The Recruiting Industry is Facing an Existential Threat
There was an interview with Ford CEO Mark Fields on Vox.com last week regarding the techno-driven existential threat to the auto industry. You’ll know it has happened when your Uber ride arrives at your door without a driver.
I contend there’s a similar existential threat to the recruiting industry. It will affect every recruiter, hiring manager, HR leader and those technology vendors who continue to espouse 20th century ideas in the 21st century. Job seekers should rejoice.
First, here are my five big bang reasons why a disruption is likely:
- Current tools including job boards don’t improve quality of hire; they just allow people to change jobs more easily.
- Despite a recent one-time pickup, employee dissatisfaction has been a dismal 70% for the past 20 years due in large part to the ease of changing jobs.
- A surplus of talent model designed to weed out the weak will not work when a surplus of talent doesn’t exist.
- Depending on function and demand, 80-90% of all candidates are not looking to change jobs. Regardless, companies spend more time trying to hire the other 10-20% more efficiently.
- Corporate recruiters are handling too many requisitions preventing them from sourcing and recruiting the best passive candidates.
Given the need for disruption, here’s one approach to completing this makeover.
Ten Disruptive Hiring and Recruiting Ideas for Improving Quality of Hire and Job Satisfaction
- Define jobs as a series of challenges, tasks and learning opportunities. By rethinking how work is defined as a series of tasks and performance-based building blocks it will be easier to overcome the current approach of pigeon-holing people into jobs based on their level of skills, compensation and need for another job.
- Individual job postings are not needed. Since jobs will be grouped by function with a series of interchangeable challenges and tasks, there will be no need or ability for a candidate to search for jobs. A candidate interested in a new job will just push a button and be offered a prioritized list of best career moves.
- Jobs will be customized in real time. By mixing and matching different tasks it will be easier to modify the job to fit the person’s needs rather than force fit a person into some poorly defined lateral transfer.
- Target the entire talent market. Whether a person is active or passive, it won’t matter. For those opting in, a person’s career progress will be tracked and when job satisfaction declines, the person will be given the chance to explore other situations pushed to him or her based on career needs and risk orientation.
- The emergence of the hiring manager do-it-themselves model. There’s no reason all this matching can’t take place directly between the hiring manager and the candidate. The high-volume transactional recruiting model of the past will be replaced by the driverless recruiter of the future.
- Automatic networking will emerge. Job seekers won’t need to be networking all-stars to get better jobs. As part of pushing the best jobs to people when they’re needed, a person’s strong (direct) and weak connections(2nd degree) will be searched in order to introduce candidates to intermediaries with open opportunities. This will be a high-tech means to ensure a high-touch consultative experience.
- Hiring managers will be offered a short-list of high potential candidates to fill open jobs coming up over the next year. Whether the people are active or passive won’t matter. The matching will be based on the upcoming opportunities meeting the short- and long-term career needs of those identified. By extending the timeline, a long-term evaluation can take place without the pressure to hire for today.
- The job boards that remain will only be used to fill rank-and-file jobs for short-term needs. This is actually what’s currently happening but soon people will publicly admit the obvious.
- Career planning will become the rule rather than the exception. Too much of today’s job switching is based on meeting some short-term economic need rather than part of a formal long-term career plan.
- The role of the recruiter will change. Regardless of the actual future role it will definitely be less transactional and more advisory.
Whether these ideas are good or bad, there is no technical reason preventing these disruptors from actually being implemented in the next few years. By optimizing individual growth, learning and job satisfaction the benefits far outweigh the costs. However, those now managing these processes or selling these services will resist. At best, they’re more interested in micro-evolutionary changes rather than the big bang approach suggested. Regardless, some revolutionaries are now implementing these ideas to gain a competitive advantage. Not surprisingly, when viewed from an historical perspective, that’s how all revolutions begin.
Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and training firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He’s also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine, SHRM and BusinessInsider. His new Performance-based Hiring micro-course is now available on Lynda.com. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people. Contact Lou directly if you’d like to disrupt the hiring process at your company.
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