To those of you too young to remember I say “trust me”: This is how it used to be in the old days. This is how business got done.
When recruiting, an employer (whether corporate or an agency consultant) would receive a job order, and go straight to the newspaper to publish an ad. It’s too hard to search the database; it’s quicker and easier to get fresh applications.
The recruiter would write one of those ‘leading firm requires a seasoned accountant to work in the business district’ pieces and leave the rest to the imagination of the job seeker. No need to call, just send your details … please
CV’s and cover letters were chiseled away and sent to this virtual application black hole - particularly tough for internships, for example. The chosen ones were phoned. For the rest, rejection letters came months later, and there wasn’t much by way of feedback or two-way interaction even if you made it to the interview but dropped during the culling stage of the process.
It’s not that recruiters wanted to be mean or nasty. They were being economically rational, adhering to issues such as workplace diversity, extracting value from the intermediation in imperfectly informed markets (pairing job with job seekers); whilst perpetuating the need for them to intervene in the matchmaking process, taking care of background checks; given the talent supply and demand ‘curves’.
There are a number of well reviewed factors and forces that contributed to wreck this modus operandi, namely:
* Evolving clients’ needs and expectations, impacting the talent delivery models
* Demographic and economic Trends, affecting talent supply and demand
* Technology, such as recruiting software, increasing the ease of access to the information about jobs and job seekers
In this landscape, one of the resulting phenomena is the perceived increase in the value of what we can call ‘recruiter transparency’ which, by definition, involves the sharing of sufficient and pertinent information about a job/employer/intermediary aimed at producing an educated candidate choice.
Transparency so understood occurs when questions like the following ones can be answered through a combination of networking, word-of-mouth, research, further information requests, etc.
* What is the recruiter’s track record?
* What is the reputation of the company it represents?
* Do the company and the candidate values align? What is the evidence?
* What are the views of the candidate’s would-be peers, should I join?
* What is the core of the role, above and beyond the job advertisement? How will I be successful? Can I be successful as part of this organization?
When the information is exchanged or sourced, the recruiter-candidate relationship becomes more symmetric which - we hypothesize - produces better quality matches.
More to the point, we want to argue that this increased symmetry is not a current-cycle symptom. The next recession will not bring the old recruitment practice. Things have changed for good and the better. There is an opportunity for recruiter to embrace the transparency of Internet recruiting and make it work for their clients and candidates.