Recruitment 5.0: The Future of Recruiting — the Final Chapter

(This article was co-authored with Amy McKee, Sr. Director, Global Talent Acquisition, at Autodesk.)

Mobile …finally! DNA footprints in the cloud; recruiting back to basics: getting to know the candidate; the end of the traditional ATS; emerging markets dominate; augmented reality; disruptive marketing and stunt PR; the end of social media; candidate cloning and the end of recruiters as we know it!

The impact and level of debate created by Recruitment 3.0 & 4.0, certainly took us by surprise. Based on feedback, it is clear that there has been healthy discussion and many companies have re-appraised/reviewed their recruiting strategies.

Recruitment 5.0 is the final paper in the trilogy.

3.0 was all about building.

4.0 all about driving value.

5.0 is all about … Personalization, self-sufficiency, predictability, big data, and back to basics.

The defining features of Recruitment 5.0:

  • Mobile recruiting finally takes off and becomes the dominant channel.
  • Recruiting gets back to basics and focuses on building relationships. Included in this is a focus on personalization/humanization and dominating/driving communications.
  • Footprints in the cloud. Companies obsessively get to know their customers/consumers, and recruiters do the same with their “corporate” talent pools
  • Data DNA: Companies draw data to profile candidates based on online habits and trends.
  • Technological developments bring an end to the traditional ATS.
  • Emerging markets emerge and dominate.
  • Augmented reality and disruptive marketing dominate recruiting marketing.
  • As companies seek to attract the best talent in a candidate short market, they set up their own courses, universities/academies, and “clone” future employees.
  • As talent becomes more scarce, talent becomes more contract by nature and more flexible.
  • It’s the end of recruiters as we know it … the death of the recruiting profession?

Some meaty stuff.

Reviewing these bullet points, some companies are already experimenting and executing on elements, but as time passes, these will become dominant in our thoughts, plans and strategies.

Let’s explore in more detail.

Mobile Recruiting … Finally Takes Off

This may seem rather surreal to include mobile under Recruitment 5.0 Many would include it under Recruitment 3.0. But adoption of mobile has been super slow in adoption by recruiting, thus the placement in 5.0. There is a definite time lag in mobile adoption for recruiting purposes. (Embarrassingly, this problem is thanks to us in that we are not providing candidates the tools to look and apply for jobs on mobile and not the other way round, as candidates are wanting to use their mobiles to try and look for jobs).

The demand is there for mobile job search but the supply isn’t. In a recent study, Dr. John Sullivan & Associates, found that only 8% of Fortune 100 company careers sites are mobile enabled. Further analysis showed that of the largest 35 companies in the U.S. and UK, only four had mobile-enabled careers sites, with only one having a mobile recruiting app. That hardly screams mass adoption. That shouts of delay and skepticism and laziness in adoption.

Mobile is not the silver bullet of recruiting that many proclaim but it will become a key channel in the recruiting mix and arguably THE key channel. It cannot, as it is now, be ignored.

Mobile recruiting is not new. Five to ten years ago companies were experimenting with SMS messaging campaigns. That’s a long way from today. What is pushing mobile adoption and stimulating recruiting’s interest in mobile is the rise of the smart phone which is really making mobile a mass market medium. Based on current projections by Morgan Stanley, within the next three years, mobile Internet users will exceed desktop users. Some predict that this may even happen in 2013.

These final stats are powerful:

  • Mobile now accounts for 10% of Internet usage worldwide (this has more than doubled over last 18 months) (The Next Web)
  • 1.08 of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones are smartphones
  • Apple and Android represent more than 75% of the smartphone market
  • 7.96% of all web traffic in the U.S. is mobile traffic. That number skyrockets to 14.85% in Africa, and 17.84% in Asia — up 192.5% since 2010
  • 29% of mobile users are open to scanning a mobile tag to get coupons
  • 39% of instances where a consumer walks out of a store without buying were influenced by smartphones
  • 91% of mobile Internet access is for social activities, versus just 79% on desktops (Source: Hubspot)
  • Over 1/3 of Facebook’s users access Facebook Mobile; 50% of Twitter’s users use Twitter Mobile

Facebook said at the last GigaOM Mobilize Conference that mobile was its key growth area. It stated that it has more than 320m active mobile users who log into Facebook twice as often as desktop users. The CTO then said that “within 12 to 18 months you will consider Facebook a mobile company and not a social company.” That’s a bold statement.

Let’s turn now to recruiting and mobile.

Research is showing us that people are actively searching for jobs on their mobile phones. Interesting, while people are looking at jobs throughout the day, they wait until they get home and apply via desktop. The technology for applying and linking resumes/CVs is not quite there. Mobile Internet research shows us that the heaviest usage of mobile Internet is between 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Comscore estimates that the UK has 2.8 m job-seekers a month accessing job listing from mobile devices, with 67% looking every day. PotentialPark research that 88% of job seekers are or would search for jobs via the mobile Internet, with one in three job seekers wanting to actually apply from their handset.

Mobile offers great opportunities to build trust and brand awareness and engage with talent. In India, consumers are leapfrogging traditional media and the PC to embrace mobile devices, while low literacy rates spur the development of voice activated web sites and services.

Perhaps one of the reasons for low adoption of mobile is confusion over what to do. Go for a mobile-enabled site or create a mobile app?

mSite or App?

So what do you go for? An mSite or a mobile app? Or both? Let’s differentiate the two.

An mSite is a mobile-optimized website (i.e. a site that is visible on your desktop and can be viewed on a mobile device without a loss in visual). mSites will run on any modern smartphone. If a site is not mobile enabled, graphics may not appear, text may not load, and thus it may create a bad experience for the viewer. The design of an mSite is generally much simpler and cleaner with less emphasis on graphics. Too many graphics and download speeds with frustrate end users, and some phones like iPhone/iPad don’t support flash.

The big advantage to mobile-optimized sites is that they can respond to finger tapping and movement on screen, creating a more engaging and interactive candidate experience.

In comparison, an app is designed for specific mobile operating systems. Apps can be designed for iPads/iPhones, Android, Blackberry, etc, and are normally downloaded through stores such as iTunes and Google Marketplace.

What should your company have?

Ensuring that your careers site is mobile enabled is Step 1  It ensures that, after mobile optimization, your site is open to viewing on a range of smart phones and critically attracts mobile Google searches (mSites appear in Google mobile).

An app can provide a richer candidate experience, employment branding opportunities, and critically the advantage of push notifications. These are real-time messages that alert candidates of an immediate call to action like a job alert. Mobile phone users respond quickly to such push alerts.

Comscore estimates that 50% of all mobile Internet use is via apps (iPhone being the biggest).

Mobile Apps

So what should an app contain? At Autodesk we have been developing an app for quite some time.

The key questions that have dominated passionate debate have been:

  • Who will download the app?
  • Why should they download it?
  • If downloaded, why should someone keep the app live on their phone/tablet?
  • What causes people to repeat visit?
  • Why should passive job seekers (i.e. those not looking) download the app?
  • What does success look like?
  • How do we market and build a mobile community?

In many ways, you only get one shot at releasing an app and persuading people to download. If they download and they don’t like what they see, the chances of getting them to download in the future are slim (even if enhancements are made). This is why we have delayed the release of the Autodesker app. The key is releasing an app when you are happy with it.

To help you in your decisions over mobile apps and content, we are providing an insight into the Autodesk app as we ready for launch. This is by no means a perfect app but meant to stimulate your imagination for your own mobile strategy.

“Autodeskers” Mobile App Home Page

The home page is the hub of the app and contains key links to content throughout the site.

Keeping the app simple (and one that translate to iPhones & Android), the search functionality/tabs have been restricted to:

  • Home Page
  • Job Search 
  • Gallery/photos  (a section dedicated to images of what our software has helped create)
  • Social (One-stop social media aggregator)
  • Information (“About Us” and “Meet the People,” and so on)

The home page includes our game Fake or Foto where there are 12 pictures and people have to guess if they are real photos or computer trickery, (i.e. computer generated). It’s fun, but this also reinforces Autodesk’s software capabilities.

Continuing the theme of humanizing the brand, there is a montage of photos of people and a call to action to in the Meet Us section.

The home page also contains a link to the “Autodeskers” blog page. All stories/images/videos can be viewed and the reader can comment on all stories and share content across their social pages for their friends to view.

There is also a roll call of the latest jobs just posted. The page is dominated by an image which changes each time you log in/refresh the page. This keeps the page feeling new. We have also placed some a video linked to YouTube.

Let’s delve a little deeper past the home page.

Work with Us — Job Search

Mobile technology has been slow in linking in the ability to apply direct into databases. This is now a reality and one which will see the takeoff of mobile recruiting.

The key is that the job seeker can register for the latest job alerts as we post jobs according to their preferences, (skills, location, etc.). These alerts take the form of popup messages on their phone which are hyperlinked to the new job.

About Us — Company Information

Of course an app needs company information. While this can be criticized as just being about marketing spin, those in the app may want to learn more about the company. They may want to gain a feel for what life is like behind the corporate iron curtain. The goal is to inform a potential recruit/brand enthusiast about life at Autodesk. But this has been kept visual and kept brief. We took the opinion that if someone is in the app, we did not want them to leave the app to look at info on other Autodesk sites.

Look at Us — the Gallery

We wanted our app to be visual and feel fun, which was the goal of our Gallery section. It is certainly visual. It impresses the multiple ways that our software helps create the world around us, be it cars, bridges, buildings, video games, films visual effects or consumer products and apps like Sketchbook Pro, 123D Sculpt and Pixlr.

Meet Us — Humanizing the Brand

People buy from people. Thus the goal of having a number of employee profiles. The profiles are written in the words of the employees. We used pictures they have provided, (not corporate headshots looking like an employee caught petrified in the headlights of an incoming camera crew). This makes it feel more authentic.

Talk With Us — Social Media Aggregator

Social media is key to gaining that repeat visitor and creating that reason to come back. Creating a “one-stop” for key social media channels on the app was central to its design.

Rather than have a candidate/brand ambassador visit each of our social media sites and waste time logging into each of them, the app presents the ideal way to quickly and efficiently join in with discussions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube. You can also view art created by consumers with Sketchbook Pro on Flickr. This page presents a key reason why people keep the app on their phone/tablet and come back for more on a daily basis.

Game Time

With a focus on why someone would download and keep this app on their phone, we needed another aspect to add to the social media one-stop aggregator. That was … fun and games.

Fake or Foto was born.

It’s a mix of real photos with images visualized with computer graphics. The challenge is to spot the difference and test your eyesight. There are 12 images and each can be enlarged to full screen. Then, boom, say if it is “Fake or Foto.” It’s great fun but more importantly people will subconsciously think “Wow, I cannot tell the difference between a real photo and what your software creates.”

Then hopefully they share the content with their friends and challenge them to beat their score. The goal is for the game to go viral.

Hopefully this section gets you thinking about what you can achieve with an app. But most of all understand the real power of mobile for recruiting and building your employment brand awareness.

DNA Footprints in the Cloud; Knowing Your Audience 

Only a few years back most people logged on to the Internet to access their emails, search the web, and maybe do some online shopping. Our corporate web sites were just “push-message” vehicles for corporate marketing to spread the message and detail product information. Corporate marketing was not even worried about how many people clicked “Like” on their page! We have traveled a long way since then.

Fast forward to 2012 and there are a plethora of online communities and social networking sites. We do most of our shopping and banking online. Some of us reinforce our beliefs and opinions through our crowds/friend networks. We rely far more on our “friends,” (often people we have never met) on social sites and trust their judgement on what films to see, what hotels to stay in, what holidays to go on, what cars to buy, clothes to wear, and stances to take on news issues. Social media has created platforms for individuals to become stars; e.g. Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, posting to YouTube in their “undiscovered” days.

More than 1.5 billion people are on social networking sites. Almost one in five hours is spent on these networks, increasingly on mobile devices. These social networks have been a cultural, social, and economic phenomenon. New social behaviors have been created, new freedoms gained. Social media has been used for organizing political activities as seen in the Arab Spring. Planning weddings. Playing games. Talking with companies.

Social media is not just about consumers/people. Businesses are rushing to use social networks and communities, to help them get “informed” opinions, generate new consumer insights, and conduct online focus groups. Companies are using the web to listen, watch trends, and monitor chatter (e.g. through Radian 6). In Recruitment 4.0 we referenced “Crowdsourcing,” “Crowdfunding” and the whole power of the crowd, which can be harnessed by business.

This is a lot of communication.  That is even more information. Information is data. Data is power.

Data is everywhere. Just take a step back and reflect on the explosion of data in the world today. Companies around the world are capturing trillions of bytes of information about their customers, suppliers, and operations. Coupled with that, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the Internet is fueling the growth in data and what can be learned about people and their habits.

Analyzing these massive sets of data — Big Data — will become the central point of competition, driving productivity growth, innovation — and this applies to recruiting.

What we do with this data in recruiting will be key.

Imagine a world in which recruiters receive job applications, weighted and analyzed based on data patterns and “footprints” in the cloud, which weigh & rank:

  • Skill sets
  • Successes
  • Strength and depth of networks (e.g. LinkedIn connections)
  • Experience  (People who have worked at certain companies have a better track record of success)
  • Educational background  (people with certain educations have a better track record of success based on your company’s previous hires)
  • Behavioral patterns  (“Footprints” in the cloud)/what sites have been visited
  • Psychological profiling (what people do and say)

Result: The computerized pre-selection and ranking of candidates. The “ideal” shortlist.

Appealing? Bizarre? Unethical? Legally sketchy?

Hiring managers want anything that provides them a clearer insight into an individual and reduces the change of a mis-hire. Big Data brings that one step closer.

The cost of a bad hire? Harvard Business School defines that as three to five times an employee’s annualized compensation.  In specialist functions it defines that as 10 times an annual salary. That’s a lot of money and wasted time. This is a cost that hiring managers want to avoid and if better assessments and insights into candidates help make recruiting more “predictable” then there will be an appetite for it.

Houston, We Have a Problem

This section of the article is controversial. There are risks and big issues surrounding data usage. This raises a host of ethical, legal, and other issues including privacy, due process, equality, security, and liability.   We are not advocating these practices and Autodesk does not engage in these practices.

Of all these, privacy is perhaps the biggest concern. Profiling technologies make possible an intrusive analysis of an individual’s behavior and preferences. Behavioral and psychological profiling are key examples. Profiles can reveal private and personal information about individuals that they might not even know about themselves.

Profiling technologies are potentially very discriminatory tools. They allow unequaled kinds of social ranking and segmentation which could have alarming effects; for example, profiled individuals may be excluded from important offers or opportunities by the nature of how they have been profiled. The process of profiling is more often than not invisible for those who are being profiled. This creates difficulties in that it becomes virtually impossible to contest being ranked into any particular grouping. Also, scarily, is the potential of profiles ending up in the hands of the wrong people who use the information for criminal purposes, such as identity theft. It will be interesting to see how this highly controversial area of evolves.

Big Data

Let’s explore Big Data some more.

The McKinsey Institute published a superb report in May 2011 entitled, Big Data: The Next Frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. In this report some truly impressive stats were published:

  • $600 buys a disk drive that can store all of the world’s music
  • 5 billion mobile phones were in use in 2010
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • 40% projected growth in global data is generated vs. 5% growth in global IT spending
  • 235 terabytes of data was collected by the U.S. Library of Congress by April 2011
  • 15 out of 17 sectors in the United States have more data stored per company than the U.S. Library of Congress
  • There’s $300 billion potential annual value to U.S. health care, more than double the total annual health care spending in Spain
  • There’s €250 billion potential annual value to Europe’s public sector administration — more than the GDP of Greece
  • A $600 billion potential annual consumer surplus from using personal location data globally
  • 60% potential increase in retailers’ operating margins is possible with big data
  • 140,000 — 190,000 more deep analytical talent positions and 1.5 million more data savvy managers are needed to take full advantage of big data in the United States

“Big Brother” data is monitoring and teaching companies about us as we speak. Consider all the millions of networked sensors which are in place in cars, iPads, and mobile phones. These technologies sense, monitor, and communicate data back to their originators. Our trends and behaviors are being monitored so companies can learn more and better tailor their propositions to the market: behavioral targeting.

The ability to study and  gain real value from data increases as the amount of data captured rises. Companies are using this to good effect already, especially predictivity. Amazon makes recommendations to you based on your buying and viewing trends. The same is true with iTunes and services like Spotify or Pandora. Recommendations are made for other bands or music that data match your current listening favorites. Both Apple and Amazon use this data predictivity or behavioral targeting to drive additional sales.

When a consumer or customer visits a web site, the pages they visit, the length of time spent viewing each page, the links they click on, the searches they make, and all the elements they interact with, allow sites to collect, store, disseminate, and analyze that data. This data creates a profile that links to that visitor’s web browser.

With the data collected, website publishers can use this data to group similar data matches together. When a visitor returns to a specific site or network of sites using the same web browser, those profiles can be used to target customers likely to be interested in their product. Most platforms identify visitors by assigning a unique ID cookie to each and every visitor to the site, thereby allowing them to be tracked throughout their web journey. The platform then make a rules-based decision about what content to serve. This in theory maximizes the chances of tailored messaging and greater sales.

If this drive to understand the “DNA” of candidates and the stack ranking of individuals is the future, you may ask for evidence today pointing to this.

Some technologies are available today to stack-rank candidates based on simple criteria. LinkedIn provides us candidate matches based on complex algorithms.

But what other examples, however basic, show us a potential of the future?

Tweet Psych is an example of psychological profiling that exists today.

Psychological Profiling on Twitter

Psychological profiling is a controversial area.

When people come in for interview they have their interview face on. Their polished personality is ready to go and they are well-rehearsed … and fake.

Some companies insist on psychological profiling through assessments.

But understanding a person and who they really are is important for a company since they want to avoid expensive mishires and “team disruptors.” If we deem that people are not putting an act on over social media and “speaking their mind,” then analyzing tweets can make interesting reading. While early days the basic technology is in place which is attempting to do this. Take a look at Tweet Psych.

Communication is a window into a person’s mind and the way a person talks can tell you a lot about how they think. Linguists have developed two methods to decoding the written word into a meaningful profile of a person’s cognitive processes.

One method is called the Regressive Imagery Dictionary. This coding scheme is designed to measure the amount and type of three categories of content: primordial (the unconscious way you think, like in dreams), conceptual (logical and rational though), and emotional.

The other method is Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC), which measures the cognitive and emotional properties of a person based on the words they use.

TweetPsych uses the both the LIWC and RID to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their Tweets. It claims to compare the content of a user’s tweets to a baseline reading built by analyzing an ever-expanding group of more than 1.5 million random tweets and highlighting areas where the user stands out.

The service analyzes the last 1,000 tweets; as such, it works best on users who have posted more than 1,000 updates. It is also better suited for running analyses on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform.

What is attempted to be measured?

  • Anxiety
  • Oral Fixation
  • Work
  • Positive Emotions
  • Negative Emotions
  • Social Behavior
  • Sadness
  • Spirituality
  • Swears (bad language)
  • Sexual References
  • Sleeping
  • Sports
  • Education
  • Self-Reference
  • Money
  • Entertainment

Once done effectively, recruiters will surely want to use this data. It will be a legal minefield and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

LinkedIn: “Pole Position”

Bearing in mind the two case studies above, and the whole potential in this area, who is in prime position to benefit from this desire for behavioral and psychological profiling?

LinkedIn of course is in the pole position.

Though it may not want to follow certain paths such as psychological profiling for ethical reasons, if it wanted to it has access to:

  • Skills/expertise
  • Experience (companies worked for, etc., and length of time at them)
  • Career progression (duration at certain positions and their seniority)
  • Training and development
  • Education
  • Further education
  • References
  • Interests groups/associations/discussion groups members
  • Comments made in those groups (maybe analyzed psychologically)
  • Personal information
  • Articles we read
  • Articles we share
  • Profiles we look at/befriend
  • Size and quality of our networks
  • Updates we make (again analyzed against certain data)
  • What we click “Like” on

You get the idea. Obsessively knowing your audience is key for business and recruiting.

Reflect on this: Your/Our DNA and footprints are embedded all over the cloud.

Recruiting Goes ‘Back to Basics’: Identifying and Building Relationships with Candidates and Keeping it Simple; Personalization Added to Humanization

Remember the good old days of Recruitment 1.0, at the very start.

Recruiting was about building relationships. It was essentially a sales profession. It was about getting to know candidates and their motivations and providing great candidate experiences.

This has been lost over recent years.

The reverse has happened. Candidate care and building relationships has not been a priority for recruiters. This can be linked to the reliance on technology. Recruiters are not picking up the phone and speaking to candidates but instead relying on emails and InMails, posting jobs to job boards, and then waiting for the electronic response. When candidates apply for a job they get a standardized bounce-back email with the hallowed words “thank you for your application. A recruiter will review your skills and experience against those required for the role.”

The reliance on the bounce-back email when someone has applied for a role is one of the criminal injustices of recruiting in this generation.

Recruitment 3.0 detailed the candidate experience and how to influence each stage. Recruitment 5.0 looks at getting back to the very basics of recruiting:

  • Picking up the phone
  • Building relationships with candidates (even if they aren’t a candidate today)
  • Identifying key motivators for candidates
  • Understanding business strategies and cultural fit
  • Advising the business and being a consultant on the talent market

We cannot get away from technology and mass communication which actually assists recruiters. But, how can we can take the data we have and personalize or humanize the message to candidates? How do we get back to the basics and reconnect with individuals and form relationships?

Back to big data. In the era of 5.0 we strive to get more data on people and understand trends and behaviors, and a key driver will be personalization. This is particularly true in terms of defining a great candidate experience and employment brand marketing. Technology has a part in providing a better candidate experience, whether real or perceived. Personalization technology adds to perceived personalized candidate experience.

Wikipedia defines personalization technology as enabling “the dynamic insertion, customization, or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user, based on the user’s implicit behavior and preferences, and explicitly given details.

Any content (content includes images and text), can be inserted to a form of communication, and that communication could take the form of an email, app, social media communication, and it is personalized for that individual. An individual communication for an individual! Thus, making the individual feel more special!

Companies not only seek to personalize emails/direct communication to individuals. Web pages can be personalized based on an individual’s characteristics, (e.g. interests, social category, context …). Shopping sites are great at this — Amazon, iTunes, Wal-Mart, etc. Personalization leads us to make the assumption that the personalized changes are based on implicit data, such as web pages looked at or items purchased off the web. Personalization is differentiated from customization. Customization is where a website only uses explicit data such as ratings or preferences.

There are three categories of personalization:

  1. Profile/group based
  2. Behavior based (also known as Wisdom of the Crowds)
  3. Collaboration based

There are three broad methods of personalization:

  1. Implicit
  2. Explicit
  3. Hybrid

With implicit personalization the personalization is performed by the web page (or information system) based on the different categories mentioned above. With explicit personalization, the web page (or information system) is changed by the user using features generated by the system. Hybrid personalization combines both features and gains the best of both worlds.

Creating a personalized experience is key to 5.0. Whether that is achieved through a back to basics approach or whether that is through the use of personalized technology both are key to make a candidate feel special and cherished. It’s time for recruiters to get back to basics!

The End of the Traditional ATS

My dad always told me that a good workman never blames their tools.

But don’t we hear recruiters doing just that every day?

More often than not, at the root of their gripes is the amount of work and effort that it takes to source and engage great candidates and then lose that momentum by lacking an effective central repository to store, access, and mine all those great leads (both as an individual recruiter and as a wider team).

How often do you hear recruiters bemoaning their company’s ATS, or talent acquisition system? The clarion call is heard of recruiters squealing: “Our ATS is too slow”; “Candidate information is out of date”; “It takes too long to add candidates”; “The search functionality is bust”; “It requires too many clicks to get to the information”; “It’s impossible to segment the data”; and “I can’t target/market to the candidates I want.” Sound familiar?

But maybe we are on the cusp of a new era. We may not hear these Twitterings of discontent again. So here’s a bold prediction for you.

Within three to five years there will be no need for a traditional ATS. LinkedIn will have made them defunct.

This may seem farfetched to many. But take a step back and review today’s reality.

The issue today is that recruiters are still building their talent pools outside of the traditional ATS. Not every candidate applies for a job via a corporate careers site, (which is the standard route into the ATS). Maybe recruiters are proactively sourcing candidates in LinkedIn and reaching out to passive candidates via InMails; maybe they are doing Boolean searches on Google; maybe using job boards or storing info in Excel spreadsheets. Many companies may be doing good ol’ fashioned headhunting and picking up the phone and networking.

How much of this information gets back to the ATS? In reality, very little gets back into the ATS and it becomes more of an offer-processing tool. Given demands on recruiters to find the best talent, leaders can’t expect, and would not appreciate, recruiters spending their time in data entry mode getting all this data registered into the ATS.

This poses other more serious questions if an ATS is not capturing all candidate applications or pipelines. What happens to those talent pools if and when a recruiter moves on? How good can the candidate experience be if they are left rotting in a solitary recruiter’s inbox? Which company would want to lose that information? By not using a central repository to record, store, and track talent, how much talent are we losing or ignoring?

So what’s the solution if ATS’s aren’t fulfilling their very core goals?

Here’s where we keep an eye on what LinkedIn is doing.

LinkedIn is moving into this space through several initiatives. First of all, “Work for us” allows companies to post advertising/employment branding information on their employees profiles on LinkedIn, so when someone looks at an employee’s profile they will be subconsciously taking in the company information.

Talent Pipeline is another step forward with several key benefits. It’s essentially a CRM which allows leads to be centralized — whatever source they have come from (company careers sites, ATS, job boards, direct sourcing) — in one place. It permits all these leads and CVs to be imported from anywhere into LinkedIn Recruiter, allowing recruiters to search, track, and share leads like any profile sourced from LinkedIn. Recruiters can then organize and evaluate pipelines with the ability to use tools to add tags, source, status, and notes. They can even run activity reports.

What’s great about this is that most ATS’s have a lot of stale data. Over time CVs need updating so a database will always be dying over time. How many candidates send in updated resumes to an ATS? People tend to consistently update and maintain their LinkedIn profile. Talent Pipeline transforms these stale leads into dynamic LinkedIn profiles by connecting outside leads directly to their LinkedIn profiles.

The last benefit is that Talent Pipeline connects an entire recruiting organization on one platform allowing lead sharing, activity updates, and access to the latest information for all the team. It finally brings the technology of search agencies to the in-house recruiter.

Some will rightly point out that this LinkedIn functionality does not cover all ATS functionality. True. But it does show a clear step by LinkedIn and one that will have recruiting organizations asking whether it is time to switch off the current ATS.

This is not a promo piece for LinkedIn but recognition that traditional ATS systems have not made the right impact for recruiters. There is a void and that void will be filled and companies like LinkedIn are forging the way.

Emerging Markets Emerge and Dominate

By 2025, it is forecast that annual consumption in emerging markets will reach $30 trillion. This represents the biggest growth opportunity in the history of capitalism — a phenomenal opportunity!

The Industrial Revolution is widely seen as one of the most important events in economic history. Yet, in many ways, this will pale into insignificance. The rise of a new consuming class in emerging countries is the predominant trend, something that all companies want to be part of, shape, and exploit.

CEOs at most large multinational firms admit that emerging markets are the key to long-term success. But the problem is many execs are stumped by the complexity of taking advantage of this opportunity. Despite these execs running companies that are bigger, have superior product technology, larger capital bases, and the best marketing tools, they are struggling to compete against local companies.

This is demonstrable through statistics. In 2010, 100 of the world’s largest companies headquartered in developed economies earned just 17% of their total revenue from emerging markets, but these markets accounted for 36% of global GDP, (and projected to contribute more than 70% of Global GDP growth between now and 2025).

By 2025, McKinsey Global Institute estimates annual consumption in emerging markets rising to $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion in 2010, and accounting for nearly 50% of the world’s total, (up from 32% in 2010). As a result, emerging-market consumers will become the prevailing dominant force in the global economy. In 15 years, almost 60% of the approximately 1 billion households with earnings greater than $20,000 a year will live in the developing world. In many product categories, such as white goods and electronics, emerging market consumers will account for the overwhelming majority of global demand. That is a seismic change.

Trailblazing the way forward is a new generation of consumers, in their twenties and early thirties, who are confident their incomes will rise, are highly ambitious, and are willing to spend. Already, more than half of all global Internet users are in emerging markets. For example, in Brazil, social network penetration, even in 2010, was the second-highest in the world. A McKinsey survey of urban African consumers in 15 cities in 10 different countries found that almost 60% owned Internet capable phones or smartphones. As e-commerce and mobile payment systems spread to even the most remote hamlets, emerging consumers are shaping, not just participating in the digital revolution.

The preferences of emerging market consumers also will drive global innovation in product design, manufacturing, distribution channels, and supply chain management. This impacts on our world … recruiting.

To win in emerging markets, developed market companies must be willing to embrace massive changes fast. Companies will need to be able to reallocate resources quickly or face being wiped out by local competitors. Research points to emerging market companies redeploying investment across business units at much higher rates than companies located in developed markets.

Unskilled workers may be plentiful in emerging societies, but skilled managers are scarce and hard to retain. In China barely two million local managers have the managerial and English language capabilities multinationals need. A recent McKinsey survey found that senior managers working for the China divisions of multinational firms switch companies at a rate of 30 to 40% a year (five times the global average).

Barely half of the executives thought their organizations effectively tailored recruiting, training, and development processes across geographies. In a recent McKinsey survey, data showed that just 2% of their top 200 employees hailed from key Asian emerging markets. That is a scary trend.

How should companies react, especially developed market companies? Some companies are increasing salaries to win. As we recruiters know, this is often a temporary solution. In emerging markets, global firms must develop clear EVPs to differentiate themselves from local competitors. In South Korea, L’Oreal made itself the top choice for female sales and marketing talent by creating greater opportunities for brand managers, improving working hours, expanding the child care infrastructure, and adopting a more transparent communications style. Other Western firms, like Motorola and Nestle, have enhanced their employment brands by building relationships with employees’ families.

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Deepening ties between key corporate functions and emerging markets can create opportunities for local talent while enhancing organizational effectiveness. Companies like Cisco, HSBC, and Schneider Electric have benefited from strengthening links between headquarters and high-growth regions and offering emerging market managers global career paths and mobility programs.

Given the leadership requirements of emerging markets, global companies need ambitious talent development targets. They need to multiply the number of leaders in emerging markets tenfold — and to do that in one tenth of the time they would take back home. For example, in India, the Reliance Group (the largest private employer) addressed a leadership gap (a need for circa 200 new functional leaders to support growth initiatives) by recruiting a new wave of 28-34 year old managers and enlisting help from local business schools and management experts to design new development programs.

It will be interesting to see how many recruiting leaders and recruiters from the West relocate to help drive talent acquisition in the emerging markets. What is clear is that the “Global War for Talent” will be the most furious in the emerging economies that will need that talent to grow, expand, and win.

Augmented Reality and Disruptive Marketing … Disrupt, Disrupt, Disrupt

As companies realize the importance of employment brands and the value they bring to building “best-quality” workforces and of course retaining the best staff, employment brand messaging and marketing will start to converge and look very much the same. Companies will all be competing for market share and mind share and need to try and differentiate and be unique in their offerings.

Current EVP messaging focuses on companies proclaiming:

  • We offer the best career development
  • Work/life balance, spending more time with your families
  • Culture — work hard/play hard
  • Climb the ladder, gain promotion
  • Show me the money … pay & conditions

There is a limit to the positioning a company can have. All companies claim to be unique in what they offer new employees but, in reality, few are that different.

Fast forward down the line, as attracting and retaining talent “differentiators” are so similar between companies. How will a company stand out? How does a company “shout out” in the market and get noticed?

If everyone looks the same, then talent will be staring into a sea of blandness.

Therefore, the emphasis will be on augmented reality, disruptive marketing, and stunt PR to get noticed.

We all know that brand is about reputation. It’s what we hear, think, and feel about working at a company. We care about what other people say about a brand, how they rate a product. For example, 2012 marketing data shows that conversion rates are 105% higher when ratings and reviews are used by customers.

So what’s next? Giving customers ways to experience the brand in increasingly personal and emotional ways.

In Recruitment 5.0, augmented reality will be central to employment brand messaging and marketing.

The whole thrust of Recruitment 5.0 is about learning about our communities, gaining knowledge of them, analyzing data about their behaviors — and going hand in hand with that is personalization. On the candidate’s side, as we open up our employment brand, we become more transparent. Candidates will want to experience us.

Experience a company? What does that mean? Work experience? Nice videos? Employee profiles?

Experiencing in Recruitment 5.0 embraces the concept of augmented reality and augmented reality marketing.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Computer graphics today are almost photo realistic. Think of films like Avatar, (designed using Autodesk software), and the gap between graphics and reality is blurred, (almost indistinguishable to the naked human eye). Today, researchers and engineers are partnering with marketing and taking cutting-edge graphics and integrating them into real-world environments. This technology is called augmented reality, which blurs the line between what’s real and what is computer generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel, and smell.

What’s the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality? Virtual reality creates immersive, computer-generated environments, but not in real-world environments. Augmented reality is closer to the real world as it adds graphics, sounds, touchy/feeley feedback, and smell to the natural world as it exists today. Video games and mobiles phones are driving the development of augmented reality.

Augmented reality will start to change the way we view the world. Imagine walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays (currently rather cumbersome spectacles but one day these specs will look like an ordinary pair of glasses or Ray-Bans), informative graphics can appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements would be refreshed continually to match your head movements. (Interestingly, there are iPhones which replicate this today.)

Augmented reality is being enhanced and driven by University research. In February 2009, at the TED conference, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of MIT shell-shocked the audience with their “SixthSense” augmented-reality system. SixthSense relies on some basic components: A camera, a small projector, a smartphone, and a mirror. These simple, off-the-shelf components only cost circa $350, meaning a technology that will be relatively cost effective to introduce.

All of these components wed together in a lanyard that an individual wears around their neck. The user wears four colored fingertip caps, and these are used to move and manipulate the projector images.

The projector effectively turns any surface into an interactive screen. The basics of the system is that it uses the camera and mirror to examine the surrounding world, then feeds that image to a phone, (which processes the image, gathers GPS coordinates, and pulls data from the web), and then projects information from the projector onto the surface in front of the user, whether it’s a wrist, a wall, or even a person. Because the user is wearing the camera on their chest, SixthSense will augment whatever they look at: for example, if they pick up a can of a drink in Wal-Mart, SixthSense can project onto the can information about its ingredients, price, and nutritional value. Even cooler is that it could project customer reviews.

Image-recognition software coupled with augmented reality will, quite soon, allow us to point our phones at people, even strangers, and instantly see information from their Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn, or other online profiles. With most of these services people willingly put information about themselves online, but it may be an unwelcome shock to meet someone, only to have them instantly know so much about your life and background.

Software today exists that can “listen” to music and then identify the track name and artist within seconds. Facial recognition is next.

But, like with Big Data, we are back to privacy concerns.

But consider this: recruiters, attending events, going to university campuses, standing outside competitors and identifying key prospects, scanning photos from news stories and then receiving their personal details — e.g. a LinkedIn profile through that facial recognition.

Sounds bizarre now. But we are not far away.

What else does augmented reality bring?

It can give people a real experience of your business, real insight. Imagine a 360-degree view of your office. A candidate gets the chance to “experience” the office and see a desk with their nameplate, and then the ability to upload a photo of them sitting at that desk. Many variations can be developed on this theme, including fun elements like creating a newspaper front page with a massive headline, “X joins Autodesk,” with a picture of the individual scanned in.

Imagine scanning a recruiting ad online, in a magazine, on a billboard, or even walking past an office block, and immediately having a list of relevant jobs presented.   The jobs will be matched against your pre-stored skill sets. A host of information could also be made available including company information, employee profiles, and reviews from sites like Glassdoor. The possibilities are endless.

Augmented Reality and Mobile: a Case Study

There is no point about talking about future technologies like augmented reality without looking at practical examples.

Mobile is a key adopter of early stage augmented reality.

Take a look at Blippar. This is the first image-recognition phone app which a goal of bringing to life real-world newspapers, magazines, products, and posters with exciting augmented reality experiences and immediate content.

Blippar is working with some of the biggest and best brands in the world today, including Unilever, Nestle, Heinz, Diageo, Xbox, Samsung, Cadbury, Domino’s and many more.

The apps use image recognition to launch interactive content on the user’s phone, so an image or logo on the ad is the trigger to launch content on the phone. This Omega watch campaign is a great example.

The print advert has James Bond standing posing, looking suave and sophisticated, with his watch dominant.

With a mobile phone, installed with the Blippar app, scans over the ad and the watch, and brings a 3D version of the watch to the mobile screen.

With this 3D watch image, your can then hover your phone over your wrist and this then allows you to try the watch on. You personally experience what it looks like on your wrist.

By offering a simpler user experience, the Blippar apps have the potential to become a valuable tool for multichannel marketers, offering potential for extending campaigns beyond print, billboards, or whatever advertising medium is being used. And this has great potential for recruiters.

As with QR codes, these apps mean that brands have an opportunity to adapt their marketing messages based on where consumers are geographically when they see them, and also what that location may tell you about their habits.

What is the difference between augmented reality and QR codes?

QR codes are well known for their rather ugly black and white pixelated box (which are added to advertisements). Augmented reality apps like Blippar automatically have an aesthetic advantage over QR codes. Blippar is integrated in the creative (invisibly), and takes the creative itself (the whole poster, a logo, the product itself) as the trigger for an interactive engagement. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk above shows the effect visually.

The only engagement QR offers is a web link to a smart phone (assuming the pixelated box is recognized from a photo the phone takes of it).

It can offer a whole world of potential virtual content on the phone screen including overlayed 3D experiences (3D product views, games etc), video, e-coupons, GPS enabled directions to nearby outlets, web links and more. QR codes could be redundant in the future. 

The Limitations of Augmented Reality

At the moment much of augmented reality is geared to cell phones, (while not exclusive, mobile is the current main vehicle).

Mobile phones have their disadvantages. People may not want to rely on their mobiles, which have tiny screens on which to superimpose information. Wearable devices like SixthSense or augmented-reality capable contact lenses and glasses will provide users with more convenient, expansive views of the world around them. Screen real estate will no longer be an issue.

An overreliance on augmented reality could mean that people are missing out on what’s right in front of them. Imagine an interview and company walk-around/tour. Recruiters may prefer to let candidates use their augmented reality iPhone applications rather than show them round, even though the recruiter may be able to offer a level of interaction, an experience, and a personal touch unavailable in a computer program.

Despite these concerns, imagine the possibilities: you may learn things about companies that you have always wanted to work at by pointing your augmented reality-enabled phone at the office building.

The future of augmented reality is clearly bright, even as it already has found its way into our mobiles and video game systems. Added to this augmented reality and new experience for candidates is the need to be seen and stand out from the crowd.

Hence the acceleration of disruptive marketing — to gain attention.

Disruptive Marketing and Emotion 

Disruptive marketing is not just about shock. It is about emotion. Creating a lasting feeling. Planting a seed that will grow in someone’s mind.

Recruiters and employment branders are fighting for the attention of potential candidates, people who have already been reached by competitors and who aren’t necessarily looking for new options. Hence, down the line, a “new marketing” will be needed by recruiters.

What is disruptive marketing? Disruptive marketing is a marketing message/initiative that serves to disrupt a market space and interrupt the reader of the message by combining new technologies, new business models, new markets, and a new approach to redefine conventional thinking and consumer behavior.

Being disruptive creates attention. In business this is a good thing. It means getting noticed. Gimmick marketing will quickly be frowned upon. Effective disruption is an art and is not easy.

There is a fine line between disruptive marketing and stunt PR. If the goal is to get noticed, then there are some interesting ideas below.

A few years back Electronic Arts in Canada wanted to hire programmers. It produced the advertisement at the very top of this article, in programming code, (which effectively tells the programmer that EA is hiring), and strategically placed it on a billboard outside a competitor. It was certainly noticed and caused controversy in the games industry.

A current trend is the art of “projection advertising,” using projections onto well-known landmarks. This form of disruption is popular with journalists for photos for the national media (great brand exposure). Why not for recruiters wanting exposure for smaller brands?

In Recruiting 5.0, employment brands will need to stand out. Augmented reality, disruptive marketing, and stunt PR will be key in that goal.

End of Social Media — All Media Becomes Social

Just as we don’t use the term e-commerce, the term social media will fade away.

As companies seek engagement, seek to understand their audiences, to listen, to crowdsource, and humanize experiences, all media and communications will become social by nature.  (That includes all consumer, corporate … any communications by a company!)

The need for “social” is removed.


We Create Candidates … Candidate Cloning

As the global war for the best talent continues, companies will be posed with a set of new questions and challenges:

  • We want to hire the best talent; there is a global war for the best talent … it’s not easy to hire “the best”
  • The experienced talent pool is shrinking (less talent to pick from)
  • Talent is less loyal, moves jobs, and is more expensive

Given these questions and challenges, more employers will start to look at new solutions. Companies will consider creating their own universities, academies, educational facilities, or training development programs to ready future talent for immediate worth to their business. We know that many companies already sponsor courses and partner with academics on course criteria. This is the next natural step.

There is enough average talent to fill roles, but companies gain competitive advantage by hiring the best. I love this slide based on data by the Journal of Applied Psychology  which tries to visualize the difference between a top performer and an average performer.

If companies are truly serious and focused on hiring the best performers, first they should define the key skills they possess. What makes them a top performer? Can they be created or trained?

All skills being equal, what distinguishes top performers from the average is what behavioral researchers call “emotional intelligence competency.” Emotional intelligence is a term popularized by Salovey and Meyer which details a combination of traits, values and behaviors that is viewed as the most powerful and reliable predictor of success in the workplace. These traits, known to you and I as “people skills” include self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills.

In 1997, Goleman wrote a paper called: “Working with Emotional Intelligence.” This brought emotional intelligence to the fore. Goleman studied 286 organizations worldwide where job competencies of star performers at every level were analyzed. Twenty common competencies were identified, and classified within four broad categories; all but three are emotional competencies (click to enlarge):

This is quite revolutionary by nature. Don’t reach the conclusion that cognitive abilities (IQ, technical skills, etc.) don’t play a role in successful, productive work performance. Of course they do. However, if two individuals have comparable technical skills, research indicates that the individual with strong emotional intelligence (people skills) will be more successful and productive on the job.

The “Global War for the Best Talent” heats up. The experienced talent pool shrinks. As companies continue to expand, especially in the emerging markets, will companies feel the need to “create” their own talent?

Some may argue that some companies are doing this already. Most larger companies have dedicated training programs for new and existing hires. Companies focus their time on defining and then targeting the “best universities” (their definition defined by the talent they seek), and then partnering with professors to help support, nurture, and bring on the best talent.

Would company-run universities/academies/degrees/qualifications appeal to students? To understand that, we have to understand what’s happening right now.

For some, a degree is a waste of time and money. Some courses and universities have spurious offerings.  Students may be better off taking advantage of some of the new online universities. This includes Udacity. This online institution is attracting bright talent around the world as they seek to democratize education. To hire this talent requires a change in thinking by businesses and especially the recruiting gatekeepers.

Some will say this is sensationalism and headline grabbing. But underlying real issues need to be considered by students, parents, business leaders, and politicians. It is our duty as recruiters to pick up the baton to drive awareness and change.

Yes, great entrepreneurs, like cream, will always find their way to the top. But let’s be honest: most businesses would not have hired the likes of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates based on their qualifications. As recruiters, we should naturally ask ourselves: who and how much raw talent are we missing out on?

Conclusion? This article’s aim is to stimulate debate and thought. It hopefully will encourage some recruiters to be more vocal about the inside practices of assessment and filtering within their businesses.

It’s the End of Recruiters as We Know it …

A powerful headline. (“Perhaps sung to REM’s phenomenal tune “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”)

Under Recruitment 3.0, we saw the drive away from the traditional core skills of recruitment. The “new” recruiters need skills in marketing, PR, communications, CRM, direct marketing, and database segmentation.

This drive continues through Recruitment 3.0 & 4.0, and into 5.0.

But 5.0, which is some time off yet, begs the question, do we need recruiters at all?

Will recruiters become obsolete?

Let’s look at why that could be.

The presumption is that talent acquisition and identifying talent will become easier. Recruitment 4.0 “crowdsourcing” will show the power of the crowd in sourcing talent. Just sending a message into a company’s networks yields immediate high-quality candidate recommendations; 5.0 sees the next step.

“Big data” allows for companies to quickly assess the best candidates for a role. In those assessments, behavioral, psychological profiling, from data patterns in the cloud, allow for “greater predictivity” in hiring.

Imagine a hiring manager who can:

  • Seek recommendations from crowdsourcing
  • Source candidates from “the cloud”
  • Have candidates profiled and use “predictive fit” from behavioral and psychological traits

Perhaps hiring managers will able to do their own thing. Perhaps marketing will take over employment brand messaging. What is the role for today’s recruiters? Discuss in the comments section below.

Recruitment 5.0 Conclusion

Here we are. The end of the final paper Recruitment 5.0 in this trilogy.

What struck us writing this was that many of the talent acquisition leaders in place today are not ready for 3.0, 4.0., and let alone 5.0. They have been schooled in recruiting techniques that will soon be outdated and detrimental to their business. Many are more focused on process than end results. Where does your leader stand?

Imagine those recruiting leaders who can go to their CEO and demonstrate that they have been able to map out competitors and build relationships with the best talent. They have created a predictable talent pipeline. Leaders who have created engaged communities with two-way communication, thus enhancing employment brand attractiveness while enhancing the consumer/product brand. Imagine leaders who are embracing gamification and crowdsourcing. They may be producing content and creating VIP areas that could be monetized. Recruiting leaders who have been able to reduce recruiting spend while delivering top talent to achieve business goals and drive company revenue. Leaders who are directly impacting a company’s bottom line.

Compare that to your current talent acquisition leader (which may be you, with so many being ERE readers and conference-goers). Are they shaping your future in this direction? 

