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Where It's Going I

(March 07, 2007)
The question we raised early on in this series was more than rhetorical:

A very interesting question is whether or not Recruiting is really a necessary function. Could it be that, like a lot of other things, the baby boom population bulge required specialized facilitators whose utility has passed? With population stable and or declining, are Recruiters an anomaly of a period of growth? Are recruiters like secretaries, victims of the increased autonomy of workers with computers? Has automation progressed to the point that hiring managers can once again become responsible for the construction and maintenance of their team? (What Happened IV)

The current role of the Recruiter really did emerge as the Baby Boom was entering the workforce, in the mid to late 60s. North America was riding a growth wave. The government had set an example by bringing the best and brightest of the Korea generation to Washington under the Kennedy administration. The competition for "company men" began to exceed the old boy network's ability to deliver.

As other kinds of people (women, blacks, other ethnicities, gays, disabled) began to move towards positions of influence, the very white network began to fail its members. Executive search gained momentum. Contingency search flourished in the economic peaks. Temp firms evolved from crummy art time jobs to contract houses.

The Recruiting function (which is always performed by owners in the very small business) got increasingly detached from the needs of the hiring manager. As first line supervisors got further and further from being entrepreneurial, recruiting requirements got more and more twisted.

So let's think about the hiring manager for a while.

Hiring managers (first line supervisors) tend to work with groups of 10 to 15 direct reports. If the business is growing at a 10% clip and attrition is running at 30% (both of which are reasonable circumstances), the hiring manager will need to execute between 4 and 6 hiring decisions each year.

With ineffective sourcing, that could mean reviewing as many as 1500 resumes, interviewing 60 potential candidates and making offers to 10 or 12. Meanwhile, the temp staffing solution holds the organization together.

With more effective sourcing (like the model demonstrated in Lean Staffing) that can be reduced to 20 to 30 resumes, 12 to 15 interviews and offers to 6 or 7.

It's very clear that the introduction of an additional player into the mix (the Recruiter) amps up the communications muck. This looks like a reasonable place to help the web reduce friction (which we define as additional steps placed between the candidate and the hiring manager).

In the next couple of years, the pressure will really be on to root out the waste in Recruiting processes.

Next: More of what's ahead?

The series so far:

  • What It Was Like
  • What Happened I
  • What Happened II
  • What Happened III
  • What Happened IV
  • What Happened V
  • What Happened VI
  • Where It's Going I
  • John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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