Recruitment is an industry that is heavily subsidised – not by the EU, before you start penning tirades to your MEP – but by successful placements, which subsidise the huge amount of time spent on roles, hunting down and chatting candidates that lead nowhere. Contingent (success-based) fees can be 20-30% of a candidate’s first year salary. That fee often subsidises a number of other searches (a lot of work) that leads to nothing.
Traditionally, recruiters have dealt with this problem through volume. Even today, many of the recruiters I visit focus on maximizing call numbers, in the hope that if they throw enough
shit… candidates against the wall, some of it will stick.
Imagine how much time is wasted each day by recruiters researching and calling candidates who are completely unsuitable – either because they don’t fit the job description, or because they wouldn’t do the role, no matter how silver-tongued the recruiter? An hour or two a day, per person? Times that by the number of recruiters in the world and we’re probably talking millions of hours a day, wasted. In addition, that research and those calls don’t merely waste the caller’s time, but also the prospective candidates contacted. Ouch.
If you times the amount of hours candidates spend fending off recruiter calls and deleting emails by their hourly rates, recruiters probably waste our economies millions and millions of dollars a day. It’s no wonder recruiters are so unpopular.
I’d suggest much of the negative press recruiters receive (as Greg Savage and Jim Stroud note, just type “recruiters are” into google and have a look at the autosuggestions) is because of the pressure on them to maximize their number of calls in a day. The reason – so they can wade through these prospective candidates in order to find a needle in the haystack – someone suitable, ready to talk to a recruiter and willing to move.
It’s also no wonder recruiters have such a high turnover rate (the highest of any industry, some say), as to be on the receiving end of such negativity, coupled with the ‘boiler room’ environments many face, isn’t pleasant.
At 3Sourcing, we believe that sourcing isn’t just about finding suitable candidates in a targeted and efficient manner, but also arming the recruiter with enough information to make a considered approach to a suitable, willing candidate. Excellent sourcing tools and skills could, better still should, help recruiters become far more targeted. Our own tool, 3Sourcing a ‘people search engine’ or ‘aggregator’ is a step towards improving available information on candidates. For now, we’re focused on developers in the UK whilst we trial the system, but our aim is to cover many sectors and geographies to help people do that research.
Aaron Neale, a Director at one of the more progressive firms we’ve visited Stott & May says, “People aggregators are the future of our industry because it affords a recruiter more of their most valuable asset; their time.” Or, as Johnny Campbell from Social Talent, as speaker at SOSU succinctly puts it, “Oh. My. God. If that doesn’t convince you that you need to be using people aggregators, then you shouldn’t call yourself a recruiter.”
Here’s to making recruiters time more efficient and improving their reputations.