Who do you think your CEO would prefer as a recruiting leader? The one described above or your current one?

There is plenty above to chew on and debate and you may agree or disagree. There are certainly exciting times ahead for recruiting professionals.

Whatever your views of this paper and the previous ones we hope you seek to challenge the status quo. Blaze trails and help to elevate our great profession and come up with new ideas. We’d love for you to share your thoughts below.

Matthew Jeffery, pictured at center, cited as one of the world's leading recruitment strategists and leaders, is VP, head of global sourcing and employment branding for SAP. Previously, he was head of EMEA talent acquisition and global employment brand for software giant Autodesk. Previous to Autodesk, he was the global director of recruitment brand for Electronic Arts.


396 Comments on “Recruitment 5.0: The Future of Recruiting — the Final Chapter

  1. Matthew, Amy

    Thank you for your great article.

    I agree with you in that as far as mobile recruiting is concerned adoption is super slow.

    In my opinion a lot of this is down to the employers not recognising the demands of the job seekers who want to be able to search and apply for a job anytime, anyplace, anywhere and not just tied to a desktop computer.

    A week ago today I did a an interview with Google and they said that 1 in 5 recruitment searches are now mobile –

    That means that companies without a mobile-enabled website are already turning away 20% of their visitors, and they probably don’t even realise it!

    With 40% of mobile visitors who arrive on a non mobile-enabled website (and have a bad experience) saying they would go to a competitor it really is time for companies to wake-up and take mobile seriously!
    Mike Taylor

  2. Another fantastic article Matthew –

    A move from process driven recruitment towards a employer brand, messaging and community management role only is an interesting idea. I certainly agree there are a lot of moves in that direction, but I think there will be a place for process driven assistance to organisations for a long while yet. At 4MAT we are positioned to assist in both of these aspects, but with a heavy focus towards ensuring brand, messages and relevant employment related information is visible, always to hand, but also marketed well.

    On the mobile side we continue to see accelerated growth in mobile traffic on our clients’ sites. We have put live many examples of our dedicated mobile career site platform, and this is increasing day by day. There is a lot of innovation still to come in this space and we look forward to playing a large part in that.

    More on this can be found at

    A great extension here from your 3.0 and 4.0 discussions, thanks for your very valuable contributions!

  3. Thank you very much, Matthew and Amy.
    You’ve clearly done a great deal of research here and created a well-written and comprehensive article.

    When implementing a potential new technique, technology, process, etc. a recruiter should ask the following:
    1) Will it help me get more money, benefits, security, status-promotability, creative/enjoyable work?
    2) Will it get me candidates, cheaper, faster, more easily, better than what I have/do now?
    3) How hard will it be to learn/use?
    4) How long will it be an advantage if lots of people use it too?
    5) What are the unforeseen/unintended consequences or opportunity costs of using it likely to be?

    However, since these things are usually sold by slick sales reps to high-level staffing heads who don’t have to use them (and *without much input from those of us who would have to use them), these questions are pretty much moot.



    *’Cruitaz: when was the last time you were able to veto the purchase/implementation of a clunky and unwieldy new ATS? When was the last time anybody asked you and your colleagues to try out a significant new recruiting new technique, technology, process, before it was decided whether or not to purchase it?
    It’s not unknown, but rare in my experience.

  4. @Mike Taylor.

    Thanks for the great comments on the article. Very much appreciated.

    We are totally with you on this.

    And let’s cut straight to the issue. It’s a concern. Why don’t recruitment leaders understand their candidates. As you say, people are looking for jobs today, right now, on their mobile phones. Using a mobile makes sense. It is convenient. Quick. Spontaneous. You can search for jobs on the train, having a cigarette break, at lunch, in between meetings and even on the loo. So why are recruiters making it hard for job seekers by not mobile optimizing their site.

    Mike, very interested in your view why Recruitment Leaders are not embracing mobile:

    1) Budget issues? (But meanwhile firms spend on agency fees and job boards, so can’t be this?)

    2) Don’t understand. (That sites need to be optimized or an app created)?

    3) Don’t see the value?

    4) Recruiting leaders are fundamentally lazy? (And I subscribe to elements of this).

    5) No incentive to introduce mobile into the mix. Since Recruitment leaders either report into HR or Marketing, maybe not the push on the recruiting leader to maximize strategy and hence revert to laziness?

    Love to hear your view Mike as you evangelize mobile recruiting far more than most people I know.

  5. @Gareth Jenkins.

    Cheers legend. Have lots of respect for your views. Love to understand how you see the future of recruiting.

    What worries me about process and I said this at the keynote presentation is there recruiters are faced with so many technological solutions to improve process. Be that an ATS, ant ATS with Bolt-ons, a CRM or a hybrid ATS/CRM tool. Very few seem to answer the real issue. And there are so many bespoke tools that helps but not solves. (Unless you can direct me better).

    Let’s look at the standard recruitment team today. A recruiter interacts with data aka candidates in many different forums.

    Candidates can come from:

    – Corporate Careers Site (straight into the ATS)
    – LinkedIn (Does not flow naturally into ATS)
    – Social Media (Facebook Twitter)
    – Employee Referrals
    – Search (E.g. Google search/Boolean Black belting it up)
    – Job Boards (Some won’t allow direct traffic to your corporate careers site)
    – Agencies
    – Send’ins/drop-offs/career fares/events

    Etc etc etc.

    Now in many cases a lot of this data won’t hit the main ATS. Why? A recruiter is too busy to import or upload data into their site. Hence, as you know, this makes metrics a nightmare and of course undermines the utility of a database if the data isn’t in there.

    Solving that, then being able to ensure accurate weighting/profiling of candidates, with full CRM capability ie the ability to segment, email, (including mass), is something that we all crave…..

  6. Hey Keith

    Great to hear from you. Been a while. Always love our interactions. Always meaty, in depth and on the mark.

    First off, thanks for the great comments. Appreciate you noted the amount of research and liked the way it was written. Cheers buddy.

    Now, let’s discuss and debate lol

    Totally agree with you on the questions a recruiter should ask.

    So who is to blame?

    Are you subscribing to the theory that many recruiting leaders are lazy, out of touch and collecting the pay cheque?

    How can a business invest thousands/millions into a new ATS without doing due diligence?

    What’s your view Keith?

    And yes, at LinkedIn Talent Connect, I did say one of the issues facing recruitment was lazy recruiters and recruitment leaders. Unlike some professionals, including HR, a qualification is generally needed to enter. Recruitment has no such bar to entry and hence, is easy for many to enter. In the boom thousands of people entered recruitment for the love of commission. Making placements agency side was the simplest thing. Many a Ferrari and mansion were earnt by recruiters in that era. We see elements of that today.

    Many of these ex agency recruiters, (And yes, I include myself here), are today’s recruitment heads and leaders.

    Issue is that many lack the skills and experience needed to run functions.

    Keith agree? Or am I wrong?

  7. One of the best and informative article ever written in our space Matthew and Amy! Where does one begin to comment?

    First off, Congrats on getting approval on letting people apply via your app not the traditional desktop to ATS route! I’m a big fan of the job alerts, I can’t wait until phase 2 and people can share those alerts with their friends!

    I appreciate your disruptive marketing comments, do you think we’ll ever have the advertising budgets to make such a big impact?

    Lastly, augmented reality, I know you have something up your sleeve, can’t wait to see what it is!

    Thanks again for inspiring pushing the envelope, as always!

    Kat Drum

  8. @Kat Drum.

    Thanks for the great comments. They mean a lot especially coming from you. There are too few innovators in our industry right now. You are definietly one who pushes the envelope and challenges the status quo.

    You know what Kat, as an aside, on this point, I referred to this in the presentation, the industry has seen the rise of too many social media ‘gurus’, ‘consultants’, ‘futurologists’ and ‘experts’. Now what is interesting is that they are writing blogs and seeking to advise companies. But a glance at their LinkedIn profile shows many lack substansive real experience. This shows the true power of social media. It can make ‘stars’ and ‘thought leaders’ out of virtually nothing. As you said where are the new ideas. It is easy for people to sit on a settee and criticise or comment on others. We need to encourage more Recruitment Leaders to innovate, challenge the status quo. Not just follow the sheep.

    Is that too harsh?

  9. Well done guys, interesting piece. Matt, not enough space here so i think its time for that pint 😉 In summary:

    Forget mobile, corporate recruiting standards in general totally suck. The online experience is generally very poor, as is the resulting applicant/candidate experience. No surprise that mobile is woeful.

    Ill skip on the advert for the Autodesk app 😉

    Ill also skip on the advert for LinkedIn 😉

    Big data sure is big, and i think will transform a lot of things. But I think the most exciting is the area of unstructured data because its new. We have structured data already. Your list of data points is largely structured data or extensions of keywords. I see that we have skills, experience and education in there still – the least reliable predictors of performance! Not sure how useful the data is if these criteria are going to be central to the output – garbage in, garbage out!

    God forbid that ever falls into the hands of your average recruiter monkey. Please no.

    Brands – they can augment themselves all they like but in the end it will be a total waste of time and money if they suck. Authenticity is my preferred word of the future. Social is giving us confidence – and as the word social dies out (which you are spot on with) we will increasingly become more vocal and confident. A brand that isn’t engaged, totally open and authentic wont attract great people, period. No matter how much it spanks on a smart phone thingy 😉

    ATS – yes, correct in my view – my next blog for HRTechEurope – you going? Not sure about LinkedIn though, i think we will move past that over time. I certainly wouldn’t be investing my money in ATS as an investor. Very hard to wean a company off the ATS habit though eh?

    Talent Acquisition Leaders – yep, bang on. Like the vision. But dont blame the incumbents – organisations get the professionals they deserve. Process is still king in most places. Sad but true. Heres to the revolution 😉

    Lets debate over a beer soon!

  10. @Gareth.

    Love it. Yes we will beer it up soon. Thanks for taking time out to comment.

    Would like to comment back. Lol ;).

    So yes we totally agree that corporate recruiting standards generally suck. So do agencies as well.

    How do we change that? I suppose speaking out. But that won’t change recruiting leaders and decision makers out there. Like you I go to conferences and listen to recruiting experts and heads of’s and I am left scratching my head. How did they get that role. How do they stay there? Who is accountable for keeping them in place. Bloody scary. There are some great brands that are sorely being under served and let down. Hey ho.

    Candidate experience is generally shocking. And is limited to that bounce back email. Scary eh.

    On the Autodesk mobile app. I like you question it’s inclusion. We did debate. Key is we wanted to show it as we are also interested in seeing what people say. You and I have both been at conferences and see big brand mobile apps. But while they are flash, whizzy and sexy graphically, BUT they are one downloaders. They have job search and company information, but come on. That is not repeat visit material. Hence including our app and seeing if people have better ideas. We need to drive awareness of mobile as key to our industry. Any apps you would visit regularly?

    Indeed roll on the revolution. It is needed mate. Our industry needs to change :).

  11. Matt,

    You and Amy get the ERE award for lengthy article of the year.

    Some info is good.

    Some makes me wonder if you and Amy don’t have your heads in the ‘cloud’ on Branson’s next trip to space. Way to much ‘pie in the sky’ stuff here. Another reason why the whole HR function should be abolished.

  12. Hey Ty.

    First off thanks for taking time out to comment. Appreciated.

    hhhhmmmm I wonder if the tickets are on sale yet for Branson’s space visit? 😉

    In all seriousness, this paper was the 3rd in a series. Recruitment 3.0, the first in the series has most of the now information, 4.0 tried to project forward a little and then when faced with the final paper, it is a matter of trying to predict the future future. lol. Maybe wrongly.

    But, I would say that much is relevant. Mobile is massively growing in importance and we could see that as the dominant channel for recruitment and recruitment communication.

    The personal DNA data in the cloud is upon us now in many ways. Amazon, iTunes predict purchases for us based on our trends. Why not recruiters.

    Augmented reality is being used in advertising now, (as Omega have done). Why not recruitment?

    In terms of candidate cloning, companies are looking at their own courses & qualifications now.

    Not being defensive but love to know what elements you see as ‘pie in the sky’?

    Hoping you reply Ty. 🙂 Thanks buddy.

  13. Matthew,

    this article is amazing and really deep (great data too).

    What surprise me the most is that many of the things you mention here for Recruiting are applicable to many kind of new business now. Technology, mobile and cloud are radically changing the way people connect, works, learn and share ideas, opinions, and more.
    The challenge for organizations today is to understand in time these quick changes and use them as opportunities.

    Very interesting to see such vision and recommendation arriving from Recruitment gurus! Congratulations and thanks!


  14. Hey Paolo.

    Thanks for the great comments. Very much appreciated.

    You are so right. What drives the new recruitment lays at the heart of most industries and disciplines. That is new technology, the move to the cloud and mobile.

    Not only recruitment needs to change but marketing, product marketing, advertising, new product development, (eg use the power of crowdsourcing in the cloud), business strategy and HR.

    Exciting times lay ahead. With many opportunities.

    It will be interesting to see which companies embrace chance and those that resist and then lag behind.

    Thanks again Paolo.

  15. Matthew and Amy,

    I feel as though I’ve been thrown into the deep end of a recruitment philosophy wave pool after having seen your presentation at LinkedIn Talent Connect and read your post. Which, in case it’s not clear, is a good thing.

    I think it’s hugely important for the recruiting community to push the established boundaries – we have been in stubborn complacency for too long. So while your ideas may seem fantastic, that doesn’t render them irrelevant or whimsical. Nothing is irrelevant in a brainstorm, and I very much view your 5.0 post as something akin to that.

    On a more concrete note, the idea of recruiters as marketers is one that I quite like. It’s easy to draw the parallels, and say that we need to think in terms of how to get prospects’ attention and keep it. But there is an important difference that makes the parallel a little tricky:
    – Quality: Product marketers target customers based on who is most likely to want their product. Recruitment marketers must target *not just* on who is most likely to want a position at their company, but also on who the company is most likely to want back.
    – Quantity: Product marketers are not only satisfied, but even happy, when droves of customers materialize. Comparatively, recruitment marketers only need a small number of customers at a given time, and prefer to have the droves on stand-by.

    When we push to come out with social media strategies, branding campaigns and [augmented reality] marketing messages, these differences (and more, to be sure) could render some ideas not only ineffective, but perhaps even damaging to our efforts.

    What I’m saying is: now that we’re in the deep end, and the waves are throwing us about, let’s start amassing some inner tubes to help us stay afloat and (gasp!) perhaps even enjoy the ride.

  16. don’t know where to start to comment…

    It all seems so obvious 🙂 the did you know kind a stuff… But WOW what an article!

    Love it.

    Extra comment on the AR piece, Layar is since they came up with Stiktu more and more seen in Print (check out layar creator and create yourself..) When I walked into the CareerEvent, Where jobseekers meet Employers: I got this brochure at the entrance, explaining Layar is inside. Redirecting you to featured articles on Msites which did not fit the paper page…

    As long as we believers keep pushing content, the more it will be used. Matthew and Amy well done.

  17. Lots to think about here, so thanks for taking the time to put this together.
    Personally, I want to hear data, proper data, on mobile recruitment app’s. The idea that a “passive” (hate that phrase) candidate will download an app for each company they are interested in joining just doesn’t sit right with me.
    I would love to hear about the ROI of an app. Until we are talking about cold hard data then nobody can tell me whether an app is actually worth the time and expense.

    Speaking of statistics, I’m not sure about this one: “39% of instances where a consumer walks out of a store without buying were influenced by smartphones”.

    For me, the future of recruitment is for the industry to grow up, and become more professional. Far too many companies are messing about experimenting with whatever modern technical trend catches their imagination and not doing the basics.

  18. Matthew, another great article – thanks for sharing.

    You make some very interesting points throughout which will no doubt cause debate – so I will add my thoughts now…

    With regards to mobile (and having already been on twitter, facebook and checked out movie times on my phone this morning on the way to work) I wholeheartedly agree that we need to have mobile sites in order to make it easier for people to not only find out more about your company but also apply – we are hoping to go live with ours pre-xmas. I have to say though that I am not convinced about the need for an app – I don’t really see why people would want to download an app for a particular company when they may be looking at numerous sites. I would question why they would want to keep returning to the app, this may work for a sexy brand such as Autodesk but there are many companies out there that do not sit in this box and therefore the challenge is even greater (myself included) to engage and maintain returners.

    I have to say I agree with Gareth on the ATS front – it will be very hard to wean your standard recruiter off the ATS (as you know most are creatures of habit – how long did it take to get them/us to let go of the spreadsheet database!!). That said, there are some great systems on the market who deliver so much more than the standard ATS – Having launched a new system earlier this year we are already seeing the benefits of this more advanced technology – so maybe it is just about moving and adapting to changing technology and taking a simplified approach… looking at it from the candidates perspective.

    My favourite part of your piece has to be the focus on relationships – something I believe is key to delivering an effective and successful resourcing function. When you work in such a large, diverse organisation such as Sodexo the resourcer/recruiter who does well quickly realises that in order the get the buy in of the hiring managers and to ensure they can influence their decision making they need to build effective relationships – this moves us away from being CV pushers to actually partnering the business and supporting them in finding the best possible talent in an increasingly difficult market. I have said this before and will say it again… there are a lot of poor recruiters (both agency and inhouse) out there who are mediocre at best because they do not appreciate the value in relationship building – I should know I have interviewed enough. At the end of the day recruitment is a fairly simple process (not the dark art we like people to believe) and therefore the best recruiters distinguish themselves through their ability to keep up with change, influence, build relationships and match candidates to the right opportunities – isn’t it really about right hole right fit?!? And my favourite comment – ‘pick up the phone’ we all too often hide behind email – sound advice for anyone!!

    Great work – look forward to watching the comments as they build!!

  19. @Julia Markish

    Thanks for the inspiring comments.

    And congrats on your new role Heading up LinkedIn’s Global Employment Brand. What an awesome job. And the funky fresh feel of working at LinkedIn was emphasized at Talent Connect Las Vegas. Loved the whole vibe, not just to share information and best practices, not just networking but to entertain, be it the Spazmodics to parties. LinkedIn is one cool ship 🙂

    I also love the tone of your comments Julia. It sounds like you intend to be a trailblazer and to innovate….which is what this industry needs. I really can’t wait to see what you do. You know you have me as a full cheerleader.

    Yes. You are right that some ideas in 5.0 may seem a little far-fetched to some 🙂 Of course the 3.0 & 4.0 articles will be more relevant to them. But 5.0 is in many ways here. We live in an age of mobile, big data, declining ATS’s, and the need to use disruptive marketing. Augmented reality is a natural step for recruiters. Will be fun to watch. I wanted if LinkedIn…..will embrace augmented reality.

    Julia you are so spot on that recruiters are now marketers…we are all marketers now 🙂

    Love your ending. Effectively, if we don’t try and innovate, if we don’t make mistakes and learn from them, we will never push our profession forward.

    Keep on innovating Julia 🙂

  20. Matt and Amy

    Great thesis; OMG this has to be the longest post in the history of the Internet and is exactly the reason why we don’t see traction. Some great information and examples but TBH I fell asleep half way down reading. (I jest…)

    Seriously though, this is why recruiters do little as they get confused with so many examples and so little time to do it all. And let’s not forget the candidate and line manager; they are going to accept some simple improvements rather than wholesale change every month. LinkedIn as your ATS? Who owns the data then….. Recruiters need to won the destination rather than the source so wherever the applicant is processed, a recruiter cannot be at the mercy of a site such as Li IMO!

    So often we don’t get the basics in place and go charging off after the latest shiny idea and end up falling flat on our face. I’m in total support of pushing mobile, improving the ATS and pretty much everything else you talk about but it is about relevance and operational reality. I think you should turn this post alone into a series!

    See you soon.


  21. @Gordon Lokenberg


    Thanks for the great comments. Appreciated.

    I did fail to add one thing though. And that was your great idea that sourcers should use Spotify to view people’s playlists as certain talent pools could like certain music. I guess that fits into 5.0 and ‘Big Data’ and profiling. 😉 LOL

    Love that you point to Layar and Augmented Reality. I am looking forward to see what you do with Augmented Reality Gordon.

    Don’t Stop Believin’

  22. @Paul Humphreys

    You make a great point on data. We, like you, are enthusiastic to learn more. The reason for the delay on releasing our mobile app is underpinned by what you allude to. We have worked with the Developers, ‘AllTheTopBananas’, (who are brilliant btw), and really wanted to have a mobile app that people download and don’t delete on the first time of viewing it. We considered that job search wont keep people engaged. Neither will company information. So what will cause people to engage with an app and not delete it within a couple of days? Having a one stop shop for social media and aggreagating all social feeds is a step on that road. Allowing someone to monitor and join in, (conversation), all social feeds in one place rather than logging into different sites should be a big plus. As part of this page we have included other Autodesk blog feeds, hence creating more of a pull. Added to this a game.

    But Paul, you are right. Let’s look at the data of how well this goes. But what data is key.

    There are some mobile apps out there already which are gaining massive traction. And the stats are huge. But your point comes back. Downloads may be high. Job search may be high. But how long do people retain the app on there? That we don’t know.

    You are right to say that someone will not download 20 Company apps onto their phone. (If they did they would be quite dull I would say). There are memory limitations and for me, I would need space for Angry Birds, Flick Football, FIFA, Cut the Rope and The Sims.

    But our goal to have a premium app that people engage with and retain is achievable. And helped whilst our competitors watch but don’t react.

    We will be honest Paul and if it bombs, we will say that.

    But gotta innovate and have a go ?

    Again, you are right the industry hasd to grow up, get back to basics. Technology and these innovations should enhance recruitment and help build employment brand but if the basics are broken, candidates have poor experiences and people hate working for a company then no amount of trickery or innovation can help.

    A pig is still a pig even if you put lipstick on!

  23. @Melanie Hayes.

    Thanks for your great comments. They mean a lot from you. You know how much I admire you and Sodexo. You are definitely one of the innovators out in the industry. I can’t wait to see the day you get full control as a VP of a Recruitment Function. Hopefully very soon.

    I can’t wait to see your mobile app. I am sure it will be very cool. No doubts on that. Yeh, the sexy factor is a challenge for all companies to download apps. But of course, sexy means different things to different people. Dull to some is sexy to others. Hence, if an app contains aggregated social content, (I see that your Facebook page for example gains great traction), hence a place where people can engage in a one stop shop of your social media is a good thing. Also whatever the profession, people are passionate about news e.g. pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, financial services, people want to engage and discuss relevant issues.

    And of course, people focus on size. Size isn’t important. It’s the quality. We all hear of companies at conferences boasting that they have 400,000 Facebook fans. That they have 200,000 people downloaded their mobile app. What if that 200,000 are irrelevant. People that don’t have the appropriate skills sets. Won’t be a fit for the company. Yes, they will be Brand Ambassadors and positive about a brand, but a community of 400/200,000 brand ambassadors does not equate to value. It’s the quality therefore of people in it. I would rather have 5,000 Facebook fans if they are people in our competitors, have direct skills / relevance to our business. Hence, scale is not the worry, it’s quality and those quality individuals want content, engagement.

    Will be fascinated to hear the Sodexo mobile story presented at a conference very soon ? Knowing you Mel, it will be a success story.

    Love your comments on building relationships…back to basics…and pick up the phone…simple but hardly done.

    I wonder how long it is when we don’t have to interview 30 recruiters to find one decent one!!!!!

    Thanks Melanie.

  24. @Peter Gold.

    Legend. Yeh, tis long. Final paper though 😉 lol. I think a little shorter than 3.0 ? If you fell asleep I will use and read to my kids tonight at bed time ?

    The whole ATS debate is tough. And I would love to hear it at a conference soon.

    The issue is that the theory behind an ATS is that should be the central overarching depository of data ie candidate cv’s, interview notes, candidate information etc etc. But they aren’t. They are generally, across the board, no where even close.

    Candidates post their jobs onto their corporate careers site and then the response comes into their ATS. However, those recruiters also spend most of their time outside of the ATS.

    – They are on LinkedIn sending Inmails, sourcing, forming shortlists of candidates
    – Running internal referral schemes
    – Advertising on job boards (not all job boards allow response direct to the corporate careers site and the ATS)
    – Internet Search (Google, Boolean)
    – Events/Job Fares

    Etc….how much of this data hits the ATS?

    Based on what I hear and peers say, very little.

    We cant expect recruitrers, who are busy, to upload details into the ATS. We cant all employ full time data inputters.

    There are some technolical solutions out there. But if there was one that fulfilled the holy grail, EVERY COMPANY in the world today would be using it. There isn’t…..yet anyway!

    The most common form of technology is LinkedIn. Recruiters spend the most time in there. Makes sense they are in Pole Position to replace the ATS….I would hope that is their goal. Maybe not.

    Will be fascinating to see how this pans out ?

  25. Matt,

    As always a brilliant, well written, well researched, thought provoking and insightful piece about recruitment and talent acquisition. Who’s the Daddy now ; ) ?

    My initial thought was ‘if only’!

    I think for the goals you see for recruitment being attained there has to be a number paradigm shifts in recruitment. It also makes assumptions about certain tools and sites (Linkedin) and that everyone ‘behaves’ online in the same way (which they don’t!)

    I am going to some of the points you raise one by one. Firstly Mobile. Interestingly I think this is the new frontier of recruitment but not in the way you put it here. For example, are you going to encourage people to put an App on their phone for every single company they ‘Like’ and push content out to them? An interesting candidate/person is going to have lots of messages all the time from different companies about jobs and what’s happening in the business. Think of it as the friend you have on Facebook who you met once at an awards ceremony who posts everyday what they had for breakfast! You’d soon get bored with their updates! Also I may browse jobs on my mobile but am I going to apply/flag an interest? I would want any application I make to be supported with a covering letter (surely they’ll still exist in 5.0) and typing one using a phone will be, well, frankly challenging! There is a future for mobile in recruitment but not in the way proscribed here I’m afraid.

    This leads nicely into the next point about personalisation. You correctly make the point that recruiters (internal and external) are lazy and fail to engage with candidates on a personal level. The point here is that if you fail at this then everything else you subsequently do will fail to and your company will have wasted $millions. My research tells me this is the number one bug bear of anyone applying for jobs – silence from a hiring company/recruiter

    Big Data – great points and in theory definitely the way forward. BUT, again I revert back to my ‘good’ candidate theory. You know he’s good, so do all your competitors and THEY are also trying to have a dialogue with him/her and using the same tricks as you. Soon he’s going to turn on his privacy settings (I know an increasing number of people who avoid Linkedin like the plague) to avoid the approaches. Crowd sourcing could well overcome this but there are dangers limiting your recruitment to this.

    I also think using TweetPsych in the recruitment process is on a par with tarot or calling up Shamens to assess the suitability of candidates! (In fact I would be bold enough to say Shamens would give you a more accurate assessment of a candidate than TweetPsych!). Indeed any tool that assesses someone’s future behaviour based on their online presence is a dark alley that recruitment must not enter!

    AR, Social, all have their part to play. Indeed tools such as Skype, online conferencing and collaboration, etc. make the recruitment process easier but there is one thing you cannot get away with in recruitment….human collaboration and I would argue the earlier in the recruitment/talent acquisition process this happens the better. Therefore the final point – the death of the recruiter is irrelevant. Is a line manager (or HR person) seriously going to spend their time getting to know a whole heap of people in case one day their business may require that person’s services? No. They’ve got better things to do with their time – leave it to the talent acquisition team or external recruiters (who still seem to come up with the right candidates when all else fails!!)

  26. Matthew, you have a minefield of great information in this post. What a feat! I’m particularly attracted to your section on psychological profiling on Twitter and LinkedIn. Psychological profiling can be very important in screening job candidates and what a resource SM provides for that. In addition, using the mechanics of positive and negative reinforcement during interviews, employee referrals, and other hiring processes can really garner interesting results. Really good stuff, thanks!

  27. Matthew/Amy – a great article – very insightful and detailed (two things which are often lacking in the world of recruiting!)

    I would beg to differ about the death of the recruiter though. Whilst I think that your vision for Recruiting 5.0 will probably kill off the worst of the ‘high street’ (and I don’t think many people will think that’s a bad thing), there’s no replacement for face to face relationships.

    Technology enables forging relationships better – but does that mean that individuals (‘talent’ in your language) will always identify with and by enamoured by one organisation, ad infinitum? I don’t think so.

    I think that the role of the recruiter is changing and that’s a good thing – and in fact we should be thinking about the role of the talent consultant (meaning acquisition, retention and development). Having an objective, unbiased viewpoint which is able to benchmark across companies (and sectors) is vital to many CEOs and hiring managers we work with. Also, most businesses we work with have in-house talent functions. There is always a balance to be struck between these two populations (and it doesn’t have to be a competing one at that)…but to keep breadth of ideas, perspective and relationships, a healty mix is to be encouraged. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?!

    p.s. Thanks for putting REM in my head…

  28. Hard to pass comment on an article like this without writing a full blog post in response! Certainly many valid points and I know Matthew and I share some views on where technology particularly needs to change. I do take issue with the portion surrounding the end of the ATS though, for two reasons. First, as Mr Gold points out, there’s an ownership issue, no small hurdle.

    Second relates more to the actual workforce though. UK has 29.5m employed people, 2.6m unemployed and 9m “economically inactive” (ONS Sept 2012). LinkedIn boasts 10m members in the UK (LI Press Office, Sept 2012). To get the best possible talent for your firm’s future you can’t rely on a datasource with only 25% of the workforce. I also believe it’s true to say that many firms with an ATS requirement will not find their needs met by LinkedIn any time soon. The economy does not run entirely on white-collar professionals, which is very much LinkedIn’s core business. If you recruit on a volume scale in predominantly blue-collar roles, a more traditional ATS will have value to offer above and beyond LinkedIn and it’s ilk for many years to come – though here, I come back to your side on the advances we must and shall see in Mobile to really drive change!

    Love to catch up over a beer and hit the rest of this. In the meantime, put all three in a proper book and get a publishing deal. War and Peace has held it’s spot for far too long now 😉


  29. Matthew and Amy,

    Firstly, I would like to say I very much enjoyed your presentation last week at Talent Connect, I walked away feeling excited and inspired! It was also a pleasure to meet you both in person at the Linked IN 100 event.

    There are a lot of things about your paper that hit very close to home for me. As a global recruitment and employment branding leader for a large organization, its often daunting to read about what we should or ought to be doing to stay ahead of the pack. I have to say, that although there is a bit of me that always feels worried we aren’t doing enough, at the end of the day, we are doing a lot of what you have discussed in your three papers, and the results have been staggering for us globally 🙂 which always gives me the strength to keep pushing these progams within all levels of our company.

    A few key pieces of your current paper struck me the most:

    Mobile – We have just in the past year started to build our mobile recruitment and branding efforts and it is a work in progress for us but the initial results are fantastic. I read an article last week that said in 2013, mobile is expected to overcome PC’s as the most used web access device. So if organizations don’t have a mobile strategy, they really better get one! We have seen a 50% increase in our mobile traffic from last quarter alone 🙂

    The point you make about taking recruiters “back to basics” was music to my ears. I remember, back in my early days of recruiting, I had a rolodex and I used to make regularly scheduled calls to potential candidates until one day I was finally able to present them a role that I knew they would love. That concept, as much as possible, should be implemented into every recruiters activities. Building proactive and meangingful relationships with both candidates and stakeholders/hiring managers is so very critical to the success of a recruiter and the entire talent attraction efforts of an organization, and its really so simple. Be nice, take the time to direct communication that means something to the receiver and always do you best to follow up and close the loop. This, I believe, is one of the toughest pieces to manage as a recruitment leader, but one of the most important.

    This talent advisor/consultative approach is one we are rolling out within our organization, and it is not going to be easy to do so because it is a big behavioural shift from how things are done today. I feel very lucky to have an amazingly talented global team, however, they like every other recruiting team in the world, have heavy workloads and find it difficult to turn the ship around and do things a bit differently.

    Regardless of the fact that I feel a little overwhelmed when I read about what we need to be doing, I always feel thankful that I work for an organization that is entreprenurial at heart and allows people like me forge new territory and try new things.

    Keep writing, can’t wait to see what is next!!


  30. Ah 5.0 is here at last! Great article, so much to comment on I’ll restrict myself to just a couple of thoughts.

    Firstly I just don’t get why people are so protective of traditional ATS. The whole concept is less than 15 years old and they have never ever delivered the way people hoped they would. I remember clients of mine having the same issues with their ATS back in 1999 as they do now……it makes me feel that recruitment is stuck in a time warp. Software, technology and the Internet have moved on….lets be champions of something more agile, flexible and fit for purpose instead. I’m not sure LinkedIn is the answer here but it is a significant part of the question!

    Mobile, completely agree. Get with the program everyone your candidates want it now and it is possible to do everything you need to do with it now. Mobile apply is here whether you believe it not. I’m working on two mobile apply projects at the moment and am just about to write a blog post featuring another company who are already using mobile apply for their nursing recruitment in the UK. The future is here!

    Matt – “A so called Futurologist” 😉

  31. @Russell White

    So good to receive your comments.

    Interesting personal fact for others. Russell was the person who brought me into recruitment, taught me search, business development, interview skills and most importantly to not accept the status quo. He was my early mentor and his ‘maverickness’, never say die attitude has informed my style. Russell got results other recruiters would only dare to dream. Hence why I value his comments so much. (If you hate me, then blame Russell for starting my Recruitment career lol).

    Russ we do agree on mobile in different ways. I do see mobile optimization and mobile apps as key but they have to be able to allow candidates to apply and allow the addition of covering letters. HALT!!!!! Let’s think outside the box. But maybe we don’t need them in years to come. Maybe we can apply by linking to the LinkedIn profile. What is the utility of the covering letter? How many recruiters read them. They just rush to the cv/resume? Hhhhmmmmmm.

    Yes. Candidate experience at the moment is poor. Across the board. Recruiters are under massive pressure. They rely on the bounceback email received on applying for a role. Then that candidate, if they lack the right skills, for the right role, at that right moment in time, will fester and rot on the ATS for years to come, turning that candidate from a positive influence into a harsh negative critic. Until, recruitment leaders understand this, hopefully through a backlash on social media or Glassdoor ranking, little will be done. That’s where the issue is.

    On Tweet Psych, I am more interested in the potential theory, than this actual tool. Obviously big issues on privacy, ethical use of data. But understanding a person’s online trend may be useful for the future. Psychological profiling via online questionnaires may be the preferred way.

    And agree that relationships are key. I would say that there are very few ‘awesome’ external recruiters. I know you are one. But as well there are very few awesome internal recruiters. I suppose it depends on the company. Internally, teams are indoctrinated that if they have a great Employment Brand, build social networks, identify, source and develop relationships with great candidates, set up internal referral schemes, crowd source candidates, then there is no need for external recruiters. Maybe a utopia? But given agency hires are high in some areas of EMEA & Asia, then the mix will remain for some time.

  32. @Kes Thygesen

    Thanks for the great comments. Appreciated.

    Question is how many companies would refrain from using online information and profiling based on behavioural and psychological trends? There are huge ethical issues there. Huge privacy issues. California has passed a law surrounding usage of information on social media.

    People are very protective of personal data. But Companies always include the tick box to sell information to 3rd parties.

    Companies like Amazon & iTunes already use their data to predict our likes/dislikes.

    So question is Kes. Would your hiring managers like to have more predictability and analyse canddiates based on behavioural and psychological DNA footprints in the cloud?

  33. @Anna Penfold

    Hope you are doing well. Thanks for the great comments. We, like you, would love to see more thought provoking articles ?

    Yes, it’s maybe too far reaching to predict the death of the recruiter.

    But the hiring manager of the future should:

    – Benefit from a stronger Employment Brand (more unsolicited resumes/cv’s and at a higher quality)
    – Greater number of Employee Referrals (helped by technology eg LinkedIn Referral engine may be refined and more definitive) plus better Employment Brands should lead to more resumes
    – Communities yielding more results (engaged and ready-made pipeline?)
    – Crowdsourcing of candidates via Communities
    – DNA data in the Cloud leaving footprints to profile behaviorally & psychologically (hence providing candidates that Hiring Managers have more information on, hence lack of a need for a Recruiter pre-screen)?

    Much of this a Hiring Manager can do…..but they don’t have time for relationship building.

    But can emotion and greater insight foster ‘relationships’ and will augmented reality allow the connection to companies previously unheard of.

    Interesting areas to consider.

    Maybe, we will see the complete reverse from in-house functions are the tools above mean that Hiring Managers do so much and external recruiters / agencies do the rest.

    Hhhhmmmmmm Interesting ?

    And yes….love REM……gutted they disbanded.

  34. @James Mayes.

    Always love your perspective buddy. As someone mega close to the industry, works hard and assesses trends and ideas, thanks for commenting. Respect you a lot, as you know.

    James mentions his blog. I will too. Musings from Sussex is a great read and can be found HERE. (

    The whole ownership debate is HUGE when it comes to ATS. A both you and Peter Gold note.

    But, ownership is an interesting question.

    A company ‘owns’ the data on the ATS. But much of that is out of date. We know that, say LinkedIn resumes/cv’s are updated frequently. As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in his Keynote, they noted that people updated their LinkedIn profile even when they were not looking for a job. The same is not true of the data in an ATS. The moment it is collected it is aging and will be obsolete within 12 months, (as more skill sets added, qualifications, jobs etc).

    So what is the true ‘value’ of an ATS?

    There again, working on ‘borrowed’ data like LinkedIn or resume/cv search on job boards, is that a failure for a company? Or are they maximizing the opportunity for up to date data.

    It’s an interesting debate. Would you rather work with data you own and that will be tough to keep up to date, or would you rather work with ‘borrowed’ data and take the most informed decisions?

    Yes…..LinkedIn needs to attract a better penetration of markets. No doubt. Talent Pipeline will help with that as we can add details into our company pipeline.

    James….thanks for the advice….all three, (3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 are in a free download). HERE. ( 3.0 and 4.0 have been heavily revised as well and more up to date.

    May shock you but don’t aim to make any money from them lol

  35. @Tania Craig

    Hello there. Great to meet you there as well. Both at the 100 Club and on the dancefloor at the LinkedIn ‘Indoor Pool Party’.

    Glad you liked the presentation. We tried to balance information and fun/entertainment. Hope you loved the 50+ strong Flash Mob. Don’t know but that could be the first ever Flash Mob at a recruitment conference lol. Fun all the same!!!!

    Please do get out there and champion your Mobile strategy. The more that company Recruitment Leaders and Brand leaders Champion leaders say that they are doing, the more that others will follow. I won’t use the word sheep….well….maybe. But keep up the great work and spread your mobile message.

    Agree Back to basics is key. The issue is a cultural shift. People are more used to communicating through texts, inmails, Facebook mails, emails, tweets etc than they are by speaking. And yes, this has seen a decline in communication skills. I have noticed that at interview and at Universities. I do get that some people are shy and find it easier to ‘gain a voice’ through electronic communications but the sheer numbers relying on this way to ‘speak’ with candidates is out of hand and too extreme.

    People only can build relationships with people they speak to, meet face to face. Internet dates have to ultimately meet!

    Thanks again TC. Keep on trailblazing. The more that do it, the more the industry will change……

  36. @Matt Alder

    Now you Sir very much deserve the term Futurologist. You actually know recruiting inside out and you make wise and accurate predictions.

    Whilst my words may be a little cheeky, I am sure that as you observe the market you can see some of the self pro-claimed ‘Gurus’, ‘experts’, ‘consultants’ etc out there, and few of them have any real gravitas.. I want people to see through them. Call them out. The Social Media age has made stars of people, like reality tv, with little or no skills.

    I love debate, being challenged, but find it a little rich at times that some, who have achieved very little or nothing except the recycling / repackaging of ideas of others, have been able to make a name for themselves, often by being an armchair commentator criticizing others for stating new ideas, or disrupting conventional wisdom. It’s a personal pet peeve. Criticizing new ideas is easy, coming up with new ideas and then stating them publically is not so easy!!! But I suppose we are all armchair football managers and believe that we can do a better job than Roy Hodgson 😉

    The one thing some of the gurus/experts/consultants have to their favour, it that they are green and environmentally friendly as they always recycle others ideas 😉

    Thank god for people like you Matt who get it and represent the industry brilliantly.

    Matt, after that rant lol, thanks for the comments. Appreciated. Glad you liked the Final Chapter.

    For those that don’t know Matt has produced, with @MobileDave a brilliant White Paper on the Future of Mobile Recruitment. It’s well worth a read. Take a look HERE: (

  37. Thought provoking as ever Matthew, Amy – thanks!
    I do struggle with the thought that we aren’t putting relationship at the centre of our thinking as recruiters – as you say recruiting has always been about relationships. Totally agree that actions like sending InMails are not a solution to relation-eering (just sounds better than relationship building). I sense we need to be moving away from mass broadcast thinking to mass narrowcast engagement. Building personalised messages, and therefore delivering personalisation, but thinking mass. 5.0? Is this the end of the era of broadcast communication to mass candidate audiences. Today audiences need to atomised down to a single individual (with a mobile phone) – the message carried narrowcast to the audience or individual candidate. Love the article! Lots to consider.

  38. Thanks for the kind words Matthew and yes you are right to have a rant. So many people are quick to slag off new ideas and approaches but very few are prepared to put themselves out there and get our industry out the dark ages.

    Love the social media reality TV analogy, lots of people promoting themselves out there on the back of other people’s case studies and a non existent client base. Luckily so far it seems that the technical barriers to entry in the mobile space have prevented a similar explosion of Mobile Gurus! Mobile is so important to the future of recruitment I’d hate to see employers paying for bad advice, this is one of the reasons we produced the Mobile Recruiting Guide…to help people know what kind of expertise to look out for. Thanks for the shout out about it and keep up the thinking!

  39. @Jerry Collier

    Cheers mate. Hope to see you soon. Been a while.

    I love that word relation-eering. Will have to use that in future.

    Personalisation, targeted, narrow messaging, agree agree agree.

  40. @Matt Alder

    Mate, you have my full respect. You go out on a limb with new thinking, shake up the status quo and try to challenge thinking. That’s what the industry needs and why I like following your work.

    But oh dear. There are people advising companies out there that effectively earn their living by repackaging others ideas and at the same time having the gall to criticize ‘out there’ thinking.

    Some of the stuff that people like you and I say may not be perfect, may not come true, may be fanciful but the whole point is to generate discussion, stretch the rubber band of current thinking.

    The easiest thing is to criticize. Say that ‘is not possible’, ‘it’s never worked before’. I can imagine some of these people saying to Steve Jobs that touch screen functionality would be a fad, probably going back further and criticizing the invention of the car, phone, TV, plane, medicines.

    Sometimes the argument seems to be to change nothing!!! If someone has nothing to add, why speak?

    You can tell it annoys me!!!! Lol Sitting in a conference listening to someone recycling, having no real idea of what they are saying, is maddening.

    Totally recommend your Mobile Guide Matt. I have read it, love it.

    Keep on trailblazing legend.

  41. Hi Matthew

    Many thanks for your reply.

    In answer to your questions about why I think Recruitment Leaders are not embracing mobile:

    1) You said:

    “Budget issues? (But meanwhile firms spend on agency fees and job boards, so can’t be this?)”

    I say:

    “I don’t think there is enough understanding of how much it costs to “go mobile”. It is not always as costly as people think.

    For some of the larger companies “going mobile” can probably be achieved within their current budgets by properly tracking what is currently working for them and re-allocating the budget from channels that don’t work.

    The problem is that a lot of companies aren’t very good at measuring advertising success and ROI.

    One important point that a lot of people don’t mention is the “opportunity cost” of not being mobile. Missing out on top talent by not having a mobile presence can cost a lot more than the cost of introducing mobile, not to mention the damage to a company’s brand and reputation.”

    2) You said:

    “Don’t understand. (That sites need to be optimized or an app created)?”

    I say:

    “I agree, that is why we produced the first ever Free Guide – How To Get Started with Mobile Recruitment – back in September 2011 – to help people understand what the differences are.

    3) You said:

    “Don’t see the value?”

    I say:

    “Totally agree. Most Recruiters use their phone in the morning to check email, catch up on the news, do a bit of online shopping or online banking etc. but as soon as it comes to using mobile for recruitment they tend ignore it, even though mobile is part of THEIR daily life and routine! Bizarre!

    4) You said:

    “Recruiting leaders are fundamentally lazy? (And I subscribe to elements of this).”

    I say:

    “Not sure I would say “lazy” but more “unaware” of the major impact not being mobile will have on their business going forward.

    5) You said:

    “No incentive to introduce mobile into the mix. Since Recruitment leaders either report into HR or Marketing, maybe not the push on the recruiting leader to maximize strategy and hence revert to laziness?”

    I say:

    “I don’t think where Recruitment reports into is the issue here. It is the lack of understanding of the impact that mobile is having and recognising the needs of the job seeker.

    When I interviewed Emma Frazer, Head of Industry for Recruitment at Google last week she told me that 1 in 5 recruitment searches are now mobile. If that isn’t a wake-up call to say to Recruiters they need to have a mobile presence then I don’t know is?

    Based on those figures by not having a mobile presence companies are potentially offering a bad user experience to 20% of their website visitors without even trying!

    By the way, Emma is speaking at my Mobile Recruitment Conference next week (you kindly spoke last year). If you are back in the UK let me know if you wanted to come along?

    Thanks again for a great article and for the great debate.


  42. @ Matt

    I am writing this with a slightly embarrassed look on my face after all the nice things you said about me! My turn!! I know why you have been so successful and found your niche and why so many people in recruitment respect you. You have combined your personal talents with the skills you have picked up both personally and professionally. Enough of this!

    I want to come back on one thing. Linkedin!

    For the record I was approximately the 174,000th person (in the world) to join in 2004 so have been using the site consistently – every day since. I like the way certain people have made a living advising on how to use it – I missed another business venture and there are very few tricks I don’t know about LI!

    Whilst it is a valuable tool it is fundamentally flawed and unless the management change it – LI will be superseded. Indeed with all its potential power it should by now have dominated recruitment globally, superseding nearly every single other job board. It has the potential to help countries climb out of recession, drive business across continents, influence culture and governments, drive innovation and enterprise. Instead it wallows.

