marketing and manage the responses from the active jobseekers who respond. And they take their time doing so! It’s a mode of business that has changed little in a 100 years.

Because they are wise to these poorly performing practices, and because many recruiters cannot offer a ‘live’ talent network, HR departments are going it alone.

Going it alone is problem-replication, not problem-solving

Cutting out a recruiter, however, doesn’t solve any problems for companies. HR departments still have to work-out where the talent is. Not an easy task, regardless of the claims of professional social networks and search software firms. Then there is the management and updating of the data from talent found. Even if they stumble across the right person, they don’t know if the person is remotely interested in changing jobs. Or interested in their company. Or has the time and resources to devote to the process. And let’s not even get into a candidate’s strict demands for anonymity.

In many respects, an in-house team’s attempts to engage in direct recruiting via professional social networks merely replicates the problems traditional recruiters face. Its costly, its time-consuming and it’s not guaranteed to succeed.

Most importantly, they will only be getting positive responses from circa 15% of the talent marketplace, namely those actively looking for a new job.

New generation recruiters are the only solution to your HR needs

If you really want to find the best talent you will need the best new recruiters.

They exist.

They are thriving in this new digital age.

These new generation recruitment companies have long realised that in the mobile-first, always-on digital age, recruitment is about building a live network of specialist contacts. To do this, they are marketing, networking, writing, blogging and projecting their own brand values – and the values of their clients – with every message and contact they make.

And while these recruiters target active jobseekers, their real focus is passive jobseekers – time-poor, talent-rich specialists who already have a job but are willing to contemplate new opportunities provided the conditions are right.

The best person to hire is a passive jobseeker

The best recruiters provide these conditions. They are attracting fantastic passive candidates to their network by employing simplicity, anonymity (crucial for someone already in a job) and specialists. Passive candidates can sign-up to the best recruitment networks in just 60 seconds (using their already existing social profiles). This talent is then immediately offered direct contact with a specialist recruiter in their specific sector. These specialist recruiters don’t just inform a passive jobseeker of the jobs he or she is trying to fill ‘right now’. They explain their client’s strategy, their client’s future needs, and the opportunities that will open up next week, next month, or next quarter. They message. They touch base. Often. It’s the only way to keep a network alive.

For their part, the passive talent in this network only has one task – to click the on-off button to indicate whether they wish to hear about an opportunity or not.

It’s all about the network stupid

So, if you’ve got a vacancy and you want the best talent, you really do need a recruiter.

But chose carefully. The project-based approach to filling a vacancy is dead. The database-driven recruitment game is over. Email harvesting is a waste of time. Crawling social networks with software programmes is ineffective.

Chose a recruiter with an in-bound passive-candidate network. A recruiter who markets your brand and their brand with a passion. A mobile-first recruiter who knows what it really means to cultivate a network of specialists.