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Why companies are still hiring recruitment consultants ?

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I found interesting to share some conclusions to a basic question : Why companies are still hiring recruitment consultants?

Back in the nineties, when the Internet was born, the first thing everyone told us was that our business recruitment unit will disappear,shortly. At the end of the day, why would  a company pay to other one to  find talents if  they may “just” post an open job notice on the web (for free) and reach “millions of people”?

The truth is, and it sounded logical: maybe we were onroute to run out an important part of our business. However, the key issue was  that all of them at that moment were considering information as a “value” , and were not considering the  real value of it: “trust” “experience” and “expertise”.

The process of change that we globally have experienced since the advent of the Internet and it’s a “free” model, has helped us to watch, from the “first row”, how information has become  just “data” or a  “commodity”, except in very specific industries with sensitive information.

It is strange and difficult today to have a business model based exclusively on “selling information”. If we review the talent recruitment market during the last 20 years, we can clearly identify five major stages, mainly based on technological changes but also including behavioral changes in the market:

 

Pre 1990: Press Release. Paper Resume. Fax. Databases as value.
1990-2000: The Internet was born:Online Jobs Posts. Online Resume application. Resumes by Email.
2000-2005: Global and Regional Job sites. Vertical Job sites. ATS (Application Tracking Systems) systems appear. Online update via multiple forms.
2005-2010: ATS systems prove to be too rigid for end users. Social networks begin to appear. Professional and personal profiles online.
2010-Present: Professionals Contacts networks available online. Lots of professional and personal information. Focus on  Personal Branding,Lots of information available on  candidates, recruiting company and the people already working at the company. Job Posts centralized search engines.

 

If we do a detailed analysis of each of the changes that emerged during these years, we can see that the biggest impact has been on how “information” is being distributed to the market as new technologies allow to have more efficient processes ( saving time and costs if used correctly). Obviously, the above is accompanied by a change of habits on the users . However, the core or heart of the service, trust, experience and expertise not only have not disappeared but has become more important than ever.

 

The Talent Recruitment Process, or as we prefer to call,  Talent Management, involves many more things than “information” or “data”:

Talent Management is the process to Attract, Search and Filter, Check and Select  a qualified person for a specific job position, within a specific organizational culture. The Fit is key.

Recruiting companies, like us, specialized in each and every part of this process, maintain our processes updated on new tools, human behavior trends, and the way people communicate.

Having  a specialized and updated process is key to having a successful recruitment and selection process. Whether outsourcing the entire process, part of the process, or working internally:  to have specific resources, training and dedication to this function is key. Today It is just not enough that “someone from HR” handles the recruitment process if there is not a proper expertise on the subject. Markets are global and competition too.

The role of a Corporate  Recruiter , is a key figure in  today´s organizations that are serious about talent management. This Corporate  Recruiter  Entity  or the recruiting company act as a pivot between areas or people involved in the process: Hiring Manager, Human Resources and Job Seekers.

Working also on the client’s  company branding is crucial at a time where information is everywhere. Not only do organizations want to hear from the candidates, the candidates want to know more about the organizations, and they want to have answers within a proper time frame. Key talent has taken a much more sensible position and are demanding a much more consistent treatment : respect for their times and clear communication during the process.

Today, more than ever, the trend is that the best candidate or candidates have gone from being in  active mode to being in a passive mode during the recruiting process. Most of the time the best talents are not actively involved in a job search process , therefore,  not only find but establishing a successful communication requires a proper strategy. While current tools allow us to contact them in a faster way, its treatment and management play a key role for a successful end.

We also work with the client company to define what the real needs are. Most of the times, by the time we start a recruiting process , the real needs are not clear on the client’s company. This is normal and it is part of the added value that Recruiting Companies  should provide as a Consulting  Firm : data, ideas and common sense. We must turn our experience and market knowledge to the client and help them to understand the current situation and the available alternatives.

That’s where our value is today: from a much more objective point of view we understand the organizational culture of the client and manage the “how fit”  between a potential applicant and the client company. Using all the available tools, and global networks, we provide a proven workflow to achieve the best results within the shortest time, usually no more than 10 days.

We don´t have yet  the robots to do this kind of quality work: a delicate balance between business process and art. Maybe in the future, but not today.

 

Author: Pablo Weyler