    Without too much effort I have a list of 12 or so things LI could do to dominate recruitment, several more to achieve the further goals I mention above – I’m not going to write them here – if Jeff Weiner wants to call and discuss with me then he’s welcome to! Basically what Linkedin needs to focus on is transparency, usability and flexibility and if it doesn’t quickly I am sure other sites will begin to eat into its pre-eminent position in the next 18 months.

  43. Hi Matthew, great article I really enjoyed reading this and all the comments to go with it.

    I would like to pick up on a couple of the comments posted and explain a little more about the true values of mobile recruiting. As always we see comments made via assumption rather than the facts, and at we have the facts not the assumptions.

    First, let’s take a look at a quick case study.
    PepsiCo is just one of the many clients we have had the pleasure of building a mobile recruiting solution for. Their solution includes an iPhone app, Android App, iPad app and recently launched mobile site. All these have been tested in the USA, and have been live for just over a year.
    Just 4 weeks ago Chris Hoyt from PepsiCo stood on stage at the mobile recruiting conference in Atlanta and revealed that in the past 6 months PepsiCo USA had made 145 hires from their mobile apps and recently launched mobile site.
    Assuming the same running rate, circa 300 hires in a full year will be likely. The Typical fully managed app package from costs $30,000 USD year 1 and then £10,000 USD annual renewal fee. So based on these stats; year 1 would cost circa $100 per hire, and year 2 would be reduced to circa $33.33 per hire! Not a bad ROI!

    Apply via mobile and the ATS.
    Up to now it has been near impossible to apply directly from the mobile device via the clients ATS system. That is all about to change, we are currently in talks with 3 of the Major ATS providers and are setting up to integrate with the apps and mobile site we provide to allow a smooth apply via mobile process. CV’s/ Resumes can easily be uploaded via several different methods, including Dropbox, Google Docs, email, etc.
    Also remember, the 145 hires from the PepsiCo mobile solution all came from the “email a link” back to a PC to do the apply. There was no option to apply directly from the mobile apps or mobile site. PepsiCo did not see a drop off in response rates because of this. This is contrary to most people views that an email link is not an acceptable apply option via mobile.

    With apps your vacancies can get instant response!
    Possibly the most well respected feature on the apps we build at Allthetopbananas is the push notification feature. How this works. Each time the jobseeker creates a search on the app the data is saved to the history section of the app. Example; Job Title: Sales Manager, Location: London, Salary: £25K – £35K. The jobseeker has not used the app for a few days, weeks or even months, but now a new vacancy goes live in the app matched to the job; sales manager job in London on £25K-£35K. The phone is sent an alert; this is a message that pops up on the screen similar to that of a text message, alerting the jobseeker that there is a new vacancy available. They click on the message; this opens the app taking them to the exact location of the new jobs. These give instant response as messages like these are read on average within 4 minutes compared to that of an email which can take up to 72Hours.

    To End:
    Mobile is already here, already working for lots of companies, we have seen well over a million downloads of the apps we have built, we send 100,000s of job alerts every month. And whether you like it or not Mobile jobseeking is what the jobseeker wants to do!
    To find out more about our solutions visit

  44. MJ,

    Firstly a big thanks for allowing me the opportunity to add another endorsement to my linkedin profile -“Ability to get through to the end of MJ’s Magnum Opus”! On a serious note, you’ve raised some interesting points, so much so that I felt compelled to respond!

    Mobile recruiting. I get it – mobile is the future. What I’m not seeing, other than in what is, in my opinion, often skewed and questionable data, is that apart from viewing jobs, that people actually want to apply for jobs through this medium. My research, admittedly from a smaller control group of my 21 year old daughter (equally valid stats IMO) is that she doesn’t understand why she would want to apply for a job through her mobile phone. Much of this blog piece, and your previous works, is focussed on accessing the biggest candidate pool out there – the big net approach. I don’t see any recommendations as to how you deveIop anything approaching a “relationship” on this scale. Much of the challenge actual recruiters face is sorting through the swathes of applications to find the “wheat”. It’s not number of applications, it’s quality. “Lastly, I didn’t get a sense from the ad for your app (!) as to whether you could actually apply for jobs from it. It’s very pretty by the way!

    “The reliance on the bounce-back email when someone has applied for a role is one of the criminal injustices of recruiting in this generation.” Really? From my experience, and I have challenged you on this previously is that job seekers actually require any acknowledgement that their application has been received. You talk about personalised communication, and extrapolate buying experiences on Amazon and the like, but aren’t you just taking this automated response onto another more advanced “bounce back” platform.

    DNA footprint. I had some real challenges in this section (and I know your intention is to spark debate). The whole concept of “computerised pre-selection and ranking of candidates” fills me with trepidation, particularly when some of the metrics you suggest include strength and depth of networks (based on this you, Matthew, could get every job from software engineer through receptionist!), which companies they have worked for (relying on a subjective evaluation of someone else’s hiring process), and “footprints in the cloud”. I’m really troubled by this for some of the reasons that you suggest, but also that I think this really is an example of the lazy recruiting that you rail against.

    When we move on to Tweet Psych, this is interesting. However, what interests me is that this has a strong correlation to the introduction and prevalence of psychological profiling and ability testing for every role, regardless of its suitability back in the 90’s. What we frequently experienced was psychological assessment data being used and interpreted by those who were ill trained and unsuited to interpret. Every industry best practice dictates that psych profiling is NOT used at the screening stage, but is used to guide questioning at interview stage – perhaps this is where recruiters will not be obsolete? I detect some contradiction in 5.0 being subtitled as back to basics, yet heralding computerised pre selection.

    Matthew, you and I have talked long about the virtues or otherwise of different ATS’s. Whilst I’m not sure what the current definition of “traditional ATS” is, I’m sure you will agree as a recruitment leader mindful of your legal responsibilities, that you see the necessity of ensuring your recruiters record what they do and say in one central repository. This is a potential minefield. I think the biggest challenge from a recruiter perspective is that the buying and design decisions are not made by anyone who will actually have to use them.

    Some of the gimmicks you refer to, the Linkedin fan boy “Work for Us” etc, I won’t go into too much detail on, as well as your robocop recruiter “augmented reality piece”.

    Again, thought provoking, interesting and it made me bite!

    Beer soon?

  45. Matthew and Amy’s piece above and the trilogy produced, is truly something quite outstanding, and probably never seen before to that scale before.
    With the deepest respect for some very distinguished Recruitment Thought Leaders like Dr. Sullivan, Lou Adler and Kevin Wheeler who have contributed immensely to the debate and to the skill and challenges of best in class recruitment, what is coming out of this Trilogy is in a class of its own.

    Much can and has been said on Recruitment 5.0 and likely much more to come. This is BIG bold and brash piece about the vision of the future.
    Some of it we are beginning to see the start of, some we can forecast coming, and some is still out there in the blue sky, and may or may not become reality.
    It is fascinating reading and will stand out in the history of recruitment thought leadership for years to come.
    For me reading this was like having the roar of a Concorde, 10 symphony orchestras, and 1000 screaming schoolchildren all at once. A true ‘attack all senses’ experience and much to take in, the ‘Science/Future Fiction (reality?) of Recruitment’ – loved every word of it. Well done for the trailblazing.

    Flattery over time for some analysis:
    The truth is in the last paragraph talking about what reality is for both Recruitment 3.0, 4.0. I cannot speak about America, but talking the home turf of Matthew, it is probably fair to say that perhaps 3, stretching it to the most 7% of all corporates are anywhere near what 3.0/4.0 are about. I would imagine the numbers in the US being similar. So we are effectively light-years away from the visions and the opportunities, and only a fraction of business leaders/TA managers etc. have started these journeys. A pity as we all know and have the statistics for things being so much different if we applied a bit of Rec 3.0/4.0 and 5.0 trilogy magic.

    As much as it is fascinating what big data can do, I wonder if we are not at times making the art of finding best possible candidates able to drive a business forward a complex and with Rec. 5.0 possibilities too technical and based on analysis this, analysis that.
    Call me simple but I am not sure all the insight and analysis is going to make that much difference to what is ultimately ‘people buy from people’ when coming to selecting and gut feel still being the dominant factor.
    I have a fear of placing people in boxes based on having analysed everything that can be found on them electronically, – it is simplifying too much. Assessing people lie in seeing/understanding/exploring and accepting nuances. – too mechanical intervention will potentially lose that ability and with that the odd ones (Steve Jobs would have fallen totally out of category/consideration!)

    So for me a peep into the future, what we all can and should aspire to, and what tools/solutions there may be in the short and near future.
    One thing for sure Linkedin truly at the forefront of a lot of things, why I suppose a question of wait and see.

    Thank you for the insight and sharing, always important to have visions and something to debate.

  46. Hi Matthew

    Many thanks for your reply.

    In answer to your questions about why I think Recruitment Leaders are not embracing mobile:

    1) You said:

    “Budget issues? (But meanwhile firms spend on agency fees and job boards, so can’t be this?)”

    I say:

    “I don’t think there is enough understanding of how much it costs to “go mobile”. It is not always as costly as people think.

    For some of the larger companies “going mobile” can probably be achieved within their current budgets by properly tracking what is currently working for them and re-allocating the budget from channels that don’t work.

    The problem is that a lot of companies aren’t very good at measuring advertising success and ROI.

    One important point that a lot of people don’t mention is the “opportunity cost” of not being mobile. Missing out on top talent by not having a mobile presence can cost a lot more than the cost of introducing mobile, not to mention the damage to a company’s brand and reputation.”

    2) You said:

    “Don’t understand. (That sites need to be optimized or an app created)?”

    I say:

    “I agree, that is why we produced the first free mobile guide – How To Get Started with Mobile Recruitment – back in September 2011 – to help people understand what the differences are.

    3) You said:

    “Don’t see the value?”

    I say:

    “Totally agree. Most Recruiters use their phone in the morning to check email, catch up on the news, do a bit of online shopping or online banking etc. but as soon as it comes to using mobile for recruitment they tend ignore it, even though mobile is part of THEIR daily life and routine! Bizarre!

    4) You said:

    “Recruiting leaders are fundamentally lazy? (And I subscribe to elements of this).”

    I say:

    “Not sure I would say “lazy” but more “unaware” of the major impact not being mobile will have on their business going forward.

    5) You said:

    “No incentive to introduce mobile into the mix. Since Recruitment leaders either report into HR or Marketing, maybe not the push on the recruiting leader to maximize strategy and hence revert to laziness?”

    I say:

    “I don’t think where Recruitment reports into is the issue here. It is the lack of understanding of the impact that mobile is having and recognising the needs of the job seeker.

    When I interviewed Emma Frazer, Head of Industry for Recruitment at Google last week she told me that 1 in 5 recruitment searches are now mobile. If that isn’t a wake-up call to say to Recruiters they need to have a mobile presence then I don’t know is?
    Based on those figures by not having a mobile presence companies are potentially offering a bad user experience to 20% of their website visitors without even trying!

    By the way, Emma is speaking at my Mobile Recruitment Conference next week (you kindly spoke at the conference last year). If you are back in the UK let me know if you wanted to come along?

    Thanks again for a great article and for the great debate.


  47. @Mike Taylor.

    Excellent points and thanks for coming back. Very much appreciated.

    First off, your Mobile Recruiting Conference is excellent. I totally recommend people to attend as the Conference looks at all areas of mobile recruitment. Its very informative, thought provoking, and great for networking. Mike I would have been there but, unhappily, the date clashes with LinkedIn Talent Connect London, (and day two of Tru London), which is a shame as you organise your dates a year in advance and prepare early. I hope it is a massive success for you. (A remember of the link for Mikes conference:

    Agree on budget, Cris Bradshaw from AllTheTopBananas in his post quickly demonstrates the ROI that Pepsi have had with a mobile app. Very impressive indeed. I think the more people who know this, the better. Mike, you are right that cost should not be an issue. (It almost seems to be a presumed nightmare, grounded on no real information). For any business making 1 or 2 hires through the app, pays for itself, (depending on the level of hire and presuming an Agency Hire would have been charged).

    As we measure ROI, let’s not just measure number of hires. We have to remember the whole Employment Branding piece and social media stats.

    What’s social media stats can be measured for ROI?

    – Number of Facebook fans
    – Number of average comments per thread
    – Facebook fan group age spread
    – Facebook fans per geography
    – Blog. Google rankings
    – Blog. Site traffic
    – Blog. Site commentary
    – Blog. Number of people registering for a candidate newsletter
    – Blog. Number of article mentions on other influential sites
    – Twitter. No. of followers
    – Twitter. No of re-tweets
    – Twitter: Trending topics
    – LinkedIn: Size of community
    – LinkedIn: Number of user generated discussions
    – YouTube: Number of friends
    – YouTube: Number of subscribers
    – YouTube: Number of views per video
    – YouTube: User ratings per video
    The difficulty of course is attributing, at this stage, what comes via mobile app and v desktop.

    Opportunity cost is a great point Mike….Love that and will add into my presentations!

    On ‘Don’t Unstand’. Yup loved your Free Guide to Mobile Recruitment. The more people evangelise the better!

    On ‘the value’. It is strange. People use their mobiles for shopping, online banking, socialising, networking….and even job search. But obviously job application is the challenge. We don’t make it easy to apply eg having access to resumes/cv’s on line or being able to link to LinkedIn profiles, (which would be an easy way…come on LinkedIn….win the mobile recruitment war and allow people to apply to jobs using LinkedIn profiles!!!!!! Sure you agree Mike.

    On ‘lazy’. You are nicer than me lol. I see some as lazy 😉 I will play the bad cop to your good cop. 😉

    Keep up the great work Mike.

    Again, I hope people attend Mike’s conference.

  48. @Russell White

    Lol. Loving the mutual love in!!!!!

    LinkedIn have not won the war.

    In some ways there is a Mexican standoff.

    I am sure LinkedIn look enviously at the HUGE network that Facebook have—some, what, 840m.

    Facebook look enviously at LinkedIn’s professional community and how it has been monetised.

    LinkedIn are in some ways learning from Facebook, ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ etc etc

    Facebook have various apps that Recruiters use. But the data collected is a pale imitation of what LinkedIn collects.

    LinkedIn are rapidly growing across the world but don’t cover all the market. As you define talent pools, you have to know all candidates. Hence sourcers use LinkedIn PLUS do their own Boolean search.

    I would say that LinkedIn could make a killing. If people are, as reported, looking for jobs on their mobile, LinkedIn should get ahead of the curve and allow people to apply by linking to their LinkedIn profile. That would, if and when they do it, put them in a very strong position. There are obviously, ownership of data concerns for LinkedIn here, but I am sure that they could find a way that supports their business model, (They are not a charity!!! They need to monetise).

    I hope Jeff Weiner calls you for a coffee and to hear your 12 ideas 🙂

  49. @Cris Bradshaw (@Paul Humphreys Cris’s article should hopefully help give more details)

    Great to see you join the thread.

    Obviously declaring an interest here in advance of commenting. Cris and AllTheTopBananas have developed the Autodesk Mobile App. It’s ready and we are very very happy. It has taken some time to release. Not because of the Developers, they have been superb. But because we have worked with ATTB to really make sure the app helps us attract and retain passive talent. Yes, job seekers will download the app but we want others, not looking, to really download and stay engaged. Hence our discussion of what makes for engaging/sticky/repeat visit content.

    We just did not want to release, especially with a Brand that is not as known, for people to download and then look at job search, look at company information and then decide, (as this is not repeat visit content, unless looking for a job), then delete the app. The chances of them downloading the app in the future would be limited. Hence best to delay and make sure we have that content.

    As our article demonstrates, with a social media aggregator, (of all our Social Media feeds), hence having a one stop shop/no need to visit separate sites app, we have a reason for regular visitors to come and chat with us and others in our communities, whilst on the move. Add in the games, humanizing content, we have started on our road. There is lots more to do and achieve….eg competitions, sharing Sketchbook Pro art created by consumers, webinars etc etc

    Cris….superb case study on PepsiCo. I greatly admire what they are doing. Chris Hoyt, aka Recruiter Guy, is someone I respect as an innovator and challenger of the status quo.

    The stats you share show a massive ROI in year one, let alone at the no brainer detail for 2/3/ etc

    I hope that many people see these stats and weigh up the impact mobile can have on their mobile strategy.

    Nice work Cris…keep on innovating legend

  50. Matthew, is there an award for the “Best Recruitment Futurologist Ever”? Then this series has surely positioned you as Numero uno. You should/must be writing a book, with content, comments and insights from this trilogy!

    Well, what else can I say. Very long piece indeed and I also managed to review some of the brilliant comments from other smarter people than myself. In a way, I like that you brought things back to the basics – afterall, that is what matters most.

    For all the technology and strategy theirin, it is the chemistry and psychology that counts – the fundamentals of human connections and relationships as experienced and expressed within Recruitment conversations.

    Back to your piece. Lots of touch points. But I love the Recruitment Technology debate on the ATS and Mobile.

    ATS – Your premise is valid. BUT (a big one), the ATS is synonymous to Big Data, and it will continue to be an intregral part of the “Talent Management” platforms that HR leaders invest in.

    Whilst the data may be dated, it is still data, which could be maintained efficiently and managed effectively. Companies could contact candidates in their ATS to access new roles, join online communities or recommend persons for opportunities.

    My only angst with use of ATS is how recruiters are not proactive enough to use powerful search tools to source candidates from their ATS databases or contact candidates who may know someone else for a job – like we/they do on other channels.

    I have met Senior HR / Recruiters who advertise jobs, screen CVs, search LinkedIn, but never go back to data in their ATS.

    Sure, LinkedIn will dominate the updated resume/profile space and companies will heavily use it as part of their Talent Attraction channel, but the ATS will not go the way of dinosaurs anytime soon.

    Ask Oracle why they gobbled Taleo or why SAP paid a premium for SuccessFactors.

  51. @Ken Ward

    Hey mate. Always a pleasure to debate and lock horns with you. That makes us sound dinosaurs lol. We may be many things but that is not one 😉 Perhaps Monsters….Moshi Monsters 😉

    I am glad you bit btw. Shows I can touch that raw nerve still 😉

    Yeh, that could be an endorsement….’Got through the MJ Magnum Opus’ lol. Put it up and I will endorse you lol. In all seriousness, we knew would be a long paper, it is the final one, (thank god), and we try and have a simple bit at the start overseeing all the issues, then people hopefully dip in and out of the content at will. If you read the whole lot, you deserve a Scotch. On me. Next time soon 😉

    On the mobile aspect, I think the reply from Cris Bradshaw demonstrates, from a results perspective, what an app can bring for PepsiCo. When we launch ours, (soon as explained above), I will publish the data. Good or bad. I know it won’t compete with Pepsi as they are a mega brand. Autodesk is not Pepsi in terms of scale of brands. I think Moshi Monsters and Mind Candy would be awesome for a mobile recruitment app. I hope you will introduce one. You could have so much fun and produce something that could far exceed many of the things I aspire to. Go Ken.

    On mobile apply, the key challenge is linking it to the ATS. Some systems are easier than others. Now, on a mobile, people don’t have their resume/cv to hand. The easiest thing, (for want of being called a LinkedIn fan boy lol), would be to link ‘Apply’ to the ‘LinkedIn’ profile. Our goal has to be to keep application easy. We don’t want people to have to key in lots of information. To answer your question, people have full access to job search, they get job alerts pop ups, based on keyword registration and they can ‘register’ their interest for a job and a recruiter can then call them/follow up. Taleo does not allow direct application at this stage. We are working towards that. But based on what you say, a simple registration may be better as it means a recruiter will call. Better candidate experience?

    Relationships….hmmmmm Key is the understanding what we can do. Can a candidate get to know us better via the app? Yes. Can a candidate engage in transparent 2 way communication? Yes. Can they engage with others in the community? Yes. Do they get exclusive information? Yes. Hence, there is the basis of a 2 way relationship.

    There is not much between us on ‘Personalisation’. Ideal world, we would call all candidates or send them a personal email / letter to say we got their application. But companies get hundred and thousands of applications per week. Hence the need to look at ‘mass personalisation’ that feels real but also informs the candidate.

    You are right, as we have discussed over many pints, candidate experience is poor and some companies don’t even acknowledge a candidate with a bounceback. Shocking.

    Key is, what can be done?

    We all have huge databases.

    How can we engage with those canddiates?

    – Regular mass email updates?
    – Regular target email updates? Eg per Geography, per discipline.

    Whilst taking the ‘bounceback’ on to another level, our challenge is how we keep a huge database warm and not left rotting like a ravaged decaying carcus.

    ‘DNA footprints in the air’. This is a controversial area. Agree. More so from a privacy and ethical viewpoint. There is a growing data on what we do, in the cloud. Governments have access and watch us. Big Brother is real. Companies have access to data on us based on online habits. Key is how useful is that data? Hiring Managers want to minimise mishire potential. Huge cost in time and money. Hence, will having more predictability help us. And yes, Ken, if you select different individual criteria, you can pick this apart. But let’s use the example of ‘strength of networks’. Let’s say I have a recruiter apply for a role to work on my team via LinkedIn. I notice that they have been a recruiter, in search, for 10 years, and they have a LinkedIn network of 30 people. That would flag a question and warning light for me.

    Glad you were intrigued by Tweet Psych. It’s not perfect by any means but an interesting area to review. It comes back to, how much data is useful, ethical for a hiring manager. Can it be inreprated easily. As technological improves, the predictability will get stronger. Remember 5.0 is future not now ?

    Ken, yup, an ATS. So the issue is that currently an ATS is supporting the back end of the Corporate careers site. But a recruiter, is spending a lot of time outside of that site. Be that LinkedIN, be that reviewing resumes/cv’s on job boards/cv search areas. They collect internal referrals. They receive maybe agency cv’s. Use job board adversta dn some job boards block direct applications onto corporate careers site. Spending time with candidates on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter etc etc Does all this imformation, communication return back into the ATS?

    Ken, thanks for reading and commenting. Kind of hope you bite again and debate this reply ? lol

    Beer very soon.

  52. Thanks Matthew,

    Hey Keith

    Great to hear from you. Been a while. Always love our interactions. Always meaty, in depth and on the mark.

    First off, thanks for the great comments. Appreciate you noted the amount of research and liked the way it was written. Cheers buddy.

    Now, let’s discuss and debate lol

    Totally agree with you on the questions a recruiter should ask.

    So who is to blame?

    Are you subscribing to the theory that many recruiting leaders are lazy, out of touch and collecting the pay cheque?

    No I believe that recruiting leaders are doing the best they can under usually difficult circumstances, i.e. they are (by and large) terrified to do anything out of the ordinary that may jeopardize their careers, which is perfectly understandable. Consequently, they attend recruiting conferences where well-heeled hucksters sell the latest recruiting snake oil or “magic bullet” to desperate and not-yet insolvent recruiters and their superiors who fail to recognize that in most cases they are futilely “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” of their companies’ ill-conceived, over-blown, grossly-dysfunctional hiring practices…

    How can a business invest thousands/millions into a new ATS without doing due diligence?

    What’s your view Keith?

    I think you should frequently ask the people actually doing the recruiting what we need to do our jobs better, faster, cheaper, more easily. Also, anytime you’re investing in a new system, procedures, technologies, etc. you should have a substantial testing group (not just consisting of the smartest and most-motivated, but also some of the stupidest and least motivated) to try it out prior to purchase. Optimally, you’d also include the decision-maker in the demo, with the provision that they’ll need to quickly become a power user of the system they sign off on.

    And yes, at LinkedIn Talent Connect, I did say one of the issues facing recruitment was lazy recruiters and recruitment leaders. Unlike some professionals, including HR, a qualification is generally needed to enter. Recruitment has no such bar to entry and hence, is easy for many to enter. In the boom thousands of people entered recruitment for the love of commission. Making placements agency side was the simplest thing. Many a Ferrari and mansion were earnt by recruiters in that era. We see elements of that today.

    Many of these ex agency recruiters, (And yes, I include myself here), are today’s recruitment heads and leaders.

    Issue is that many lack the skills and experience needed to run functions.

    Matthew, it seems your experience is different from mine. I have found that typically in large organizations, recruiting leaders sometimes have little relevant recruiting experience, and that often they are more concerned with processes than results (For the contrary see below.) It also STM that many of them are far-removed from the real-world of day-to-day recruiting, judging by their listening to the advice of prominent recruiting consultants, who judging by some of their articles here on ERE, clearly are far-removed from recruiting reality.

    In small companies, recruiting is often heavily influenced by the Greed, Arrogance, Fear, and Ignorance/Incompetence (GAFI) of the founders, which is often maintained in employers of choice as they grow.

    Fundamentally: Recruiting is about quickly, easily. and affordably putting quality butts (or arses, as our friends across the Pond say) in chairs. It’s not about “metrics” or “employer branding” or “building talent communities” or “retention” or “engagement”.

    Job-seeking is about quickly and easily getting (ideally) well-paid, well-benefited work that won’t kill your body or your soul one day at a time and where you won’t have to keep one eye on your back against stab wounds and the other eye on the way out. It’s not about building “relationships” or “friends” with someone in a company’s recruiting department any more than prostitution is about love. (Yes, I did make that analogy.)


    Manifesto for Agile Recruiting

    (This was “sampled” from the Agile SW Development Manifesto. -kh)

    We are uncovering better ways of hiring people by doing it and helping others do it.
    Through this work we have come to value:
    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • Quick, quality hires over comprehensive documentation
    • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • Responding to change over following a plan
    That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

    Principles behind the Agile Recruiting Manifesto

    We follow these principles:
    • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of quality hires.
    • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
    • Deliver quality hires frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
    • Internal customers and recruiters must work together daily throughout the project.
    • Build projects around motivated individuals.
    • Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
    • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a recruiting team is face-to-face conversation.
    • A quality hire which is on-time and within budget is the primary measure of progress.
    • Agile processes promote sustainable employee development.
    • The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
    • Continuous attention to professional excellence and first-class service enhances agility.
    • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work NOT done–is essential.
    • The best requirements, processes, and hires emerge from self-organizing teams.
    • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.


    I challenge staffing organizations to adopt, implement, and maintain these policies and principles. Don’t know how? I’ll be happy to show you.

    Keith agree? Or am I wrong?

    @ Melanie: “”My favourite part of your piece has to be the focus on relationships – something I believe is key to delivering an effective and successful resourcing function. When you work in such a large, diverse organisation such as Sodexo the resourcer/recruiter who does well quickly realises that in order the get the buy in of the hiring managers and to ensure they can influence their decision making they need to build effective relationships.” This seems much more like being adept at office politics than proving a strategic, mentoring function….

  53. Thanks, Matthew.

    “Hey Keith

    Great to hear from you. Been a while. Always love our interactions. Always meaty, in depth and on the mark.

    First off, thanks for the great comments. Appreciate you noted the amount of research and liked the way it was written. Cheers buddy.

    Now, let’s discuss and debate lol

    Totally agree with you on the questions a recruiter should ask.

    So who is to blame?

    Are you subscribing to the theory that many recruiting leaders are lazy, out of touch and collecting the pay cheque?

    No I believe that recruiting leaders are doing the best they can under usually difficult circumstances, i.e. they are (by and large) terrified to do anything out of the ordinary that may jeopardize their careers, which is perfectly understandable. Consequently, they attend recruiting conferences where well-heeled hucksters sell the latest recruiting snake oil or “magic bullet” to desperate and not-yet insolvent recruiters and their superiors who fail to recognize that in most cases they are futilely “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” of their companies’ ill-conceived, over-blown, grossly-dysfunctional hiring practices…

    How can a business invest thousands/millions into a new ATS without doing due diligence?

    What’s your view Keith?

    I think you should frequently ask the people actually doing the recruiting what we need to do our jobs better, faster, cheaper, more easily. Also, anytime you’re investing in a new system, procedures, technologies, etc. you should have a substantial testing group (not just consisting of the smartest and most-motivated, but also some of the stupidest and least motivated) to try it out prior to purchase. Optimally, you’d also include the decision-maker in the demo, with the provision that they’ll need to quickly become a power user of the system they sign off on.

    And yes, at LinkedIn Talent Connect, I did say one of the issues facing recruitment was lazy recruiters and recruitment leaders. Unlike some professionals, including HR, a qualification is generally needed to enter. Recruitment has no such bar to entry and hence, is easy for many to enter. In the boom thousands of people entered recruitment for the love of commission. Making placements agency side was the simplest thing. Many a Ferrari and mansion were earnt by recruiters in that era. We see elements of that today.

    Many of these ex agency recruiters, (And yes, I include myself here), are today’s recruitment heads and leaders.

    Issue is that many lack the skills and experience needed to run functions.

    Matthew, it seems your experience is different from mine. I have found that typically in large organizations, recruiting leaders sometimes have little relevant recruiting experience, and that often they are more concerned with processes than results (For the contrary see below.) It also STM that many of them are far-removed from the real-world of day-to-day recruiting, judging by their listening to the advice of prominent recruiting consultants, who judging by some of their articles here on ERE, clearly are far-removed from recruiting reality.

    In small companies, recruiting is often heavily influenced by the Greed, Arrogance, Fear, and Ignorance/Incompetence (GAFI) of the founders, which is often maintained in employers of choice as they grow.

    Fundamentally: Recruiting is about quickly, easily. and affordably putting quality butts (or arses, as our friends across the Pond say) in chairs. It’s not about “metrics” or “employer branding” or “building talent communities” or “retention” or “engagement”.

    Job-seeking is about quickly and easily getting (ideally) well-paid, well-benefited work that won’t kill your body or your soul one day at a time and where you won’t have to keep one eye on your back against stab wounds and the other eye on the way out. It’s not about building “relationships” or “friends” with someone in a company’s recruiting department any more than prostitution is about love. (Yes, I did make that analogy.)


    Manifesto for Agile Recruiting

    (This was “sampled” from the Agile SW Development Manifesto. -kh)

    We are uncovering better ways of hiring people by doing it and helping others do it.
    Through this work we have come to value:
    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • Quick, quality hires over comprehensive documentation
    • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • Responding to change over following a plan
    That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

    Principles behind the Agile Recruiting Manifesto

    We follow these principles:
    • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of quality hires.
    • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
    • Deliver quality hires frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
    • Internal customers and recruiters must work together daily throughout the project.
    • Build projects around motivated individuals.
    • Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
    • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a recruiting team is face-to-face conversation.
    • A quality hire which is on-time and within budget is the primary measure of progress.
    • Agile processes promote sustainable employee development.
    • The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
    • Continuous attention to professional excellence and first-class service enhances agility.
    • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work NOT done–is essential.
    • The best requirements, processes, and hires emerge from self-organizing teams.
    • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.


    I challenge staffing organizations to adopt, implement, and maintain these policies and principles. Don’t know how? I’ll be happy to show you.

    Keith agree? Or am I wrong?

    @ Melanie: “”My favourite part of your piece has to be the focus on relationships – something I believe is key to delivering an effective and successful resourcing function. When you work in such a large, diverse organisation such as Sodexo the resourcer/recruiter who does well quickly realises that in order the get the buy in of the hiring managers and to ensure they can influence their decision making they need to build effective relationships.” This seems much more like being adept at office politics than proving a strategic, mentoring function….

  54. Thanks Matthew,

    “Hey Keith

    Great to hear from you. Been a while. Always love our interactions. Always meaty, in depth and on the mark.

    First off, thanks for the great comments. Appreciate you noted the amount of research and liked the way it was written. Cheers buddy.

    Now, let’s discuss and debate lol

    Totally agree with you on the questions a recruiter should ask.

    So who is to blame?

    Are you subscribing to the theory that many recruiting leaders are lazy, out of touch and collecting the pay cheque?

    No I believe that recruiting leaders are doing the best they can under usually difficult circumstances, i.e. they are (by and large) terrified to do anything out of the ordinary that may jeopardize their careers, which is perfectly understandable. Consequently, they attend recruiting conferences where well-heeled hucksters sell the latest recruiting snake oil or “magic bullet” to desperate and not-yet insolvent recruiters and their superiors who fail to recognize that in most cases they are futilely “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” of their companies’ ill-conceived, over-blown, grossly-dysfunctional hiring practices…

    How can a business invest thousands/millions into a new ATS without doing due diligence?

    What’s your view Keith?

    I think you should frequently ask the people actually doing the recruiting what we need to do our jobs better, faster, cheaper, more easily. Also, anytime you’re investing in a new system, procedures, technologies, etc. you should have a substantial testing group (not just consisting of the smartest and most-motivated, but also some of the stupidest and least motivated) to try it out prior to purchase. Optimally, you’d also include the decision-maker in the demo, with the provision that they’ll need to quickly become a power user of the system they sign off on.

    And yes, at LinkedIn Talent Connect, I did say one of the issues facing recruitment was lazy recruiters and recruitment leaders. Unlike some professionals, including HR, a qualification is generally needed to enter. Recruitment has no such bar to entry and hence, is easy for many to enter. In the boom thousands of people entered recruitment for the love of commission. Making placements agency side was the simplest thing. Many a Ferrari and mansion were earnt by recruiters in that era. We see elements of that today.

    Many of these ex agency recruiters, (And yes, I include myself here), are today’s recruitment heads and leaders.

    Issue is that many lack the skills and experience needed to run functions.

    Matthew, it seems your experience is different from mine. I have found that typically in large organizations, recruiting leaders sometimes have little relevant recruiting experience, and that often they are more concerned with processes than results (For the contrary see below.) It also STM that many of them are far-removed from the real-world of day-to-day recruiting, judging by their listening to the advice of prominent recruiting consultants, who judging by some of their articles here on ERE, clearly are far-removed from recruiting reality.

    In small companies, recruiting is often heavily influenced by the Greed, Arrogance, Fear, and Ignorance/Incompetence (GAFI) of the founders, which is often maintained in employers of choice as they grow.

    Fundamentally: Recruiting is about quickly, easily. and affordably putting quality butts (or arses, as our friends across the Pond say) in chairs. It’s not about “metrics” or “employer branding” or “building talent communities” or “retention” or “engagement”.

    Job-seeking is about quickly and easily getting (ideally) well-paid, well-benefited work that won’t kill your body or your soul one day at a time and where you won’t have to keep one eye on your back against stab wounds and the other eye on the way out. It’s not about building “relationships” or “friends” with someone in a company’s recruiting department any more than prostitution is about love. (Yes, I did make that analogy.)


    Manifesto for Agile Recruiting

    (This was “sampled” from the Agile SW Development Manifesto. -kh)

    We are uncovering better ways of hiring people by doing it and helping others do it.
    Through this work we have come to value:
    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • Quick, quality hires over comprehensive documentation
    • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • Responding to change over following a plan
    That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

    Principles behind the Agile Recruiting Manifesto

    We follow these principles:
    • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of quality hires.
    • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
    • Deliver quality hires frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
    • Internal customers and recruiters must work together daily throughout the project.
    • Build projects around motivated individuals.
    • Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
    • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a recruiting team is face-to-face conversation.
    • A quality hire which is on-time and within budget is the primary measure of progress.
    • Agile processes promote sustainable employee development.
    • The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
    • Continuous attention to professional excellence and first-class service enhances agility.
    • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work NOT done–is essential.
    • The best requirements, processes, and hires emerge from self-organizing teams.
    • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.


    I challenge staffing organizations to adopt, implement, and maintain these policies and principles. Don’t know how? I’ll be happy to show you.

    Keith agree? Or am I wrong?

    @ Melanie: “”My favourite part of your piece has to be the focus on relationships – something I believe is key to delivering an effective and successful resourcing function. When you work in such a large, diverse organisation such as Sodexo the resourcer/recruiter who does well quickly realises that in order the get the buy in of the hiring managers and to ensure they can influence their decision making they need to build effective relationships.” This seems much more like being adept at office politics than proving a strategic, mentoring function….

  55. Interesting article Matthew & Article…….. Nice work!

    I see what Matthew is doing on the mobile app and see the great work he is putting into this. Looking forward to using the app. But it is interesting to see how companies are complicating the logical idea of what a mobile app should do… Ease, efficiency and interesting contents that will retain and bring you back to the site. Autodesk has a sexy design product software on the market, however, it takes creativity, experimental and taking risks which is lacking our industry to come up with ideas.

    ATS/ Relationship building….. or lazy recruiters?

    Enjoyable reading this article as I can see how many recruiters lack creativity. Are they relying too much on technology/ATS and steering away from the basics of networking, building relationships and proactively searching or are recruiters turning the corner and becoming lazy by relying on reactive methods and job sites and agencies?! The ATS has taken over and many recruiters are governed and ruled by this method of sourcing. Yes it can work, but what building pipeline efficiency and looking ahead……? What do recruiters log into when they first sign log in the morning ATS to check their application or LinkedIn???? ATS is and will always stay as the process driven tool. You find most recruiters never stay in touch with applicants on their ATS and keys individual sourced have more than likely come from other sites like LinkedIn or are then connected to those sites. We have moved away from the roller decks and spreadsheet to some degree but anyone would say the fundamental database is LinkedIn and Facebook. Business cards are thrown out the window and majority use sites to stay connected. We trust our connections, build relationships and be introduced to others through the efficiency of network, so why is so difficult to understand the power of relationship is recruiter source of hire. Wth so much technology, emails to open, multiple sites, Linked, Facebook, Twitter, Xing and others, recruiters are afraid to pick up the phone and actually talk stay in contact with their networks or even meet a managers for a coffee or have recruiters changed and become lazy and avoid any means of verbal communication. Its very easy for recruiters to hide behind the desk and rely on the technological changes taking place but that differentiates those recruiters who exist now and those all will have a strong network based on maintaining traditional style of recruiting and not afraid to confront and speak instead of having their heads buried in the sand.

    Tony Mancino

  56. Matthew

    Great article – enjoy your writing. Your insights on “imagine a world where recruiters receive….” is really where we at SalesGenomix are headed. We crowd source pre-assessed sales candidates and re market them in a Searchable Sales Talent Community to sales leaders and their recruiters.

    Just launched July 2012, we add science to the search and remove the mass from the supply chain for sales recruiters. Frog kissing days are over!

    Please keep writing – your stuff is the best.


  57. There are a number of people commenting who’d be great writers themselves for an post. Shoot me an email if you might be interested. Todd

  58. Thanks to everyone for their feedback and comments! We hope that the article encourages debate so we can continue to innovate.

    The most successful recruiters will continue to be sales/marketing professionals who understand the business and the value of building relationships. It’s back to the basics of recruiting while having so much more data our fingertips to make us smarter and more efficient!

  59. Wow – where to start? First off – this is a biiig subject you are covering here and though I’m a friend of Matthew’s, a recruiter I am not, at least I have not recruited anyone for a very long time. So – I will try and add some value and if the glass of red I’ve just poured takes me off into the wilderness, I apologise in advance.

    I’m drawn to two things – professionally I appreciate the need and drive for personalisation and what you might call putting people back at the heart of work. Personally I can’t resist wanting to find out what issues I have lurking at the back of my TweetPsych cupboard.

    Trying to make work more like people rather than the other way around is a massive opportunity. Actually it’s more than an opportunity, it’s a need I think, we want to be treated as individuals and beyond that people need an environment where you can bring the real you to work. So whilst all the talk is about big data and how we use it, which is interesting for sure, the behavioural stuff has to have meaning for people else all the data in the world will be just a pile of detached numbers.

    The wellbeing upside (did I just write that?) of true authenticity cannot be underrated. I think it helps us to forge lasting meaningful relationships and helps us do our very best work. So if I need this environment in order to thrive, it has to start at the very beginning. And here is where I have an issue. In my experience of recruiting – and to be clear I mean in my capacity as the hiring manager, I’ve always engaged with the successful and unsuccessful applicant alike, after the event. It’s great to be able to call the winner and give them the good news, and it’s harder, and I think even more important, to call those who didn’t come up to scratch this time (have you figured where this is going yet?). I don’t think this happens enough, and at the earlier stages of assessment the situation is even worse. It’s not that I expect everyone to be dealt with personally (though the further into the process you go the more I think that matters), I just expect everyone to be dealt with authentically and reasonably. So set expectations from the beginning, and at least meet them. Here’s an experience which has stuck with me from the candidate perspective.

    In a previous life I helped BT Wholesale set up its CSR and Sustainability team. It was a great fun role and we did lots of good work both inside and outside the organisation. Our small team built a good reputation and I began to be approached by recruiters looking to fill similar roles in other organisations. I was curious and so at their request I visited two agencies, one called Good Business, the other called ACRE. I had meetings with recruiters at both agencies with a view to meeting their clients to discuss possible roles. The agencies sold me on their service, their promises to keep me informed, and one of them even went so far as to provisionally confirm venue, date, time, and specific details of who I would be meeting. In both cases though, everything just fizzled out. For whatever reason, final confirmations evaporated, and as quickly as both agencies showed an interest, they stopped – abruptly. No explanations, no feedback, no nothing. By their actions they demonstrated a clear lack of responsibility towards the candidate which no amount of big data can compensate for. By complete coincidence, shortly after all these less than inspiring experiences I met one of the agency clients and told them how their recruiter was, by association, damaging their brand. We both thought it was funny given that the agencies were recruiting into the field of social responsibility, transparency, openness etc. My point is – both of these agencies set my expectations way too high and from where I was sitting, they totally failed to deliver. This reflects badly on them and their clients too, and for sure it does nothing to satisfy the need for authenticity.

    On the flip side I know people who have responsibility for hiring lots of hourly paid staff and they manage the huge volumes of people they see by being clear that ‘if we don’t get back to you within two days of seeing us, then sorry, please take it that we shan’t be progressing things any further’. People walk away from that situation knowing the score, it may not be perfect but it’s a lot better than promises that aren’t met. Recruiters who can at least satisfy, and at best exceed their client expectations, are doing a great job for themselves, their clients and the candidates. Those who can’t? Well you don’t need big data to see their future.

    To finish on a lighter note – I was disappointed to see Justin Bieber get a mention in the article. I am not a Belieber, and I hope my TweetPsych celebrity score of minus 48% followed by ‘This user Tweets about media and celebrities 48% less than the average user. This includes references to celebrities and mass media and may indicate an interest in celebrity culture’, shows you why. I did score much higher on positivity at plus 119% (what do you mean I’m nuts), and my plus 47% score for emotions is something I’m tearfully happy about.

  60. @Jacob Madsen

    Wow. I feel really humbled by your comments. Whenever I am feeling down, (a lot), I will re-read them to feel a little better about myself. Thank you. A big thank you. Too few people give positive feedback nowadays. Really cool to receive it.

    What you raise is very very scary. If, 3-7% of corporates are engaging in activities around 3.0/4.0, that is shocking. And 3.0 is about candidate experience. The basics about what we are about. If we can’t provide that positive experience, what is left for us.

    Truth be told, candidate experience is scary.

    So Jacob. How can we change this?

    If recruiters don’t care. If Recruitment Leaders don’t care. How can we change this.

    Yes we can message, but telling an alcoholic they have a problem, often falls on deaf ears. This feels the same in recruitment. Leaders will deny they have issues like an alcoholic denies they have a drink problem.

    On data. Yes, we can over engineer and seek too much information. Fall into analysis paralysis. BUT data = predictability Hence, we need that balance.

    Recruitment will always be about finding the best talent. Building relationships with that talent. That will never change…….a little help from technology and data helps us in our goals.

    Thanks again Jacob. You rock harder than Iron Maiden.

  61. @Vic Okezie

    Legend. Boom.

    Thanks for the praise. Really appreciated. Hope all is good with you legend. I see you have a great conference coming up.

    We are aligned on the ATS. Yes, a company feels the need to invest into a bells and whistles ATS. But which one. There is no clear winner. Each company chooses to do its own thing. Some choose an ATS, some choose an ATS with bolt ons, some choose a CRM, some try and merge the ATS & CRM. So Many choices. But no overwhelming winner. There are clever bolt ons like Tribepad, Work4labs etc But again, if you were to ask a recruiter from 100 companies, there would not be an overwhelming choice.

    Again, for want of sounding boring, what is the true value of an ATS when it does not contain all data.

    Yes, the ATS, collects the applications from the Corporate Careers site front end.

    But recruiters don’t rely on post and pray on Corporate Careers sites.

    – They could spend a lot of time in LinkedIn, sourcing, sending Inmails. How much of this data is exported into an ATS?
    – Recruiters post on job boards, (some don’t allow a direct link to the ATS and hold the data themselves). How much of this data reaches the ATS?
    – Recruiters do direct search eg Google, Boolean Search. How much of this data hits the database?
    – Recruiters do resume searches via online job databanks of resumes/cvs. Again….how much….
    – Do all internal referrals hit the database?
    – Send-in’s, drop-in’s, trade events, graduate job fares cv’s/resumes. Do this all hit the database?

    If the answer is no….then does this make any metrics from an ATS, dodgy at best?

    What is the candidate experience of someone not in the ATS. Even basic bouncebacks or email marketing won’t hit them.

    What’s the point of buying a beautiful jigsaw, (looking wonderful on the front box), only to open the box and find half the pieces are missing!!!!

  62. @ Matt
    Next thing/step for me is to be elevated to ‘legend’ , – ohh well perhaps not, still some way to go 🙂
    Indeed the number of times that I have with rolling eyes and excitememnt quoted the masterpiece and wisdom of Rec. 3.0(sorry folks but it i s one of the most inspirational pieces ever written in the modern history of recruitment) drawn a blank face just goes to show that so many companies and with that recruitment leaders so much behind. Seen it first hand in a couple of companies, that ought to have been far more advanced, scary and a big problem in my view.
    As anyone able to elevate themselves through merit and background to recruitment manager/TA leads, the game is open for anyone. Moves in the UK (FIRM) to come up with a qualification scheme for corp recruiters, – perhaps that might help.
    On the conversation with Vic on ATS.
    This is as much about the technological abilities as to do with enforcing (sorry encouraging) a strict regime that says ‘all m u s t go into systems/ATS or there is no point to it all. Grew up myself at agency level with if not in system/recorded it did not happen. As in those days 40% of salary commissiion it was essential to have all activities recorded or one lost out.
    Good and best in class recruitment has as much to with attitude as it has to do with systems, processes and tools.

