The future of recruitment – update Feb 2017

The Problem with today…

HR Managers try to stay up to date with the latest HR trends but seem to struggle to find ways to sell and create truly diverse teams within their organisation.  Yet they are the very people who have put in place the very systems and processes which make this even harder.

The majority of recruitment teams in New Zealand (And likely around the world) have taken a massive step backwards and we have lost many of the countries truly skilled recruiters due to the ridiculous processes, so-called solutions like the governments ‘AOG’ preventing any new solution from being looked at for long periods of time (Not a smart move in a world where technology and the re-engineering of processes are moving at breakneck speed).

Ironically recruitment in the 1980’s and early 1990’s was more efficient and effective than what is being used by most organisations today.  You see back then advertising was run by large newspapers who had staff with decades of knowledge, understanding the importance of branding and positioning – not a simple on-line job board that you post your current job to, then sit and wait for great talent to call.

Newspapers albeit too expensive pushed branding campaigns, stories and positioned your adverts so as to reach an audience who was actively seeking work as well as entice passive readers to consider working for your brand.  Their reach was phenomenal and they dominated the marketing landscape with loads of content that attracted a diverse range of people to pick up a paper and read.  Jobs for accountants were featured in the financial sections, IT jobs in the Infotech weekly section all filled with content that pulled in the right eyes and target community.

Today our employers seem to think we will just look them up on the web.  They may invest heavily in branding on their own website that really only reaches the people who care about these pages – themselves.  They spend little on pushing out the brand to the communities they want to attract. “But we put our job on Seek”

This is where I apologise to the small number of organisations who actually proactively brand their organisation and push out solid employment branding campaigns.  The challenge for them is finding the right media to be effective, there is just no one community like the old newspaper that does this job anymore.

Simply throwing and expensive video on each advert you place on Seek just does not cut it – sorry, you are still only pushing out to the desperate and dateless who need a job. What about the passive person, you know the one that would really help your organisation improve its diversity add that value you were really looking for?

The future – in my eyes

So what would be the best solution? One that combines the marketing power of the old newspapers (which gave you a  lot more than just news, the content appealed to a wide variety of people, solid branding campaigns, human interest stories, humour and sport, local events – great stuff).  I think on-line community “newspapers” will start to appear and take advantage of the proactive marketing principles those wise old newspaper people of the 1980’s knew all about, creating marketplaces that appeal to all facets of the community.  I have been playing with this idea with my projects kapitnow.co.nz and wellingtontoday.co.nz and the initial results have been outstanding.  However, it is not perfect – yet.

These will be helpful but will not for organisations who need skills and talent beyond the reach of these marketplaces.  This leads to where the future really lies for Recruitment and its been happening for awhile and we would already be there if the so-called ‘Strategic’ HR people had not slowed its progress through some pretty poor decision making (apologies to all my ‘Strategic’ HR friends).

You see for me the future is proactive recruitment.  Do not wait for the people you want to apply for jobs, find them, get to know them and hire them.  This immediately solves the diversity issue as you can target whatever person you want with this approach. Forget about “We must advertise to make it fair for everyone” a chef just is not right to develop your system’s code and these days unless you advertise on every site available, then you are just not being fair. Not everyone looks at Seek and the real talent certainly is not searching for a job, they are going to get tapped by someone like me searching a database.

LinkedIn has been leading the way in terms of real future based solutions that enable smart proactive recruitment, it just has some major financial flaws (It’s too expensive for most hiring managers to use).  About.me is also heading in the right direction but it does not appear to capture the data needed to allow for solid searches.  However, About.me will help those recruiters who become very familiar with advanced Google searches to find talent affordably.

So for me the ultimate future based recruitment system is one that allows you to market to the communities you want to find talent (branding, employment branding, organisational success stories) as well as uses simplified smart queries on all the ‘People’ databases being created around the world as well as the personal websites which will no doubt prolificate as people realise the advantage of having your very own website gives you for future employment, contracting and consulting.

Unfortunately, this will not apply to my system jobcafe.co.nz as our firewalls are effective enough to prevent these types of searches – but this may not be a good thing long term.

So the future is a smarter search engine that can interrogate all ‘talent pools’ on the web and the web itself,  the realisation we all should have great personal websites will become more obvious to people, so will joining communities that enhance their search ranking.  Smart employers will brand, and market themselves in marketplaces like our site

Smart employers will brand, and market themselves in marketplaces like our site kumaravine.co.nz celebrating Maori and Pasifika success or our other project possibility.net.nz targeting and promoting people with disabilities.  These are real communities that bring a significant diversity of thought to an organisation.however, this content will change, it may include job opportunities but is also likely to be more about brand activity, organisational success, culture and ‘why’ when the recruiter or hiring manager comes proactively calling you should connect with them.

Government Agencies may still be placing job adverts but most other organisations will realise this is a waste of money.  And the great news, real recruitment skills will return and processes will become sensible. Find, attract, engage,

Find, attract, engage, nurture and leverage your talent.

By the way, unless you own the business you’ll probably be a contractor or consultant.

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