The Death of Recruitment

Recruitment’s dead they say. And if not dead, then dying.

If you close your eyes, you can hear annoyed candidates faintly screaming in the dark welcoming the oncoming tide. Possibly the same people who’ll take to the streets with burning torches when a robot first calls them to ‘explore their current situation’.

They say Rock n Roll’s died. And since ‘they’ made the claim, has there been another Beatles?


So maybe they’re right? Maybe it is dead?

Thing is, we have had other kinds of rock n roll. Thousands of other kinds. Perhaps not the drug-swilling, bat eating, classic bands we churned out in the 60’s. But new kinds. New genres, more exciting and cross dimensional than the original.

The beauty of the music industry today? Diversification.

We don’t want normal rock n roll. We’ve seen it. We’ve heard it. We want rock stars sure. But socially responsible rock stars. More fighting for equality, fewer dead bats.

Rock n roll hasn’t died. It’s just morphed into a new beast. A more exciting one.

The same could be said of recruitment.

As the world of recruitment evolves, agency rock stars (or recruiters if you’re old school) need to adapt too. Unless you have commission in the bank at McCartney levels, in which case, let it be.

In terms of size, the industry’s growing at a staggering rate.

However, it’s also evolving so it’s important to adapt your strategy. I mean, if Mr McCartney’s still putting out genre-bending albums at 76, surely you can try a tweet?

Here’s how to revive your recruitment career so you never have to wing it. 

Global Skills Shortage

With the recovery of global economies, the emergence of new industries and the start-up economy booming, there’s an added pressure on hiring. Many people still believe there’s a global shortage of talent.

For Recruiters, this means a shift from job-driven landscape to candidate led one. The best candidates are becoming much harder to engage, meaning recruiters need to up their game in order to succeed. How long are you hoping entitled job adverts with little-to-no attraction are going to be acceptable?

There’s a sea of noise online these days. If you’re not continuously different, you’ll drown.

Rocker Grey Smoke

Passive is easier than active

The most successful recruiters in a candidate-driven market are the ones with a wide, thriving talent communityAnd in 2019 and the best Recruiters understand this.

Not just wide in variation, but with the best talent. A network you know. A network you meet, face to face. Regularly.

But here’s the clincher… having 15,000 followers on LinkedIn is great. But if 97% of those people have absolutely no relevance to your job, what’s the point?

Equally, you can’t rely on a network of ‘active talent’. It’s far too much hard work and a network of passive talent is worth investing time in.

Your focus needs to be on earning trust and credibility. This means they’ll be open to hearing about relevant opportunities when they’re not actively seeking a move.

There’s no shortcut here, you need to put in the hours to meet a LOT of people. Build relationships and don’t just chase the quick wins. 

Build your own pod

There’s a lot of talk about pods these days. And rightfully so. Mouth-breathing luddites liking and commenting in their thousands is enough for you to wonder whether there’s any weight in joining one.

The answer, weirdly… is yes.

It’s definitely worth being in a pod for engagement and attraction online. Just, perhaps not one of the fabricated, unintuitive fabrications you find sharing struggle porn or Cheddar videos.

If you’re authentic online. If you show your true self and have a legitimate offering to the world (you do)… you’ll find yourself part of a pod of your own making. A pod invested in your content. A pod, in everything but name.

Only the benefit of this pod is… lower your standard, or step outside ‘reasonable’ (like blatant clickbait for example), and they’ll tell you. Which in turn will help you stay relevant.

What engagement are you after?

Engagement is a word which covers all manner of sins.

I sometimes post nonsense on LinkedIn. There’s no point other than humour. I don’t want anything, nor am I hoping someone will call me the next Tim Denning. In fact I’d give up if they did.

But what nonsense posts do is grow an audience. If you can make someone smile, the next time you post, they’ll be more inclined to read. And if they’re more inclined to read, they’re more inclined to engage in the way you want.

For recruiters, the number one engagement you can hope for is a job application. Assuming you post a job ad.

But to make every single post you throw into the ether a job ad means your network will only come to you when they’re active.

And that’s not going to get you far in your advertising. You need to offer more. Be more present. Then when you do advertise, your carefully honed engagement pod will help in your quest.

The Candidate’s King 

In a candidate-led market, candidates hold all the cards. What this means for you is that you need to be able to build trust fast, or risk losing out on the best people. And therefore the placements that ensue.

For a long time, the client was king in recruitment. They had the keys to the city in terms of candidates, terms of business and ways of working. Not any more.

Without the candidate, there’s no fee.

Today, you need to improve your candidate experience or risk jeopardising long-term relationships.

Shift to online

Social media and social networking have revolutionised the recruitment landscape.

Social media is already one of the biggest players in your recruitment strategy. Whether that’s just putting a status on LinkedIn to attract a candidate. Or, any of the one or two other social media platforms.

Now, more than ever, candidates are taking control of their job search, using social media and mobile devices.

‘Social fluency’ is no longer a luxury but a must-have for recruitment success. 

Adidas Yeezy

Build your brand 

Marketing is an increasingly important skill for recruiters. This means marketing your personal brand to candidates as a long-term career partner.

Your personal brand is you. In every single piece of communication you partake in you’re actively marketing yourself. This brand will stay with you (for better or worse) for the rest of your career.

Recruiters should be using social media to develop their personal brand, build their network and enhance their reputation. Even if you’re not creating original content, share, comment and curate other people’s to maintain online activity levels and ensure you are front of mind for candidates and clients.

In the future, if you don’t regularly prune your already strong personal brand you’re at a serious disadvantage, no matter who you work for. 

The human touch 

Paradoxically, the more technology advances in the recruitment world, the more important the human touch becomes. Everything you do needs to be authentic and personalised. Coming across as genuine is critical to building trust in the service you offer.

This way, something you do physically will back up what you say digitally. And the recognition of your personal brand will become inherently positive by your entire network.

Sell without selling

When the best candidates have multiple job offers to consider, the ability to coax, persuade, and influence is crucial. The best recruiters are able to impact people’s decisions without ever being pushy or overzealous.

There’s no shortcut to really understanding candidates and clients. If someone’s not comfortable leaving their career success in your hands, they won’t be doing it. And rightfully so.

The recruiters who ask the right questions and listen to understand motivations and aspirations in the decision making process will be the ones who can influence further down the line. Securing that all important placement for candidate and client.

You can always enhance your sales ability. So make sure you’re actively seeking out areas to improve and training opportunities to keep you ahead of the competition.

Three Rockers

Maximise your time

Recruitment has always been a full-on job. The best recruiters’ biggest limitation is the number of hours in a day. The more efficient your process, the better recruiter you can be.

You need to be a sales person, a marketer, a social media expert, a networker, a content creator, a project manager… and understanding how to prioritise and balance your time is more important than ever.

I write an entire ‘Recruiter Hacks‘ series for Hunted and every week send a weekly Recruiter email out to thousands of people, with new tools to assist their career. There are so many ways to be better now. A lot of them are free and far more interesting than phone bashing.

If you’re a Recruiter and are working now, in the same way you have been for the last ten years, you’re missing a trick. Honestly. You shouldn’t have a paper day plan. You shouldn’t be just perusing job boards in the hope of a good candidate.

The holy trinity of your database, LinkedIn and email might have worked up until now, but is the equivalent of a Marshall stack amp. It’ll get the job done, but you’ll want a bigger effects board if you’re to prolong your ‘Recruitment Rock Star’ career.

Want to prolong it more than the next few years? Stick with Hunted, we’ve got your ticket to ride.

After all, recruitment’s dead don’t you know.