  63. Way to break it down Amy and MJ!

    I love how you have tied in the importance of getting back to the basics while utilizing data to be more efficient and effective, and zeroing in on the use of our mobile devices.

    The candidate journey is still the number one most important part of attracting, engaging and developing talent. Given that our mobile phones are a mere extension of us these days, to ignore the smartphone channel of communication and not link it to ones ability to apply for a position is a BIG miss. This is even more exaggerated with the millennials and passive candidates and will continue to be. I would love to see the ability to apply for a position as simple as linking to ones linked in profile. Two clicks is my dream. Ideally, I’d like to see openings to my favorite companies right under their stock price (Disney, Apple,..) on my stock app. So yes, I like the app idea, I just want it all in one; but, don’t we all.

    The key is knowing your candidate and communicating with them via the channel(s) that they prefer. When it is all said and done, there is nothing better than the human touch and looking someone in the eye to close the deal. The best recruiters know when to utilize the touch points that truly speak to ones core and they do it.

    Attracting talent is a business imperative and an art! Thank you for elevating our profession and shinning a light on what is important so we can come together to blaze the trail.

    Karen Miller Morris

  64. @Keith Halperin

    Great in depth reply. Love the fact that you are passionate about the future of recruiting and are active on ERE. I see you comment on most articles. That is dedication and a real commitment. Kudos to your passion and drive.

    Anyway, back to the debate.

    So your point on recruiting leaders doing the best they can under difficult circumstances is true. Often Hiring Managers set ‘Mission Impossible’ hiring goals. Hire these people next week. Crazy stupid. Do the recruiting leaders push back enough? That’s a different issue. But you then say they are ‘by & large, terrified to do anything outside of the ordinary that may jeopardize their careers’. I think you have something there. But wow. Keith, we only live once. Should someone live in fear, play safe, then die? What a mundane existence. You will counter they want stability and to bring up a family etc etc. Is that an exclusive choice. What happens when you are a sheep? …. You become Chops!!

    You pose an interesting point on ATS. Ask the people actually doing the recruiting what they want. That’s quite novel. Maybe even democratic. Heaven forbid. But recruiting leaders cannot absolve themselves from the key part of their title…Leadership. Take decisions. And they are accountable. Make a wrong decision…fire them. Novel concept again. And if a good recruiting leader is worth their salt, then they will consult users. If they don’t….role on firing alley.

    Keith, love your point on recruiting leaders generally lacking recruiting skills in their experience and being focused on process. That is key. All around is the love of process. The rule book. It’s a touchstone for security. Please feel safe to be governed by a process. Thou shalt not dare criticize a process or try to improve it. I always challenge my team, on process, or new ideas, challenge it. If the idea is strong and after being challenged, that is positive, as it reinforces it is the right direction to go. If after challenging, a process/direction is wrong, course correction strategy can be taken. It’s a win win situation. Key is yes process is vital but don’t use it to stifle change, kill innovation. That happens all too often.

    And you make the point brilliantly. Some of the recruiting gurus, experts, consultants are completely out of touch with reality. That is one of the shames of the industry. Social Media has made heroes of ‘experts’ who would never get a job client side. There is an age old saying, those who can…can, those who can’t…consult. 😉

    Your point on recruitment being fundamentally bums on seats, is true. We are about hiring. But what is the tipping point? When firms change their recruiting leaders, embrace change, embrace new ideas, (social media, Employment Brand etc). When is that? Most likely when a CEO recognizes that their competitors are hiring better staff and see it affect their bottom line. That day is coming. Judgment Day is on the horizon!!!!!

    BTW. Thanks for sharing the Manifesto for Agile Recruiting. Gives some cool reflection points. Love it.

    Rock on Keith….keep the debate on fire…..challenge, never give in…..

  65. @Tony Mancino

    Totally agree with you on the need in the indsutry for taking risks.

    What’s your opinion how to spread this message? Create change? Encourage risk taking?

    Risk taking implies, things can go right or things can go wrong.

    Everyone fears the ‘go wrong’. Why?

    It’s the subsequent blame culture and stigma that failure has. But the best ideas are born from failure. We need to learn from mistakes to evolve. That is how we improve as humans and friends. Hence the blame culture in a company needs to be replaced with a risk taking respect and looking at ways to enhance the ability to innovate.

    And you pose the best question of all Tony……

    ‘What do recruiters log on first thing in the morning. Their ATS or log into LinkedIn’. #NuffSaid

  66. @Todd Raphael

    First off thanks for all your support and publishing this article. It’s great to see such high quality debate on this site. I think you are right to raise that some of the answers are like mini, even whole, blog articles themselves. Very impressive how people are passionate and devote time to articulate their views.

    That’s why I like to try and comment on each article. If people take the time to write. Express their views, rather like a candidate experience, they will feel more appreciative if they get a response and please that they went to all the effort.

    I hope some follow up on Todd’s offer and publish their own articles.

    Cheers Todd

  67. @Amy McKee

    I thought good to share some great quotes on innovation:

    “Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” (Tao Te Ching).

    “It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t.” (Harvard Business Review).

    “What we’ve done to encourage innovation is make it ordinary.” (C. Wynett, Procter & Gamble).

    “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.” (A. Einstein).

    “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” (A. von Szent-Gyorgyi).

    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (R. Emerson).

    “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” (A. Warhol).

    “The impossible is often the untried.” (J. Goodwin).

    “Nothing is stronger than habit.” (Ovid).

    “The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear.” (Vincent Van Gogh).

    “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” (Goethe).

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” (George Bernard Shaw).

    “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Anonymous).

    “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” (D. Adams).

    “People who don’t take risks generally make about 2 big mistakes a year, people who do take risks generally make about 2 big mistakes a year” (Peter Drucker).

    “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” (Alan Kay).

    “He who ask a question is a fool for 5 minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool for ever.” (China)

    “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” (A. Einstein).

    “There are no old roads to new directions.” (Advertisement of the Boston Consulting Group).

    “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow” (Rupert Murdoch).

    “Organizations, by their very nature are designed to promote order and routine. They are inhospitable environments for innovation.” (T. Levitt).

    “To gain customer insights, we must understand that we are prisoners of what we know and what we believe”. (Mohanbir Sawhney).

    “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises”. (Demosthenes).

  68. @Doug Shaw

    Recruitment Legend.

    Great singer.


    All round good egg.

    And party animal 😉 lol

    First off Doug thanks for taking time to comment. Really REALLY respect your views. I hope, as a biiiiiig article, that the glass of red your poured, turned into a bottle 😉

    Yes, whilst tweet Psych isn’t perfect, I am intrigued by its methodology. Fascinating to look at online Twitter trends. Aggressive behavior, bad language, flirting, talking football etc etc. What will it provide. We are all mad, but it depends on how mad we are compared to the next person. (Wow that makes me insane then. Lol).

    You are so so right. Data should never replace ‘people’. We are all unique. We can’t be categorized, although management training tries to do that ?. When we stop being a person, then we become a number. We are aligned. Data can add value…but only if used as supporting material, not the actual decision taker.

    Love your points on how hard it is to reject. Rejection is cruel. The further down the interview process the harder and more cruel it is. Hence using data to be less cruel and get to issues or take decisions earlier is better.

    Whilst I bang on a lot about it the Xfactor shows how we deal with rejection. It’s tough. It’s a failure. We are not wanted. No tougher thing. The further down the line at XFactor, the harder the rejection is.

    As an industry, we need to get better at rejections. People need to understand and comprehend why they fail. An explanation helps the healing process. And it is a healing process people go through. We ask them to be passionate about our company, they build and emotional attachment in the interview process, then to have that door shut is tough. Emotional healing is needed via objective reasoning.

    Your story into setting up BT Wholesale’s CSR & Sustainability team is fascinating. Love to speak more on that over a pint or ten.

    Love your Tweet Psych scoring. I would always have said you are positive…….and you are the opposite of me….I love celebrity gossip. Lol

    Keep on trailblazing Doug.

  69. @Jacob Madsen.

    Elevation complete lol. Thanks for commenting Legend. Remember…Legend’s never die!!!!

    Appreciate again your comments on Recruitment 3.0. Just to confirm, Amy and I updated the whole of 3.0, added in a section on Communities etc. LinkedIn have published 3.0, 4.0 & 5.0 together. Please take a look. I hope you like. Take a look here:

    Please note this is an 88 page paper and contains lots of information that should help point you in the right direction.

    And it’s free.

    Amy and I wrote it to put back into the industry. We gain nothing.

    Maybe, it will help prevent some companies hiring in consultant experts who just recycle ideas 😉

    Jacob. I love your point about a Recruitment Qualification. HR Have one eg CIPD in UK. Why not Recruitment. If we all believe that hiring talent is essential for the lifeblood of a company why do we entrust it to often novices?

    Good discussion point.

    I do listen to some of the Recruitment Leaders at Conferences and wonder quietly to myself, how did they land that role in such a prestigious brand/company. Moreover, how do they keep it. That is a question that is tough to answer. That is not arrogance or blind faith in my ability, it is a realization that some companies really have trusted their Recruitment Leadership to the wrong person. You don’t trust the Queen’s Chauffeur to be someone who has not learnt to drive……no names will be mentioned in the writing of this article lol I am sure you can name them, quietly, in your head, whilst you have a glass or vodka martini!!!!

  70. @Karen Miller Morris

    Hey Karen. Miss you so much.

    First off, an admission. I have worked with Karen at EA, (videogames / interactive entertainment). She is the Director of University Relations and a true hunter into finding the BEST University Cream of the Crop Talent.
    Always loved working with you Karen.

    Karen, love your passion and commitment to mobile in recruiting.

    And I can imagine you, thinking how great mobile is for University Recruiting. Smart phones/tablets are second nature to Graduates. They text more than talk. Facebook more than phone. Hence, the sheer potential for University Recruitment is huge. I am sure you will be a key driver and leading the way and lighting the torch for others to follow.

  71. @Keith Halperin

    Great in depth reply. Love the fact that you are passionate about the future of recruiting and are active on ERE. I see you comment on most articles. That is dedication and a real commitment. Kudos to your passion and drive.

    Anyway, back to the debate.

    So your point on recruiting leaders doing the best they can under difficult circumstances is true. Often Hiring Managers set ‘Mission Impossible’ hiring goals. Hire these people next week. Crazy stupid. Do the recruiting leaders push back enough? That’s a different issue. But you then say they are ‘by & large, terrified to do anything outside of the ordinary that may jeopardize their careers’. I think you have something there. But wow. Keith, we only live once. Should someone live in fear, play safe, then die? What a mundane existence. You will counter they want stability and to bring up a family etc etc. Is that an exclusive choice. What happens when you are a sheep? …. You become Chops!!….

    In my experience:, n most cases if you show more than the tiniest bit of creativity or innovation that doesn’t directly back up the status quo, you’re not chops- you’re hamburger (or wished you were)!

    You pose an interesting point on ATS. Ask the people actually doing the recruiting what they want. That’s quite novel. Maybe even democratic. Heaven forbid. But recruiting leaders cannot absolve themselves from the key part of their title…Leadership. Take decisions. And they are accountable. Make a wrong decision…fire them. Novel concept again. And if a good recruiting leader is worth their salt, then they will consult users. If they don’t….role on firing alley.

    In that case, many of the staffing heads (I refrain from calling these particular ones “recruiting leaders”) I have worked for were on a low-sodium diet….

    Keith, love your point on recruiting leaders generally lacking recruiting skills in their experience and being focused on process. That is key. All around is the love of process. The rule book. It’s a touchstone for security. Please feel safe to be governed by a process. Thou shalt not dare criticize a process or try to improve it. I always challenge my team, on process, or new ideas, challenge it. If the idea is strong and after being challenged, that is positive, as it reinforces it is the right direction to go. If after challenging, a process/direction is wrong, course correction strategy can be taken. It’s a win win situation. Key is yes process is vital but don’t use it to stifle change, kill innovation. That happens all too often.

    While the theoretical goal (“See Agile Recruiting Manifesto” again) of process is to provide a framework for successful results, in actuality it becomes a means to enhancing the power and influence of those who control the process (see “GAFI Principles” -Greed, Arrogance Fear, and Ignorance Incompetence).

    And you make the point brilliantly. Some of the recruiting gurus, experts, consultants are completely out of touch with reality. That is one of the shames of the industry. Social Media has made heroes of ‘experts’ who would never get a job client side. There is an age old saying, those who can…can, those who can’t…consult. 😉

    Thank you, Matthew. I’ll give the clueless, pompous, windbags one thing- THEY get invited to speak at conferences and get 4- and 5-figure consulting fees, while “yours truly” is out crying in the wilderness….

    Your point on recruitment being fundamentally bums on seats, is true. We are about hiring. But what is the tipping point? When firms change their recruiting leaders, embrace change, embrace new ideas, (social media, Employment Brand etc). When is that? Most likely when a CEO recognizes that their competitors are hiring better staff and see it affect their bottom line. That day is coming. Judgment Day is on the horizon!!!!!
    “When firms change their recruiting leaders, embrace change, embrace new ideas, (social media, Employment Brand etc).” They will probably soon AGAIN change their recruiting leaders (unless those new recruiting leaders have a lot of clout/political protection behind them- “Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil, ’cause I’m the evilest m********* in the Valley!”), and the Powers That Squelch will say: “See! We told you so!”

    BTW. Thanks for sharing the Manifesto for Agile Recruiting. Gives some cool reflection points. Love it. You’re very welcome again, Matthew. Don’t love it- implement and use it. 🙂

    Re: Positive Candidate Experience (or lack thereof) I am always ranting about how companies aren’t prepared to do anything about it because they don’t care enough even to hire some Virtual Candidate Care Reps to make each candidate’s experience pleasant and professional, while allowing recruiters to concentrate on active candidates? Well, I’ve found a company that handles the entire Candidate Care area, so your firm’s people don’t have to, and still they get a great marketing tool through giving everyone a first-class experience. I will see how many people ask me about these folks….

    Rock on Keith….keep the debate on fire…..challenge, never give in…..

    Thanks again, Matthew. You show an incredible degree of professionalism in your replies and commentaries.



  72. Matthew / Amy,

    Wow…. this is some article / novel! This was a great read and distraction from having to witness another episode of TOWIE. However, for those that have managed to avoid the dribble that flows out of Essex twice a week, I feel there is a message in their opening statement, “the tans may be fake but the people are real though some of what you see has been set up purely for your entertainment”. My fear is that employees are / may use these advandced technologies to pull the wool over potential employees eyes. Will employees let profiles exist that provide a fair reflection or only those that tow the corporate line?

    In addition, when you or an employee considers leaving an organisation, how many times do you hear / say “the grass isnt always greener”. For me, what would be great is that we try to be true and really prove that we live by the corporate values often banded about… trust and integrity. Let’s keep it real and ensure the tans dont rub off in a short space of time, costing employers £££s in having to re-recruit over and over again. And if it is broke, fix it dont ignore it!

  73. @Paul Phillips

    Miss you Legend. So loved the HR Forum and Aurora. Will you be on there next year?

    I actually, bizarrelly watched TOWIE last night. Wow some fake tans. You a fan of Joey Essex 😉

    You make a great point on fake profiles. Of course candidates ‘enhance’ them today. ‘Enhance’ what does that mean? ‘Market themselves’? ‘Spin’? ‘Lie’? Fine line between them all. The Fake Tans of TOWIE are very relevant to cv’s 😉

    Great post Paul. Legendary.

  74. @Keith Halperin

    Hey Keith.

    What you say is not surprising but is very sad. People who show creativity should be applauded. Today’s norms were built through yesterday’s innovations. Why are people so fearful of change and creativity. How can we advance if we maintain the status quo? I have to laugh when I get told, ‘Matthew great 5.0 article but it’s a bit fanciful in parts, nothing is broke, no need to change things’. Always makes me smile, (and cringe internally). Goal for me is to generate debate and get people thinking, even if in totally different directions. If only one recruitment leader changes strategy and uses ideas from 3/4/5.0, then that is goal achieved. These articles take a lot of time, research, blood sweat and tears to put together. I don’t get a bean in money. The article is not included in my performance appraisal. It’s just a labour of love for our profession.

    On recruiting leaders not being up to the mark. We know them. We can name them. What the shame is there are some great brands out there which could be even more stellar. Yet those brands do not even realize what they are missing out on.

    In terms of those conference speeches. Yes. Some are earning some nice ‘speaker fees’. You will be happy to hear that I speak at many conferences and I don’t take a fee at all. It’s kind of funny to speak at a conference, knowing some are getting paid, and when they present they put less effort into their presentations than I do as a ‘freebie’.

    I hope Keith I get to meet you soon, have a beer and chat through the future of recruiting. Even better I would love to hear you speak. Your written points are always interesting and sound.

    Keith, remember than sometimes being in the wilderness can be better than being in the crazy madness of the zoo!!!!!

    Keith, I am super intrigued, for me, the company you refer to and rate for Candidate Care. It sounds like they can help make a difference in a vital area. Please tell us more buddy.

    Keith thanks again for your comments on me, the article and taking time out to reply. I sometimes look at articles on sites and it is a personal ‘hate’ when the author is happy to publish an article but then they leave it at that. Job done. They don’t have the courtesy to read replies or heaven bid reply. Why do I say they don’t read the replies? Well I read the comments and there are disagreements, challenge and questions. If an author read them, they would reply. And some of the industry’s biggest names do this….take a look ? Todd informed me when I published my first article, reply to comments. He was right. If people read, (what are long articles), they take time to formulate a response, (as Todd noted here some responses are clever, articulate and blog articles in their own right), hence it is courtesy to reply, debate, agree, raise questions back and listen. Rant over lol.

  75. I’ve been waiting long for this article and I even flew to Las Vegas to see it. You were the highlight of the Linkedin conference. I had hoped you would leap even further and be more daring and aggressive in your approach. Love it.

    But it would be me if I didn’t have some comments (I think I’ll be barred from the new Linkedin conference because of my tweets).

    First of all: stop with the 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 madness. There is only one recruitment version and we all apply that to our organization to the best of our knowledge and ability. Some organizations are way out there and doing amazing stuff and other don’t get it and never will. It is like talking about the war for talent. There is no war! The war for talent was won when Messi show ManU how to play soccer in the CL finale in 2011. There are only battles for skills, the war is never ending and a status quo.

    But I’m digressing so let’s take some of your topics.

    Mobile, it’s coming but nobody has yet figured out how to let candidates apply via their mobile. Linkedin will most likely be the solution if ATS’ providers can get that right. I’m not a big fan of apps and as you rightly mention you would need to put a lot of effort into repeated use. Only 25% of the apps gets used more than once! At Roche we are now developing (yes we are late) a mobile career site, pretty basic stuff to get started and once we are up and running we will start making improvements based on the usage that we see (big advantage of web is you can track everything) and make adjustments. Much harder to do (and more costly) with an app. by the way, you may want to add some functionality for candidates, invitations show up in the tool, profiles of their interviewers are available through links to LI, driving instructions are personalized automatically etc. That will keep them using the tool and promote it.

    I love your fake or photo game, nicely done piece to reinforce your EVP attribute of amazing software capabilities. I had hoped to see how you would use gamefication (there we go again) as ways of selection and ranking people.

    DNA Footprints: I love data. I believe data is the one thing that can really drive your recruitment performance to higher levels and it can certainly be used analyze where you are getting the right people from and/or which competencies drive higher performance (where they worked, education and competencies etc). However, I doubt that the strength and depth of your Linkedin network has really anything to say about you as professional. That is the same as that my Klout score does tell anything about me as a recruiter. Let’s not go into behavioral patterns of what I’m doing online. Question back: do you allow your recruiters to check the Facebook profiles of candidates?

    Psychological profiling on twitter? Really? Sorry Matt but you’ve been partying too hard lately. Must be the G-forces of driving those carts. Will never happen and will never be accepted as selection tool. Linkedin would be more appropriate to measure this and much more targeted towards the professional profiles.

    Back to basics: totally agree. I don’t think it has been lost. Good recruiters make use of the 2012 tools to approach candidates and then use 1960 conversational techniques that we have always had. Picking up the phone. The problem is all bad recruiters out there that rely on email and never have the guts to actually talk to someone (or when they do sell a job, don’t listen to the candidate and send their resume to 25 different companies). I believe that we will see much more around personalization in our approach. Social media is already a great tool to have a conversation with your target group but what about your career site? What if people can just sign in with their LI profile (already possible) and they get targeted messages, jobs, videos and more?

    ATS; love them and hate them. However, I don’t think that Linkedin will want to go into that area or perhaps just for small companies that have no HR systems running behind it. You won’t be able to customize Linkedin and get the new hire data into your HRIS, too many systems, too many variables. Love Linkedin but doubt that will become an ATS player.

    Emerging markets? What? Where have you been mate? This is an old topic.

    Disruptive marketing: nothing new here. Google stole your thunder when they placed that billboard in 2002 with a mathematical equation leading to a phone number. Stunt PR is great if it aligns with your company culture. I’m actually believer that for a lot of brands it is much better to do guerrilla marketing and with moderate means get the attention of your target groups. It can be as simple as promoting the plastic coffee cups on a target campus, give free ice cream in exchange for a business card standing in front of your main competitor. Blazing your logo on a tall building isn’t really that innovative.

    Augmented reality? show me how to apply that to recruitment and I’ll comment.

    Conclusion: I love your stuff and you know it. I have the highest respect for you and believe you are one of those rare top performers. As well I’m honored to call you a friend. So, wiping the tears from my eyes; good stuff here but now show me how you implement it at Autodesk. I’m with you on this journey in some elements but on other topics I will just sit back and wait because I don’t think investing there will pay off. We need to realize we can’t do everything and for 75% of the companies it really still means they need to get their basics right. Once you have that (and who has that? be honest) you can move into the futuristic stuff.

  76. As Mayes mentioned, comments aren’t the place for any response that could do justice to a seismic essay like this. I’m suppose I’m going to have to dust the old blog down and respond properly there! However, I’ll summarise some thoughts on the key points you raised.

    1. Mobile
    Three types of job orientated mobile app
    i. Employer Branded
    ii. Job Board
    iii. Social discovery app built on top of existing API’s

    Recruitment 5.0 deals primarily with i), yet quotes data sources which describe user behaviour more closely associated with ii) and iii). So X% of users use mobile for job search – that doesn’t mean that they are downloading employer branded apps to do so. They are probably on Monster or Jobsite or some other miserably mobilised job board and having a horrible experience navigating through that. Active job seekers need to see volume and currency of vacancies – very few single employers can provide that. And non-active job seekers? They are on Twitter or playing a game or reading the news, and not on your app. So unless you are one of the very biggest of big boys or have enough B2C brand cache to create fanboys, putting resources into building a branded mobile careers app makes very little sense.

    And btw, more interesting than other of the above is iii) – I’ve beta tested a few, and some are eye poppingly good. But these are made by software companies, not corporates with marketing budgets to misspend

    2. Digital Footprint & Ethical Dilemma
    i) Privacy
    There is no ethical dilemma because there is no choice. Privacy is over and good riddance to it. It only ever served the purpose of protecting infidelities and /or providing cover for behaviour we’re secretly ashamed of. It’s retreat is inevitable as it is welcome, and we’ll realise soon enough that it doesn’t matter. For those who disagree (I’m sure that’s everyone here), the choice is clear – disengage from the digital world, or spend time you don’t have furiously curating the data you produce – first is untenable, the second a morale sapping exercise in futility.

    ii) Predictability
    What does this mean for hiring? It means that your digital footprint will be become the legitimised as a primary measure of your suitability for function and organisation. And it will probably be a good measure. At least, it will be infinitely better measure than the curated piece of marketing copy that is the CV. They say the CV is dead? It’s been dead for a long time. They are the zombie artifacts of recruitment, kept moving in a semblance of life by the needs of the ATS, Job Board, Agency industries who depends on them for their existence. If Matt Alder doesn’t understand the obsession with ATS’s, he need look no further than the vested interests that surround them.

    iii) LinkedIn in pole? Not so fast
    They have the data, they have the tools, they have the traction. However, whilst they may have won the talent ID game, they are not close to wining the talent assessment one. The data on Linkedin is still personally curated, and though it’s public nature makes it much higher quality in terms of data than that which is found on CV’s, it’s still subject to ….exaggeration. Social Aggregators have a chance here – socialcv, or influence measures like Klout or PeerIndex or similar. They are crawling the web for everything you do – LinkedIn plus as it were – and therefore each has the potential to provide a much greater depth of information that Linkedin alone can provide.

    iv) But yeah, it’s LinkedIn
    At which point LinkedIn will just pull it’s API, so maybe you’re right. Perhaps the central issue that won’t ever be resolved is what a users online ID really is. It is something you curate, or something someone has aggregated? Recruiters will have to learn to oscillate and cross reference (meta cross reference) the two

    3. End of the ATS
    Probably not. Again, Linkedin is enormously powerful and will fill the needs of many, but it still only has data in it’s own system, which for many people, provides an incomplete picture of that individual. Speak to people who build the technologies we are talking about and they are generally not on LinkedIn; indeed, some are actively getting off the platform to avoid recruiterspam that inevitably follows them. They are on places like Stackoverflow, GitHub, – these are not just A N Other social network, but are often conscious, even politicised communities who are actively hostile to single player dominance. We are seeing the fracturing of social networks, as people get facebook fatigue / Inmailed out and migrate to places and people of like mind. A standalone ATS, or rather, the social ATS which is actually just another aggregator, with notes, (Check out, might be still be the winner here.

    4. Augmented Reality
    Not A Reality for 99.9% of all employers out there, and nothing but a game until Contact lenses / brain implants become mainstream. Write Recruitment 15.0 and we can revisit.

    5. Disruptive Marketing – Yes
    6. End of Social Media – Yes
    7. Clone Talent – Yes

    8. End of Recruiters – No
    But recruiters will change. Recruiters as ‘talent Identifiers’ and ‘talent connectors’ is over. These things are not difficult to do any more, and thus no one will pay you money to do it. Instead recruiters will become
    i. Community Managers or Industry evangelists
    Look to Developer Relations in tech for a prototype of what a recruiter might become, essentially super networkers who build relationships without the imperative of filling vacancies. They will increasingly come from within industry, and not from sales, as their value is in their credibility, not in their ability to ‘convert’
    ii. Brand Narrators
    They become story tellers, individuals who relate the narrative of a brand and build brand awareness amongst their target audience They will write, shoot movies, host events, throw parties – communicate as a representative of the company. I expect that they will be jostling with Marketing (also finished) for the new role of who gets to become the Aesop of brand X
    iii) Talent Consultants
    Genuine consultants who can provide strategic advice on how to build a great company providing services like measuring employee sentiment, auditing company values, unblocking internal and external communication. Their ‘KPI’s will be on retention rather than recruitment. There are consultancies that do this anyway – but these companies are called McKinsey and BCG and not ‘Vortex Recruitment’
    iv) They’ll always be admin
    Some recruiter roles will collapses down to the details, and some young kid will take over the reigns, be called a Talent something or other, but in reality, be a glorified data inputter and task scheduler, and maybe make the tea now and again. Recruiters are over? No but they will change.

    I could go on. But for the love of God, I will not.

    Best wishes


  77. Very interesting article, Matthew. Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the ‘old school’ recruitment style quite a few times in my own career. And yes, nothing beats establishing personal connections – if you want to get the results. There are some recruitment companies that I firmly put on my personal ‘black list’. I will not go through them even if the jobs are 100% match for my skills. Looking at the same situation with my hiring manager’s hat on? How about I share an advice I got from a seasoned hiring manager. Which is 1) use your personal networks to locate talent, and 2)use your advocacy skills to attract the said talent. ‘nough said :).

  78. @Ted Meulenkamp

    Ultra Legend. LOL. So cool when someone I respect so much comments. Top mate. I really do hope I get to relax next year and watch you on stage. (Obviously I will not be a keynote next year before you say lol). I would love to see you own the stage and show the very cool stuff that you have been doing for Roche. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope that your Tweets were not seen LOL. Means a lot you saying that we were the highlight of the Conference …. Cheers.

    BTW if you get main stage, will there be a little Ted razzmatazz? Any dancers? Shame you are not in London for Talent Connect. Doing something again but even more strange. Will tell you offline lol

    We did discuss being more aggressive in the presentation but the reflection was that most in the audience wanted to see stuff they could take home and try to achieve. This was LinkedIn’s goal. Keep it real. Give people achievable goals.

    LOL. Got to come back at you. The Global War for the Best Talent is a slide I included for you 😉 I know that you Tweet every time you see it. And you did not let me know. It’s the ‘raw exposed’ nerve of slides. Lol One day you wont bite at that slide and then it is dead….at the moment….lol you bite.

    Let’s be honest. The Man Utd of today would beat Barca. Van Persie and Rooney are the best strike partnership in the world. Ronaldo wins the war for talent over Messi. Messi is a legend but he lacks the all round skills and finesss of Ronaldo. #NuffSaid #Lets see who gets player of the year

    Back to seriousness.

    We agree on mobile in many ways. Cant wait to see you mobile optimised site mate. I would refer you to Cris Bradshaw’s reply in this thread. He highlights a brilliant case study on PepsiCo. He shows how many placements have been made thanks to the app, (this ignores of course branding etc). This shows a pure ROI. Now Ted you may say well PepsiCo is a special brand etc, but read Cris Bradshaw comment and I would love to know what you think. It may even change your mind on mobile apps…..maybe?

    On Gamification, your point is salient. We have stuff in development. But we did not want to reveal this before its ready. We learn the hard way in PR’ing the mobile app pre launch and then launching it down the line. But your observations are spot on 😉 Glad you like Fake or Photo. It really helps draw the brand to the product and is fun and viral. We have lots more to push in this area.

    Your behavioural patterns online. Oh my. The fact you shy away from that makes me intrigued. I am guessing that your online presence and ‘DNA footprint in the cloud’ will shock me how much time you spend worshipping Barcelona 😉 lol

    You ask whether Autodesk recruiters look at Facebook pre hire. NO WAY. This is the delicate balancing act. As at LinkedIn there are privacy issues and ethical issues here. Yes, we all want to see more date and ability to profile candidates but there is a limit. So Facebook posts, (not that we can see them anyway as have to be a friend and few people mark their profile as perfect). So back to Facebook, this is a private area. I don’t want or need to see pictures of people partying, getting drunk or standing next to Cheryl Cole poking their tongue out 😉 We all have fun and let our hair down and that does not mean we cannot do the best job in the world. Drawing that fine line is tough Ted but my interpretation is hopefully a little clearer.

    On psychological profiling, don’t see tweet psych as the actual method. But it starts the thought process. How can we, as recruiters, build up more of an idea of our candidates and potential hires. If that can include an element of understanding what drives them/their psychology, then that is a good thing. Online dna maybe more accurate than profiling tests. Time will tell. You are right that this is a potential business opportunity for LinkedIn. Let’s see what they do in this area down the line.

    Emerging markets….yes of course its old….but new is the scale of what is happening. Latest data from the likes of McKinseys is earthshattering. Hence why it is such a key trend. What will happen to recruiters. Let’s take you. One of the most talented Western Recruitment leaders and Talent Brand Experts. If the East and Emerging are growing, will you be tempted to spearhead these new companies? WillWestern talent relocate. East overtake West? So many questions. So few answers today.

    Disruptive marketing, Stunt PR, I see few good examples in recruitment. No capturing of attention. No ‘in your face’ nmessaging. Yes, brand and stunt have to align. But current recruitment marketing needs more emphasis and a kick up the back side.

    Augmented reality, I see more for the whole Employment Brand, marketing and candidate experience piece. In terms of apply, I seen examples of augmented reality keyboards projected onto desks or against walls and allow full QWERTY keyboards. Having a list of jobs, thumbing through then ‘in the air’ with a thumbtip thimble can be done. Its just not something being done in recruitment or looked at.

    Conclusion. I refer to candidate cloning. I wish there were more Ted Meulenkamp’s in recruitment. The profession would be in a glowing state. We are aligned on getting the basics right. Which so few do. Hell every company has challenges there and ways to improve. But we have to keep an eye on the future. And have goals to aspire to. If we don’t reach for the moon we will never touch the stars…..or whatever the saying is. Yup, let’s see what we will do at Autodesk. As for me, I am refusing speaker slots now. LinkedIn London will be my last for months, as I want to just focus on new stuff, improve old stuff…..and enjoy watching man Utd or Real Madrid win the champions league….lol

  79. @Hung Lee

    Thanks for taking time out. Love what you say. Always direct and speak your mind.

    People that are not familiar with Hung, please have a look at his superb blog site, HERE: It’s a brilliant read and always great content and perceptions.

    Your mobile comments are spot on. I would add that whilst many comments in this thread, take a look at Cris Bradshaw and the stats he provides based on the PepsiCo experience. They are fascinating and perhaps, the raw data, will start to persuade corporates of the merits of an app. A mobile optimized site is a no brainer, sure we agree on that element. But you are right that some of the best mobile apps are not corporate designed…that’s where the ‘market’ will learn what people like, demand and enjoy interacting with…and hence the market will then supply. Basic market forces. Many of the Recruitment apps at the moment are de facto job boards with no reply or integration into the ATS. A long way to go but let’s see what the best do with them. Exciting times.

    On data and privacy, you are ahead of the game in what you say. Kudos. I would just say that when I say LinkedIn are on pole, that does not mean they will win the race. As in Formula 1, the pole sitter does not win. But they have that potential to drive home, lights to flag. Let’s see. But in terms of things LinkedIn need to do, you are right in terms of the greater depth of information they need to provide for recruiters. Others are doing this ahead of them. They can get ground back. But look at mobile as well. What is the biggest issue with mobile at the moment. Apply. We don’t have cv’s/resumes on our mobile memory. The best way, LinkedIn allow people to apply for roles and link to their LinkedIn profile. What a competitive advantage……why not now. The market is ripe. They could be trumped on this by technology soon as others seek the same goal………

    Augmented Reality, I don’t think things are as far as you think. 3D tv is viewable perfectly without glasses now. Augmented Reality will take you by surprise. 😉

    Love your thoughts on the future of recruiters.

    Community Managers hell yes.

    Or Community DJ’s. 😉

    Brand Narrators….hell yes. Companies have to tell a story…we all love a good story…..Simon Cowell sells the XFactor on that basis. Stories can create emotional connection…..

    Fun times lay ahead….look forward to reading about them on Wise Man Say.

  80. @Galyna Key

    Thanks for reading. Appreciate your taking time out to comment and your positive feedback. Thanks.

    Haven’t we all been on the end of ‘old school’ recruitment styles. When moving companies, I have been horrified at the experiences I have witnessed. Always around candidate experience, ill prepared managers, poor interview/assessments, some shocking ‘interviews’ by HR managers, (oh to name names but I cant)…….I so wish I could……lol

  81. Thanks again, Matthew. Many things I’d like to discuss with you off-forum. Also, I spoke with the Candidate Care Company person, and he’d be very glad to speak with you.


    Keith 1.415.586.8265

  82. Matt,
    Nice article! First off, you reference my research from last year (the top 35 companies), I have updated this (released at mRecruitingCamp 2012, Atlanta), you can see a summary on an infographic here

    The adoption of mobile support has been a slow burn in recruiting. However I have observed a dramatic change of pace in the last 6 months – particularly in the US. A real benchmark was the discussion at mRecruitingCamp. In 2011 the debate was “why bother with mobile” in 2012 the discussion was “How do I go mobile”. During my presentation I ran a SMS poll, roughly 50% of the audience already had an mSite or a live project building one. Many firms from a diverse selection of sectors sharer their plans including leading auditors, banks, manufactures, hotel chains and tech firms.

    The core focus around ROI and the importance if mobile was well articulated by Matt Lavery from UPS, he stated that it was a waste of time investing effort in Social Recruiting without a mobile optimised site to convert candidates. He shared some great stats that in the first two weeks of going live with their mSite they revived over 2,000 applications. His sucess and sentiments surrounding the tight coupling between social and mobile was shared by many speakers during mRecruitingCamp 2012.

    If you check out the infographic I linked to you will see a 25% YoY growth in live mobile recruiting sites, this is not actually a big number- but based on observational research of the industry you can expect the growth next year to be significantly higher!

    The focus on apps v mSite is interesting. There is no doubt that return can be achieved via apps but the socially integrated mSite solves a different (probably larger) problem, I.E converting from social media. A well thought out mSite can provide alerts via social media and deliver many if the benifits gained from an app- including an icon on the phone. But an app delivers conversion from the marketing channel of the various appStores. While the App Store audiences are huge there is a serious unanswered question around volume of career / job related searches.

    I noticed you quote a ComScore stat around app v mSite usage. This stat needs careful interpertation as it causes confusion. If I use Facebook or Twitter app and click on a link someone posted where is the site loaded? It is loaded inside the app- which may register as app usage even though the user is browsing the web. Just something to be aware of, for more info read .

    Those that feel it is best to not bother with mobile seriously need a CT scan. Unfortunately it reminds me of the late 90s and early 2000s when the statement was “forget the web!”, I am sure that strategy worked out well (look at newspapers!). The opportunity is redo your web site but Mobile First. If you can deliver a great mobile candidate experience then you can expand that highly focus proposition to the desktop format. Mobile First is the opportunity to fix the frequently shocking experience that we force candidates through. Or you can ignore mobile, keep the frustrating desktop web experience and loose candidate and relationships to your competition who made it easier!

    The recruiting industry needs to borrow ideas from ecommerce….
    + Remove Barriers
    + Aim for least clicks
    + Delight the candidate
    + Measure at feild level the application journeys
    + MVT and improve the journey using real data to drive change

    Anyway enough chatter…

    BTW I recently co-authored the second annual installment of Mobile Recruiting Guide 2012 you can download this and freely share it. The foreword by Kevin Wheeler is well worth the read. It’s a PDF

    Sorry for typos – written on my iPhone. (When is ERE going mobile?)

  83. After an hour, I have finally got to the ‘post a comment’ section of this inspiring article. Followed by a number of incredible responses! 671 Shares on LinkedIn, 222 Tweets and 84 Likes to date – wizz kid Matthew!

    My own thoughts everything:
    Agree on the rise of too many social media ‘gurus’ and ‘experts’. Who yes lack real experience but that isn’t always an issue. It’s the fact these social gurus only broadcast/rant on social and often do not have 2-way conversations or respond to people. Moving on quickly!

    Mobile is here, yes they have been since around 1982. For us ‘smartphones, tablets, feature phones and mobile phones’ are on our mind every single day but we also need to be realistic, we are working with around 113 different nationalities and need to meet all their expectations. Mobile recruitment has not been the answer for all our sites, even if I look at Facebook – only 30% of our community comments/likes etc are coming from mobile. I do agree that ‘smart devices/tablets’ will be a dominant channel for most regions but employer branding/social is still developing in emerging markets and needs to catch up too. Sorry to move away from your mobile term but we are talking about smartphones not mobiles really here! I have to agree that some of our emerging markets are going to be leading change in the future.

    Love your disruptive marketing comments, which is the area I am extremely interested in. Sometimes these disruptive marketing initiatives can be very simple and done without big budgets. Think of ‘innovative or game based’ open-house events for techies & designers, these events if planned well and with the full support of your business partners can bring excellent results. Very human approach, letting people into your environment and getting to know you without a screen in the way, understanding your products/brand better.

    I think it’s essential that recruiting keeps the basics and building relationships continues to be a focus. We are recruiting people to work with people! Recruiters and hiring managers should be accountable for delivering personal experiences, being the best brand ambassadors and earning trust – you can’t do that on email/inmails.

    Plus, I also saw you mention the current trend of “projection advertising,” but you didn’t mention the coolest projection of 2012 –

    So many excellent human, authentic approaches, ideas and food for thought here Matthew. If I had more time, I would love to catch you up but my current to-do list is endless. This space wouldn’t be the same without you – seriously.


  84. Becky,
    I laughed out loud — “only 30% of our community comments/likes etc are coming from mobile” you then seem to suggest a third of your interactions dont matter! Given the % of views who will read and not interact I expect this represents a serious audience for you. Have I miss read your reply! Are you dismissing this audience? Or did I miss understand?

    The smartphone & mobile web adoption in emerging markets such as South America and Africa is booming. In these markets mobile web is the ONLY connectivity many people have ready at hand. The importance of mSites in these markets is critical to employer branding!

  85. @Becky Gloyne

    Hey you. Really appreciate you taking an hour out to read and comment.

    As you know I am a fan of your work at Nokia. Carry on driving the train at speed rock star. And I can’t wait to see you at LinkedIn Talent Connect London.

    Glad you ranted on the self proclaimed guru’s. One of my peers said it well to me last week at Talent Connect Las Vegas. I will quote ‘It’s like being told how to make love by a virgin’! In many ways this sums it up I guess.

    On Facebook, if 30% of your comments are coming via mobile, that still seems a sizeable chunk! I imagine Nokia gets a lot more than other companies.

    Love your embrace of disruptive marketing. Sounds like you are doing some great stuff. I would love to hear more. You making any presentations in the near future? I would love to come and listen. (Russia is a bit far for me to hear you 😉 lol)

    Totally agree. Recruitment is about personal contact. Face to face. Phone to phone. Developing relationships.

    But I would advise you to think of how many candidates apply to work for you and how many you are able to speak to.

    Knowing database sizes in the past, I would hazard a guess that your database is a million plus names, then all the social media netwroks, fans followers, tweeters, subscribers, that almost the size of a small city or small country.

    Hence it comes back to personalisation. And that has to be electronic.

    All companies face this issue. What to do with all those names on the database that aren’t right for a job and sit on their rotting, like a raw carcus in the midday sun.

    I always think of those people, the untouched on the database as the people who fill in Glassdoor surveys. Pissing them off is the worst we can do.

    Love Nokia’s use of projection advertising. It is cool. (Again look at:

    I have to say my favourite use of projections this year has to be Madness on Buckingham Palace :

    I even love this projection, (or Peppers Ghost), of Tupac on stage in 2012 :

    Becky. Thanks again.

    You rock. I always love listening to your stories and read your tweets. Keep on innovating. You are one of the few trailblazers out there ?

  86. @DaveMartin

    Glad my comment amused you but yes you have misunderstood me. I don’t remember claiming to dismiss 30% of the people within our communities. We have committed and invested in more in tools this year in order to listen, get feedback and engage with our target audience online better. So everyone we engage with matters. We have even made changes to our recruitment process, through the feedback we have got from online.

    Nokia has done a tremendous amount of work in emerging markets like Africa, Latam etc. Nokia’s Life Tools is all about giving people access to a wide range of services and information on their mobile phones, which they can’t get any other way. So yes, I am in full agreement that mSites are important in emerging markets.

    Hope I have made more sense now 🙂

  87. I was shocked as I know you have a real great grip on this topic!

    I think the sentiment I read too much into was “even if I look at Facebook – only….”

    Thanks for setting me straight!

  88. @MatthewJeffery

    Will definitely let you know if I speak again in London. Need to put my head down till the end of the year now but will do more again next year.

    Thinking of our database is scary, we need to do so much more here than we do. There is always room for improvement…

    Looking forward to seeing you next week, I need to learn more from the best!


  89. @Dave Martin aka Mobile Dave…to be found at:

    Hey Dave

    Thanks for the reply. Valued you coming on and commenting. Thanks. Great stuff.

    First off, I checked back and I referenced the research to Dr John & Associates, (where I read it), but it is of course yours mate. And I love your infographic. I totally recommend people to download and email round their business leaders. Again, it is HERE:

    The research referenced above was fascinating reading and at the same time, rather scary. Very scary. It highlighted how the top companies were not adapting to mobile, be it through optimized sites or creating mobile apps.

    But what scares me is the logic. I can sit and look at mobile stats that show mass penetration, in all countries across the world. Noone upon noone can deny the ‘reach’ of mobile. Secondly, no one can deny how ingrained mobile is in our culture. Again stats in the infographic and elsewhere show this. People are using their mobiles all the time. Be it looking on the train, in between meetings, (especially boring meetings), at break time, lunch time, in the office, cigarette breaks, in the toilet, in the bath, at dinner time, (scary but true…the art of conversation for some is dead), multi tasking watching the TV on the sofa, and a last check before bed, then setting the alarm, (often on their mobile). to start a new day. That shows mobile is ingrained in our psyche, our culture.

    We use our phones to shop, to bank, social network, book theatres, pop concerts, cinema, search for restaurants, find locations etc etc …..and…..

    ……and yes. People do look for jobs on their mobile. It’s the best time. When someone is pissed off at work, argued with the boss, had a poor pay rise or bonus or appraisal grade etc, people leap on mobile to seek job opportunities. It’s a common sense way of life.

    So why oh why mobile has not been embraced by Recruitment Leaders is totally scary. I always flit between, They don’t understand its reach, they think it is too expensive, they don’t want the extra work to introduce…..they are lazy….who knows…you decide 😉 Any research Dave?

    BUT I am glad to read Dave you say in the past six months mobile is taking off. Phew. More power to that. I hope the unstoppable juggernaut has started.

    I think, perhaps the biggest issue for recruitment is the apply piece. People don’t have their resume/cv in their phone/in the memory. This is where Dave, I think LinkedIn is missing out on a MASSIVE market. If a job seeker could apply for a job and attach their linkedin profile, that would be a massive win. LinkedIn could corner the market. I hope they do it before others provide different solutions and narrow their market opportunity. You will know more Dave, but I know of firms in the USA that already have ‘apply technology’ and can integrate with the likes of Taleo. LinkedIn need to act now to strike while the iron is hot.

    Thanks for pointing out the Matt Lavery UPS case study. That is awesome to read.

    I have also been impressed by the PepsiCo app and the success and number of roles that app has filled for them.

    Key for mobile recruitment there are success stories out there. This is key to champion to drive adoption.

    Thanks for clarifying the ComScore part Dave. I read your site and that helped.

    Your comments on adoption are spot on. I cant understand why adoption is not faster, quicker, more passionate.

    Perhaps, what could help, and I throw this over to you Dave, is pointing out best in class.

