After nearly a decade of development, electronic tools and recruitment automation are no longer novelties that need evangelical sales efforts. The current crop of first generation job-boards, recruiting networks and assessment tools are mostly transactional, designed to
save money. The truth is most are set up to operate as the old Help Wanted bulletin board outside the HR department and target active job seekers. Like other acquisition disciplines, the most valuable assets can only be purchased through diligent negotiation and the pursuit of mutually beneficial
The next step in industry maturity requires tools and processes that manage staffing through the value chain making the recruitment of qualitative talent possible a process oriented approach to staffing facilitating the acquisition of the "top performers", those people who
produce 80% of the results. These are critical hires which are NOT best handled with automated sourcing methods, but depend instead, on the successful mastery of the time-honored search techniques of recruiters.
A study conducted by the McKinsey Consulting Group titled "The War for Talent" indicates that the search for the best and the brightest talent will become a constant, costly battle, a fight with no final victory for companies.
The reason for this talent shortage has to do with simple demographics. In the very near future, there will be 15% fewer Americans in the 35 to 45-year-old range than there are now. At the same time, the U.S. economy is likely to grow at a rate of 3% to 4% per year. As
such, over that period, the demand for bright, talented 35 to 45-year-olds will increase by 25%, and the supply will be going down by 15%. That sets
While flattening during the recession, the trend line for recruiting and staffing firms is again heading upwards. According to Inc. Magazine, four out of the top six fastest growing companies in the U.S. are professional recruiting/staffing companies. According to the
U.S. Department of Labor, the pool of recruiting, staffing and placement specialists is projected to see a 27% increase over the next 10 years.
To win the war on talent corporate America must learn how to work most effectively with the multi-billion dollar recruiting industry to best allocate scarce human resources or we risk loosing the talent pool to faster growing nimbler nations.
 The List: America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Inc. 2002
 US Board of Labor Statistics, BLS Releases New 2000-2010 Employment Projections
What I think is most interesting is the response quality problem. Rather than dealing with this at the recruiting level, I think we need to backtrack a few steps and look at it from the job design level. It's true that companies often cannot find candidates with appropriate fit, but
I'd guess that many/most of these companies have not actually made sufficient attempts to define what the right fit is. The job design function (that usually resides in compensation) is critical to the understanding of the recruiting function. All too often, job design is ignored not only be
recruiting, but by the organization in general. Job design should kick off and form a solid foundation for recruiting, and it's often not performed, or not updated often enough. Job definitions then become stale and recruiters recruit based on invalid job assumptions.