Internet Killed the Recruiting Rock Star

ThinkstockPhotos-179250103We live in an amazing time of electronic convenience and instant gratification.  You can video chat with a friend on the other side of the world, order almost anything imaginable and have it arrive at your doorstep within days — even hours (Task Rabbit, anyone?), attend classes at a university in another country or even use a computer to search for “true love.”

Technology is evolving at lightning speed and in some cases the efficiency of automation is replacing the effectiveness of interaction. But in our rush to speed things up, we must make sure we do not end up with quicker processes that produce diminishing results.

I have seen first-hand the incredible advances technology has brought to the recruiting industry while at the same time witnessing the degradation of a core principal in recruiting: Leverage your deep understanding of both your clients’ needs and candidates’ qualifications and desires, to create a lasting and meaningful match.

When you dissect recruiting and get beyond the job descriptions and resumes, you are left with the core of what a recruiter and a candidate should be working toward — finding a match for the candidates’ personal and professional goals.

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There is a transactional sterility that has developed as internet recruiting has become the method of choice.  Many times a candidate’s initial identification as a potential match is the result of an algorithm identifying keywords and then auto-ranking the candidate’s suitability for a job. Imagine the challenge a job seeker faces encapsulating the sum of their experiences into a neatly formatted, often bulleted, two-page resume. The truth is, many systems can screen for “match” but aren’t equipped to screen for “fit.”

Should the candidate be lucky enough to make the automated cut, then they might get contacted by a recruiter.  You would think, at this point, the candidate would be assessed for the role and deep discussion would be had around suitability of the role and the suitability of the candidate for the client. But all too often there is a shallow, cursory conversation around sentences in the candidates resume and then the obligatory salary questions.Recruiters must remember the goal should always be to successfully place a candidate in a job.  The rigidity of metrics and the blur of automated job distribution has caused recruiters to lose sight of this goal.

Recruiters should re-train their minds to stop focusing on keywords and start picking up the phone, determined to have great conversations with great candidates about what they are qualified to do and what is important to them personally and professionally.

The formula should be closer to match-making than assembling a camping tent.  Searching for a job is awkward for many people and a recruiter should place the candidate at ease and help them feel confident in their skills to help find the right position.

Once recruiting professionals can admit we have a problem, we can begin to take very simple steps to remedy it.  Here are a few reminders to get us all back on track:

  • The value in recruiting is not the job you’re trying to fill, it is the job you do.
  • Algorithms cannot replace an experienced recruiter’s ability to read a resume
  • An email is NEVER better than a phone call — it should be used to enable the phone call
  • The square peg will not fit in the round hole and even of you can get it in there, it won’t stay
  • Each candidate is a real person and deserves to be treated like one
  • Recruiters maintaining communication with a candidate is the exception to the rule, so give it a try and you will quickly find you are an exceptional recruiter

The ease and convenience of the electronic age has done wonders for professions around the world. The artist who creates with the paintbrush is just as gifted as the one who creates with the computer mouse. The recruiting industry is no different. We must not sacrifice the art of recruiting for the science of recruiting- they can and should co-exist. Each recruiter should seamlessly blend the two together to better help the right people find the right jobs.

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Matt Chamberlain
Matt Chamberlain is executive director, delivery/recruiting operations of Digital Intelligence Systems LLC (DISYS).


Matt Chamberlain is executive director, delivery/recruiting operations of Digital Intelligence Systems LLC (DISYS).

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  1. […] In this article featured in Staffing Industry Analysts, Chamberlain discusses how the recruiters can overcome the sometimes impersonal feel of the internet and really get to the bottom of a customer’s needs when searching for the perfect candidate. Chamberlain encourages an ever-personal touch and a passion for finding the right person for every engagement. […]

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