    Two quick Questions Dave.

    1) Which mobile optimised sites are worth people looking at? Best in class. Innovative. Clever ideas. Worth a look.
    2) Same question again. What mobile apps are best in class, worth people looking at. Innovative? Clever? Effective?

    That may help educate.

    Great post Dave.

    Keep on flying the flag of mobile.

  90. @Becky Gloyne


    Like you I am going into a period of hibernation. LinkedIn London will be my last presentation for a good few months. Time to leap off the circuit and I want to develop new ideas and new messages. My current presentations go down well but I want to develop new stuff and new things to reveal and say.

    I can appreciate how Prince felt a few years back. He got bored of playing the greatest hits all the time lol…..although I love them and could listen to Purple Rain every day 🙂

    All our database’s are scary. Ithink there is a lot of room to innovate and that’s one focus for me.

    Every name has a person behind it. They are not a number. they are a person, with feeling and a story to tell.

    We seek to humanise our communication, Employment brand and our messaging…..we need to turn that same logic and humanise our database….if that makes sense.

    See you on Tuesday. I hear LinkedIn Talent Connect is a sell out and the largest European Recruitment Conference yet!. Exciting.

  91. @Becky Gloyne

    BTW……thanks for coming back on @Dave Martin’s question.

    I was a little confused at your respinse but super clear now 🙂

    My misunderstanding is perhaps by advancing years or the red wine surging though my veins lol.

  92. Well Matthew – another thought provoking and inspiring article. I have to confess to feeling slightly disappointed as I rip up my disruptive employer branding campaign for 2013. Will you always be one step ahead of the rest of us? 🙂
    I absolutely agree that mobile is huge, I have seen my own mobile habits change enormously since getting a smart phone one year ago (I know I know – late adopter!)

    For many inhouse recruiters reading this article though it will strike a feeling of fear and insecurity.
    As Co-Manager of a community of over 5,000 in-house recruitment professionals The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers (The FIRM) I have a privileged insight into the world of inhouse recruitment outside of my own experiences.
    Fundamentally life as an inhouse recruiter can be tough.

    Often managing myriads of vacancies at any one time, trying to balance the operational challenges of today whilst trying to implement proactive resourcing strategies to drive the business of tomorrow.

    Leveraging augmented reality feels very far from this world!
    To reassure them I would say that fundamentally the ‘What’ has not and will not change, we all need to pro-actively identify, engage and hire great talent. We need to deliver a great candidate experience through whichever medium we use. That medium needs to be tailored to the candidate wherever possible. I read your article to a friend who is job hunting – his one retort was that he didn’t care whether a company had a careers app or was mobile friendly, his one wish was that he got feedback on his applications!

    Matthew and Amy describe the ‘How’ in this article – and this changes all the time. My advice to in-house recruiters is do the best you can do with the budget and time that is available to you.
    Increasingly the biggest challenge facing a Head of Resourcing is the ability find their own staff, to find pro-active, resilient and agile recruiters who can work through the what, look to the future of the how and embrace both..
    I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic team of Talent Acquisition Professionals – we’re very much looking forward to the challenge of 5.0 and beyond…

  93. Wow! Not only an amazing article Matt and Amy (absolutely love it!), but the comments section reads like a who’s who of in-house recruitment., very impressive.

    So with slight trepidation I shall attempt to add my two-penneth…

    1) “Mobile recruiting finally takes off” – well yes, but not yet. I agree with Ken Ward, I don’t think we are there yet. Majority of people won’t want to apply for jobs on their mobile. I am still not convinced that the mobile provides a rich enough environment to conduct a ‘proper’ job search.

    There is a lot of conflicting data out there. Look I agree that every career site should be mobile enabled, but there are a lot of other things that an internal recruitment team needs to get right before they focus on mobile.

    2) “Recruiting gets back to basics and focuses on building relationships” – YES YES YES! One of my personal crusades. Could not agree with you more.

    There is so much noise about technology, social media et al, I think a lot of people have forgotten that you are not going to engage and actually recruit a candidate until you have actually had a CONVERSATION with them.

    We need to train recruiters on the forgotten skills of how to use a telephone.

    You use the internet and social media channels to identify good candidates, but then you have to pick up the phone and approach these people. This is especially true if you are trying to extract a good candidate away from a competitor they are happy working for.

    Also a lot of the training we do focuses on training recruiters that telephone conversations are not transactional. Recruiters should be identifying good candidates and then have a conversation with them. Find out who they work with; who do they respect and admire in their market; what’s the latest gossip in the market; who is winning the contracts; who isn’t.

    This information is so rich, it can then be used not only to attract candidates into the business, but also demonstrate to the internal client that they know their market, that they understand the business.

    Internal recruiters need to become proper consultants, in the truest sense of the word, experts in their field.

    Half the battle is proving themselves to the rest of the business, talking with candidates in the market and gleaning market intelligence from them will give them a competitive edge.

    3) I agree with you about the ATS. I think the whole ATS subject can also include footprints in the cloud/Data DNA. It is not about tracking the applicant anymore, it is about understanding and managing a database of candidates who are potentially relevant to your business.

    Many of these candidates might not be ready for the business right now, but we need to develop and nurture relationships with these people, so that when the time is right, they are the go to people and they also have some empathy with our business.

    It’s candidate management, not just applicant tracking. One day a super intelligent candidate management system will come on the market which is able to store and understand of all of the online data attributable to each candidate and map that data into the every role of the business.

    Most ATS’ are stuck on the platforms on which they were created….15 years ago. Times have changed.

    4) I don’t really know anything about Augmented Reality, I can hardly say it, nevermind comment on it!

    5) Companies create will create their own academies. Yes totally agree. But that is only relevant for the top 50 businesses in the world, what about all the others? Actually I have a few ideas on this, maybe we can talk offline?

    Overall a very inspiring piece. Thank you.

  94. Wow – ever feel like you;ve arrived late at the party? When people talk about engagement and compelling content all you need is to refer them to the 3.0 / 4.0 / 5.0 series…

    Great read again – thanks Matt & Amy. I’ve followed the series with huge interest. 3.0 was the rallying call the corporate recruitment sector needed and it’s been great to see so many companies (re)take control and achieve success as a result.

    It’s hard to add anything new to all the comments above, other than to say quickly that 5.0 is a bold prediction of the future based on current trends. Whether people agree or disagree credit has to be given to Matt & Amy for being the ones to stick their neck out.

    There’s always a sneaking suspicion that 2% of the recruitment sector are fuelling the conversation around candidate experience, future technology, mobile etc – and it’s really interesting to see a lot of familiar names joining the conversation above! With that in mind it’s a relief to see several mentions by Matt to acknowledge that 3.0 is still the challenge for most – absolutely!

    I’m lucky in my role to meet a vast range of corporate recruiters on a month by month basis, and the range in ability, outlook & awareness is frightening. A lot of the content in 5.0 would scare the hell out of most.

    We all have our own views on the future of recruitment, both where it needs to go, and where we suspect it will actually go. But whether you agree or disagree with Matt & Amy’s vision for the future, I personally cant thank them enough for being the ones to get the industry talking.

    Great efforts – thanks again guys!

  95. @Emma Mirrington
    Hey Emma. Thanks for commenting. As you know I am a huge fan of your work and achievements at Sky and Mars, and of course as a Co-Founder of The Firm. I think you do an outstanding job for the Recruitment Profession. My admiration for you is ‘Empire State Building high’. I hope you know that. As I have said, one day, one of my hopes is to work closely with you and together I think we could build something outstanding and industry defining.

    Emma, you are so so right. The life of a recruiter is tough. Really tough. It can feel for some like a scene from ‘Mission Impossible’. ‘Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, is to hire 50 people within 2 weeks, starting now. This message will self-destruct in 1 minute’. As we know workforce planning is always a challenge and hence recruiters get this ‘Mission Impossible’ to identify, interview, offer candidates in a micro space of time. Unrealistic and pressuring. Often with Recruitment Leaders, too scared to speak up and push back on unrealistic demands, adding to the stress.

    Of course the goals of these papers is not to make people insecure. But actually, hopefully to give one vision of the way forward, start people thinking and debating, outside of the hamster wheel of the daily demands. I love seeing what people think can and should happen in recruiting. It has, as a profession, tended to be very reactive, with little vision of an end goal. Whilst many still need to master the basics, others need new goals.

    I always worry that we overly seek to reassure recruiters. We need recruiters to challenge, drive hard, think creatively how to attract the best talent. And Emma, totally agree, most candidate experience is dreadful. That is a key focus for all companies. Not just the candidates who apply and get interviewed by the many thousands, (sometimes million plus), candidates sitting on the database who never hear a word, (apart from the bog standard bounceback email thanking them for their application).

    I can’t wait to see some of the initiatives you and the team at Mars implement and of course always love what The Firm do for our industry.

    Keep on trailblazing Emma.

  96. @Alastair Cartwright

    Hey legend. Thanks for commenting. Appreciated.

    Yeh, like you, loving the comments section. Some really meaty points and debates. Very cool.

    On mobile, you make some interesting points. And I think we come back to ‘apply’. There is no doubt that people look for jobs on their phone. Job search is relatively easy, especially through Mobile apps, be they company ones, or even the job board ones.

    The issue is how people apply. Most who search for jobs on their mobile, leave it until they get home in the evening and then apply via their desktop. (Some may do it in the day at work, but many are fearful of being caught by the IT police). So if we say, a sizeable number search for a role and then apply at home on desktop, that is unacceptable and the delay could mean people forgetting to apply. Yes, for example, a mobile can have job alerts and you can ‘register’ your interest to apply, (and have a recruiter get in touch, but full ‘apply’ is a challenge via mobile.

    There are companies in the USA who have mastered apply and integration with an ATS eg Taleo, but this is in rollout stage.

    As mentioned, I see an opportunity for LinkedIn here. Allowing people to apply for jobs on their mobile by linking to their LinkedIn profile. A huge opportunity for LinkedIn to carve the market to itself.

    As to success, Cris Bradshaw’s email shows a great example, the PepsiCo App, with over 100 plus hires. Have a read of the comment Al.

    As to adoption, let’s see. It is the future. It is here…let’s see the speed of adoption.

    Your points on recruiters picking up the phone, I 100% agree. #NuffSaid

    On the ATS, there is such a huge opportunity out there for a technological company to create an ATS that:

    – Fulfills all the traditional ATS functions
    – Has CRM functionality
    – Allows for complex marketing campaigns, be they email shots, targeted communication etc
    – Actively can import ‘easily’ data from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
    – Has a fully defined search functionality (semantic)
    – Allows compatibility with external search engines, allowing easy import of data from eg Boolean search
    – Imports company information and stores into company profiles
    – Allows organagramming of businesses and structures

    And so on. And of course someone will say X,Y,Z can do this already. If that was the case, then every company in the world would be using it today !!!!

    On Companies creating own academies etc, let’s definitely catch up over a beer or ten. (Stella). Lol

    Thanks for the great comments rock star 😉

  97. @Stuart Jones.

    Hey hey hey.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

    Never to late to join a party. It’s the entrance that matters. Lol

    Appreciate the great commentson 3.0, 4.0 series.

    And thanks for the comments and support for 5.0. When we were asked to write a final paper by LinkedIn and ERE, it was tough to define what should be in it. 3.0 was about the current-near future and contained hopefully some useful tips and advice, (with no consultancy fees lol). 4.0 was again, more ahead of that but still realistic. So to write 5.0 was tough. We tries, as you say to base on current trends and project forward. Some will fell futuristic, which it is, but realistic futuristic. The papers need to be seen as a progression and read in order. Anyone reading 5.0 only will think we are mad.

    The whole purpose of these papaers was to say, hey, here is ONE vision of the future of recruitment. What do you think. Debate it. Challenge it. And more importantly let people in the indsutry know your own views of the future.

    Recruitment is all too often called reactive. Hence the need for all of us to have some visions of the way forward.

    Importantly, we are not arrogant enough to say this is the way forward. Just options. And its interesting the see and hear some criticise, (easiest thing in the world is to criticise), but key, come up with other ideas. How can we improve the industry.

    And this is definitely the last paper in this troligy. I have been asked what could be in 6.0. That is years off. Even thinking of some of the things feels more Dr Who than recruiting lol

    Stuart, love to hear your views on the future.

    Thanks again for your support and kind words.

  98. WOW, so many comments I don’t think I have ever seen a post get so much interest. Well done Matthew & Amy.
    However, I am still seeing new posts go up stating “mobile is not here yet for the recruitment industry”!
    Is this because these people have yet to do anything about it? Because those who have already taken action are reaping the benefits and seeing the best marketing money can buy!
    Most career websites are now starting to see between 20 -30 % of all their traffic coming from a mobile device. If the career site is not optimized for mobile not only will the job seeker have a bad experience but also they will not be able to apply for a job!
    In a recent interview, Google stated that 1 in 5 recruitment searches are performed on a mobile phone! This must be because job seekers don’t want to use a mobile to job search, right? WRONG!
    Here are some examples of just some of the costs per applications and hires some of the clients that have had Allthetopbananas build their mobile apps and mobile websites for them…
    In a 12 month period 2 job boards we have built apps for have stated that they are receiving well in excess of 15,000 jobseeker applies every month from their apps, and every month this figure continues to grow. These stats are taken from just their Android and iPhone apps these don’t include applies they are also getting from their mobile sites.
    15,000 applications a month = 180,000 applications a year. The cost of a job board app on iPhone and Android if purchased via Allthetopbananas is just £5500. This means the cost per application via their mobile apps works out at just 3p per application! I think these job boards may disagree that Mobile is not here yet! Neither of these boards falls into the top 10 UK job boards either. I know what you are thinking; this is fine for Job Boards but not corporate career sites. Our case studies show that this just isn’t the case.
    If you take a look back through the comments on this article you will see that I have already shown that some of the companies we are working with are seeing a cost per hire of less than £25 ($33), again this is from the mobile apps and mobile sites that we have built for their business. Compare that to the rate to post a job on a job board or have a recruitment agency fill the vacancy for them and mobile is already beating this hands down.
    We have helped hundreds of companies with their mobile solutions, I don’t think there is a day that we do not get an incoming call from a recruitment agency, job board or direct employer wanting to find out more about how they can make the best out of mobile.
    To see what some of our clients are doing with mobile why not check out some of the videos on our website.

  99. Great read Matthew! Always thought provoking.

    This article now has me VERY curious about the success of Intel’s mobile jobs app. We have it available on iphone and android. I know I installed it, but I must check how many others have and what usage looks like! 🙂

  100. @Tiffany Peery. Hi Tiffany, we built the Intel apps for you so if you would like me to get you any data on the apps I would be more than happy to help out. I know the Team at Intel we built this for are very happy with the results to date. You can email me directly on

  101. @Cris Bradshaw

    Kind of cool to have so much debate and comments. It’s awesome to see people stating views, agreeing/disagreeing but most importantly having an opinion.

    Cris, I was super intrigued at Google saying 1 in 5 recruitment searches are on mobile phone. To clarify, 1 IN 5 RECRUITMENT SEARCHES ARE ON A MOBILE PHONE. Wowsers. That is now…..check the story HERE: BTW Cris, when I click on this link I seem to get some seedy woman in the sidebar….not the best advertising match!!!! LOL

    The ROI stats you post need no comment. Cost per hire less than £25, ($33). #Nuff Said. #What’s to debate?

    Anyone disagree with Cris or want to ask questions?

    I am passionate about mobile. On this thread there seems to be a recognition of the importance of mobile but a nervousness that it will have an ROI, generate placements, pipeline etc.

  102. @Tiffany Peery

    Rock star. Hope you are doing well. I so enjoy reading your Tweets. Anyways fun, informative and controversial. #Love It #TiffanyRocks

    You have made us all curious on the success of Intel’s app now you mentioned. lol Seems Cris will update you.

    Be cool if you/Someone at Intel would let us know the success of your app.

    I think that many in this thread totally get Mobile and see it as important BUT need more evidence from now and need success stories to build their business case and invest.

    Cris points to a £25 cost per hire. That’s a pretty good start!!!

    Miss you Tiffany.

  103. @ all interested in Mobile

    I don’t know every resource but these may help.

    Mobile Recruiting Camp is the largest Mobile Recruitment Conference: Held in the USA

    @Mike Taylor mentioned he is running a Conference in the UK next week, (Tuesday). Tickets still available I think Mike?

    Useful sites I read for mobile include:


    Mobile Dave:

    As Dave Martin mentioned yesterday he published a paper: It’s a PDF

    Dave also mentioned the Mobile Infographic:


    Anything missing?

    @MobileDave if you get a min, could you give a steer, (I remember you have done the research already), to these quick questions:

    1) Which mobile optimised sites are worth people looking at? Best in class. Innovative. Clever ideas. Worth a look.
    2) Same question again. What mobile apps are best in class, worth people looking at. Innovative? Clever? Effective?

  104. Thanks Matthew and Amy for publishing Recruitment 5.0. It is a long read but both comprehensive and entertains as well.

    Personally I am excited about the potential opportunities for recruitment moving forward.

    New into recruitment, I had some misconceptions about recruitment that have proved untrue.

    Recruitment can be strategic, have a vision and whilst process is key, recruiters need to also be good at marketing, PR, Communications and sales.

    As mentioned above by various people there are new jobs and opportunities opening up and that inspires me. Be that community managers, talent managers or even recruitment/community DJ’s, the opportunities are exciting and endless.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Kind Regards


  105. @Anabel Perez Leis

    Thanks for commenting.

    Yes, Yes, Yes to many opportunities. And exciting ones. Recruitment in the past could be viewed as pure process and transactional. That is not the case today.

    These are exciting times to be in recruitment.

    I even refer back to the concluding paragraphs of Recruitment 3.0.

    I quote:

    The New Recruitment 3.0

    Recruitment 3.0 is about building engaged communities, telling a story, listening, discussing and fostering an emotional attachment with new talent.

    Recruiter 1.0 and 2.0 will be a dying breed in the coming months and years, replaced and thrown on the scrap heap by Recruiter 3.0 who can combine a range of skills including:

    • PR & messaging
    • Marketing
    • Direct Marketing
    • Market segmentation
    • Candidate Relationship Management
    • Sales
    • Presentation and Communication Skills

    Are your recruiters ready?

    Is your recruitment leader ready?

  106. Matthew I always find your presentations act as a wonderful inspiration point. Your latest paper is well observed and served up as a visionary example of the world of recruiting could look like. It is true to say that much of your thinking is still light years away for many, but this is why I love talking with you as your passion for our industry and your drive to explore the new world that lays before us is an example to many and I suspect a shock for some and inspires others.

    Your comments on mobile are well observed a for example Monster in the UK we are now tracking about 18%-20% of our job searches through mobile and your comments about creating a synced up experience are so important for the user journey as they do move from mobile to desktop it needs to be seamless. It also demonstrates a requirement for recruiters to use better tracking and marketing techniques to understand the path that the applicant has taken to better understand what and how they can be influenced to become a potential employee.

    Lastly your comments around the challenges and opportunities of big data, tracking sifting and sourcing from web to social and mobile are key to the future of the industry, being able to search and match rank sort and understand your talent pipeline be that external or internal regardless of source and key to allowing companies to understand their talent pipeline. Services like See more ( ) using semantic search technology enable and employers recruiters and businesses to truly begin to understand the data they have, saving time money and resource looking for talent they almost certainly have.

    I am sad to think this is the last paper in the series, keep pushing against the Kármán line, Legend!

  107. @David Henry

    Legend. Really appreciate you commenting on this. Means a lot. As one of the best Recruitment Marketing Directors in the World today, it’s cool to get your insight.

    Thanks for you opening comment. I suppose it is a kind of shock and awe lol

    Mobile is such a fascinating area and people are recognising that it is the future for recruitment, that it is key but are nervous when to make the jump. Some of the stats in this comment thread show the ROI. And the fact that Monster are tracking 18-20% of job searches MUST RING ALARM BELLS for people reading this. Monster have one of the biggest traffic sites in the world and nearly a quarter of its job searches are already trackable to mobile. Surely that stat will cause some recruitment leaders to ‘get mobile’, and jump now. And David that figure is today, I am guessing in say 1 year that will be close to 30% and by 2020, 70-80%? Maybe? Definitely maybe? (Great album that as well lol)

    And I definitely recommend people should read this article HERE: As we look to big data, look at semantic search, Seemore is a great example. And key is how it will develop and what Monster will add to it. Exciting possibilities all round.

    Kudos to Monster. I must admit, I was not up to speed with how Monster has transformed itself. I perhaps lived in the perception of the job board and post and pray! That was until I heard David present at a Conference, (SR Conf), and he gave a brilliant brilliant presentation and really demonstrated Monsters new business priorities. The case study he demonstrated in Partnering with Marussia Formula 1, (take a look HERE: ), was inspiring. Listening to Marussia employee testimonials it is clear that a true relationship and partnership has been built that almost transcends transactional recruitment. Almost dare I say it that David and his team have been embedded and feel part of Marussia F1 and their goal of moving up the grid. Impressive.

    Thanks again David and appreciate the kind words.

    As to another paper in the dot.o series. Nope. That was enough. It would get too futuristic and daft and combining 3/4/5 is enough for many for now lol. 6.0 would feel very Dr Who, ESP, time travel…….although that sounds cool 😉

  108. This article should be must reading for recruiters, HR pros, hiring managers, and every occupant of the C-Suite. It shows a view of what I believe must happen and will happen in the coming months — not years! Best fact and data based preview I’ve seen. And best rationale for focusing on the candidate experience. Well done!

  109. @China Gordon.

    Wow, that means a lot China.

    To get a superb comment like that from China, an industry legend and one of the most respected leaders out there, is just….wow. It means a great deal China. Thank you.

    China you are a driving force in our industry, a voice that is always heard, and your dedication really helps our profession advance forward.

    Thanks again.

    Wow…cracking open a bottle of wine to enjoy after that 🙂

  110. Wow, Matthew and Amy, Thanks for another great article to shake up the never ending debate 🙂 I know how much time and effort you have put into this.

    There is indeed a gap between what you are talking about, what companies need to do in a short term future and how most large enterprises are looking at mobile and social medias. Many Leaders I have spoken to, don’t realise the impact of social media and mobile apps and have never even thought of making their website mobile-optimised (they actually think their normal website is transferrable to an iPad). Some teenagers (the next generation coming out sooner than we think on the working market) are hardly never on PCs anymore but doing everything on their smart phones and iPads. Companies will just have to adapt, if not they will miss out of a huge market.

    Data is power, I agree and we have to be careful how it is used. I heard earlier this week that a department store in the US knows if a woman is pregnant, even before she knows, by analysing what kind of food she buys. They then know what she will “wants” in the near future and can do a targeted marketing…imagine her face getting advertisement for baby things and a congratulations for your baby in her letter box when she doesn’t even know that she is pregnant… An interesting and long debate on how data can be used 🙂

    I love your comments on Emerging Markets. Recruiting in parts of these markets myself, I fully agree that things are moving really fast, people are “hungry” to learn and are not afraid of working hard, moving across borders and learn new languages to have a career and great talent is scarce. Emerging markets will definitely be a focus during the coming years and we will have to be creative not only in recruiting but also how to retain the best talent.

    Thank you also for not forgetting that technology is a great tool to make our work more effecient and exiting but that it is KEY that we keep the basics – building relationships with potential candidates is a focus that shouldn’t be forgotten about. We are still recruiting people to work with people :-). We can find the talent, using technology but convincing a candidate to join our company is very much about being convinced by the people they meet and the passion they see in their eyes when they speak about our company.

    Thanks again and looking forward to continuing the discussions in London!!

    Keep on rocking the TA world Matthew!!



  111. Matthew / Amy,

    I always get excited when I hear that you are releasing new content. I think the vision and ‘future-now’ scenario based theories you have put forward in this series is true genius.

    My brain is still a bit scrambled after a long break and long haul flight, and may come back to this, but I have some initial thoughts.

    a) This is the end of the series? Will you not have further ideas and thoughts to add to this dialogue?

    b) Completely agree with what you are saying about the normalisation of social media and the development of mobile apps and brands. I suppose I have two comments on that. Yes, completely agree that for large companies with resource and established infrastructure it is possible to develop the mobile based recruitment and I can see the academy piece and development of ‘clone’ ideal candidates through talent pipelining into the future.

    What though about the smaller organisation? Or establishing business that may not have the resources to hire an in house recruitment team or do such advanced costly initiatives? Or a company with a limited brand profile? Or have a volume demand due to the growth of their business, without the inhouse team in place?
    They might not see the value, or have the money to develop such infrastructure. I still see them utilising agencies into the future long term as I don’t see how this fits their resourcing profile?

    I wonder whether we will have in the future big companies with excellent in house teams focussing on direct, and smaller companies without the branding capability that focus on agency relationships? Interesting thought and lots of things I feel around that which would be good to talk to you about sometime.

    c) Also on that point, I think also, we have to recognise the effect of the market on talent leverage. At the moment generically it is a buyer’s market, and easier to get good talent because there are more candidates available, but when the cycle goes round again and the candidate owns the choices, that will impact in house capability. In large organisations, this impact will be to bring down the sort of percentages they can deliver currently, maybe from 90 percent down to 70 percent- (talking to some inhouse recruitment managers, their guestimate).

    I think there is also, always, significant value from search oriented agencies who have the ability to sell the benefit to enter a job process, over another job, or over staying where the candidate currently is. The agency (if good) can also add value providing a holistic view on top talent in the market than I think social media platforms will be able to, even if the agency knows 1 candidate that’s not coming through social media or direct channels, it could be worth it if they re an amazing candidate. That obviously is only important if the recruiting company values ‘value’ over ‘cost’ as obviously there is an additional initial material cost to agency recruitment. Getting on my soapbox for a second, if I, as an agency, found you a person that could save your business a million pounds, rather than just be a good hire, you would pay an agency fee for that right? That’s where I think excellent agency recruitment can make a difference. So many times I just hear sorry we’re doing this direct.. I don’t understand why an inhouse recruiter wouldn’t bench with an agency partner to see what the difference is like in the candidate short list? What is there to lose for the recruitment manager to see an agency’s candidates? There could be significant business gain. I have seen instances over the last 6 months where I know I could have saved companies in question a lot of money by the introduction of my candidates, but the recruitment function will not allow that introduction to be made, because of the direct focus. Thus a poorer hire is, potentially, made which has an unseen cost to the business down the line when revenue generated / saved , whatever it maybe is not as great as the agency candidate would have. Obviously this is not always the case and is usually relevant to specialist key hires, as opposed to volume based recruitment.

    d) I believe the classic model of contingency agency recruitment methodology of database search and advertising adds very limited value to any company with an in house capability, and will die out, and that agency based recruitment will have to be talent pool and community aligned in the future for it to survive. I expect agencies to become much smaller, much more global in focus and much more specialist, with true ‘search’ capability at any salary level and not just senior hires (as some 20K roles are as hard to source for as 250K roles). Interestingly the number of senior recruitment folk now who say they prefer to work with a smaller agency than a larger one, and that they say that this opinion has changed over the last 5 years (previously wanted to work with big companies), because when they go to market they want added value and specialisation. They can recruit any role themselves so to go externally they do so for quality of knowledge of the more time consuming passive market and the relationship to deliver these niche skills that the quality agency can provide.

    e) We should never underestimate the power of a good headhunter, I don’t think that will ever die, in fact I see smaller numbers of more experienced external agency recruiters evolving into being better headhunters to survive. These people will have strong search skills and not just the capability to send an inmail to somebody they don’t know. I’d love to know any data about the generation of a candidate shortlist for specialist skills by use of linkedin/ social media for a one off hire by an in house recruiter v an excellent headhunter who already knows the talent pool. Yes, the role gets filled, but did the company get the best candidate? Anybody can send a message on linked in to ask somebody if interested in a role. Stereotype, I know, but if the candidate is good, the candidate may well be happy where they are and will not go forward. The good headhunter would already know the candidate and how to position to the role to them and may well have a better chance of generating the profile into a candidate into the process.

    On that point, search itself will evolve -from my empiric knowledge, it remains it seems relatively untouched by the advancement of the direct model in the contingency space. So many clients are having to pay high fees, being ripped off by ridiculous cancellation charges, still with very classic retained mechanisms, slow profiling and delivery. Given the access to more data, increased competition will challenge these firms and it will be a very good thing. It will also lead to search being more prevalent as a mechanism in the lower salaried bands as opposed to purely executive level.

    f) I wonder about how the candidate will feel about mobile recruitment into the future? Who wants to receive hundreds of sms or mobile content about recruitment (apart from me as I’m a recruitment geek?) In the same way that I think that linkedin didn’t think through its group function content quality, (people I talk to often feel like they are being spammed by irrelevant groups they joined which at then outset they were interested in). I think there is a danger of destroying brand by transactional message routes if not careful. I agree re personalisation and think it’s an interesting topic. Again in a candidate driven market being offered lots of choice I truly believe the agency adds significant delivery value as a vehicle, if the consultant is good. A person only thinks about careers actively at certain points, would they really value constant content from a company? Maybe depends on the nature of the role they fulfil and how specialist it is, would people like Lawyers, Tax, HR really value that? Not sure.

    Anyway would be great to talk about it and capture some content for the Future of Resourcing Series we are going to launch 2013 for in conjunction with DeeDee and Recruiter. Should be really exciting!

    Sorry , this is a bit all over the place, but was keen to come back to you and have literally just stepped off a 24hr journey from the other side of the World.

    Yours, a tired,

  112. Matthew I agree with your comment a meaty piece of work and but as someone who reads over 700 plus HR and Recruiting blogs each week this is one of the best and one of the most comprehensively researched BUT my first observation would be; in world of noise sometimes silence rules. So much is written and any recruiting professional would never make a placement if they;
    • Read everything that was written on the topic
    • Used every tool being developed
    • Listened to every expert.
    To start with I agree completely with your “back to basics” comment, our customers (candidates) want to be talked to…. but because they are “only job seekers”, and most recruiting departments are being asked to do more with less, this means that we don’t have a customer services (recruiting function) department capable of explaining “ why you are not right for us or why your son who applied for a seasonal job never heard from us…..
    BUT isn’t a candidate a consumer and our customer a potential candidate? Whoops.
    BUT do we ever explain this “concept” to the board?? No we keep silent. Why? Our careers, corporate structures and unfortunately despite the fact that every board will tell you they are concerned about “hiring talent” the short term bottom line is more important.
    OK first rant over, now to go through each of your points
    Mobile agree with all you say, but one more point I’d like to add is that I see the msite as being a “pull approach” and when they arrive I would insist that the candidate should where possible download your app (same way as we get them into the ATS) Why? to develop a CRM relationship based on a “push relationship.
    Mobile is NOT about just jobs, actually it is much more about “intelligent” content and candidate engagement. Mobile is great for On Boarding, CRM etc and all these dove tail into your Employer Brand part of which can be influenced by the candidate experience.

    Love the vision of your “DNA and Big Data thinking” but frighteningly “big brother” and is this a recruiter’s opportunity or the candidate’s nightmare? I also agree that this whole area is fraught with challenges and dangers, particularly to your Employer Brand
    My observations;
    • Will our audience push back? We are dealing more and more with an intelligent audience, who are living on social media BUT have until now not been aware of the “commercial” implications of being so transparent BUT know where the privacy button is.
    • I suspect that governments globally are becoming concerned about the privacy of the individual and the EU has a project underway to give much greater control on “our data” back to the individual. One manifestation of this is the development of a spider that after you die your family will be able to launch to remove “you” from the web… myth? no and is in the final stage of development and will be presented to the EU
    • Employment Law, across Europe we are seeing greater regulation being put forward regarding recruitment, discrimination and background screening. In France the CV now has to be anonymous, no name, address or picture, this approach is being tested in both Germany and the UK… what next.

    “Back to Basics” Agree completely, what does a candidate want? To be talked too or properly communicated with…. end of story

    We hear so much today about the “end of” or “death of” these days but in most instances what we see is an evolution or occasionally a revolution in the product or service we are referring to. I suspect that the ATS will evolve and we are seeing this happen today.
    BUT Matt, be very, very careful what you wish for when you talk about LinkedIn, there has never been a “War for Talent” but a “War for Ownership of the Talent” and the “media” have always tried to own this. In the days of print media we saw monopolisation of most of the channels to market, single regional newspaper had city domination and the same happed in most trade press markets. The result was that we saw huge price inflation as a result.
    In the UK with our “outsourcing” of responsibility for recruitment to 3rd party recruiting firms, up to 80%, we saw the Recruitment Consultancies own the candidate and fees of 20% plus were commonplace. Why because candidates knew that recruiting firms were the number one way to find a job.
    So never, ever allow a channel to own your candidate…. you must always own them.
    Never let the channel become the destination – as Peter Gold says.
    LinkedIn might want this and I’m sure the shareholders certainly do but as In-House recruiters you don’t.

    Again re Emerging Markets, I agree but interesting China and India are experiencing their own skill shortages and will start to poach the “best talent” from the “old world dominant West”
    We are seeing a “ Globalization of Talent” to match the “ Globalization of Business” BUT what we must not ignore are the masses who want the opportunities to improve but who can’t, a huge problem in China.
    We have to improve the opportunities for all with great investment by Companies NOT governments in education and training.

    Matthew, I love the disrupt argument and have always supported this form of recruitment marketing BUT will recruiters get the budgets to really exploit the opportunity of AR? and given that in the UK 94% of the FT 200 companies still don’t have an Msite I suspect we are many years away from this vision. However, you can still be disruptive with you recruitment marketing, using PR as tool such as the way TMPW did in the UK with their GCHQ campaign -

    End of Social Media – agree expect that in my view it is not all Media Becomes Social BUT that all Social starts to become/think like Media…

    The Facebook job board, Pinterest for branding etc etc.
    Why? Because they all want content and Jobs and Careers content is very sticky and they want a piece of the $$ pie.
    Once you build a community you have an audience and once you have an audience you will want to make money from them it or at least your investors will want you to.

    So to conclude, great article, and yes an industry we need visionaries but also we need leaders, individuals who lead change,challenge the status quo and demonstrate that recruitment is at the forefront of “building great companies” and metrics such as cost per hire whilst important are NOT the most important… quality of hire is.

    Great job Matt.

  113. @Maria Trivellato

    Thanks for the great comments. Yes, it has been a busy period for Amy and I!!! Obviously putting this together, writing the Main Stage Keynote at Linkedin Talent Connect Las Vegas and of course, the 88 page ‘Next Generation of Recruitment’ White Paper, (Downloadable FREE here: Phew. That’s it for a while now. Lol Both of us want a break from the writing and presentation ‘circuit’. Lol

    You are so right on mobile. Few companies, few recruitment leaders really understand the power of mobile. There seems to be a growing recognition of the importance of mobile. But what to do? Mobile optimize the site? Create a mobile app? Then follow the paralysis moments. Who will download an app. What’s the cost. Who will apply? Why would someone download an app? How many Corporate apps will they download. Hence the more education the better.

    Wow. Your example of a store knowing a woman is pregnant before she does by food trends is scary. Data is power. But data can be scary and there will be huge ethical and privacy issues.

    On Emerging Markets, you are one of the best there is in this area, (best not say too much before you get a load of headhunts lol). Scary how all the stats point to fast and growth whereby today’s Emerging will be bigger and more powerful than today’s mature markets.

    Safe travels and see you at Talent Connect LinkedIn London!!!!

  114. @James Ballard

    First off thanks for the well thought out & argued comments superb. I wish I could be as articulate as you after getting off a long plance flight. Lol My wife says I am a grumpy old git who just wants to have a glass of wine and fall asleep. You get home and knock out a brilliant answer. #StuffofLegends. I am sure you will be asleep by now ? Well hope so…..

    Answering your points.

    a) Yup. This will be the last dot.0 article. 3/4/5 came as a trilogy. To get to the end of 5.0, will take some years. It was hard writing this. And to be honest we tried to stretch forward and it started to get a little Dr Who. Hence why this wraps nicely and 5.0 comes full circle and asks whether we actually need recruiters and hence is a good place to leave the debate.

    b) This is tough one. And highly contentious. Whilst the focus is on the big players, because they have the resources, but often they are actually doing it worse than the smaller companies. I know a cliché but larger does not mean best. In fact some of the big brands could be storing up huge huge issues moving forward. Think of those mega brands, let’s say several, (better not name names for want of a lawsuit lol), have set up Facebook pages and communities and have literally thousands, hundreds of thousands of fans. But effectively the community is just a push messaging vehicle to communicate at, rather than ‘involve’ or ‘engage’ or share conversations. Imagine those communities getting frustrated at being lectured to in the months and years ahead and hence they could turn assassin. Let’s see.

    Let’s be honest, the smaller companies have a competitive advantage in many ways. They can outflank the big corporates on so many flanks. What advantages do smaller companies have? They can claim to be more nimble, people are not lost on the crowd, they can make a difference, help gro the company, share in the rewards, build something, build teams, have more responsibility, be autnomous, take more risks, be more edgier, than a large corporate where someone is just one of the crowd of faces who is replaceable!

    Smaller companies yes have less traction but it is about quality. A community of 100 people, if goo targetted talent, could mean more to a company than a community of 500,000 to a corporate.

    In terms of agencies. Now this is fascinating. The best agencies right now will be unlocking the passive talent pool, that 90% of canddiates and hence be presenting ‘unique’ canddiates. If I had my own agency today I would differentiate it from the others by focusing on the mapping and rare talne ton my books.

    c) The debate of agency fee v internal is huge and controversial. You pose a killer question: ‘if I, as an agency, found you a person that could save your business a million pounds, rather than just be a good hire, you would pay an agency fee for that right’? James, I will answer that directly. Yes, I would have absolutely no issues with that at all. Agree. But with an internal team I would immediately question their effectiveness and ask them why they had not identified the candidate, built a relationship with them and presented them themselves for hiring. I don’t know if that shocks you? The challenge of an internal team, if they want to be successful and hire the best is to map the market.

    Interestingly, I remember a scenario, personally experienced, when a hiring manager had engaged an external agency for a Search or as they called it an ‘edhunt’! Because the Hiring Manager had engaged the search before I joined the company, I just joined prior to shortlist presentation. I remember saying to the hiring manager 30 minutes before the agency came in that I could produce a report and name the shortlist in advance. I whizzed on LinkedIn and with my knowledge of competitiors I formed the shortlist of names that should be approached and their companies & level etc. I emailed this to the Hiring Manager and we met the Search Agency. The names I presented were spot on and embarssingly for the Agency they said that they could not find a relevant candiate in X company, (which I had). This example is not to demonstrate my competence at LinkedIn, (my mum could have found the canddiates), but to demonstarte the ease that canddiates can be identified. Yes there is then selection, interviewing and profiling, but could this be done better internally? (To make you smile my Hiring Manager said to the Search Company, why did it take 4 weeks to generate a shortlist, when they claimed to be the experts in the industry and have all the relationships?).

    Now, before I get shot down as being anti agency. I am not. Some are clever and wiser, (I include you in this james), and react with the times and provide a more unique service and great canddiate relationship experience. However, many agencies don’t and I am sure you are equally as embarassed of them james as I am scornful of them).

    d) I agree with you completely. And I see agencies really doing well initially in the Emerging Markets as they build and need talent quickly. I would suggest any agency not focused on Emerging should be as they can really generate good revenues there short term until in house corporates are built up!!

    e) It is interesting to see where headhunters will evolve to. If technology makes it easier to idenitfy, profile and select ‘ready to go’ canddiates, then will headhunting evolve into something else? Will headhunters go internal? Will communities really be self sustaining that ‘crowdsourcing’ will generate candidates? Let’s see. And this is something that is years and years down the line. Not short term.

    f) Mobile is a stunning opportunity but is is fraught with danger as well. Spam texts/alerts, incessant communication that drowns canddiates. These are dangers. Its about achieiving a balance. The exciting thing is to see what people do and learn what works and is the best. Kind of fun.

    So much respect for you James. Great points and we can both see how it all evolves. We always try and predict the future but it always turns out differently and there will be many twists and turns.

    And yes, in November, lets do a video for I can’t wait to see you and have a beer. I owe you a good video mate ?

    Cheers James. Keep on trailblazing ……

  115. @Keith Robinson

    There are people I just adore discussing and debating with and Keith you are one. A good debate is not a good debate without Keith. For those of you that don’t know, I am lucky enough to call Keith a good friend and when we meet at events, we always ‘banter’ and ‘fight/disagree’ on something. At times in a pantomine way. But it’s always a highlight and I have a massive respect for Keith and his achievements in our space. (Considerable achievements). Keith I think I have known you over 10 years now. Both of us are very ‘spit and sawdust’ pub lovers and Keith we must have a bangers & mash soon lol.

    So to the fun part. Debate with Keith. Woot woot. Boy been waiting to read this 😉

    First though, as someone who reads a lot, (over 700 blog posts a week and many aggregated into his newsletter), your comments on this Paper Keith mean a lot. Thank you. Thank you very much.

    On ‘Back to Basics’ (I love this term for Recruitment but it did not work so well for Prime Minister John Major). Candidate experience is a mess. Pure and simple. As referenced, canddiates are not even ‘held’ in one central place, they are in the ATS, in LinkedIn, across google, on spreadsheets, on emails, in resume databases, on paper etc. Straight away, there is a huge issue Keith. How can all these disperate groups be kept happy?

    Keith, I remember a few years back, going to a trade show, and a competitior boasted to me that they had collected over 1,000 cv’s/resumes and showreels from students at a show. I asked the recruiter, how many of those people would be inputted into the database and hear soemthing back, (or receive a letter), they said that they would scan through and then the ones that looked the best would hear from a recruiter and the rest would not hear a thing. Wow. How poor is that? That is storing an issue. So of that 1,000 people lets say, 20-30 were contacted so 970/980 were left to rot. Brand ambassadors or brand haters…you decide.

    Mobile. We are totally aligned. Mobile can be a great engagement tool. It’s not just job search. Job search is a small part of someones life. How we engage will be a rich learning area for all of us. I am watching what competitors are doing. As mentioned above, we are attempting repeat visit engagement via a ‘one stop shop’ social media aggregator and games. Is this enough? No. What else can we do? Lots but let’s learn.

    Keith you are a media man at heart. You always ingrained into me, ‘Content is King’, and I say that like a parrot today. As a media man, love you to say how you see content evolving and engaging more and more people. Ideas?

    Personal DNA Footprints in the Cloud is such a contentious area. It boils down to several factors, we agree.

    Key is a company, hiring managers will want data. They want greater predictability. Want to understand their consumers/canddiates/markets.


    Candidates, consumers, want to resist ‘being known or predicted’. They want their privacy. As the People want this, Governments will be elected on the basis of it and as you say Keith, raft of Laws will come from Government.

    That’s two huge polarising features. They will never meet.

    Love this whole piece on the ATS and ‘ownership’. Its a huge area of debate. Again, let’s be honest Keith, at the moment, ‘we own’ the ATS and the data on it. But let’s look at the true picture where is the data?

    1) The Corporate Careers site is the front end entrance portal to the ATS. We capture the active job seeker who applies direct into the ATS. We speed money on SEO eg Indeed, to boost traffic but our recruiters need to focus as well on the passive/pactive pool. Hence they leap outside the ATS.
    2) Recruiters spend a lot of their time in LinkedIn. How much of that data, (recruiters are so busy and not process monkeys), will get back to the ATS? Very little. And LinkedIn don’t make it 100% easy to export data into an ATS, (neither should they as they are a business)
    3) Recruiters leap into cv/resume databases and search, often behind pay walls, for canddiates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    4) Recruiters use Social Media Channels, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/whatever to serach for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    5) Recruiters especially sourcers, spend hours searching Google/Boolean search strings to locate canddiates etc
    6) Internal Refferral schemes provide ‘hot’ candidate leads maybe to the ATS, or as paper cv’s resumes or emails. Are these always captured?
    7) Walk-ins, Events, Graduate Fares, postal, how many hit an ATS.

    You get the idea.

    So the ATS, lets pick a figure, has 40% of canddiate details in it. 60% of data lays outside of it? That’s a guess, (and not reflective of Autodesk btw as we are very focused on inputting details).

    So metrics from that database are shot. Meaningless. Is that something worth owning. Is a ‘relationship’ defined as data. Or is a ‘relationship’ the value of an actual ‘relationship’ with a company or indisviduals in that company.

    That database is always dying. Candidates don’t keep their details up to date. They do on LinkedIn. Almost a vanity project. Jeff Weiner announed that the majority of non job seekers were updating their cv/resume on LinkedIN.

    Now some bolt on technologies can help capture more details into the ATS. But no central one has emerged otherwise we would all be using it.

    Why my interest in data? Apart from metrics, trends etc it is about marketing potential. Developing relationships more.

    LinkedIn are in Prime Position. But as we know in F1, the pole sitter does not always win the race. There are others enhancing their cars and have other ideas. I am not so worried on the ownership issue as if LinkedIn start to over monetarise and squeeze companies, the law of market forces will see them face other competiors. Let us not forget that Facebook has the potential, have the user base, and have so far made a mess of their efforts in the recruitment space. But as Facebook have built their numbers, learnt to montise via advertising and gaming etc, they will at some point turn to recruitment. And LinkedIn need to be in a good positon by then.

    I do say that I love LinkedIn but they also miss out on tricks Keith. Take mobile. The biggest issue now is ‘apply’ via a mobile. We don’t store cv’s/resumes on our mobile, hence wouldn’t it be great that when canddiates apply from their mobile they can apply and link their LinkedIn profile and this hits the ATS. They could corner the market right now. This opportunity will close to them soon as other entrants speed into the market. Let’s see.

    Disruptive marketing especially via Augmented Reality may be a little time off. But let’s see. I love the example you state. I think that Martin Cerullo of AMS, will come to this article and comment very soon and he is a keen advocate of Augmented Reality in recruitment.

    Cheers Kith. Again, love you mate. Its funny the messages that you and Al speak at conferences on over the past 15/20 years are still the same ones ie canddiate experience is vital, build pipeline, recruitment is marketing & sales.

