The Death of the External Recruiter??

January 31 3 Comments Category: Opinion

OpinionI read a blog from Peter Gold this week that really got me thinking about recruitment and how social media has impacted on how recruiters work. The message in this post was how companies will need to look at recruiting a new breed of employee to take responsibility for talent acquisition through social media portals. Now it’s not so much what was said in the blog that got me thinking as much as what wasn’t said. Peter rightly points out that organisations need to look at engaging with a community rather than considering people to be candidates. What I started to think about was how Social Media (SM) is lauded as being the new fangled way to recruit. It isn’t, as it is merely a tool to channel “old school” skills through. How you use that tool should be based upon the recruitment techniques of veteran recruiters (like me). Let me explain a little more:

Businesses now have the opportunity to attempt to replicate what really good recruitment consultants did (and some still do, though less of them) before SM or even the internet existed. Organisations and agencies suddenly have at their disposal these really cool (free) tools that seem to give them instant access to “candidates”. What’s generally lacking are the skills to use them properly. Witness all the recruiters purely tweeting today’s new vacancies.

As a veteran, successful recruiter, my team and I would regularly (as accountancy specialists):

  • Take part qualified accountants out for a monthly curry night after college; with no agenda to discuss jobs or recruitment. Just to take them out to socialise with each other and unwind. To discuss life, work exams and stuff of importance to them. A non virtual SM site in effect!
  • Friday afternoons in the KPMG/PWC (et al) watering holes just “being present” and discussing audit, tax, compliance or even careers if they wanted to.
  • Joining the local credit management circle or branch of the local institute of credit management and joining the discussions they want to have.
  • Turn up at exam locations (quite often hotels) for CIMA, ACA and ACCA, put on a free bar after the last exams and help them celebrate. Again, with no discussion about jobs etc, purely networking and getting to know them better. Being seen as part of their community.
  • Attend all the local colleges and give presentations and workshops to the AAT and CCAB accountancy students to create personal brand awareness of me and add value to their career planning.

This was all part of being good exceptional. This was part of putting in the graft and leg work to generate a brand and a presence in the market place. This was about being a name that they knew and trusted for when it was time to make an educated career move. SM has made the opportunity more visible or more possible. Those who have never truly networked are lacking the basic skills and competencies to use these newly found “toys” properly. So, SM really is not the “new dawn” of a recruitment way. It is a way to reach more people, quicker to attempt to do what really good recruiters did naturally. Because it is quicker and easier it attracts new interest. Just as email suddenly created spam selling, SM has already created spam networking. Not the same. Not even close to the networking I did as a consultant. It will take a long time for some to catch on to this. There are very few recruiters networking as I described – within SM or at the local curry house. Shame. Though think of the rewards available to those who do or will….Recruiting has always been about engagement. The scales have shifted as internal recruiters have an easier vehicle to achieve what they used to have to pay external recruiters to do. External recruiters need to sharpen their skills and get good at it – quickly because the internal recruiters may become more SM savvy quicker. However, a good external recruiter can offer more than an internal recruiter – A gateway to 100 employers rather than just one.

3 Responses

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  1. You’ve clarified the added value a seasoned, networked recruiting professional brings to social media tools. A machine is only as good as the person driving it. Great post!

    Tim Collins 4 March 2010 at 1:12 am Permalink
  2. SM is an easy way to become lazy….gone are the old fashioned techniques (often guily myself!)

    Ben Newman 24 April 2012 at 5:39 pm Permalink


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