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The Recruiter Returns
(April 04, 2001) One of the more ludicrous myths from the early years of industry development was the notion that Recruiting could become a purely electronic transaction. Fueled by a market desire to automate as much of the process as possible, early Recruiting Systems made wild claims about the elimination of the human being from the hiring process. In reality, while the job requirements have shifted enormously, the professional Recruiter is more important than ever.

Today's professional Recruiter must be a masterful interviewer, a web researcher, a media planner, a technology integrator, a resume reviewer, a Marketing copywriter, a builder of commitment, an assessor of capability, an architect of fit and a persistent S.O.B. Given the tremendous talent scarcity, the reactive techniques of traditional recruiting are a recipe for failure in today's highly competitive environment.

While some training programs have emerged (most notably from AIRS, Tiburon Group, Barbara Ling and the Breckenridge Group), they almost exclusively focus on the mastery of basic Internet Search techniques. While this is an important component of Electronic Recruiting, it is best understood as entry-level competence rather than optimal performance training.

Slowly but surely, traditional assessment companies (PDI and DDI) are moving their technology to more fully support Recruiter Level decision making. These initiatives range from expanding the universe of predictive data (ePredix) to the integration of assessment tools and applicant tracking systems (DDI). Among the smartest innovations in the industry, the assessment firms are maneuvering to become decision support structures for Recruiters who are immersed in a sea of data.

The past five years of experimentation have had an extremely positive effect. Many of the old school recruiters have left the business. Acknowledging the fact that they were not retrainable, they have moved on to greener pastures. Unfortunately, this leaves the vacancy level for desk-based recruiters at an all-time high.

Given the fact that the Recruiter has emerged as a critical manager of human capital supply in a new era of critical shortage, it is no surprise that compensation packages for recruiters are growing to match the demand.

We anticipate several shifts in the rhetoric of Electronic Recruiting Marketing. An increased emphasis on the importance of helping the human Recruiter to make rapid and effective decisions will be at the top of the pile.

*Excerpt from the 24 Trends In Electonic Recruiting.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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