    Keep fighting the good fight Comrade……

  116. Thank you Matthew and Amy.

    Enjoyed your article very much. It’s healthy to ask very basic questions: Is the resume/cv no longer relevant? Are ATS’s obsolete or at the very least dehumanizing and thus counter-productive? Can we do better?

    We learn by challenging commonly held views. Three years ago at the Recruitment Innovation Summit at Microsoft I made the case that you could leverage social media (in particular Facebook & Twitter) to recruit. While it is laughable now, at the time many so called “gurus” were very dismissive of my claim. The commonly held view at the time was that people did not want to have conversations about employment there. On LinkedIn, sure but not on Facebook & Twitter. I laid out the framework to show ROI and how I would validate proof of concept. Now three years later the discussion is about how companies can more effectively recruit via social media.

    My sense is that many of the folks who question the validity your 5.0 features suffer from the same reluctance to embrace change. That’s okay. Those who do, such as Autodesk, Pepsico, UPS, ATT and Sodexo achieve first mover advantage in attracting candidates more effectively by providing a better overall candidate experience.

    As someone who has used mobile and text-messaging to recruit for the past five years my take on the mobile App vs mSite is a bit different. Personally, I don’t feel it has to be an either/or. It can be a both/and if you have a strategy to support it.

    From the analysis I have seen it is clear that the adoption of people using hand-held devices is growing. What is even more fascinating for us is from our analyses is that within the handheld devices, usage by tablets are outpacing phones by 2:1. So, I guess when developing the mobile app you need to consider whether it has an equal (or better) value for tablet users. It may not. RWD (Responsive Web Design) may provide a better user experience than a mobile app. Depends on what you want to do and if a user will really be motivated to download an employment app that is company-specific.

    Everything that rises must converge – I really like the social media aggregator app Autodesk has created. Personally, I feel mobile and social cross-media integration is a crucial element in the path to 5.0 as we strive to create engagement that will lead to trust that ultimately convert into long-lasting productive hires.

    Thanks for raising the tide that will lift all our recruiting ships. It’s up to us to set sail.

  117. I have to admit, being Gen Y I had to read this over 3 sittings as I have the attention span of a goldfish, but what a fantastic article. I agree with Mr Alder in that we are an industry still in the dark ages because people with vested interests in keeping there are so quick to right off ideas like these. More thinking like this will pull our industry forward.

    However, I wanted to touch on the bit about ATS as Recruitment Technology That Works was the subject of our most recent event. The round table raised a lot of great points about the ATS space and I used that part of your article as a jump off point. The key point that came out about LinkedIn making all ATS systems defunct, was that it’s a dangerous route to go. The general feeling was that LinkedIn, or Facebook for that matter do not allow you to own the profile/ CV like a traditional ATS, and a big business decision from either could render the database you years building, useless.

    That said I do agree that in 5 years the systems we use will be very different. The recruitment leaders that I talk to seem to feel customization is the future of ATS and any recruitment technology. Using parts of different systems, or building completely bespoke is where the market is heading and suppliers that won’t allow employers to do this, and instead offer out the box solutions, will be left behind.

    A great article my friend and one a perfect way to end the trilogy.

  118. Thanks Matthew & Amy,

    As expected, another great insight into what the future could hold. Love the piece around “mobile” and will come in very handy as we plan ours – thanks.

    I think we all recognise that linkedIn has fundamentally changed the requirements employers require from the recruitment industry – by putting everyone online and therefore “accessible” – gone are the days of the perceived relationship with top candidates in the pocket. For me, it’s all about linkedIn linkedIn linkedIn!

    See you soon.
    Ps – it came in a few times 🙂

  119. @Michael Vangel

    Thank you for taking time out to read the article and posting your thoughts. Very much appreciated. I remember your talk at the Recruitment Innovation Summit, (I was not there but read about it). Funny how yesterday’s radicalism and fantasy it today’s accepted norm!!!

    Yup, it is up to all of us to keep asking all the basic questions as you say. If something is right and working there is no harm still challenging it and then despite how many questions we all ask, it will just reinforce all is ok. If something is bust and not working, then we have a chance to debate and come up with solutions to fix. Debate is good !!!

    I do find it a shame, (I don’t apply this to just us Michael), but there are a number of people out there who put out new ideas. And watching them get shot down is crucifying. Come on. From new ideas that challenge the status quo come a new norm down the line. What I want to understand is the psychology of the armchair critics. Why the need to shoot down new ideas Michael? I imagine these very people, when Louis Bleriot, said I am going to fly, would have derided him as a nutter, laughed at him and then what, plane is an accepted and necessary way of life now.

    You are right Michael on Mobile. A choice does not need to be made between mSite and App. We are heading in the direction of both and see what our communityy prefers. They will speak on what they like by the way they interact and engage.

    Keep on fighting the good fight Michael. Thanks again.

  120. I have to admit, being Gen Y I had to read this over 3 sittings as I have the attention span of a goldfish, but what a fantastic article. I agree with Mr Alder in that we are an industry still in the dark ages because people with vested interests in keeping it there are so quick to right off ideas like these. More thinking like this will pull our industry forward.

    However, I wanted to touch on the bit about ATS as Recruitment Technology That Works was the subject of our most recent event. The round table raised a lot of great points about the ATS space and I used that part of your article as a jump off point. The key issue that came out about LinkedIn making all ATS systems defunct, was that it’s a dangerous route to go. The general feeling was that LinkedIn, or Facebook for that matter do not allow you to own the profile/ CV like a traditional ATS, and a big business decision from either could render the database you spent years building, useless.

    That said I do agree that in 5 years the systems we use will be very different. The recruitment leaders that I talk to seem to feel customization is the future of ATS and any recruitment technology for that matter. Using parts of different systems, or building completely bespoke is where the market is heading and suppliers that won’t allow employers to do this, and instead offer out the box solutions, will be left behind.

    A great article my friend and a perfect way to end the trilogy.

  121. @Jamie Leonard

    Thanks for taking time out to comment Jamie. And to read the article. Appreciated.

    Whilst Jamie did not plug this, I will. Jamie heads up a brilliant business called Reconverse. You can find out a lot more what they do here: I know Jamie more from the events side of the business and have to give a great commendation to what he does. In terms of the Reconverse events, Jamie deliberately keeps them focused on one key subject and then invites industry leaders, great thinkers, and limits this down to circa 20-30. A big discussion then takes place and unlike traditional conferences, where people never interact and just listen, Reconverse allows for great debate and everyone participating. Reminds me of the mix of a think tank and a debating society. I would, if you are in the UK, totally recommend you go to one of Jamie’s events.

    ATS is as you say Jamie, a mess. There is not one dominant system or way forward. Companies are trying to create bespoke systems, hybrid approaches, bolt on here, bolt on there. Its kind of scary. If there was one great system or add on we would all rush to using it….wouldn’t we?

    Ownership is a great debate on the ATS. The theory is that we own the data. But let’s look at that a little more. What do we own.

    Firstly let’s appreciate where a recruiter ‘sources’ candidates and builds pipeline.

    1) The Corporate Careers site is the front end entrance portal to the ATS. We capture the active job seeker who applies direct into the ATS. We spend money on SEO eg Indeed, to boost traffic but our recruiters need to focus as well on the passive/pactive pool. Hence they leap outside the ATS.
    2) Recruiters spend a lot of their time in LinkedIn. How much of that data, (recruiters are so busy and not process monkeys), will get back to the ATS? Very little. And LinkedIn don’t make it 100% easy to export data into an ATS, (neither should they as they are a business)
    3) Recruiters leap into cv/resume databases and search, often behind pay walls, for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    4) Recruiters use Social Media Channels, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/whatever to search for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    5) Recruiters especially sourcers, spend hours searching Google/Boolean search strings to locate candidates etc
    6) Internal Referral schemes provide ‘hot’ candidate leads maybe to the ATS, or as paper cv’s resumes or emails. Are these always captured?

    Hence, what do we own.

    Let’s also presume that data in the data is not always uptodate, unlike a Linkedin profile. Hence there is a lot of dead data! And incomplete data as wehave seen from the above.

    This means that metrics from the ATS are rubbish as they are incomplete. It’s like having a jigsaw and having 40% of the pieces missing.

    Ah, there you go, so if we agree the above pipelines for most recruiters in a lot of businesses is true, then how much of the data in the ATS is worthwhile? Let’s say 60% of candidates are not in the ATS who come into touch with a company. Is that too high? Too low? You decide.

    But then, does that say that the ‘ownership’ given by the ATS is worthwhile?

    That’s a question for each company to answer :).

    It’s tough Jamie. Really is.

    And whilst I love LinkedIn, you are right there are challenges there. And they will face comeptition. Will that be via Facebook when they get their recruitment ship in order. Will it be Monster or a large job board?

    Let’s see. And keep on debating the good debates at Reconverse. Genius idea to run conferences and superb debate. Kudos to you Jamie.

  122. @Phil Roebuck

    Legend. Happy birthday for the weekend. I hope it was wild and fun.

    Glad you liked the piece.

    Look forward to seeing what you guys do with mobile. I know you are a creative visionary. Keep me posted legend.

    Will you be at LinkedIn Talent Connect this week. I hope so. Be good to buy you a beer fella.

    Keep on putting all the chips on that number 😉

  123. As an FYI.

    Tomorrow is the largest Recruitment Event in EMEA with LinkedIn’s Talent Connect. All the big names involved in EMEA Recruitment will be there. Well worth watching the Twitter stream #InTalent and joining in the conversation.

    Take a look here for more details:

    Tomorrow will be my last presentation for several months, so I am looking forward to trying to end on a bang. (I want to focus internally, gain more results, innovate more and then come back to the circuit with some cool stuff).

    See you at LinkedIn Talent Connect tomorrow in London.



  124. Matthew, Amy

    Wow, what an article, this must have taken some time to write! There is so much I could say but I will keep it as short and stick only to what I know.

    I believe that a lot of companies have a long way to go in getting their careers pages up to scratch before they will even think about building mSites or apps! It has been slow take up but some companies are not even market mapping, direct sourcing and talent pooling yet…… they still rely heavily on ads and contingency recruiters. Others, like Autodesk are ahead of the pack but perhaps you are so far ahead and the gap is so wide that for some, these ideas seem beyond futuristic?!

    I do think that the industry and companies need to catch up… your stats on mobile usage prove how much things are changing and many of our clients are now starting to think more strategically about their recruitment, websites, apps and employer brand.

    That said… yes, mobile and technology is changing everything about the world and I love the idea that people can walk past a building and be presented with a list of jobs that are relevant to them. New ways to reach potential candidates, or should that be new ways for them to reach you? is always a good thing. However, I do think it will take most people a while to get their heads around this, let alone taking it further and grasping the idea of seeing information on people as you walk past them… quite space age and maybe more than a bit scary/unrealistic for a lot of people.

    I have thought for a long time that recruitment is changing and that companies and recruiters need to think differently. I don’t think it will be the death of the traditional recruiter just yet… but I do think that there are smarter, better and much more cost effective ways to recruit people into businesses. People within the recruitment industry do need to be aware of this and start to offer something different.. or they will end up too far behind to ever catch up.

    As you know, I’m all about finding passive candidates and building talent pools. I agree with your comments on getting back to basics in 5.0 and picking up the phone. Whilst we do practice technical sourcing, 90% of what we do to map markets and profile talent is done on the phone. I don’t believe that you can rely purely on technical methods to find, attract and engage with everyone, especially passive candidates.

    You may also be interested to know that we are seeing a massive surge in the amount of people who want to overhaul (or build) their EVP and companies we deal with are starting to invest heavily in this. Understanding what the EVP is right now and if that lines up with the perceptions internally and externally is hugely important to any recruitment strategy and something we are doing more of as well as market mapping.

    There is no point spending time or money on any method of recruitment to find that when the candidate engages with you, their experience (with websites or people) puts them off. Recruiters and businesses need to sell the company and the role to potential candidates and make it easy for them to understand if they could fit and where they can go in a business… ideally getting to a stage where people aspire to work for you and leave University/school wanting to do so!


  125. Matthew. Shame it’s the final chapter as I was enjoying the series! The 5.0 “Back to Basics” point forced me to look up my comments to 4.0 last year. I’ve pasted a couple of paragraphs below:

    However, my challenge is that your vision of “Recruitment 4.0? could perhaps be better termed “Recruitment – Back to The Future”. Passive candidate development, market mapping, gamification (modern term for old concept), candidates as consumers, privileged access to knowledge and communities are nothing new. What happened is that, under the “efficiency” banner and the advent of the first ATS, recruitment became an automated process where the candidate effectively became a product on a production line as opposed to a real person who wished to engage with and have an experience with a potential employer. It was linear, one dimensional, focussed on time and cost savings at the expense of quality of hire.

    “What’s happened is that some companies and recruiting functions have finally woken up to the fact that one size doesn’t fit all. That talent acquisition strategy has to be aligned to the business strategy and that any “processes” (or “activities” as I prefer to call it)need to be driven by the strategy, as opposed to the other way round. Therefore some are rushing to get back to the future and do all the things that used to happen before the 21st century. What’s different though is that the platforms or landscapes to do that has fundamentally altered. We do need to reach out to and engage our candidates via their mobile, digital and social touch points. The potential for viral engagement there is awesome. Equally the consequences of getting it wrong can be even worse.” (Sept 2011)

    The “Back to the Future” point was exactly what Alan Whitford and I were speaking about on the webstream at TruLondon today, and I believe you make with the back to basics angle. Having said all of that, my take on this is all candidates are “consumers” – “consumers” of products – goods & services, and “consumers” of an employment brand. Perhaps we could have an addendum from you: “Recruitment 6.0, In the beginning……” Thanks for an engaging series.

  126. Great Article Matthew and Amy – this article has covered every important piece of a recruiting function and takes us from basic to the current innovations in the recruiting industry.

    Just loved your notes on Mobile and Personalization technology – great information for the recruiting community!

    Today we work in a very fast paced, highly mobile environment – in this DNA age Organizations need a talent management solution that continues to add rich functionalities within their tools and technologies to enhance online recruiting efforts in less time.

    At Barrick we are currently working on improving our ATS capabilities and adding new modules to get the online power of community which will go beyond traditional applications and users can network and share best practices in a brand new way through Mobile and Social media applications.

    Looking forward to many more articles like such!


    Richa Garg

  127. A great article Matthew and Amy, well done!
    There is a lot of detail in there but well worth the effort .
    In my humble opinion it is required reading for any company wanting to stay ahead of the game in terms of mobile recruiting, real food for thought.
    I will certainly be sharing with my connections.
    Thanks Jackie Lye

  128. Hi Matthew and Amy

    First of all, an amazing number of outstanding comments, so my apologies for replicating some content. And Kudos to Paul Maxin for getting in our Back to the Future discussion before I could.

    I would like to put my thoughts in context – Matt loves to push the envelope on ideas to stimulate debate. He is not saying that everything will come true – but showing us some ideas that might happen – or might not happen. Think of this any time we read a ‘futurist’ article and read with some perspective.

    To put my cards on the table – I am not convinced that the recruitment industry in its entirety has even left Recruitment 1.0, much less 2.0 which was about conversation and engagement.
    (and I do agree with Ted Meulenkamp that we should leave the numbering system behind)

    Here is my summmary of what we read:
    Some of the ‘defining features’ that surely will happen:
    Mobile recruiting finally takes off and becomes dominant platform
    Recruiting back to basics of relationships (this is what I have been calling ‘Back to the Future’ recruitment)
    Companies finally start to use the candidate/consumer data in the Cloud the same way that their counterparts in sales and marketing have done for years.
    Companies may take this one step further to profile candidates on their overall online habits and trends (and this we may refer to as the ‘Big Brother’ approach to data)
    The traditional ATS is dead (with a nod to Jerome Ternyck)
    Will Augmented Reality actually do something?
    Companies look to set up their own universities to train (or as Matt calls it ‘clone’) future employees
    (McDonalds has had its own ‘university’ for decades)
    The changing nature of work to become more flexible and contract led
    Finally – the end of recruiters as we know them – but what comes next?

    What do I think?

    The mobile section alone is worth the price of admission. Matt cogently and openly discusses the complete lack of take up by corporate America and Britain, the challenges and opportunities of mobile sites and mobile apps, Great lessons on how to engage directly and via the Autodesk app.

    Ah, Big Data. At last year’s TruLondon 5, I managed to get Matthew and Kevin Wheeler together in a short interview in which Big Data featured – it was a fun debate. I get Matt’s view of the potential of utilising all of that information (think Charley Epps in Numbers), but am more inclined to agree with Kevin – it is just all too much data that recruiters will never use.

    I did find the section on Twitter psychological profiling a bit worrying. Do we really want our psychological profiles determined by our public utterances in140 characters? A couple of recent studies in the US of Facebook behaviours indicated that many people have two completely different persona- the ‘public’social media face and the ‘normal’ with humans behaviour. As recruiters, we have always known this. There is the ‘game face’ at interview and the ‘real’ face when the candidate becomes and employee.

    I agree completely with the Getting Back to Basics approach and will be speaking about it at a series of events this fall. What I did find interesting is Matt’s linking that to a much better personalisation element that is possible now because of the Big Data and technology. Recruitment 1.0 marries Recruitment 3.0.

    The Death of the ATS. I love this argument because it goes to the heart of what an ATS was designed to do ‘ Applicant Tracking System’. That’s right, the ATS solution were designed to manage a process and track data – which is still a major requirement in running a business. I agree there will be alternatives, whether they are add on CRMs such as Avature or data mapping/data mining tools that get into the ATS database of candidates to extract the data for the recruiter who really does want to search for and engage with talent that has already applied to her company.

    At the same time, the LinkedIn developments are truly moving in the directions Matt talks about. My only question: Do we want our candidate data and all of our recruitment journey completely in a 3rd party’s ‘control’?

    Augmented Reality. An excellent explanation of what it is and what it could be. Some cool technology looking for real world applications – of which candidate interaction could be one.

    Will recruiters become obsolete? Keith Robinson and I have been saying for years that recruitment really belongs in marketing and sales, not HR. However, I had a recent conversation with Julia Briggs who pushes me towards her belief that recruitment belongs in the CEO’s office. So, I don’t believe recruiters will be obsolete – they will just change bosses.

    There are two elements relating to shortage of key talent – the growth of emerging markets and the potential shortage of highly skilled labour. We are exploring further the demographic time bomb that US pundit John Sumser has been talking about for over 5 years. I refer to it also as the changing nature of work. Movement in some societies away from permanent, long term careers to short term work as a lifestyle choice combined with the ageing of the workforce in the US and Europe (and China, as the one child per family policy comes home to roost) mean a rethinking of how companies engage with a workforce – and actually get products and services out the door. We have been incredibly naive or even pathetically weak at embracing training here in the UK and elsewhere – always searching for the best talent elsewhere. Company universities or training centres may finally come front of house.

    Finally, all media becomes social. Let’s face it, social media was never the right term to begin with. What we are really saying here: All humankind interaction is social, including recruitment.

    I welcome the debate on both Matt’s article and my response.

    A slightly larger version of these comments will appear on as an article after LinkedIn Talent Connect in London.

  129. Jeez Mat, did you write an article or an entire book? 🙂

    I like much of what you’ve written and I think you are right on many points, but sometimes you’re not going ‘far enough’.

    – Mobile… never mind mobile. It’s like social media. Social will go away. Mobile… will go away, it’s just the internet and everything will be responsive to the device you are using. Apps are just a stage in the ever going faster development.

    – Big data will change the world. Yes, there are many concerns, but we there will be so much more data available about… everything. Just like IMDB is a database about everything an actor or director ever did, we will have that for every knowledge professional. Maybe not as structured and open, but we will know the projects someone worked on and how he/she did. This will be a huge game changer in the world of recruitment (and the way we work).

    Right now big data is a lot like teen sex. Everybody is talking about it. Few are doing it and those doing it are doing is pretty badly. But we know it’s going to rock at some stage and I don’t think we can even imagine the possibilities.

    – Psychology profiles by social media: yes, they will arrive. I’ve actually been involved in a plan to build those based on Twitter and Facebook. However, this too is just a first step. We will go to a system were neurological scans will be at the base of hiring. No more lies and half baked answers, just a brainscan, that can tell you a lot more.

    – As far as the ATS will go, yes Linkedin is looking good right now, but it’s won’t be the winner. Why? Because you can’t tell the best talent what to do. Hence, you can’t say: only apply with Linkedin. There will be a system behind it, but it won’t look anything like an ATS today. It needs to be an open system, connecting with Linkedin and other profiles for example. No ‘own profiles’, but just linkedin with the profiles in the cloud.

    – As far as marketing goes: it will always be disruptive.

    – As far as language and the new world goes: technology will solve much of the language problems over the next 5 to 10 years.

    But I’m missing two really big things in this. First of all the ‘homo evolutes’. The augmented human. Many of the trades we need will simply be plugged in. Both in implants as well as knowledge. Watch the TED talk of Juan Enriquez on this.

    Also… you are still considering that people are being recruited. What I’m missing in this is the changing world of ‘payroll’ vs ‘crowd sourcing’, ‘freelance’ and all the other ways. I think recruitment 5.0 will be mostly about the changing world of work. It’s not just who wants to work for you, but with you. Never mind the legal construction. Recruiters should focus on solving the problems for the business when it comes to people, never mind the hiring.

    just my 2 cents.

  130. Great article Matthew! Too bad you wrote it on such a technically poor performing platform. Big fan of the content here on ERE, but the registration process & switching back and forth betweens windows on this platform is really outdated.

    By writing this masterpiece you show us the future of recruitment, as you have done many times before in your presentations. You are coming up with the most cutting edge tools & technologies. I absolutely love it!!! However the thing is you are running far ahead of the pack. Most corporates are still struggling with adopting and embracing new technology, social media plaforms and online (mobile) tools.

    I hope that in your next blog you will touch upon something else. By reading your blogs it can be deceiving for some (but I guess for most) that online/social media/apps can be seen as a goal in itself. But…they are ofcourse nothing more than tools that can help you meet your business goals. We need to accept that the “build it and they will come”-principle does not work on the internet.

    Another struggle is how to get recruiters actually use the tools that you provide them with. Sometimes it feels that recruiters are somewhat shy in embracing new technology. They are aware of the importance, are being trained how to use them, knowing that the world is out there and their clients are active on those platforms, shown google analytics interpretations. Still there is only a small percentage taking advantage of these new possibilities.

    Third organisational phenomenon is the fact that once these new media have been adopted, they are being downgraded to traditional marketing tools like tv, radio & print media: broadcasting and repeating the message over and over again, instead of interacting with your potential clients on a human level. The new recruiter, or should I perhaps say -online marketer?- plus the recruitment manager AND the Communications department must be guided in the transition from recruitment & branding campaigns being an HR business process, towards recruitment as online marketing skill set plus a huge dose of relationship management.

    Hope to catch you soon IRL!

  131. @ Matthew: Thanks again. Hope you can talk to the Candidate Care fellow. ISTM that much of this has related to the front end- sourcing, candidate development, and application. I think that most recruiting problems are related to the back end- inefficient interview and selection processes, and to improve: those who set up and participate in these processes will have to give up a considerable amount of their (perceived or actual power), and there’s the rub. Your thoughts…

    @ Bas: I like what you say. Feel free to contact me to discuss more off-forum.


  132. Hey Matthew / Amy,
    Thanks for a great insight into the global social/ economic trends evolving/impacting recruitment. Future recruiting strategies in my view will be truly 360, including every employee (past, present and future), creative content that drives social employee engagement and more importantly brand loyalty, essential with emerging Gen Z workforce; link that to an awesome employee experience that actually delivers; then create a rehire loop for ex-employees … add that to your EVP and you become the destination for a job for life, you just don’t have to work there all the time. Work becomes social as employees choose what they want to work on, who they want to work with and where they want to work.
    Very thought provoking.

  133. Great article Matthew and Amy with some good insights on trending areas, many which impact on a company’s employer brand and have global appeal. It’s great to see leaders such as yourselves contributing insights to facilitate discussion in this area. Let’s hope it creates some good discussions inside companies at all levels and promotes innovation. You’re mobile app is looking great! It’s well designed with a sound strategy to support candidate engagement, nice work!

  134. @Marie Ashton

    Thanks for replying. Loving what you and the team at Talentworks do. Market mapping, talent pooling and recruitment research solutions easily weigh more value than agency hiring and post & pray job boards,

    You raise a fascinating point on companies needing to get their careers pages up to scratch. We feel the same on ours. But our challenge is that despite going round creative agencies in our space in the USA, Canada, Europe and even Asia, we keep getting the same tired solutions geared towards building a traditional site. A careers page is the shop window to the world. It advertises our companies and yet most companies have an empty window that shoppers pass. Hence we briefed creative, we want a careers site that does all the basics yes, (job apply, company information blah blah blah). A site needs more on that. How do we engage the passives out there? Hence the ideas of social media aggregation and having a one stop shop place for people to engage with Autodesk. That’s cool. Games. That’s cool. But getting the right creative is tough. Hence if other companies are only being presented with the same old ideas then that is what they go with and will become the norm. Shame.

    It’s good to hear Marie that you feel that the industry is slowly changing and you see the move to social, mobile and Employment Brand by some clients.

    Love the fact that you remind people you are focused on the passive market and that 90% of what you do, ie map markets and profile talent, is done via the phone. That’s a superb reminder to people that generally there is an over reliance on email and inmail 😉

    Love the fact you guys are focused on EVP. It’s so key for companies. Can’t wait to see what you do in this space.

    Great post Marie.

  135. @Mitch Sullivan

    Hey Mitch. Hope all is good with you. Yes, it is a long read. We debated the best way to release it. With Recruitment 3.0, we released a full version into the Corporate Recruiting Journal and a preview on So many asked for the copy of the Journal article, ERE were spending time emailing them out and taking time out of their day. With 4.0, again a long read, the whole thing was published on ERE. With 5.0 we debated whether to include in the journal again, but not wanting to cause ERE extra work emailing copies out, we decided against. We looked at releasing a chapter a day. Then decided to release as a whole, with a basic preview at the start and the paper split into sections that people could delve into and out. Hopefully you liked the article. If put off by the length the start and subsequent bullet points would give you the outline.

    Hope you are doing well. Have a great weekend.

  136. @Mitch Sullivan

    LOL. I suggest that the week off you have booked you fly to a hot country and relax by the pool. Maybe take a thriller. Life is stressful.

    (If interested in the article read the bullets at the beginning), then go crack open a beer.

    Have a fun week in November

  137. @Paul Maxim

    Thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at LinkedIn Talent Connect London. I do love listening to the Unilever story. You are spearheading a number of awesome initiatives. Kudos to you and your team.

    I also tuned in an listened to you and Alan Whitford, on Livestream @#TruLondon. (Good to see DeeDee introduce you as Recruitment giants or words to that effect). Again, I enjoyed listening to you both on the ‘Back to the Future’ thread. Some great content. You should post the link to the video to your Twitter and Facebook sites as very interesting listening.

    As to final chapter, intention was to leave it at 4.0. (Like most I don’t like giving it a number as it’s a collection of ideas but sometimes a coat needs a hook to hang on). But LinkedIn wanted a final paper for the keynote. Just more ideas that help generate debate :). That’s what we need as industry we spend so much time listening to what is broken, be it an ATS, be it candidate experience, we don’t define what the destination of the train we are on is. Negativity is the drug of the lazy. Criticism the heroin of the unimaginative. The industry is riddled with negativity and criticism.

    Thank god for the positivity of Paul Maxim.

  138. On the basis of:
    ‘That’s what we need as industry we spend so much time listening to what is broken, be it an ATS, be it candidate experience, we don’t define what the destination of the train we are on is. Negativity is the drug of the lazy. Criticism the heroin of the unimaginative. The industry is riddled with negativity and criticism’

    If ever there was anyone in the world that has taken up the challenges, the opportunities, the solutions, the mind-set of what needs to change then it is you Matthew.

    Dare I say what we get from you is a fresh breeze (sorry wrong, more like hurricane) of this is how it should/could be done, that shakes up and challenges the status quo, that once and for all try to shake the for ever and in only so few companies seen subject of holistic approach to talent acquisition and its importance.
    Having seen you now live at latest Linkedin Connect in London, I do not know what Linkedin will do if not you around, – for sure a pretty hard act to follow, make no mistake of that.
    Better get on with next chapter, – this is what many are expecting of you and without less debate, less colour less challenge and change.

  139. @Jacob Madsen

    Really appreciate your kind comments. Mean a lot.

    It does rather irk me that there are so many ‘armchair commentators’ and ‘criticisers’ out there with little ‘achievement’ under their belt. Social Media has made stars out of the commentariat. We don’t let people who have not passed their driving test teach people to drive. Why does our industry let people who don’t have experience tell companies how to do it!!! Mystery 😉

    I often read ERE articles and articles on What always horrifies me is how quick people rush to criticise. Someone puts out a new idea and then boom, the rush of negatives from the ‘armchair commentariart’ rush in.

    What concerns me Jacob is that many of the Recruiting leaders really don’t engage. We see the stats eg mobile optimisation and mobile apps which are low in the top recruiting organisations. They are not innovating, (just one example). When I look at recruitment conferences, there are a minority of recruitment leaders speaking at them. Sharing ideas. Generating new ideas. The likes of @Paul Maxim of Unilver share, @Jennifer Candee of SAB Miller, @Chris Hoyt of PepsiCo are great examples. They lead the way in sharing and challenging. But think of a number of the brands. How often do you hear them speak?

    That void is being filled by the ‘commentariat’, of consultants, advisors, gurus, experts etc. Follow the hashtag of some events and they seek to dominate. What is even funnier is some events have become so dominated by consultants that corporates don’t attend. Gurus talking to gurus. Even funnier consultants talking to consultants to sell their services and use social media at the events to broadcast.

    @Jacob. Look at the #intalent stream. Some vendors, not even at the events, tried to sell. Isn’t that #hijacking and spam at its worst? I was not aware in the day but I heard several groups discussing it at the party and its poor taste.

    Jacob keep on pushing buddy and helping us move forward step by step.

    Am I wrong? Is this unfair?

  140. Thanks for the kind comments Matthew and congrats on your final installment, which I would say wraps it up nice and tightly but leaves us all wanting more. I like the way you write to challenge, to engage and encourage debate and change within the Talent Acquisition space.

    To answer the question you posed in your last comment, no, you are not crazy and you are certainly not the only one who has had this feeling at conferences. There are very few that are speaking that are actually really walking the talk anymore and beyond theory are the social media advisers and gurus that dominate the twitter feed boards.

    But perhaps this is also a challenge to us within the TA space and within the large multinationals to raise our game. I hear so many within our large organisations stating that “this trend or that trend” isn’t for us – it’s only for tech companies or those hiring new grads. I used to ponder that but I think we need to be challenging the status quo, looking to be ahead of the game and leading the game rather than lagging, and driving mobile careers sites and pushing the agenda to the execs. If you start planting the seeds today, perhaps a year or two you will be further ahead to drive these changes internally. I’m not saying we are doing this well as we certainly have our work cut out for us. But if you are a leader who isn’t considering these things, you will be left behind. As always, I work through my motto “Ask for forgiveness, not permission”. Well done Matthew, well presented and well thought out. An inspiration to many.

  141. @Jennifer Candee

    I appreciate that I am not going mad lol. Phew.

    You must go to Conferences and look at some of the Recruiting leaders and wonder not only how they got the job but how they keep hold of it. Now that is a negative statement I guess but a realistic one. One which presupposes that there are people below them that are even more talented. For me you should be a VP Of Talent Acquisition in a multinational mega brand. It will happen but some have reached those positions, not through talent, but patronage and who they know. We see that. Sure you agree 😉

    I am not some crusader but like to point these things out.

    I can see cases of big multinationals, with experienced Recruitment Leaders, who are spending money on gurus to advise them on strategy when that guru, (when you look at the LinkedIn profile), would not be fit to get a job on their strategy team. Social Media makes superstars out of mediocre armchair commentariat.

    Jen, keep on pushing the status quo. I look forward to watching you speak at events in the coming weeks and months.

  142. @Mat: you’re not going mad, you have been mad all along, you know that. But like the old Apple commercial says… it’s the rebels that make the change.

    However, Jennifer and Matthew, I would like to address the issue of consultants. Since I’m one of them (or actually, my business card says professional meddler/snoop). I believe everybody has a role that fits them well. I myself have a maximum shelf life of 6 months tops in an organization. That’s when I add the most value, that’s when generally about 25% of the company would like to shoot me. I know that, that is why I don’t go on a payroll anymore.

    I have great respect for people like you. I know Matthew for some time and I know he’s learned to ‘explode’ a lot less (guess becoming a father helped with that too). But that is a quality, and I think some people have different qualities, like Bill Boorman and myself for example. We’re not really right to fit into an organization, but we sure can add value in our own way.

    Of course, let’s be very honest about that, there are very many mediocre people that give themselves ‘guru’ status.

    So yes… we are the others (yes, the band is Dutch)

  143. @ Bas.

    Yes. I totally get what you are saying. I have had this conversation with Matt Alder, (who I greatly admire and follow), there is a growing trend of consultants who are ripping off content from others and seeking to promote themselves. Some are making some easy bucks from building an image via Social Media. You know them.

    You mention Bill Boorman. He is a brilliant advocate for the industry, he has come into Autodesk and we have chatted on strategy and ideas, I would recommend him in a heartbeat. I would and will use him for advice in the near future. Bill is a great guy. Superbly well connected. Innovatory/revolutionary. #tru events are excellent. More power to him. I hope he continues to get the big gigs.

    And you yourself Bas, I have been to one of your conferences and see how you are worshipped and people cling to what you say. I have full respect. You deserve total respect.

    Rather like I pointedly highlight Recruitment Leaders who are failing. I can point to brilliant people making a difference. I can’t name them all here. The likes of Paul Maxim, Ted Meulenkamp, Jen Candee, Mel Hayes etc etc. I can’t name them all.

    I can name brilliant consultants. They include the likes of Matt Alder, Bill Boorman, Alan Whitford, Brett Minchington, Keith Robinson etc etc I wont name them all. I can’t…..there are so many more I would add.

    But you will know and have confided in me that some have pinched your ideas. And I am making the suggestion that companies need to pick their consultants more carefully.

    You must agree? 🙂

  144. I fully agree Mat, of course. Pick your consultants carefully, but don’t dismiss every consultant for being a fraud. There are many good ones between the (even more) mediocre ones and terrible ones. I know all about ripping off content, I recently actually ran into one that was ‘selling’ my free book for e-mail addresses. When I confronted him he actually said he saw nothing wrong with it. He gave me credit, he said it was my book (just not trough my download…) Strange people we have in the world.

    What I meant was, there is a place for all. A good consultant isn’t a great manager and a great recruitment manager is very often a mediocre consultant. I recently told my former manager at a job, who was looking to go consultant, he shouldn’t. He’s great at his job, but his best talent is recognizing talent, letting the right people do their thing and covering for them so they have the time to succeed. I hope he never turns consultant, he’s way to good within the corporate. Just like people like you Mat.

  145. @bas Hey Bas, great to see you and your insightful comments here. I think you undervalued your real contribution to companies. It is more that you are able to accomplish in 3-6 months what they have been unable to achieve on their own in years.

    As consultants we can have the liberty – and responsibility – for effecting change that it is often times difficult to achieve from within. That, to me, has a value which far exceeds the potential cost of bringing in true outside expertise. As long as we leave a legacy of learning and knowledge, we an leave a client with head held high.

  146. @Bas

    LOL. I am writing a reply to your original post still. Alan Whitford told me off for not replying to his yet as well. Getting there. I reply to all. (Todd, Editor of ERE said it was motivating for people to get responses so I promised I would).

    Of course pick consultants carefully. I see a massive place for consultants. But I also know and hear stories of consultants losing out on business to others, then they find that their views are being used. Winning consultancy work is not easy and hence important to point these things out. Your case above, (which is naughty), is replicated the world over. I would hate to see good consultants lose business and struggle because of sharp practices. Just because you shout loud on Social Media does not make you a sound consultant.

    We are, I am sure, very aligned on that.

    Not knocking consultancy. Never will. We will use the best ones for Autodesk. BUT I can point out the obvious. I also apply it to Recruitment Leaders. I am sure you can name some, (don’t lol), who shouldn’t be in their role and are propped up by a great team.

  147. @Alan Whitford.

    I agree with that. Because organizations, the larger as well, can be slow in decision making and then implementation. The likes of a @Bas can go in for x months, start the wheels churning and help others while the original company reaches the final destination he outlined. That makes sense.

    @Alan, not being sensationalist or controversial here, but you will identify with the growing number of ‘experts’ in the market. You will also identify with some lazy ‘Recruitment Leaders’.

    When I want a consultant I rely on their experience, previous implementation/execution of ideas for competitors/other competitors. The Likes of Bill Boorman, Matt Alder, Bas, Keith and you Alan, have that in spades. Experience gives us security and faith in delivery. (Again others do have this and no one please don’t take offence that I don’t name others).

    That is true of all professions granted. Be it Marketing. HR.

    Just we are trending that way and it’s good to spotlight. Agree Alan?

  148. Love your last comment Bas – so true and some are just more cut for corporate than consulting. I personally am not sure I could hack consulting. Just like I didn’t cling to the agency world either – but I love the in house direct sourcing side. It’s a passion. Everyone has their role and place and from what I hear from Matt, you do it well.

    There are good and bad everything right? As a former Psychologist, we had the same arguments. Some are complete frauds that just put a sign up and call themselves a Psychologist (they can legally do this in Colorado – or they used to be able to…been 6 years since I left). There will continue to be good and bad lawyers, recruiters, heads of talent, consultants, “guru”‘s. Though one must ask, if someone is calling themselves a “guru”, are they really? Probably not.

  149. @Alan: I know, but that is why I have a 3 to 6 month shelf life in any organization. I stir stuff up so mach, it needs to land at some point. And yes, people like us do get things done, but it’s always a team effort. If nobody executes anything after I’ve left, my work is useless. But I can’t take credit for everything that changes, just like I can’t be blamed if things don’t work out. Actually, usually I am of course, but that seldom has to do with the strategy and many times with the execution.

    @matthew: loosing business isn’t the issue. The really, really good ones simply make enough when they are hired that they don’t need to be hired all the time. At least, that’s my philosophy. Of course, I don’t like others taking credit for my work, that’s normal human ego I guess. But if a company wants to hire a mediocre person for mediocre money, so be it. If you pay peanuts… you know you get monkeys. If you want the original, you pay the price. If you are loosing business and having a hard time, you might want to think what you’re doing wrong. As you know, I was in Rome when you mailed me about this article. That was my 7th trip this year. For some reason I’d have to say that even with the ripping of my content and vision… I’m still doing pretty well 🙂

    There are, thank god, plenty of good recruitment leaders that do want the original. And yes, I can name a lot (more then the good ones actually) that suck at their job. None of them ever hired me, some tried, but I even once gave someone the business card of a competitor 🙂

  150. @ Bas.

    7 times in Rome. You obviously love it there. (It is a great place).

    Good you are going well mate. Thoroughly deserved. More power to you.

    I loved the fact that you gave a business card of a competitor to a client that you did not want to work with lol. (So wanna know who an whether they went with the person on the business card). lol

    Keep on trailblazing.

  151. @Mat: no dude, 7th holiday this year, first time to Rome ever. London was one (yeah, I don’t live there…) France, Austria, Portugal and some more 🙂

    And I have no idea if they went with it. I know I never heard from them again.

  152. @ Jennifer Candee @ Bas

    Two things that I think will help.

    For consultants, we endorse their work more. Give them kudos. Wouldn’t it be great to have a site ‘’, we could rate them and hence help them build their business.

    I know, I know, the power of the crowd again.

    Would love to see that for Recruitment Technology as well. Crowdsourced rankings for tech solutions, ATS, CRM, Bolt-ons etc.

    While at it add Agency Individual Recruitment consultants….we don’t do business with Agencies…we do business with consultants. Let’s crowd rank the best ?

    For Recruiters. Now this is not elitist. But like in HR, there is a quality bar to entrance. CIPD. To hold that qualification either takes passing the exam, or demonstrable experience in given fields. That helps the perceived quality in that profession. I would love to see a Recruitment Qualification introduced.


  153. @Matthew

    On the ‘rating consulting expertise’ that’s a nice idea. It works in many cases. We have something we call workspot. You hire you’re handyman (carpenter, etc) trough that platform. Gives you an idea about the quality. of course does that same. However, when it comes to consulting, it’s more difficult. Because mediocre people love doing business with mediocre people. You know there are plenty of people that can’t stand me and that goes for Keith, Alan and many more too. What do you think the guy I told to do business with my competitor thinks of me?

    It’s better then now, but until you know who rated them, the rating itself is still questionable. If you give a recommendation, for me it’s much more worth then average joe so to say.

    As far as the bar goes, don’t like it. Why? Well, because everything that’s standardized usually is crap. I officially don’t even qualify a membership of the Dutch HR/Recruitment professionals association. Why? I studies marketing (no HR) and didn’t work as a HR manager of recruiter at a corporation (I recruited, but from line management position and I’ve quickly became a self employed consultant).

    The future, for me, is more in a specific form of the rating. But not just rating, but ratings from your network, from your circles of trust. There actually was a Dutch start up that was doing this, but way to early, like 4 years ago. It was a plugin and you could post ‘post its’ on websites that only your network could see. So I could have posted ‘great recruiter’ on your linkedin page and only my network would see that note. Or I could post ‘terrible customer service’ on a hotel chain and only my network would see this note. Still love that idea.

  154. Deep and serious thoughts Matthew on a Friday eve.
    Looking at who have commented on the above 150 + comments, it quickly becomes clear that we are indeed talking a select few that often participate in the discussions, who offer perspectives and who seriously try to make a change.
    However that is exactly the problem, – the select few. As much as it is interesting to read other thought leaders comments, comments from what I would endearingly term ‘the usual suspects’ and then a range of others that we often see being active on ERE, that is as far as it goes.
    I have above earlier mentioned that truly only a fraction in recruitment/talent acquisition know about you and Rec 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 It is not because this is about you, but more about the mind set and the thoughts that go into how we drive what is undisputedly the difference between success and failure in a company, – their people/employees and how we attract and engage them to drive businesses forward. As also said I think you can stop at the count of 100-150 within Fortune 500 of those HR and TA leaders who are truly driving change and innovation, and that is scary, very scary.
    For those that do step up and speak, share and discuss in conferences they are as well a small and well known community and they do a great job. However very new fresh blood and perspectives appear to available, – is this because they do not wish to come forward, or because they are simply not there? I fear the latter being case.

    What it may take to get the messages out and for more to play a much more pro-active role in these discussions I do not know, – given that we fundamentally are still at the starting block I see this as deeply worrying The likes of ERE and Linkedin and organisations such as the UK based the FIRM are doing theirs, but still it remains within a closed circle. That Linkedin in the USA and in Europe put you and your messages on as main act (and with good reason) is a start, -yet it is only a start. Perhaps when and if Linkedin start running conferences with several thousand attendees may we see a changes, and best practice more widespread. Qualification and structured training and certification may be an answer, but only if upheld and given the buy in from all around (and that as we know easier said than done) This will take time and only slowly become norm rather than exception.

    One would think that in 2012 we would be far more advanced and having majority of TA and recruitment leaders adopting best practice, truth is so much more remaining to be done.

  155. I have been following and very much enjoying all of the dialogue and debate around innovation and change and pushing TA past the status quo. It may seem to you that you aren’t reaching a broader audience and those that could and would “join the crowd” but in fact, you are….you are reaching me and many others who do want to be a part of the wave of change. Those that do want to cause a “disruption” as @matthewjeffrey recommends. I don’t work for a “big brand”, in fact, brand recognition outside of my industry ( unless you are a gold bug) would be pretty rare, we would also be recognized as a conservative company so I NEED to provide sound research on what other global organizations of our same size/scale are doing. In fact, I prefer not to look at my own industry (gold mining) and look at organizations that I feel are really driving innovation around TA and employment branding. For me personally, this is the path I would first choose over using consultants any day ( no offence to consultants), because I truly value the tried and true ideas of my peers, what mistakes they have made along the way and what has driven great results.

    Now on the topic of consultants, I have engaged with them, many times, for very specific projects where I personally didn’t have the expertise or the capacity, and in those situations it was a great partnership and provided my global function an opportunity to grow and develop. But I have had some VERY negative experiences also. Those experiences where I realized I knew more and could have done a better job myself. In all honesty, I have learned more in the last year from those I consider peers and thought leaders in recruitment and branding, and a lot of either the content or programs have truly inspired me to think and do things differently and to push my organization harder and innovate more. I am never happy with the status quo, I want bigger and better results every day and I try very hard to inspire my team to feel the same way.
    I LOVE the idea proposed of setting up a membership only site ( trip advisor for HR/TA consultants) where we can really share feedback amongst our peer group in a professional forum….lets do it!
    Good consultants will always be engaged in great projects at great organizations….
    I am about to catch a plane….and I am sure I really haven’t articulated myself very well here but I do agree with what is being debated and that these debates need to continue. I commit to engaging more in these forums as, like many, time is always running away from me. I will take the time..because participating is the only way as a group we can push innovation to its max. Thanks everyone for lighting the fire in me…..again.

    TC @goldrecruiter

  156. @Tania: Although yesterday I thought I’d commented enough, I can’t resist to comment on your reaction too.

    First of all, I’d like to start you of with one of my favorite quotes. Best practices always work best… for someone else.

    It’s their best practice, using that is nice, but it will never bring you the same result. You are always a follower in that aspect. And yesterday I heard another really nice one about that… if you follow the herd long enough, you’ll end up in a pile of shit.

    Of course it could be your strategy for a while. And yes, consultants (like me) use the information we gather everywhere too. But… a really good one tries to help a company lead. A good one also says: we’re not sure is this is going to work, but considering X, Y and Z… there a good chance of it.

