Death of a Recruiter

This is part of a short series of posts based on a report we’ve just completed with Econsultancy, The Impact of Digital Beyond Sales and Marketing. It is a view from the ‘front line’ of recruitment and has been written by our Internal Recruiter Gloria Simpson.

As with other business sectors, recruitment and HR are not immune to the occasional hype that inevitably accompanies digital change.

Recently a feature piece in online media community site Chinwag declared the death of the Recruitment Consultant, while elsewhere it looks like recruitment advertising has been proclaimed dead on the table. The not so silent assassin in both cases? Social media, of course.

Look beyond the hype, however, and you can see this doesn’t ring entirely true.

Yes, some companies are finding their future employees through online ‘word of mouth’ referrals instead of simply handing over the responsibility to a recruitment agent (as identified in Blue Latitude’s recent research with Econsultancy) but the fact is that while you may need to recruit a new member of your digital marketing team through their usage of Twitter, the same is unlikely to apply – for example – to a new CFO, Accounts Payable Person or Personal Assistant.

The fact is that the future superstar of your business might be so busy being productive that they just don’t have the time to trawl through job boards, thus they find it easier to let a recruitment consultant assist them with their job search. They might not even be looking in the first place.

And as for those people (and this is particularly prevalent in those looking for roles in digital) who do use social media to drive their job search and wider career ambitions, there’s every chance you’ll encounter a particularly new recruitment problem: the socially-enhanced ‘pseudo CV’.

There has been a great deal of media attention given to employers who screen social media profiles in order make sure that the candidates whose CVs are in front of them are trying to conceal a life of debauched drinking and partying, but no one seems to look for the opposite.

Sometimes it seems that for every candidate out there frantically ‘untagging’ themselves from last weekend’s party photos on Facebook, there are two more, equally frantically updating their LinkedIn page with reciprocal recommendations from friends; making sure their Twitter feed portrays them as a guru of relevant re-tweetery; or even starting a professional blog.

Such is the way of the ‘pseudo CV’.

It’s to see through the acts that candidates (particularly those with a level of digital-savvy) can put-on in these days of digital masks and multiple identities that the intermediary service provided by a recruitment consultant can still help – by ensuring that a new breed of digitally empowered timewasters doesn’t get through the door.

So the recruitment industry isn’t dead yet, and neither is recruitment advertising.

The fact is, as my colleague Duncan Arbour likes to point out, that while the future is still unevenly distributed, the past is so widely distributed that it tends to blend into the background and be ignored in favour of what’s new and shiny.

What is required for any organisation looking to recruit is a balance of the old and new – it’s not about wholesale abandonment of business as usual, it’s about using the right approach to find the right people for the job.

On that note, if you are interested in working for Blue Latitude, you can find our current roles here; please just don’t try to fake a relevant social media CV, OK?

5 Responses to “Death of a Recruiter”

    • Evaggelos.K.Nassiou

      As a trainee lawyer I too have this gap between old age employees and the new ones. Well, this gap is easy to cover by companies if they start training programs for employees. I mean it’s easier when you know how to type on your keyboard fast without seeing it , than writing on a piece of paper. Seminars for old age emloyees are vital so they can be updated.

  1. notesfromrumbleycottage

    Here is the funny part of the ‘new’ technology – it is still possible to lie and bolster that resume. Oh, and another funny part? It is not going to totally replace what is already out there. Somethings will come and go only to be made a part of something else – such as typewriters. We don’t have them anymore but we have keyboards with the same key placement as typewriters. I do not think recruiters are ever going away or disappearing. They are going to find some other way of making the business work – especially if candidates are out there who do not want the appearance that they are ‘looking’ for another job.
    Good post and congrats on getting freshly pressed.

  2. Neil Watson

    This is so true. I hope my digital footprint is sufficiently off-putting as to rule out any organisation that relies on just this methodology alone. I lost out to a person for a role recently, pretty-much solely because he has 2,000 followers on Twitter.

    I bet I had more scout badges than him, but did they care?

  3. axiom121

    It’s an interesting artilce. I work for the local newspaper in Jacksonville FL, and I sell employment ads in the classified section of the paper. We have actually seen an increase of print ads for job psotings in our area.


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