My Response: Why The Recruitment Industry Won’t Die in 2018 (or Any Other Year)

If you read enough HR blog posts, you’ll come to believe the recruitment industry is on its last legs. Almost every week, I read about the rapidly approaching death of the industry due to automation, machine learning, and, of course, robots.

I don’t believe the recruitment industry will die in 2018 — or any other year.

Here’s why:

Good recruiters offer a service no machine can ever provide. Using the latest technology, a recruiter can quickly match candidates to open positions. But good recruiters excel at the “people part,” a professional blend of relationship building, personal service, and human connection. While technology can enable candidate matching, a good recruiter connects the data to real people.

Here are three specific reasons good (human) recruiters will survive.

Recruiters Make Great Relationships With Candidates

Sure, there are poor recruiters out there who troll online databases with simple, inapplicable keyword searches and send cold, generic emails to dozens of people daily. And, there are lazy recruiters who throw 10 candidates at the hiring manager wall to see what sticks, without really understanding the requirements of the job or the company. Those types of recruiters show a negative side to the industry, and they probably won’t survive for long.

Good recruiters make great relationships with candidates. They know the candidates’ stories. They keep a pulse on various industries, and in the business world in general. Good recruiters keep in touch, and not just when they need something.

When a candidate trusts a recruiter, they are willing to consider a job move even though they might be perfectly happy where they are. Satisfied candidates refer their recruiter to friends. This type of human-to-human interaction is as old as time, and algorithms simply can’t replace it.

Recruiters Make Great Relationships With Hiring Managers

Hiring managers are in a tough spot: they need to get their positions filled quickly. Sometimes, it’s because the work is crushing and more hands are needed to execute business tasks. Other times, the manager is in danger of losing the open req, so they want to shove someone into the position, no matter how poorly a fit.

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This is where recruiters can shine. When I have a great relationship with the hiring manager, I can listen to what’s needed. I won’t present a candidate that’s a bad fit culturally. I won’t present a quiet, introverted candidate when the job calls for a dynamic, extroverted team manager. Because of this relationship building, I only present candidates who will help my hiring manager succeed.

My hiring managers need to hire great employees. But they don’t have time to search, vet, schedule interviews, and then coach the employees before they show up. The candidates I have placed average 12-18 months in a position vs. the industry average of three to six months because they deliver such high value to the hiring manager.

Recruiters Bring Everything Together

Recruiting is a satisfying job because everyone wins at the end of the day. I enjoy helping the hiring manager build their team, and I really enjoy helping a candidate find a great new position.

The hiring managers I work with trust me. When I say I have a great candidate, they reply, “Send them in for an interview.” Even with powerful technology at their fingertips, hiring managers want a trusted advisor to show them the best candidates. The last thing they want to do is scan 100 search results and start calling and emailing candidates.

Great recruiters focus on people but have the latest tech to back up their candidate searches and skill matching. Due to the relationships they’ve fostered, candidates are happy to hear from them. Hiring managers trust them. Even though the robots may rise, the recruitment industry will live on.

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