    The other thing you said is that you don’t want to look at the gold mining industry. Funny, because I think one of the best cases I’ve seen about recruiting (but then the sort of recruiting I said in my first reaction that Matthew didn’t talk about) comes from the gold mining industry. Gold Corp this the gold corp challenge. The ‘hired’ a lot of outsiders, that they didn’t pay, for a challenge. Paid 500.000 dollar, those people found 3.4 billion dollar worth of gold for them. Now that’s recruiting… getting people to do the work for you, for free!

    So what I wanted to say: don’t be too negative about your own sector, one of the cases in my book about the (r)evolution of work comes from there. Second: don’t just follow the herd… it will start to smell at some point 🙂

  157. Wow this debate has really evolved – like Tania I am fascinated by it all and @Tania you should join The FIRM (The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers) as we are a community of purely in-house recruitment professionals, mainly UK but rapidly expanding so I am sure you would find it useful and insightful.

    @Bas I think your comments re best practice are fascinating and I agree you should always try and forge your own way. However I have found that I cannot necessarily move forwards at the pace I need on my own and solutions cannot always be found in isolation. Our pace and ability to change and move forward is limited by our own capabilities. On my own at best I can be a good recruiter but through the sharing of ideas, insight and best practice I can use these as building blocks to jump forward and become a great recruiter. Insight and collaboration are a key driver of innovation for me.

    Through collaboration we can enable our function to develop faster, be more agile and in doing so provide a better service to our businesses.

    This doesn’t just have to be via conferences although I loved the Linked In Talent Connect conference in London last week and @Matthew and @PaulMaxin you inspired me! It can be through smaller focus groups, one to ones, open conversations and online collaboration which is where The FIRM really comes in and I love reading the debates on ERE. I also really value the support of consultants and true experts in their field and @mattalder, @andyheadworth and @paulharrison who I follow closely have never ceased to inspire me!
    You mention a recruitment qualification @Matthew well the next step for The FIRM is the launch of a new qualification which we have developed in partnership with Henley Business School. This new certification in Strategic Resourcing is aimed at the internal recruiter who is looking for more than just “learning to recruit” – this is about how a Talent Acquisition Manager can become a strategic partner in the context of resourcing and how the function can add value to the wider business goals. We’ll be announcing this in the next few weeks for launch in January..

    Exciting times 🙂

  158. @Emma: Ah, I think you misunderstood me. I never meant to say you should do it on you’re own. Just the opposite. You should get inspired and you should talk to as many people that are doing stuff that’s on the edge. Yet what I am saying is you should find your own way in this. Inspiration is good, but copying is useless. Getting inspired by cases from others is great, but ‘needing best practices’ to convince management isn’t the right way. And the people that know me know my next line is always: test it. I’m currently writing and ‘expert review’ of a good Dutch recruitmentwebsite again. I start this report with: expert reviews are fine and nice and you need them to get an outside view, but in the end, the expert isn’t your target audience, he’s not a gold miner, a nurse or whatever you’re hiring. So do the tests. A/B test everything before it goes live.

  159. @Bas – thank you for clarifying 🙂 and I think the testing point is so valid. Sometimes we get carried away with the creativity of an idea without fully testing to see how it works in practice..

  160. @Emma Mirrington

    For the record, Emma is one of those I respect for pushing the envelope. Always sing her praises at every corner. Innovator and a lovely person to boot!

    Yes. Love THE FIRM. You and Gary have done a great job there Emma. And the group has so much potential. I love the fact that you pride yourself on keeping the group ‘pure’ and focused on corporate recruiters. That is the USP of the group. Not having agency staff, sales people and consultants is a massive USP for the group and what people always remark on and value. It’s great that you keep to those rules.

    As to the qualification, awesome AWESOME idea. And great to do with the Henley Business School. Great work Emma & Gary. Really very cool idea. Looking forward to cheering you on with this. Go THE FIRM.

  161. @Richa Garg

    Thanks for the great comments. Very much appreciated.

    As a reminder, for LinkedIn we produced an 88 page guide on the ‘Future of Recruitment’. LinkedIn published HERE: It’s free and hopefully adds value for you to delve in and out of.

    Glad you liked Mobile section. I really learnt a lot even from the comments section. Cris Bradshaw highlighted in his comments the great example of PepsiCo and the fact they had made 140 plus hires from their mobile app. That is phenomenal.

    Richa, would love to know what you at Barrick decide to do with your ATS and the modules you add. We all struggle with our ATS. The bane of recruiters lives.

    Thanks again for the comments.

  162. @Alan Whitford.

    Sorry for the delay in reply. I said I would. Just been a busy week. lol

    Legend. I must say that I have been close to Alan for many years. He is always honest and provides clear advice that I always value and respect. Any company looking for a consultant that has deep experience and thorough knowledge of recruitment, strategy, tactical, social, Brand, should get in touch with Alan. To boot he is a genuinely lovely man. And there is no political edge to him. And he never says a bad word about anyone. A rare quality.

    Thanks for the great comments Alan and for reading the article and then articulating some great debating points.

    And you get the point of the article. It is to stimulate debate. May be right. Maybe be wrong. But cool to debate.

    On the numbering system, I am not hung up as you know on the numbers and the differentiation between them. Sometimes articles need a coat hook to hang the coat 😉

    Mobile is such an interesting area Alan. I struggle to see, why something that is so common sense, is not flying now. Be it mobile optimization of web sites or be it Mobile Apps. So ok, I can get that people need more convincing on apps. They need to be convinced why people will download. What will engage. How do they build a community. As detailed in the article above we debated that at Autodesk.

    But to even hesitate to sign off a mobile optimization of your existing careers site, is just madness.

    Back to mobile apps. I quote Cris Bradshaw’s example directly:

    Cris says in this comment section: ‘PepsiCo is just one of the many clients we have had the pleasure of building a mobile recruiting solution for. Their solution includes an iPhone app, Android App, iPad app and recently launched mobile site. All these have been tested in the USA, and have been live for just over a year.
    Just 4 weeks ago Chris Hoyt from PepsiCo stood on stage at the mobile recruiting conference in Atlanta and revealed that in the past 6 months PepsiCo USA had made 145 hires from their mobile apps and recently launched mobile site.
    Assuming the same running rate, circa 300 hires in a full year will be likely. The Typical fully managed app package from costs $30,000 USD year 1 and then £10,000 USD annual renewal fee. So based on these stats; year 1 would cost circa $100 per hire, and year 2 would be reduced to circa $33.33 per hire! Not a bad ROI!’

    That surely shows a true ROI on mobile.

    On Big Data, Alan, if talent is going to be more scarce, companies will become more paranoid about attracting the best people. This will take a number of changes Especially in HR. For example, current compensation and reward packages are geared annually. The annual bonus. The annual pay rise. People are savvy to that and they make their move after the bonus. Just one example. Why don’t companies lock employees in more. Not just stock. But more frequent, smaller bonuses, (same bonus pot payable per year). This way employees get used to frequent reward and work harder to achieve bonus more regularly rather than do a great ¾ month spurt at the end of the year. That’s just one example of new thinking needed on retention.

    Anyway, I digress. Companies will be paranoid on mis hiring. I don’t know Alan what your stat is for a mis hire. One conference I was at leveled the average mid level employee could cost the business £1 million. Not only from the recruitment costs, opportunity cost, demotivation of others, new recruitment costs, removal costs etc etc etc

    Hence ‘Big Data’ will inevitably push managers to wanting to know more about hires. We know that references in this day and age are rubbish. Effectively saying employee X was employed between x date and left y date, in z position. Wow. Information overload. They could be the best employee in the world. They could have a string of poor performances. Firms have been neutered into silence. References are next to useless. Of course, people may have worked with them in the past in your current company, a back door reference by stealth.

    Alan, looking at the increase in background checks being undertaken, I have to disagree that Big data won’t become a prevalent issue.

    As to Tweet Psych. Don’t see that Alan as the full picture. It’s an example to what is possible and can be refined and redefined. We all have an online DNA footprint in the Cloud. Imagine technology drawing in all this data and then forming a picture on us. Makes a person more predictable. The big barrier is human rights, privacy and ethical nature. But the pressure is there.

    Onto ‘Back to basics’, ‘Back to the Future’. Yes. This is a massive issue agree Alan. And there is two elements here. This split is not being made. And I don’t think you and Paul Maxim really touched on it.

    Alan, let’s consider a role. Project manager. Let’s say we post on the corporate careers site. We get 350 responses. Now of course, in an ideal world we go back to basics and call every candidate. But no recruitment department can do that. A recruiter will have at least 20 reqs. If each had 350 applicants, that’s 7,000 candidates. Not feasible to call or email all of them individually with personal individual messages. Now back to the 350. Of that 350, 10 are of interest. Those 10 will be called, screened and whittled down to a shortlist of say 3 / 4. They should get a great experience.

    So 10/350 get a personalized experience. The phone call you refer to Alan. What of the other 340. Do we just rely on the bounceback when they apply. ‘Thanks for your application. If your skills and experience match out job a recruiter will be in touch…at some point. Thanks for the interest in our company. Piss off’. May as well say that mightn’t it. And not everyone of that remaining 340 applied through the careers site. Hence they may not even get the bounceback.

    The whole ‘Back to the Future’ approach of phone calls individualized experiences needs to be balanced.

    Back to the database.

    Of the million plus names in there. How may have been called, met face to face. Let’s say. Less than 500.

    The question then returns to technology. How do we use it to personalize and provide ‘individual’ feeling experiences. (Of course they are not but the perception has be made that the company has gone to an effort). Make sense?

    Alan, on the ownership point.

    Ownership is a great debate on the ATS. The theory is that we own the data. But let’s look at that a little more. What do we own.

    Firstly let’s appreciate where a recruiter ‘sources’ candidates and builds pipeline.

    1) The Corporate Careers site is the front end entrance portal to the ATS. We capture the active job seeker who applies direct into the ATS. We spend money on SEO eg Indeed, to boost traffic but our recruiters need to focus as well on the passive/pactive pool. Hence they leap outside the ATS.
    2) Recruiters spend a lot of their time in LinkedIn. How much of that data, (recruiters are so busy and not process monkeys), will get back to the ATS? Very little. And LinkedIn don’t make it 100% easy to export data into an ATS, (neither should they as they are a business)
    3) Recruiters leap into cv/resume databases and search, often behind pay walls, for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    4) Recruiters use Social Media Channels, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/whatever to search for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    5) Recruiters especially sourcers, spend hours searching Google/Boolean search strings to locate candidates etc
    6) Internal Referral schemes provide ‘hot’ candidate leads maybe to the ATS, or as paper cv’s resumes or emails. Are these always captured?

    Hence, what do we own.

    Let’s also presume that data in the data is not always uptodate, unlike a Linkedin profile. Hence there is a lot of dead data! And incomplete data as we have seen from the above.

    This means that metrics from the ATS are rubbish as they are incomplete. It’s like having a jigsaw and having 40% of the pieces missing.

    Ah, there you go, so if we agree the above pipelines for most recruiters in a lot of businesses is true, then how much of the data in the ATS is worthwhile? Let’s say 60% of candidates are not in the ATS who come into touch with a company. Is that too high? Too low? You decide.

    But then, does that say that the ‘ownership’ given by the ATS is worthwhile?

    That’s a question for each company to answer :).

    Love you Alan. I am sure you will debate this 😉

  163. @Bas van de Haterd

    Hey Bas. We have shared conversation since your comment but I am returning to your comment. If I may 😉

    LOL. This was a Paper…the book is HERE: It’s a free download. No charging for me. Just give back to the industry.

    Mobile is a medium. But a critical one. We want access to everything, friends, networks, maps, shops, games, restaurants, plane times etc whilst we are on the move. We need everything NOW. Hence mobile will be / is critical to recruitment. Recruitment has to be mobile. Whether optimized site or through mobile app or both. It’s a must have, no debate. Common sense really.

    Big data. Fun area eh Bas. I agree with you. When you work in film/tv, IMDB is key. It lists every project worked on. Now, the CV/resume will go the same way. However, we all know references are rubbish. They are not worth the paper they are written on. Some companies look at LinkedIn recommendations over references, although that is a little farcical as no one will post a bad recommendation on their LinkedIn Profile.

    This whole crowdsourcing and rating of someone skills is the future. LinkedIn gets that. Look at the Endorsements they have release. It allows the ‘crowd’ to vote on what are you best skills. Now if Joe says he is good at X Skill, and receives few endorsements but gets endorsements in other areas, what does that say to a future employer?

    Is LinkedIn Endorsements the start of ‘crowdsourcing’ of candidate skills and achievements?

    The whole psychological profile of our DNA footprints in the cloud will come. Yes debates on ethical issues and privacy. But Big Brother is already watches us….and selling the data 😉 Can’t wait to see what you do in this field Bas. Keep me posted.

    On LinkedIn. It is currently in Pole Position. But as I say, the Pole Sitters may not win the race. It has much to do. And is behind in many areas. Mobile is one. The big issue with mobile is apply. We don’t store cv’s/resume on mobile. So apply is tough. Hence why LinkedIn don’t allow people to apply by linking to their LinkedIn profile needs to be addressed.

    In terms of marketing. Yes it will always be disruptive. How many companies do great disruptive recruitment campaigns. Name them. There is very few. The need to differentiate Employment Brands will come as all companies are saying the same. Imagine a poor job seeker. They read company literature from 10 companies….I can guess they all say:

    – We are a unique company
    – We work hard Play hard
    – We focus on Talent
    – Great chance of promotion
    – Fun culture

    Blah blah

    A company is not unique by calling itself unique. It has to do something to stand out from the crowd.

    Bas on your points on the ‘way we work’. Totally agree with you there.

    Keep on trailblazing Bas.

  164. @Lennart Sloof

    Hey mate. Hope you are doing well.

    Thanks for the great comments.

    A number of people have mentioned to me that they had issues with the technology on Maybe @Todd is looking at upgrading the site. A couple of people typed in comments and then pressed enter and it did not save their comment. Sorry for any hassle mate. Sure ERE are on it.

    Interesting point you make Lennart. ‘Most corporates are still struggling with adopting and embracing new technology, social media platforms and online (mobile) tools’.

    Why is that:

    – Lazy recruitment leader?
    – Recruitment leader reports into a stone waller?
    – Lack of budgets?
    – Lack of vision?
    – Don’t understand it?

    Let’s look at budgets.

    I won’t name the person or company but at Linkedin Talent Connect London, a Recruitment Head told me: ‘Matthew, loved your ideas but we just don’t have the budgets’.

    I then asked: ‘Well how many Agency hires have you made in the past month’.

    Answer was 30!

    So let’s do so simplistic maths. Let’s say the basic salary was around £40,000, (some will be less others more). So 30 hires at 20% of £40,000 in one month, (ONE MONTH), means they are spending £240,000.

    Go figure….maybe a little re-budgeting would help? I am sure the Account team at the agency are driving round in Ferraris and eating at The Ivy most nights 😉

    Lennart you are so so right that online/social media/apps are not a goal in themselves. People will not just come. Build an app, launch it and suddenly 200,000 people won’t just download it. Launch a Facebook page and 300,000 wont just join it. There has to be a reason. There has to be a campaign.

    But ‘Corporate’ or ‘manufactured’ communities can be built:

    – Think of the 500,000 strong ATS. Those are people that should be naturally in your community. Why aren’t they being communicated with?
    – Sourcing team, as it reaches out to top talent, reminding them of the community
    – Targeted LinkedIn Communications. Be they adverts. Inmails etc etc
    – Targeted Facebook Ads. Targeted Tweets. Targeted Comms
    – Targeted job board adverts to select people eg Java Developers
    – Utilizing SEO to build traffic
    – Social Media
    – University email groups and lists
    – Alumni email lists
    – Event Lists

    The actual building of the community is not the issue.

    It is the engaging, holding attention and that ‘content really is king’.

    Agree with you strongly Lennart that the new media are being downgraded to traditional marketing tools and effectively loud hailer push communications. We must not fall into that trap.

  165. @Keith Halperin

    Thanks again.

    The candidate care fellow is in touch. I will follow up with. Candidate care is just so key and sounds like this guy has some awesome solutions. Nice job buddy.

    Keith. Keep fighting the good fight and slaying the recruitment dragons.

  166. @Ryan Broad

    Thanks Ryan for taking the time to not only read the article but comment. Thank you.

    Love your quote: ‘Work becomes social as employees choose what they want to work on, who they want to work with and where they want to work’.

    Who knows. In years to come we may work for several companies, like contractors. Permanent may be the minority.

  167. @Brett Minchington

    I am sure most if not all of you know Brett. He is a top bloke and in case you don’t he is one of the leading experts on Employment Branding in the World. Whilst he did not note on his post, I will do it for him that to learn more on Brett and some of the great work he has done take a look at his his main recruitment site HERE: . Brett runs the Employment Brand International Group. Look HERE:

    Thanks a lot Brett for the vote of thanks. Glad you liked the article. Means a lot from you.

    Looking forward to reading your next work and seeing you present soon.

    Keep on fighting the good fight and raising awareness across the Globe on Employment Branding

  168. Matt, saw your comment you posted – Oct 27, 2012 at 11:54 am — I think two different things are happening. 1) The technology could indeed be better, and we’re on it. We need a better commenting system. 2) The following isn’t really a system defect, and actually works pretty well, but what sometimes happens is comments that have certain attributes (like tons of links) fall into a spam folder and throughout the day (and night) I go in and approve them. Sometimes, the original poster thinks the comment didn’t go through, and they post it a second time, and the second one works, and I approve the first and then there are two similar comments. Anyhow, more information that you probably wanted, but #1 needs improvement, and #2 is working pretty well, just a fact of life in a spammy world.

  169. @Todd Raphael.

    Thanks for commenting. All is good.

    What you say makes sense.

    And ERE has by far the most recruitment traffic on any site in the world right now.

    What other site has this degree of informed feedback?

    Nice job

  170. @matthew: I wasn’t saying we shouldn’t go mobile, I’m just saying it’s like social media, in 3 years, it’s just media. In 3 years, it’s just internet. But with a GPS twist in it. Mobile isn’t as much fun as the ‘big data’ it produces. There is btw a nice special in the economist about location and the internet (and recruiting implications) in the economist of this week.

    But two things I’d like to point out. Name a few companies that do disruptive marketing. There are thousands. Just… no big names. THey all play it safe. Hence my (long standing) point: big companies will fail. Small is the new big. Look at the numbers. The number of small and medium sized companies has been growing over the years, the number of really big ones falling. And the rate is accelerating. But do realize that ‘disruptive’ is a matter of position. I mean, I remember when spending money on an internet campaign was considered disruptive. Banners were disruptive. So there can never be that much disruptive marketing, since the 4th person doing it has become mainstream 🙂 Yes there are plenty, just all in the niches. I have one client that actually sends me not a christmas gift, but a valentines day gift. Because they love their clients 🙂 (and I love the great food they send every year). That’s disruptive, just like at one point christmas gifts were…

    On the crowd sourcing: I’m not just talking about the rating. I’m talking about the hole new way of working. And when people don’t work full time for you anymore, it’s all about the ratings. You then know if someone delivers on time and/or the promised quality and/or etc. etc. In a world wide labour market. Much of the work will be given to ‘external employees’, that don’t need to fit your company on a psychological basis, but just need to deliver results.

    Also, and that is where it gets exciting, is when you crowdsource for the best. Look at big pharma. Their entire pipeline of products has been bought. Their ‘top of the line’ R&D people are failing every time, most of the medicine in the pipeline was invested elsewhere and bought to be developed further. There will come a time when someone will say: this is stupid, we should face the fact that the very best are not working for us and we should crowdsource our ideas. There is always more talent not working for you as there is working for you. P&G does a lot of this. But goldcorp is also a brillant example. The winners of the gold corp challenge were computer scientists. They would have never been hired for the geology department there (not that they would have wanted to), but they found more gold for goldcorp then their highly paid employees!

  171. @Bas.

    Legend. Do you have a link to that Economist article, for those that are interested but can’t see it. If no link can you let us know roughly what it says? Very interested. Especially in the implications for recruitment.

    Love what you say on crowd sourcing. Agree.

    In terms of what you rate as the best disruptive marketing, especially in the recruitment space, you happy to share examples / hyperlinks? Respect your opinion and love to see some of the best recruitment marketing out there.

    Btw. When you next in the UK? Love to have beers and buy you dinner.

  172. It’s a special:

    The one about ‘recruiting’ is this one;

    this company moved from Eindhoven (the worlds smartest city according to research) in Holland to New York, simply to find more and better people.

    The disruptive… small stuff, like I said.

    A former client of mine, small IT company (80 staff back then). We had battling lego droids on a IT recruiting exhibition.

    The same company gave lots of really good guest lectures to students, not just when recruiting needs were high, also where nobody was recruiting. And not: look at us. But genuine stuff on IT architecture and stuff like that.

    We had the law firms here a couple of years ago with the billboards. One law firm got the names of the 5 cum laude graduates that year and posted billboards at the places they were known to go for drinks (Leidseplein in Amsterdam for example) saying; Shiraz (his name), please call Abby (name of the recruiter)… The beauty of this campaign was that Shiraz was already recruited and his new firm bought a billboard across the street with the text: Sorry, Shiraz is working for us….

    I remember a small game start up that send out boxes to the 10 people they wanted to recruit that ended with a USB stick and a video about the new project (starting with, Hi, I’m …. and I was the lead developer on world of warcraft, I started my own studio now and since I’ve loved your work on ….. (personalized) I’d like you to join my new team….

    In Holland we had a ’twilliciteer on twacatures’. A vacancy where you could only write 140 characters cover letter and submit a linkedin profile. Since it was for a ‘new media agency’ if you were not on Twitter dan Linkedin… don;t bother applying at all. The first one was ‘new’, the fourth one was… not again.

    I love these really good infographic vacancy ads:
    and from Belgium: The first one is really good, since it has a case in it. It says (translating here): since you’re main job is to write really good copy for our webshop, please write the copy for the following article to apply.

    Loves this ad as well (since it was for a designer):

    I liked the vacancy that said: when everything else is equal, we’d like a gay man or women to have the job, since we like a divers team. That got some attention.

    The community manager job when our main comedian hit down hard on a telecom company was great to. It started with: you’re work is never the same. If Youp (the comedian) starts rating again, you will have a lot of work to do.

    I liked it when a agency I sometimes worked with was looking for a new general manager and they made an entire site surrounding that. They made a video and best of all: they did a research among the entire staff and published that on that site. What should our new MD look like (with all the answers in the open).

    Enough examples?

    Naah, let’s put in some bigger ones. I liked what Akzo did ith their F1 Challenge. Winning an internship to one race in Brazil. The executing was poor, but the idea rocked.

    I loves what Yahoo did with the Flickr thing. When they hired Marissa Myer as CEO their were several sites going up asking her to make Flickr awesome again. Their response: Please help us with that, apply at….

    I also liked this idea:

    Ogilvy Belgium put files on peer to peer networks that looked like a really expensive adobe program. In it was a video that said: life is hard, maybe you can’t afford the new Adobe Illustrator, it’s expensive, we know. But if you come work for us, you can use it for free. The idea was great (suberb targeting), the executing (like with most agencies) terrible of course. Since nobody trust strange files on a peer to peer network.

    That’s enough I guess for the Saturday evening, ok 🙂

    btw I was in London a month ago, send you a message on FB, but I think you were out of town. No plans this year, sorry. But you are always more then welcome for a drink in Froggyland 🙂

  173. A quick note on the 350 applicants and giving them response and making it personal.

    I acknowledge that 20 reqs with each around 350 applicants becomes a very big number.

    Majority of TA leaders/companies focus on process being worried about the possible consequences in respect to communication to an applicant (in case there is a comeback legally/discriminatorily or other) For that reason applicant responses become sterile and often impersonal and off-putting as anyone can see/read that this is just for the sake of process rather than anything else.
    If someone within TA/companies sat down giving this just one hour’s thought/brain-storming and brought their heart and personality into it, this whole subject possible to be different, a better experience, and the long term benefits overwhelming
    It would be 1. more personal (despite being a ‘generic process answer’ 2. become more understanding and acknowledging of the effort/interest made by applicant (even if they are totally unsuitable) 3. Facilitate/enable a ‘call to action’ in the form of following company blogs, facebook sites and or anything else that will help to engage, ‘tie in’ and or ability to have further future dialogue.

    This is about giving the whole process another feel and to spend that extra bit of time in providing a more human experience, yet keeping to process methodology.

    Worst you can do to any applicant and indeed people in general is to be/act indifferently. With a regular send out (during the selection process) of communication that carry a sign of continued interest and update applicant’s perception (even though message generic and process driven) would be so much different. As all or most people want is a little bit of care and decent treatment I am 100% certain that a far larger proportion would not only follow a call to action, but as well act as eventual ambassadors (this argued in Rec 3.0)

    I have myself tried to apply above more widened/graded and ‘more-than-one applicant responses/updates and although small scale judging from the response getting (from even those that become rejected), I have seen that just that little difference and effort mean a lot.

    Time consuming? – no not really much more than one or two hours extra per week (the time it takes to select and push the buttons sending out pre-determined messages), Quite honestly isn’t the act of communication the least we can do to those that have shown an interest (even when they apply in their hundreds)!

    Innovation/change can either be big bang or incremental and is as much about looking at existing processes and tweaking them so that the desired overall outcome is achieved.

    Best in class talent acquisition/recruitment is as much about technologies, solutions and methodologies as it is about a mind-set, – get that right and I believe and hope the adoption and outcome in the form of applying best practice will follow.


    Hi all.

    For those interested, here is the video, (excluding the Flashmob, which will be published soon once we have copyright clearance for using Michael Jackson Material), for the Keynote Main Stage Presentation at Linkedin Talent Connect Las Vegas 2012 that Amy McKee and I gave.

    It includes an overview of Recruitment 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.



  175. @Bas

    Mate. Thanks for going to that effort of posting the links to the Economist article and the examples of Disruptive Marketing. I have spent my Sunday morning reading them. Learnt a lot from them.

    Totally recommend people read the Economist article and look at the examples Bas posted. Well worth your time reading.

    Love that example with Shiraz Bas. That is cool. The Azko and Yahoo examples are also very cool.

    Bas, I did not get your Facebook mail. Blow. Would have come up to London and seen you, (unless I was travelling lol). I may well come over to Holland and say hi early 2013. Argh. There is something about having 13 in the year 🙁

  176. @bas

    I think you misunderstood my position. Your comments to Emma are exactly true…..I could not nor would not want to do this completely alone nor do I look around me at others behaviours and just copy, in fact I believe the exact opposite of that. I endeavour to be very innovative, but even those that have big ideas learn from what happens around them and watch what works and learn from what doesn’t. Many of us work in organizations that want to have strong employment brands, consultative recruiting teams and to be on the leading if not bleeding edge, however, many of us are also operating very lean and in general, we need to find ways to stay ahead of the pack without always spending a lot of money. I have never looked at what someone else is doing and just implemented it at my own organization, however, you can bet I watch and learn from what happens around me both inside my industry and out because I believe it encourages thinking, debate, and keeps you fresh.

    My approach is to always be reading, listening, learning from those around me that I respect and who are respected leaders in the world of recruitment and employment branding, but I always work to innovate and try to lead the pack where I can.

    My comments were to say I enjoy learning from those around me and it keeps me challenging myself on how I can innovate and do something differently and continue to push the envelope.

    As for mining, its an industry I am very passionate about, but if you look around you, the worlds largest mining organizations are not exactly the best at employment branding so for me, this is where I try to innovate, and look at the big brands out there to see how they market themselves. I want our brand to stand out, I want to draw people in, and I want people to see how we are different from other mining companies…..which is part of why I am not just focusing on my own sector.

    There are a lot of amazing innovations that come out of the mining industry, my company included.
    Anyway – I couldn’t leave your comments without responding as it was clear your misunderstood my completely.


  177. Meant to add the following link to a new video series we have just launched as part of our responsible mining-remarkable people campaign.

    Yes, there are many companies out there that have employee testimonials and digital media campaigns, so I know we aren’t cutting the branding cloth here but this was a huge gap for us and we did it our own way, and tried to be innovative and a bit different from the rest… a mining sort of way.

  178. Matt

    Thanks for your support and your insightful comments.

    Some interesting streams from @Bas, @Jennifer Candee @Jacob Madsen and plenty more. Wish I could remember who said what 😉

    Without a doubt, your intent to initiate debate and conversation – which has always been a goal of ERE with David and Todd – has been achieved.

    So, let’s talk about this in couple of streams

    Consultants/gurus/experts. None of the quality advisors that I know (And I won’t start naming them all as that could mean leaving someone out that I really respect) would ever call themselves ‘gurus’ Many of us that are doing our best to advise companies – from the smallest company to the FTSE 50 clients – do this from our passion for improving recruitment. We have worked on all sides of the street – recruitment agency, in-house recruiter, job boards, building and managing recruitment technology companies and even as candidates. We have made mistakes and learned from them. We have learned from each other and from inspirational speakers and leaders that we have met in our journeys. Most of us have had the pleasure of seeing others take off and fly from a word, a sentence or a presentation that we have made. And make no mistake, it is a pleasure when that happens.

    I feel for Bas and others who have had their ideas or work ‘ripped off. It takes so little to acknowledge a source, attribute the source of your knowledge or thank someone for a lead. It is just good manners and definitely sound business sense.

    Ranking systems are only as good as the standards that could be agreed – and the willingness of the consulting fraternity to join in. What we have now is people like you, Paul, Jennifer and others thanking us in public when we have made a contribution – and that is seriously appreciated. However, as Jacob and Bas have both pointed out, even in this era of widespread social communication channels, we are still left with a very finite number of those who are willing to enter debate in public.

    Standards and certification for recruiters is on the agenda from individuals such as Alastair Cartwright and for organisations and trade associations who will try and bring this to the UK.

    Now, what about the challenges that companies have in bringing in outside expertise. Not to put too fine a point on it, many HRDs and their financial counterparts are incredibly myopic here. It seems to be OK to spend 12-18 months and tens of thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros to look at a new technology but impossible to spend 5-10,000 on an outside advisor who could have a significant impact on brand, candidate experience, recruitment process and sourcing spend. Some of this challenge is certainly in the structure of budgets around recruitment – who actually holds the purse string and can realise the benefit of the financial savings. Many of the individuals who have been contributing here over the last couple of weeks have saved their companies 100s of thousands – yet their budgets have not been increased or any of the savings set aside to help them move the company forward. HR and Recruitment are still seen as cost centers and not as contributors to the success of their company.

    OK, Now let’s look at your response to my stream of consciousness comments. Firstly thank you for taking time to respond to every single person who has commented. This is truly and incredible exercise – particularly as many of us are making the same point – or variations on a them. I know how much time and thinking effort you are putting in. Secondly, thank you for your support and comments about me and what I have been trying to do in our industry. Like many of the commenters, I have a varied background – I have been a recruiter, run tech businesses and worked in industries outside of recruitment (including 3 years in motor racing sponsorship and team management). I believe that it is this variety of life experiences that underpins the business conversations and advice I bring to a client.

    Mobile; Agree with you and Chris Bradshaw and Dave Martin and more who are now showing real ROI. Yet, I think @BAS hit the nail in the head – All of the things that we have been promoting as ‘bleeding edge’ over the last 15 years all change to the status of ‘it is what it is’ The fax machine, email, web searching, laptops, remote internet access on the move, mobile comms, smart phones and other supporting technologies should just be accepted. Yes, Mobile sites and smart phones seem like the next ‘talking point’ – and Companies are pathetic in embracing these technologies today – but we said the same thing 10 years ago about job boards.

    Big Data – my real point here is that with the massive amounts of data, it will be increasingly difficult for the SME/SMB to play in the game with the larger companies who have the resources and manpower to mine that data. Sure, toolsets will emerge that do it for them, but at what cost?

    I don’t see the Tweet Pych as the full picture, more as the tip of a very dangerous iceberg – when interpretations of the DNA footprint become in the eye of the beholder – and not with full context. After all, not everything I say or do that forms my personality and work behaviour is done online. We run a serious danger of making judgements on partial data sets.

    Now, to our Back to the Future, Back to Basics.

    I suggest we need to start with common courtesy. It is imperative to make those initial responses as informative as possible – lay out what your process is likely to be. Then stick to it. Can you personally respond to 1,000s of candidates? Of course not – but tell them what will happen – and if that message is you won’t hear from us of we are not interested – that is better than not hearing at all. Yes, it needs balance and yes it only works if the candidate application process is driven via the career site/website so that response can be generated. Which is why I have been on the soapbox for over 15 years encouraging companies to get a back end technology in place. @jacob madsen has put it even better in his response on 27 October

    Which leads us to your section on the Database (or more accurately, the lack of the updated DB)
    DB data is not up to date if we do not encourage that. But, as a former head hunter, I believe that all of the DB data has value as a hunting ground. Identify new candidates, renew old candidates, send out marketing messages and more. All of these candidates in the DB already indicated they are interested in your company – 1/2 of the sales process. Yes it takes work to mine this DB and it takes work to enable recruiters to bring their candidate sources all into one place. And, to be fair, a lot of the ATS/CMS/HRIS systems to not make that easy either. But to leave your recruiters only using external channels (job boards, social media and others) and not bringing the data of the Long List into your internal system is to invite chaos and perhaps even to invite over spending on candidate sourcing – duplication of candidates that you have already attracted.

    Let’s pick up again on some of the later commentary:

    I like your reference to IMDB – I love using it any time I want information on any obscure actor or show that I run across. The signifiant difference is that everyone in the film/TV industry wants their data to be there so they can be found. Big Data may not yet encourage that.

    LinkedIn Endorsements is proving to be interesting, but I don’t think it is the Crowdsourcing answer on skills – and it is still too early to see how it plays out.

    Your response to @Lennart Sloof are spot on – and for those that don’t know Lennart, check out the work he does at Deloitte Netherlands – outstanding and he gave a great presentation about it at SRCONF 2011 in London. Build and engage communities with the data you already have – see the DB comments above.

    And your budget cost calculations fit in exactly with my thinking and positioning. When I ran Resumix in 1999, I presented a complete ATS ROI would be achieved in 9-11 months for most companies – and that included all costs for putting the software in, training and annual maintenance for 3+ years. That really means that from month 11 onwards, the company was saving significant money on recruitment costs every single day. This was a conservative estimate – most of our clients achieved the ROI in 6 months or less. I agree that taking those types of financial calculations forward should enable companies to go to their CEO and CFO and divert the budgets to more functional recruitment and talent programmes.

    Wow, Sunday night and this has been going on as a response now. Lot’s of other good comments coming in from Tania Craig and Bas (who just keeps on coming!) and others. Hope you manage to get some time to relax this weekend.

    Keep on talking.

  179. @Jacob Madsen

    So agree with you. You make killer points.

    But isnt it frightning that potentially,

    1 Req = 350 applicants
    10 will gaina recruiter phone call
    340 may, (MAY), hear nothing

    So with 25 Reqs 8,500 candidates may hear nothing.

    How many companies to this maths.

    And that database of 1 million names. 500 could have been happy and contacted. The rest….wow.

    Isn’t it scary when you think of it this way? Wow

  180. @Alan: you don’t have to feel sorry for me 😉 I don’t mind being quotes (love that). It’s more bothering being misquoted (and named) or being quoted (and not named). The real bother comes when entire content (like an e-book or a report I wrote and did research for) is put on someone else’s site and he tries to make money or a database out of it. That’s just theft.

    And yes, I’ll stop replying, It’s getting annoying I know.

    @Tania: thank you for the clarification. Now I don’t know much about the mining industry, except the gold corp example and… the fact that the entire reputation of the sector seems very very bad. I know that for example Rio Tinto was under heavy fire for delivering the gold for the Olympic medals. Or actually, London Olympics was, because Rio Tinto was ‘one of the worst companies when it comes to sustainability and environment’ according to many.

    Your link didn’t work, but I found them on the site anyway. If I may give some free advice: really make an effort for your website. Both the recruitment page, but also the corporate one, doesn’t work in your favor to be honest. The small letters on the corporate page, to me, seems like you have something to hide. It’s a sign you don’t really want people reading it well.

    And one more piece of free advice (and you’ll probably don’t like me now even more) but… it’s all talk and no proof. Your video’s say you have safety first, but I looked and looked but could not find one figure about work related accidents. How many (or few) are there and how does this compare to other mining companies? Same goes for environment, you talk about it, but the video’s just show totally destructed land. I can read about that on the corporate page (yet again, I’m not invited to because of how the page is built), but it’s all text, no visuals. A picture speaks a thousand words is a Dutch saying. Also: make summaries, bullet points with achievements.

    @Mat: I’m lost in what a ‘req’ means. But if you look at ‘non response’ on applications. I recently finished my research in Holland on that again. We tested over 400 of the ‘better known employers’ in Holland again. We applied at all of them… 24% we never heard back from. That’s been the same for over 3 years now (around 25%). And that has nothing to do with mobile, simple, normal website applicant into the system the company wants. Report (in Dutch) can be downloaded here:

  181. @Bas I would never ask you to stop contributing. I love your engagement (as much as I hate that word!) and your commitment to sharing your experiences and your knowledge as well as your opinions. There are come great innovators in the Netherlands that the ROW could learn from. Hope to see you again sometime soon.

  182. @Tania (@Bas)

    I think Tania is in the same position as me Bas. The Autodesk careers site, is something, as we said on main stage at LinkedIn, we dont like. It is ‘corporate’, it does not capture the excitement of what we do and its content does nothing to portray our culture or great people. Hence while the new site is being built we have to put up with the exisiting site and content 🙂 .

    I know that Tania has a new site going live Tuesday. Lets have a look then. I understand a major creative agency has been working on it.

    So Bas, you and I, let’s have a look Tuesday when its live and see what its like.

    Tania, the videos really start to humanise people. They dont feel over produced or corporate. I like the insights.

    Certainly looking forward to Tuesday. (We have a little longer to wait as we have struggled to find the right concept and the right creatives). Shame

  183. @Alan Whitford


    Loving your reply.

    Thanks legend. I will use the time while Downton Abbey is on to reply. Lol

    At Alan, thanks for your great comments. Yes. It is all about debate and I asked several people to come on the thread and comment to add to the discussion. Rarely do the big guns of the industry join together and discuss and debate. That is all these articles about. Agree. Disagree. Does not matter. Have an opinion. Innovate. Debate. Argue. At least try and push this industry forward and inspire people to take the baton and make a difference. That’s what it is all about.

    Agree with comments on Consultants and self-professed gurus. But there is a growth and some are not up to the mark. I can’t list on here and you can name them Alan. I want to see conferences with a mix of In House Recruitment Leaders sharing their stories and visionary consultants. That balance has swung in many conferences to the latter. Many recruitment leaders either are shy, have nothing to say, don’t want to tell their story, don’t want to share….or are lazy. Select which you think 😉

    Your observations on budgets are so true in so many companies. I won’t add to that as it is common sense.

    As to your comments on replying to each person. Wowsers. Todd always taught me that it was the decent thing to do. Lucky I don’t write too many articles per year. But the way I see it. 5.0 is long. If someone has spent, 45-60 mins reading it, then taken time out to construct a comment, it would be bloody rude of me not to reply. I know how I feel when I comment on a blog and the author never replies. It is demotivating. And yes, it is a big commitment as replies on here have been long but hell, I love the fact we are discussing ?

    On mobile. Agree. But wow, you point to 10 years lag before people got job boards. I hope we don’t need 10 years for mobile!

    On Big Data and SME’s it comes back to scale. A smaller company has less response and hence can use the technology to help them profile and understand the data they have. Big companies have more data and hence will need teams to mine it. All scalable. I do agree with @Bas that smaller companies have the advantage here. They are more nimble, creative and should outflank the big players if they focus on their strengths, (ie employees won’t be one of a crowd, they get real responsibility, they matter, they have freedom….all things tough in a big company).

    Alan, so we agree that in the database, all those thousands of names, we have to email, communicate, market, build relationships with. That personalizes it to a degree. But on the point of the ‘value of a database’ do you agree that lets say 40-60% of the names that recruiters communicate with, won’t be in the ATS? That undermines the value of the ATS and metrics are next to useless?

    I am intrigued by endorsements. One of my friends has selected humour as a quality. Now all his mates, including me have endorsed him for humour. Now this is the biggest trending endorsement on this profile. Would a headhunter look at the profile and then think that he is not a serious player. I like the concept. I see how far it could go. But there are dangers….as seen by my friend.

    We have an exciting time ahead of us in recruitment, that is true.

    Alan, you are a true gentleman in this industry. And a true friend. Keep on fighting the good fight and helping drag the recruitment industry forward.

  184. Firstly, @Alan Whitford…we’ve always known you are one of the true “greats”. Great amount of respect for you and the challenges you must have from the consulting side. I personally don’t know how you and Matt have the time to address these comments but hats off to you. I guess I’m stuck in sending each of my 300+ candidates per job a personalised email. Yes. I. Do. Some of the bulk is the same on my signature, changed to the role. Comes from my email address directly and not from a “system”. But I change some of the messaging for those candidates that warrent them and who I truly would like to stay in contact with for future roles and I state exactly why I wasn’t interested in them in this instance. Transparency. That alone has helped build my brand which of course reflects on the company given that we all act as ambassadors of our companies. Humanising the brand. Critical.

    So – to the greats, all of them and to @matthew jeffery for his guts to always challenge the status quo and drive change, I nod my head in respect. And because I had my 40th birthday last night, I need some shut eye. More comments forthcoming…

  185. @ Bas van de Haterd, – thank you for sharing, – g r e a t stories/examples
    @ Alan Whitford. – deepest respect for your comments Alan, much to become inspired by with you.
    @ Jennifer Candee, – 300 applicants and you actually do that, – deepest r e s p e c t, – rarely seen but just goes to show if you can, then e v e r y o n e can – please all that read this and who are active in-house recruiters take note!!!
    @ Matthew Jeffery. – man of many facets, – but biggest of all is that you c a r e and that you show it in all you do 🙂

  186. OK, almost midnight and look who is still reading and writing. Thanks to all for your kind comments and your respect – it makes it all worthwhile

    @Jennifer – sorry we missed the Party, but sure you had a great time. And absolutely full marks for your dedication to your candidates!! We all can learn from that

    @Jacob – we have so much to learn from you – how you have shared both the candidate experience and the Talent Acquisition knowledge you have

    @Bas – Keep up the good fight

    @Matt – so, we got it wrong on XFactor, but so did the voters 🙂 appreciate your friendship and support. This is a blast.

    @Todd and @David – gentlemen, you have enabled amazing dialogue – despite the challenges of the platform that Todd has talked about addressing – it is about enabling free and open discussion and letting fly what may. Thank you.

  187. ok ok, I promised to stop responding, but this just came live in the Netherlands and I think it’s a ‘go take a look’ thing. (Use google translate if you need to)

    This is a beauty in my opinion. A 120 year old mental healthcare institution. They don’t have much money, but they made a digital museum. They put up a virtual tour trough a completely digital museum trough 120 years of their history. Showing where they came from and proving why they are what they are (their culture). The entire idea was created by students (since budget is very limited) and then built (in flash, because it has certain advantages for projects like these) by an agency.

    A genuine beauty of an idea if I’m honest.

  188. @Jennifer Candee

    Agree Jen that Alan can be labeled a ‘a true great’.

    Jen, do you really send every candidate who applies a personalized response. Wowsers. Respect. I am sure that SAB would do well on any candidate experience email. Kudos. Interested if you do any more candidate experience you can share?

    Thanks for your kind comments.



  189. @Alan Whitford

    Great comments.

    And @Todd it would be cool to see ERE stories on SAB Miller and what Jennifer Candee has been doing. Maybe you even get some free drink samples lol.

    @Todd I would also recommend you speak and do a story with Tania Craig. Gold is a fascinating business. And a story with Tania is great timing as she is helping to launch a new Corporate site and a host of new Employment Brand videos. Maybe you get some free samples of….Gold!!!! lol

  190. @Bas

    Mate. Keep on responding legend. I am really loving what you are sharing. Trying to get some translated. (Using basic web translators and some interesting stuff you sending through).

    I think you touch on an interesting concept.

    Us Corporate companies should be using graduates more and more to create assets. This is especially important as we seek to build partnerships with Universities and if the work they do is incorporated into their project work & grading, then it is a win win situation. And Graduates need / desire extra achievements to add to their resumes/cv’s in order to stand a chance to get an interview and a job.

    Let’s not forget Graduates……they can even help in Gamification……

  191. @ Matthew OK, the sleeping giant in the room is the ATS database. Yes you could say that 40-60% is useless -pick any number really. However, a good recruiter would be mining that information first to identify the candidates (and referrals) that could be relevant.(as I referred to above)

    And maybe 40-60% of people that good recruiters communicate with today are not in the ATS.

    But – once that ‘lead’ becomes a prospect, she should end up in the ATS – preferably via the Career Site to begin and enhance the great candidate journey your career site will give (oops, we already know that isn’t necessarily the experience on a lot of sites)

    Big Data chaos – I need one place to manage the information on all relevant candidates – not a diversity of sites and tools, once that candidate has gone from ‘suspect’ to ‘prospect’
    I need to start providing a consistency of experience and communications, without having to resort to one recruiter sending out 300 personal emails (@jennifer candee is truly committed and creating a terrific candidate and employer brand experience – what happens if she leaves and no longer delivers that personal approach?).
    What happens to our metrics and our process when that recruiter leaves, is sick or his/her mailbox crashes?
    Where does the candidate turn to for the next steps in the journey?
    What happens to the 8 out of 10 that I like, but cannot yet make an offer to?
    How do the other recruiters in my business – (other divisions, locations) – find these great candidates for their roles if their details are not in my ATS/CMS

    Now, here are some depressing metrics from the CareerXRoads latest Cost of HIre report

    How do you collect Source of HIre Data?
    66.7% – Self Report
    38.9% – during interview
    33.3% – job distribution service reports
    25% – IP address reports
    22.2% – Other
    19.4% – new hire surveys
    16.7% – after offer is accepted
    5.6% – pure guess
    2.8% – onboarding/focus groups

    I’m not totally sure what is included in Self Reporting – but hope that somewhere in this is the career site and the ATS. What is worrying to me is that there is such a diversity of data gathering – when this has been a dead simple thing to do for 15 years. 10 companies out of 200 in their sample have absolutely no idea – they guess!

