I got told I was “old school and ancient” at a recruitment seminar last week. I have to say it made me smile, especially when later in the conversation the guy used the word “dinosaur”. He said that technology is and will continue to change the recruitment industry in every way to the point of not needing “traditional recruiters” like me.
So I brushed off my spurs and swung myself up on my really high horse to deliver my belief, and hopefully that of a few others, that technology will never replace recruitment completely. It is and it has changed the identification, screening and interviewing element most certainly but it will never do the actual recruiting. For that you need to have built meaningful face-to-face relationships in order to have the difficult conversations about counter offers, as well as offer and acceptance negotiations. So with technology the identification part of the recruitment process will, I agree become easier. The actual recruitment part will become harder and harder because of the lack of engagement at the beginning of the process.
The really good candidate pools (which are also shrinking by the way) are people who have both options as well as opinions. Going back to counter offers as an example, more and more candidates are building a better understanding of their worth these days through the use of the internet and social networking sites. As those talent pools get smaller and the candidate knowledge gets better (that’s a good thing by the way) you will see more and more counter offers. In order to navigate counter offers you need to have great relationships with candidates and clients alike. You won’t get these from technology, they’re old school skills, learned and honed over the years by great recruiters or dinosaurs if you want to call them that.
Nowadays it is easier to hide behind technology rather than do things in person. In my last role I used to sit next to a guy who would email me rather than talk to me because it was easier he said. We all do it. We text, we email, we instant message. You need technology in your recruitment model but you also need human interaction. That in itself is nothing new but the skills are maybe dying out as the new breed of key search recruiters with a distinct lack of consulting skills and even sometimes a lack of technology skills are ushered in. If you need me I’ll be in Jurassic Park.