    More worrying data from Mark and Gerry:

    Tools for Candidate Relationship Management:

    30% – Our CRM is independent of our ATS (in other words, our ATS doesn’t work for candidate relationships and communications)
    20% – Our CRM is integrated with our ATS (we had to put in an overlay tool like Avature CRM to do what we wanted)
    50% – We DO NOT HAVE a CRM

    Yep, we have been on the soapbox about the candidate experience, comms, engagement etc etc for 15 years or more now – and 1/2 of the companies in the CareerXRoads survey still can’t be bothered to put in place the tools to manage good candidate communications.


  192. @Alan Whitford.

    Love this discussion. Its real and meaningful. Several people pinged me today on the whole database discussion saying they are enjoying our discussion, (I hope they have the confidence to join in). Its important.

    If you don’t mind Alan, let’s play this out a little longer.

    I agree with you. Your phrase is spot on: ‘I need one place to manage the information on all relevant candidates – not a diversity of sites and tools, once that candidate has gone from ‘suspect’ to ‘prospect’.

    Bang on.

    Let’s return to life as a recruiter.

    Alan, let’s say that you were assigned 10 new roles today. Boom. What would you do?

    You would, it seems go straight to the ATS. And search. In an ideal world, everything would be on there. But it isn’t.

    That ATS is incomplete. Candidate details are out of date. Minimal details stored. Search functionality is generally poor.

    So what will you do?

    You will go and generate your own pipeline.

    If pig lazy you will brief an agency and post, pray and spray on job boards. Nice. Hoping the right person, sees the advert at the right moment, decides to apply and boom. Cinderella will meet her Prince Charming. Michael Schumacher will win an 8th drivers title. West Ham United will win the Premier League. Lol

    So. Boom. You revert to a number of different areas. As I posed to you before. You are busy. 10 new reqs. As you search candidates and speak to them, how many will hit the ATS? How much data finds its way back?

    1) The Corporate Careers site is the front end entrance portal to the ATS. We capture the active job seeker who applies direct into the ATS. We spend money on SEO eg Indeed, to boost traffic but our recruiters need to focus as well on the passive/pactive pool. Hence they leap outside the ATS.
    2) Recruiters spend a lot of their time in LinkedIn. How much of that data, (recruiters are so busy and not process monkeys), will get back to the ATS? Very little. And LinkedIn don’t make it 100% easy to export data into an ATS, (neither should they as they are a business)
    3) Recruiters leap into cv/resume databases and search, often behind pay walls, for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    4) Recruiters use Social Media Channels, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/whatever to search for candidates. Does this data hit the ATS?
    5) Recruiters especially sourcers, spend hours searching Google/Boolean search strings to locate candidates etc
    6) Internal Referral schemes provide ‘hot’ candidate leads maybe to the ATS, or as paper cv’s resumes or emails. Are these always captured?

    I would say, very few apart from those who will be offered, who hit the ‘processing’ queue.

    We can’t ask recruiters to enter in all that data. They work horrendous hours as it is. They are not data monkeys.

    Do we employ coordinators? Well money is tight. We can’t afford them. And they would have other work than importing resume, interview notes etc.

    So I would say to you, as a recruiter, you would.

    1) Search the ATS. See if any cherries to pick. But then seeing data out of date, incomplete, maybe one or two good candidates….you will have to….
    2) Leap to LinkedIn. Up to date resumes. More pipeline
    3) Boolean Search on web
    4) Search cv databases on web
    5) Mine Internal referrals.

    So question to you Alan. Let’s say a company makes 100 hires in a month. How many of those would you say come through the ATS? 10% 30% 50% 70% 80% 100%?

    How many from outside the ATS?

    Of course companies post on Corporate Careers Sites, (The front end of the ATS), but many Employment Brands have issues and recruiters cant reply on their site pulling the response.

    (I have to add the this is not the case with Autodesk, impressively most of the data is inputted but recruiters spend more time in LinkedIn than elsewhere. #Fact).

    Love this debate Alan. It is so key.

    I am not saying LinkedIn is the answer. But a more perfect world than anything else at present.

  193. Sorry if butting in, – believe this may be a Alan-Matt discussion (ha-ha)
    However on your comment Matt:
    (I have to add the this is not the case with Autodesk, impressively most of the data is inputted but recruiters spend more time in LinkedIn than elsewhere. #Fact).

    So why is this, what do you do at Autodesk, how do you capture the data, what structures/methodologies do you have in place?

  194. @Jacob Madsen.

    Lol. No it’s not a me and Alan conversation. It’s for all. But Alan loves a good debate.

    Jacob no magic wand. Just many of the roles we recruit there are not masses of candidates. Hence it’s easier to control.

  195. hi @matthew and @JacobMadsen

    Pile in Jacob – you have a ton of current experience and great thinking on this topic.

    So, love your scenario setting, but here is my problem with the process.

    “We can’t ask recruiters to enter in all that data. They work horrendous hours as it is. They are not data monkeys.

    Do we employ coordinators? Well money is tight. We can’t afford them. And they would have other work than importing resume, interview notes etc.”

    In the immortal words of one of my early mentors in marketing, ‘you are nickel and diming me to death’ – or in British terminology, penny wise and pound foolish

    We get so focused on managing our departments by head count that we lose sight of the bigger picture. What would it cost you (not you specifically, but any corporate) for 2 more recruiters and 2 admins/co-ordinators? £100-150k per year?

    A decent CRM/ATS to manage the data for the key hired – £10k per month – another £120k
    So, £250-270k per annum.

    “Now, let’s look at your numbers from one of your earlier examples of a head of recruitment you talked with at LinkedIn Connect:

    “So let’s do so simplistic maths. Let’s say the basic salary was around £40,000, (some will be less others more). So 30 hires at 20% of £40,000 in one month, (ONE MONTH), means they are spending £240,000.”

    Yep, the savings of one month of agency fees would pay for 4 new staff and the ATS to manage all of the data for one year.

    Now, we are also talking about ‘candidate self serve’ cloud based system. Candidate submits CV or uses ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button – Parsing tech fills out the basic profile content detail. The recruiter admin is not about entering data – it is about managing process and candidate statuses – and ensuring the right comms go out.

    It is also about managing the recruiters to be rigorous in this process- not the Wild West of doing what they please.

    Supplement the team with resourcers who are finding the candidates (prospects) who get the candidate details into the process flow – and the recruiters records their notes in the candidate record – which should be done as a matter of sound business practice and Data Protection procedures. Presumably they are writing/typing it somewhere already – so as all of the best ATS/CRM systems are in the Cloud, they could be doing this directly.

    I would never say that I am going to hire all the candidates I need in my ATS. However, if I made just 15% of my hires that way, using the above example, the ATS and the 4 new staff would be paid for – before I even address my agency costs or any other direct sourcing channels.

    And, as you know, I have always advocated a mixture of as many sourcing channels as possible. Let us not discount Active candidates – in this era of economic meltdown, there are a heck of a lot of outstanding candidates who are out of work. For the rest, the Pactive candidates – yep we have to be in the right place at the right time to attract them.

    However, I still maintain, that whatever channel we use to attract them, we eventually need to have those long lists of candidates in my own CRM/ATS – and in my Talent Puddle for the future. As much as i like LI and its improving products for recruiters – it only has 50% of the target population in it. And, to be honest, I am not convinced (as I stated in an earlier comment) that I want my Talent Community/Talent Puddle/Prospect database sitting in someone else’s database and under their communications stipulations.

    Looking forward to hearing from some other leaders and consultants on their approach.


  196. @Alan Whitford
    If I may do an Elvis and have one more comeback? 😉 lol
    Your arguments are common sense but for whatever bizarre reason the recruitment world does not follow the logic. (You see that as well). lol

    That Recruitment Leader spending £240,000 per month on agency fees, of course, could hire sourcers, researchers, recruiters for a year for that money and still have change to spare. But it’s the bizarrest thing. That the business is happier to spend on ‘one off agency fees’ than have a permanent head on their books.

    In terms of your point on ‘nickel & diming’, unfortunately, most business are like this.

    And in terms of priorities. Rather than hire data inputters to keep the database up to date, Recruitment Leaders are under pressure to hire a Recruiter or a Sourcer. Coordinators, (obviously important), are seen as a cost, as opposed to a recruiter who is still a cost but delivers. So twisted logic perhaps but that is the business world.

    In terms of technology, we know how much recruiters moan about the ATS, ATS with bolt ons, CRM, ATS/CRM Hybrid. There is not a solution that is perfect. If there was we would all rush to it surely? Alan, if you advised a business to buy an ATS today, what would you advise? It’s tough.

    Fascinating discussion.

    Like you love to hear other views……

  197. @matthew jeffery and @alan whitford: I think I need to provide some clarification on the personal responses to all of my candidates. Firstly, the only roles I work on are the top 2 tiers of executive level roles (sometiems tier 3 given the importance of the position to the business). Therefore, I am direct sourcing for these, networking, following up with talent pipelines in my CRM (Avature) vs. posting the positions or searching through our ATS (SAP) as the functionality of the search and content is, well, not as it should be. It is my personal belief that particularly when you are direct sourcing that candidates be provided the personal experience and they deserve to know why we are not considering them. They may not appreciate or agree that I do not deem them a “fit” for the role but most comment that they appreciate my transparency and state how rare it is in the industry. Great. That’s my / our differentiator. I’ll happily oblige. Of course I’ve found quicker ways to do this. I’m not about making extra work for myself. And I’m consistently creating talent pipelines with the folks that look good for future and holding what I call “talent interviews” where we don’t have a role now but would like to meet them via Skype or in person where feasible so I can truly burn them to mind. Given I work on under 4 positions at a time given the level of the roles, plus talent pipelining for key gap areas across the globe, it’s not as impressive really that I get back personally to all the candidates.

    Now, would I expect this of a recruiter who is working on 20-40 roles at any given time? Hell no – unless they have no life. But there are ways to create a signature that draws down so it comes from your own email address vs. the ATS system and then makes it more personal with that alone. Wouldn’t you rather apply and receive a “thanks but no thanks (TBNT)” from a personal email rather than an ATS? Ok, I rest my case.

    @alan whitford “so what happens when I leave”. Well, good point. My brand will go with me. However, I have set up the talent pipelines in our ATS full with comments, feedback etc. so anyone taking my place can very easily pick up where I left off. Will they do things the way I do them? Maybe and maybe not. But the data is there. Not in my head.

    Now, on the ATS/CRM debate – I have to say I’ve always loved this debate as there is not one ATS/CRM combo out there that works for us all to combine the real active, passive, “pactive” (@matthew jeffery – I love that term) database. I think we all agree that what we really need is a CRM that also functions as an ATS which somehow integrates seamlessly (and here is the struggle) with the company’s back end system (SAP in our case) so that the new hire can be taken through from point of hire onwards. It’s not yet feasible but I have high hopes that some genius will deliver this in the future. And then you can trust I will be the first in line to be all over that system like white on rice.

    So where it stands for now for SABMiller, there are a select few of us that use Avature CRM (4 users to be exact in an 80,000 person company). Those of us using it are either engaged in higher level direct sourcing or hiring SAP contractors for a large global project. Those that are not using it are being specifically driven by the higher powers to use SAP as our ATS as we need the detail for reporting. Fair play. But unfortunately, they miss out on all the candidates in our CRM and this is a HUGE isssue and one I disagree with. Then the argument is that we don’t want duplication of effort. Again, a fair comment. We direct source through LinkedIn – @Matt this is our main starting point as well. Using it not just to mine potential top talent but to network with those that may recommend top talent thus hopefully mining those additional pactive candidates that are not on LinkedIn.

    So…once we’ve done this, here is the issue, and it’s a lot of work. Those of us using Avature CRM will not only put the detail in LinkedIn for creating talent pipelines (all but the CV as that concerns me frankly), then we put it into Avature – fairly simple as we can email the CV in and then track it to a requisition or pipeline. So we work them through that system until they are a “verified” candidate meaning we are interviewing them for the role. Then we have to manually upload them into SAP. Exactly. I know your thoughts – that’s a shedload of data in 3 different places and lots of duplication of effort. Drives me to drink. But it’s what works for now and keeps everyone happy. Until I meet the genius who develops the system that does it all.

    @alan whitford: You and I have had this discussion and I know we agree. I have a discomfort in keeping our candidates, pipelines, comments and CV’s on someone else’s database. We never know what will happen to companies like LinkedIn. What would happen, if, for instance, they decide to raise the Recruiter user cost to £25K per year. Would you still buy it? Or only have a couple users on the system. Then what happens? All of the data you spent ages putting into the system cannot be accessed by all. Freaks me out.

    Now lastly, on the debate of cost savings of recruiters vs. agency spend, I’ve been banging on about that for at least my 6 years here at SABMiller and then for at least another 4 before that. And whilst some of the senior leaders buy the advantages in cost in theory, it isn’t as easy to convince them for the reason that these employees are “overhead”. It’s all about the balance sheet, and not having the approved headcount within the HR teams. We are highly decentralised as a business. The benefits to this is that it’s helped us to grow quickly by acquisition, beer is a “local” product and the markets run their businesses directly, then report into the regions which then report into Group.

    In my case, being part of “Group”, we are a cost centre to the rest of our markets and anything coming from “Group” is charged back to the markets. The “key” or larger markets, have at least one TA Manager that works on roles up to management level. However, they do not have the capabilities to work on the top executive level roles which is where my group (read: myself and a FTC) assist. The other part of my role which is developing best practices, fostering collaboration with the markets and developing TA, TM and HR capabilities around the globe. So, again, we struggle with the headcount issue. I can hire a rotating FTC Recruiter but I can’t hire a perm one. Why? Headcount and cost to business. @ alan whitford: when we look at cost to business, the senior leaders do not simply focus on the base salary. I wish they did as that would be easier. We look at “total cost to company” which takes into account, desk space, parking space, full benefits, bonus, computers, phones, mobiles…and the list goes on. When you take a £58K base FTC then, you are really talking more like £80-£100K and if you aren’t filling 3 executive level roles in 6 months, it looks like a wash.

    So, this is my struggle. I’m aiming to propose an “above market model” whereby I have a team of recruiters based at the centre (Group) in the UK with one Executive Headhunter aligned to each region. The issues to the business is that the Regions / markets would have to pay for these resources and yet they would not “sit” in their Regional offices. It’s a more “centralised” model which is not in our ethos. Therefore it’s a struggle and I’ve been speaking to companies that have recently started this model themselves. Caroline Grayson at Coca Cola does this role for the EU and they have this model which has been working effectively but just since the start of this year. She’s fantastic by the way and someone I rate highly.

    Now, I also think those of us in some corporate settings need to have a bit of patience. I’ve put in place direct sourcing models in 3 companies now and I’ve learned the wrong way to do it. I’m not patient. I push too hard sometimes. I’ve gone about things differently at SABMiller and it has been effective. I have a long term perspective. When I look back at the 6 years I’ve been here, we’ve come a very long way but it never feels like it in the day to day. And I’m patient about the “above market” model which challenges the ethos of the company. I’m planting the seeds now and waiting for the readiness of the organisation. Doing the right thing at the wrong time can be disastrious. There will be a right time and we will get there. Not tomorrow but perhaps in a future I can foresee in my lifetime here.

    So, I now rest my diatribe. Would love to hear your comments and have always loved a good debate.

  198. wow, do you people actually work? lol. I’ve had trouble only staying on track with all the comments. Let alone respond.

    However, the ATS discussion is close to my heart and I have actually convinced our HRIS executive to have a discussion about the future of our ATS (the much beloved Taleo 🙁 My thinking is to put in place a very robust CRM (we already have SFDC) and have the ATS piece as a bare minimum. We need to realize (being 300+ recruiters across the globe) that we do need some sort of ATS to keep track of our processes and candidates. Doesn’t need to be fancy but effective. The money really is on the CRM tool, making it easy to get candidates in there and then engage with them. Building talent pipelines in the many different areas we are in and stay in touch with them while managing all of this.

    If there are options to get rid of the ATS, YES PLEASE!

    We had a demo of Jobs2Web the other day and that looked great right until the moment we started talking about how to move candidates from their pool to Taleo. Not possible!

    Jennifer, love your work with the model at SABMiller and we went through something similar here. We started with 1 Talent Scout in 2009 (who hired me actually :-). Her role is to work 25% on open reqs supporting recruiters (senior level roles) and 75% building talent pools. The cost savings were HUGE and based on that we build a business case and now have 11 of them. They can either be local, business, function or regionally focused. We have seen a huge drop in HH spend and so far they proven their worth 10 times over. It was a long process and we still struggle to get the headcount approved sometimes but slowly getting there.

    just a short contribution. Off to lunch and of course my siesta 😉

  199. Wanted to just drop in again and say I’m also doing my best to follow this incredible conversation. There’s an unbelievable amount of insight & experience being shared by some truly remarkable people – truly inspirational!

    Personally, I’ve got some first-hand experience of many of the challenges and topics being discussed, but it’s the conversations I have with corporate recruiters month in month out that I find most valuable – and the overwhelming impression I get (whether it’s recognised or not by the individual) is that the single biggest challenge to corporate recruitment is convincing the business to invest in recruitment as a potential ‘profit’ centre.

    A few on here have been kind enough to share some data around the cost impact & benefit of investing in specialist recruiters (& support in whatever form) – and the savings that has brought (usually on a volume scale – both financial and quality). How this translates to some of the smaller organisations is unclear, but even in the SME sector if agency reliance is high and the saving generated from a shift of 80% relaince down to 50% (for starters) is usually more than enough to cover the cost of a recruiter, support resource, and entry level technology. The specifics are different in every case, but in nearly every scenario the cost benefit alone seems to be clear (not to mention brand impact, visibility & control of recruitment, talent pooling, community building etc).

    It’s hard to believe that at the highest level within business this concept isnt also immediately clear. So, is the challenge simply making the message heard at a top level – how many of us as recruiters are plugged into the top table? Or perhaps we should be questioning the decision making ability (& priorities) of our leaders? Maybe as recruiters we’re simply not used to thinking strategically and building a convincing business case? I’m sure the reasons are wide & varied.

    Anyway, it’s clear that while awareness of the true business potential of direct, pro-active, strategic recruitment remains low (or unseen), and the prevailing business attitude is towards ‘lean’ instead of ‘invest’ in this area, then only a select few will enjoy the successes mentioned by those contributing to this discussion. So the more we can do to promote the sector, highlight the success stories, share our successes (so valuable), and raise awareness in general – the faster we’ll see the progression to 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and beyond….?

    Either way – this conversation itself is a fantastic platform for raising awareness and promoting conversation (not half!) and I’ll continue to to bring as many people’s attention as possible to it.

    Thanks again – it’s a priviledge to be listening.


  200. @Jennifer Candee

    Awesome insight. One of the best insights provided in this thread. Thanks for articulating so brilliantly.

    Love your answer to Alan’s question, ‘What happens when you leave’? Your brand will go with you. Hell yes. Boils down to the basics of recruitment. People build relationships with people, not company brands.

    @Jen interesting to see that we both start off with LinkedIn. I hear that so often. That will obviously make @Alan wince and I get what Alan says about the central single depository for data. But tell us a solution that we can embrace and Ted, Jen and I will sign up tomorrow. And probably 95% of companies would run to sign up faster than Usian Bolt in the 100m.

    When someone/company cracks the combination of a superb ATS with CRM functionality, they will hit the big time and drive Ferraris for the rest of their days.

    @Alan, we all worry about ‘ownership’, ie data on 3rd party systems like Linkedin. But currently it is the best solution there is 🙂

  201. @Ted Meulenkamp

    It’s a small world. We have Taleo like you. We also had the demo of Jobs2Web and was loving it until…….Taleo!

    AT EA, we used Salesforce, (CRM), which was superb for obviously managing relationships, marketing, emailing etc etc. We designed a bespoke ATS to fit Salesforce at the time.

    Like you, I just wish there was one all-encompassing system that would help us do our jobs.

    Perhaps Ted we invest our own money, contract some programmers, and design the all singing system we currently can only dream of?

  202. @matt and @ted…I think the biggest issue with most of the ATS systems today is that most aren’t built by recruiters. This fact stops me in my tracks.

    The CRM’s that are coming out and targeted to talent acquisition are fantastic. Truly. I only wish I could use them the entire way through. I always crave systems that I can modify to meet your needs. Avature CRM does just this. But then we need to feed into SAP. And then you have LinkedIn…

    Agreed, let’s put all our money together and hire some engineers to put this dream system together. After creating several bespoke systems in Taleo TBE for 4 businesses, I love systems that you can tailor to your needs. But they need to truly integrate with backend systems like Oracle and SAP. They all say they do but that is the issue. When you really talk to the companies who have gone through these integrations, they were all nightmares. Very costly. And to make them integrate well, they ended up losing the very functionality they wanted in their ATS. So there we go.

    Who wants to design the dream system? Any takers? Would LOVE to be involved in that.

  203. @Stuart Jones

    Great comments. What is interesting is we have all been there ie presenting the business case, that if we make x less agency hires, we can afford a recruiter/sourcer etc. We should post our business case templates to help others and stop them reinventing the wheel.

    You make another killer point Stuart.

    So we all agree that what we do, (ie recruitment), can make or break a business. Hire rubbish and the company bottom line will plummet. Hire the best people, then we strengthen a business. We also shape social media strategies, help nurture Employment Brand. A lot that impacts on a company.

    So how many VP Recruitment sit at the top table?

    Still to this day, that normally is left to VP HR.

    In years to come, when talent really is in short supply…..?

  204. @Jen @Ted

    Not joking. We should explore this seriously.

    I know some superb database / programmers from my time at EA who freelance as well.

    Any others in.

    Let’s have a call…….

  205. Thank you for pointing that out Matt – when talent is always pointed to as the key differentiator and “most valuable asset” the company has, why does Talent Acquisition not have a seat at the table. Many would argue that the Group TM Director or Group HR Director would represent TA and have them under their remit so in part they are represented. I disagree. There is a key difference in Talent Management and Talent Acquisition and driving top talent externally is just as critical as doing this internally if you are to set a company up for future success.

  206. @Jennifer Candee
    @Matthew Jeffery

    Obviously followed discussions closely but wanted to leave space for others to comment. 🙂
    On issue/question on TA’s strategic place in organisations, importance of getting the right people in through the front door, – people being the differentiator between company success failure.

    What I am sure many others interested in hearing is; so how do you raise the profile/voice/importance/influence/buy in, in respectively Autodesk and SABMiller. We have the shining example of Unilever and what Paul Maxim is doing (due to Unilever CEO having TA as one of his 5 main priorities)
    The only way we can hope to get this pivotal subject higher up on the agenda is by hearing what it takes, who the sponsors are an how it is done. I guarantee you that if we could get insight and answers to this it would get a huge following, – it is the problem that 95% of all TA managers sit with and battle against on a daily basis.

  207. This is an amazing and very relevant discussion. I feel like I am having deja vu! We also are using Taleo and I recall when we selected it, what I really wanted was to merge two systems together because none of them had everything we needed or the full configurability. So on the building a recruiter created system, I am in!!

    @Jennifer @Matthew, you both make such valid points around the recruitment function’s place in an organization. We absolutely impact the bottom line bot directly and indirectly, we manage the organizations brand/reputation and help them determine what people they need and when they need them, yet, so many really do not understand the role and value of a good, strategic recruitment function. Its maddening.

    Talent is at the top of the executive agenda almost every year but when we want to build proactive new graduate/intern programs to help funnel a pipeline of future engineers, no one sees the value or wants to pay for it. Yet, its clear there is going to be such a severe shortage of talent between competing companies and an aging workforce.

    I would love to hear if anyone has faced something similar and has been able to impact that decision.

    @Jennifer, your comments on TM and TA hit SO close to home for me and is a concersation I have had to have several times this past year. I agree completely. The two functions should partner, especially as TM can advice what internal pipelines are weak and they need recruitment to build external ones. But its a parnership, not one function. They need to co-exist for an organization to truly manage all their talent needs strategically.

    My thoughts. Its only 7am here and I’m all fired up, in a good way. Should start every day like this!


  208. @Jennifer and @Matthew

    I’m all in with building an ATS. It is as you said Jennifer, they are not designed by recruiters. Avature did a great job there but again that integration always fails.

    I think that is as well the reason SAP has acquired succesfactors, Oracle Taleo etc. The first one to truly offer real time integration will win a lot of deals. However, most of them still suck at the CRM piece and are still good old admin systems.

    Who is in?

  209. @Jacob Madsen

    It is a fascinating discussion. Some really talented Recruitment Leaders are not on the board. They should be. Now those talent Recruitment Leaders report into someone else who is on the board. But what is the commitment of that leader to Talent Acquisition, Social media, Sourcing, Employment Branding? However passionate the Recruitment Leader may be, will their views and priorities be represented?

    Now, Let’s also say, in fairness, that hypothetically, the Recruitment Leader reports into HR. The HR VP has a host of issues to relate to the board. Not just TA. If The Recruitment Leader reports into Marketing. That Marketing VP will have their own host of issues.

    Over the coming years, if this ‘Global war for the ‘top’ Talent’ really bites, the ‘experienced’ talent pools shrinks and that hiring escalates further up the agenda as a business priority, maybe we will see Recruitment Leaders on the board? Maybe? Definitely Maybe? (You point to Paul Maxim and Unilever and it’s great that the CEO has recruitment objective, but Paul is not, as yet, on the board).

    Jacob, totally agree that the CEO has to buy into TA. If they don’t…what future for that business? TA can’t be taken for granted any more.

    I would add that a TA Leader needs to also push, be visible, demonstrate the add value they can bring to a business. But, a large number don’t. Hence why I refer to lazy recruiters and lazy recruitment leaders.

    But, lazy people are only lazy if they can get away with it.

    If a business is happy for a Recruitment Leader to use agencies, not develop pipelines, not introduce new ideas on Social Media, Employment Branding, Mobile, etc etc And they can just fill a few roles, waste a few bucks, and then they get rewarded on that, why should a Recruitment Leader try any harder?

    There’s an issue Jacob?

  210. Lot of interesting debats again. Would like to ask two questions concerning ‘talent is our key asset’. I’ve been asking this for some time (and actually wrote stuff about the first question in my new book):

    – Is talent is our biggest asset, then why is it not under assets on company balance sheets, but costs?

    Think about what this would do in times of crisis? It would be a lot more ‘realistic’ when you need to write off the people you’re firing…

    – How can, if talent is key, companies state that ‘recruitment is not core business’ and outsource it?

    If you’re talent is you main asset, the recruitment of that talent has to be core business, right? So why is RPO such a big thing?

    About the ATS idea, had the exact same talk with someone here in the Netherlands yesterday morning (in real life). He wanted to built one as well and with all the possibilities that platforms like Elance offer, it’s even ‘affordable’. Yet… it has been tried several times and usually, it does fail at some point. I think what needs to be done if you really want to do this: built it and open source it. That’s the only way not to fall into the same mistakes every ATS ever made. Because most have been set up from a certain perspective, they just lost that along the way.

  211. @Tania Craig

    Hi Tania.

    Is the new site live? Happy to share the link?

    Yes, love what you say on Taleo and feeling the need to merge two systems into one. Taleo has presented a number of challenges, (notwithstanding the lack of CRM), but as Ted says we looked at Jobs2Web and could not progress. Our Mobile App and having direct feed to apply into Taleo, not currently possible. Hence a challenge. And of course, all businesses invest lots of money into the ATS and the question is always posed back, ‘OK. What system would you use if we replace Taleo. Demonstrate clear business advantages’. Back to square one. There is nothing!. There is the we could use this, add on this, bolt on this and suddenly all budget is gone and nothing left for Branding. So it’s easier to zip it and keep quiet.

  212. There is an issue
    You bet there is and it is h u g e

    I have a pretty simple view and expressed on many occasions being:

    It a l l starts with TA/recruitment, no people, the wrong people no business. It may be that HR have a range of other issues and priorities, it may be that they consider other elements of HR of bigger importance, yet, it a l l starts with who you hire and the caliber of those, why I dare say it (TA) ought to pre-occupy HR leaders at least 40-50% of their entire focus. Every other aspect related to HR then follow and is a build on to getting these right people in initially.
    I have myself just lost my position due to HR and the leadership not paying attention to who they hired( prior to my arrival), why suddenly they are facing a 12 month 5 x sales guys sales revenue gap, and subsequent rein back and stop all hiring.
    I simply cannot fathom why HR on a global basis is so forever absent in the entire TA discussion/debate/conferences/thought leadership , why are they not participating, why they do not take an interest in TA and why there has to be this ‘battle’?
    I know I speak for the majority of TA people out there, Jennifer Candee described the issue in great detail and I have seen this being the case again and again, but w h y I ask, why in he year of 2012 when we have had learned people write and talk about HR management and theories for the last 30 years, when we know that 90% of all on the planet is man made, do we still find ourselves not much further.
    Can anyone explain and help me out on this, – I simply cannot understand it.

  213. @ Bas

    New Book? When that out? What about? Is it just in Dutch.

    @ Ted’s book is well overdue. I have a preorder still outstanding on Amazon….one day soon eh Ted 😉

    Interesting question….why is talent not listed under assets but under costs.

    On RPO you are so right.

    When a company outsources their recruitment to an RPO, they are also outsourcing their ability to develop relationships, their candidate experience piece, their Employment Branding to that RPO. And guess what the RPO is measured on? Time per hire, cost per hire. Not on candidate experience or branding.

    Quite a bizarre logic eh Bas?

    Quite right on Open Source….it’s how WordPress have effectively ‘built’ a strong blog platform. Thanks to their community.

  214. @Matthew Yes the new site is live – I am really happy with it, however, we have made the decision to direct folks to our SEO from the front page which was supposed to be rebranded/relaunched at the same time, but due to the hurricane in the US the team was delayed! We use TMP’s Talent Brew and I find it is way more user friendly and easier to navigate than Taleo not to mention the indexing and analytics we capture – don’t get me started on Taleo 🙂
    We also have launched the next gen mobile solution as an add on to our TB and this is also a much slicker way for candidates to navigate our roles/site via mobile. All of this will re-launch later this week when NYC starts doing business again!!
    One of the toughest things for me regarding ATS is trying to configure a tool for a global organization when each country or region has different needs and wants different things, and at the same time you are trying to capture global data and simplify the system as much as possible both for users and for candidates. It is a constant battle and balance….I attended Taleo World in October and I have to admit, I am nervous. Oracle is a huge organization and does things very differently from Taleo – they really weren’t revealing much about the future of the product…so its a wait and see for us.

    Also – If anyone ever has questions about our organization and our data on health, environment, safety or corporate responsibility, I would direct them to our Responsibility Report which is an annual publication which is available on the home page of our website.

  215. @Matthew: I text you about that dude… out mid december in Dutch, early next year in English and I assume you’ll be my nr 1 promotor in English 🙂 Trust me, you’ll love it, but it’s not about recruitment, it’s about work.

    RPO is the worst any company can ever do if you believe talent is your main asset. On top of that… I’ve never seen the cost calculations add up. Only time I think RPO might work is for the very small businesses, that hires just a few people a year and need like 0,1 FTE recruiter.

  216. @Bas.

    I cant wait to read it mate.

    It’s about work? What a motivational book? Best management ideas? How to run a business? Intrigued.

    I am not a fan of RPO…..but that is obvious. lol. Few examples of RPO that have been that successful…..anyone name any?

  217. @Matthew: FB messages you, it’s not really relevant to this discussion I guess.

    And no, I have yet to see the first genuine good RPO where the main argument in the end isn’t… but if we do it ourselves, we just can’t get the budgets approved.

  218. @Matthew
    Did I sign up to the ATS adventure? – not sure, but happy to support and be part of.

    One small comment though, there is a tendency to circle around and talk about the big players and solution providers, however there are a whole range of 2nd tier and smaller ATS providers that may (or may not) have the solutions required. What I am saying is that as long as it is scaleable, answers may be closer than you think.

    As for RPO’s and being myself ex RPO employee myself,(having seen how n o t to do it) – a discussion in its own right but very much share Matthews opinion.
    Just one look at the statistics, how many that have retained engagements beyond 3 years and you have your answers.
    Premium price (versus doing it yourself) and not getting anything above and beyond own solution, and the business proposition falls to pieces.
    A very few single good stories out there, but hardly what most companies jump for joy to apply.
    Anyway in each case totally dependent and carried by those fronting and executing at client sites, why there the skill and USP, not in those behind the lines.

  219. Matthew

    Thanks for sharing LinkedIn link…
    Wow, some great comments here and Matthew I agree with you on your last note on my comment regarding ATS that it’s the bane of recruiters lives. However I still feel, as a former user of some of the ATS, I’ve found Taleo one of the better ones, though each one has its pros and cons – it’s not bad once “you get the good hang of it” and to get a good hang of it one need to repeatedly use and explore Taleo different functionalities. Taleo has some challenges when it comes to sourcing/finding those great candidates but a part of it could go to how applicants submits their profile – now the question is can we Customize the candidate portal and the answer is Yes! I am not justifying here Taleo but till the time we don’t have a perfect one we have to find different solutions to customize the existing ones!
    Matthew, with respect to the modules- we are currently working on Taleo Anywhere & LinkedIn integration and we will see how that turns out.

    @Jennifer Couldn’t agree more – A “perfect” ATS can only be designed by Recruiters!

    As you can see from Tania’s comment that we still need to see how Oracle’s promise pan out in the next few months.

  220. Going to make myself very unpopular here… but… stop being so arrogant all. A ‘perfect’ ATS can only be designed by recruiters. Are you guys serious? Do you ever get out?

    A perfect ATS for recruiters can only be designed by recruiters. But there are other parties to consider. Line management, candidates, etc. Like any product, an ATS should be designed by all parties involved. In cooperation. You can’t design a good ATS without a good application architect, since I don’t think there is a single person here that knows everything about IT. The candidate experience… well…. I see a lot of recruiters I know (in this thread too) that would still put process about candidate experience when push comes to shove. We all talk about it, but in the end, very few are like Jennifer and reply to 400 applicants personally!

    So stop trying to be the alpha (fe)male… cooperation is the key word. Yes, recruiters should be much, much more involved in the design process. But please, don’t even think you can do it best if you have the lead. There should be no lead, there should be consensus.

  221. @Bas and @Todd (ERE)
    Can we please have a ‘like’ button when you think what someone has written is great

    Since Matthew has included me in the big future ATS adventures:
    Great comment on the ATS system/build consensus, so true and although us recruiters a formidable bunch, no we are not IT architects, just users and there are other considerations as well.

  222. @ Bas et al

    I think everyone’s comments are a bit “tongue in cheek” around only recruiters can design the perfect ATS. Of course we think with our shared experiences and ideas that we could in fact help build a phenomenal ATS 🙂 I believe that recruiters should be at the front end of the design side of the system and of course an ATS could not be designed in isolation without collaborating with the many others that a system like this interfaces with or impacts or the highly technical talent it takes to put ideas into development.

  223. @MatthewJeffery, @tedmeulenkamp @JenniferCandee, @Bas @Jacob @Tania and more

    I am going to inject some reality check (along with Bas) into the Build Your Own conversation and the general kicking that ATS solutions are getting. (I am staying out of the RPO conversation as that is very well covered here)

    Firstly – every ATs provder claims their system is ‘built by recruiters for recruiters’ But as Bas says, recruiters can scope needs as can the other participants (even the candidates, who are Never asked).Techies build what they think is cool. Software companies build what they think will sell.

    Secondly, the integration challenges are pathetic. has been around with global interface standards freely available – and free to use – for every HR application including job boards, ATS, HRIS, CRMs, payroll, onboarding etc. for over 10 years. All of the major HR vendors were early contributors to the development of the standards. Push your ATS and other providers to go back to their tech team and demand to know why they are not utilising the integration tools that they have already built into their system.

    Thirdly: global systems – This is the starting point for the end of the functionality you want. As soon as Taleo, BrassRing, JobPartners, Mr Ted et al began adding the tons of functionality that global customers ‘needed’, the systems became huge and Enterprise level in both functionality and cost. ATS in the Cloud (ASP, SaaS) was meant to deliver lean,quick and affordable systems. There is just no way that any global enterprise system will deliver the local/configuarable and flexible system you want.

    Look at the approach taken by Colin Minto at G4S. The second largest private employer in the world (WalMart is the first); They have a multitude of ATS systems – what ever is right for the country/region it is in. Recruitment is local and is managed in the local systems. MI can be extracted and sent to Corp HQ for analysis on a global basis, but the business of recruitment is managed where it matters. Even at Resumix, Cisco had it installed in the US – and when the UK/Europe wanted an ATS, we had to re-sell to them directly in competition with other vendors. Why? because Europe did not want or need to be in the US/global system. (Yes, Jennifer,as an example, recruits for global roles -but that can still be managed in a local system and a log in shared with global business partners on an ‘as needed’ basis)

    As to good solutions, check out some of the newer breed like Harbour ATS ( and Hireserve ( in the UK and Otys ( from the Netherlands (Bas and Ted will remember them as initially providing rec agency solutions- but corporate customers are growing) . Flexible, adaptable, inclusive of social and run by owner/operators who can deliver to client expectations.

    Now the Build Your Own discussion:
    Context for those that don’t know me. I ran in Europe for 2 years one of the earliest corporate ATS (and, imho, still the best back end extraction/matching system) in the client server days, Resumix. Subsequently i worked on the development of the first proper Web based ATS in the UK, Virtual Village/Intellicruit. I have evaluated most of the major US, UK and European ATS systems on behalf of end clients over the years. I was part of a team that built a leading edge job board based system which integrated extraction, matching, a global jobs taxonomy and integrated Google maps 5 years ago – which as a white label solution would have put any global career site to shame even today. I have been involved in multiposting, extraction and other relevant technologies

    I have also been involved in building technology solutions in decision support, retail and wholesale banking.

    I wrote my first Build Versus Buy article (coming down on the side of Buy) over 20 years ago.

    There is no doubt that with the brain power, vision and commitment of the commentators/participants involved here (and some more we could easily drag in), that we could scope out NRS – Nirvana Recruitment System. We could go out and find the top technologists to build it. We could even find and hire a top drawer sales and marketing team. So what is to stop us?
    1 You all have day jobs – and commitments to family. This is not a part time exercise
    (trust me, I have the battle scars from exactly that type of development project)
    2 This is a 12-18 month development project. 6 months scoping, 6 months building, 6 months testing
    3 Money, money, money. The big competitors have seriously deep pockets. The smaller competitors are going to keep developing and selling their value based solutions while we are in development
    4 Commitment – we need serious prospects to commit to the new solution well in advance of delivery – and we all have seen the corporate reluctance to spend on people, much less new technology

    Now, I am not trying to be the damp squib/wet rag here. I am passionate about getting this right -and more so that the corporate Talent VP/Resourcing Director/HR D – whatever – should be driving this.

    By the way, the system should incorporate integrated on boarding and internal talent mobility – insofar as no major HRIS really accommodates these crucial elements.

    OK, rant over and waiting for the joyous responses.

  224. @Richa Garg

    Great to hear from you again. And some great points.

    In my time I have used several databases and tools. Resumix, Taleo, Salesforce, the ones I have used most. I have used others but not for sizeable times. And I have sat through demonstrations of nearly every ATS/CRM out there. That includes all the bolt-ons and screws-ins. LOL. This area always feels like an area that we have to compromise in, (which is a shame).

    I have to agree that Taleo is better than most.

    I am hoping you are a football guy so this analogy translates. It feels like the ATS systems we operate are npower league two, when we all aspire to be Premier League and even Champions League.

    It’s very frustrating.

    Maybe Oracle buying Taleo will lead to change?

    Who knows………..

    What is true is that this situation leads to many different ATS ‘solutions’ being presented to the market, which in fact provide a band aid to a gaping hole, but at least buys the ‘solution providers’ nice holidays to the Bahamas’ and Porche cars 😉 (English tongue in cheek humour).

    But if Alan, Ted, Bas, Jacob, Jen, Tania or you said to me. Matthew. There is a solution….it is X. I would trust that and go for it. That is not the case and despite the recruitment industry being a multi million dollar industry, a solution is not in sight……….yet….watch this space!!!!

  225. @ Bas

    I do think, with a great database / programmer, we would come closer to what we need. I would include you in that.

    We currently don’t have a solution and let’s be honest a number of the systems in play cant have been designed by people who recruit as they are functionally poor. Some are so poor they feel like they were designed as part of an April fool’s joke that people took seriously, or an episode of robot wars, with contestants given a few bits of information and they have 1 hour to build an ATS.

    This is not an episode of Recruiter arrogance but more recruiter frustration. Give us the tools.

    Come on Bas, I am sure that you are confident enough to say you could design a better solution…..?

    Bas……btw did you have a chance to look at Tania’s newly launched web site? I am having a look properly tomorrow. I wondered if it met the questions you put to the old site. I will look tomorrow and post views as well.

  226. @ Alan Whitford.

    Wow. Another brilliant reply. Really adding value to the discussion here. Cheers Alan. You can tell you really know your stuff here and are passionate like us in finding a solution.

    Your first comment: ‘every ATs provider claims their system is ‘built by recruiters for recruiters’ But as Bas says, recruiters can scope needs as can the other participants (even the candidates, who are Never asked).Techies build what they think is cool. Software companies build what they think will sell’.

    That’s a great point. But surely the ATS providers recognise they have not built a system that is seen as strong, services needs. If an ATS provider build and provider a great system, Ted, Tania, Jen and I would be rushing to get the system installed and in place. At the moment we are choosing one system then trying to make that work by throwing money at 3rd party bolt’ons. That shows a gap in the market and that when an ATS provider fills that gap will make them very rich indeed.

    I don’t think any of us are looking at really rocket science ‘personalised’ offerings for our companies. We all want relatively the same thing:

    – A great ATS, that can store data, easy to use search functionality
    – Ability to process a canddiate through the whole canddiate lifecycle
    – Ability to use CRM Functionality to build relationships
    – Ability to add information on companies, structures, organagrams etc
    – Build pipeline information
    – Onbording
    – Internal Mobility, (internal system easy for employees to view, apply for role)
    – Internal employee referals (easy to use and refer, includes internal league tables)
    – Ability to segment information and ‘market to candidates’, both mass email functionality and targetted email
    – Ability to easily import data from Social Media networks including Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter
    – (Hence the database has true value and we can capture all the names and data we need into one, consolidated database)
    – Ability to allow people from Mobile to apply direct into the database

    Just a few things………not rocket science. (There are probably more things to add to the above but I am getting old and at 11pm at night the grey matter is slowing lol)

    I was talking with a well known Recruitment Leader at LinkedIn and he explained to me he likes to test his ATS. So like you mentioned Alan, he recommends the ATS as first point of call. BUT on some roles her will source ahead of the recruiter, (through LinkedIn), and add that candidate into the ATS, (correct keywords etc). And more often than not, when a search is done in the ATS, the recruiter does not come across that candidate, (the leader even did the search and the candidate did not come up). A frustrating tale. And I must admit I have done this in the past to look at searches and who my recruiters would access.

    Must say Alan, and you have a lot more experience than any of us on this, whilst we say build our own, (and as you say we could), the current ATS providers would be bloody well advised to get a group of us in a room, lock the door, and then suck us dry for information, go develop the system, then rock back, count the pennies as they roll in!!!!

    When you look at some of the big issues for recruitment, be they candidate experience, be they building pipeline, be they Employment Branding, be they recruitment marketing, the isues often track back to the back end and the ATS.

    Alan, I just return to the point that if an ATS does not:

    – Capture all, (or even the majority), of canddiates that come into touch with a company its value is diminished
    – Recruiters operate the majority of time outside of the ATS and most data does not come back
    – This means that a Corporate can have a system with 60% of candidates that are in contact with that Corporate not in the ATS
    – This means canddiate experience is not optimal, is not consistent, not impressive for many canddiates
    – This means that candidates, if 60% lay outside the database, are not being ‘communicated with / marketing to / involved in discussions’.
    – This means that recruitment metrics, relied on by the business tell 40% of the story and hence with a margin of error rate that 60% of canddiates lay outside of the database, makes those metrics toilet paper
    – Data in the ATS will never be as uptodate as LinkedIn

    I know Alan we have healthily discussed the above but the current situation is a challenge. Many of us are stumped with the solution.

    Maybe Alan, you could be that solution. You know what we need. Maybe you could work with a provider and help deliver. That would certainly be a moment for us to all celebrate 🙂

  227. @Matthew: I agree with Alan on this one. Even though he mentioned Otys (and trust me, there are very good reason you never want that in your company).

    Yes, many of the ATS’s provide very bad experiences, but Alan points out very well there are several that do pretty well. PeopleXS in the Netherlands has a decent experience (although they are ‘loosing’ it, but then again, I see a flow every 3-4 years where one is better, the other one goes down, comes up again. Except, and I give you this, for the Taleo’s of the world.

    Ask yourself: I have yet to meet the first client that is happy with Taleo. So… why are they even considered? And if everybody complains so much, maybe you should look at yourselves too. Since obviously, everybody here is part of the team that makes the decision, so you’re all in part to blame. Here or at your former employer. Maybe… like Alan says, the basic ‘wants’ are set wrong. I think there is no good reason for buying a ‘one size misfits all worldwide ATS’. I have never seen it deliver a good candidate experience, and hence, every country looses out more then you could ever gain on the global scale.

    And yes, there is still a lot to win. PeopleXS has their clients give advice and vote on the new features. So the clients decide. There is some information coming in, but not enough by a long shot.

    and no, have not yet had a time to look at the new site… busy doing a (paid) review of another one and had to read trough the last edit of my book yesterday. Will try to make time.

  228. @Bas

    Will have a relook at People XS again based on your suggestion.

    There are several points you raise in your reply which are interesting.

    First off, recruitment departments have limited budgets each year, (as a cost centre), to spend on changing to a new ATS. In that business priority planning, I am sure, (and have heard of this from several peers), the drive and willingness to change ATS but given the recession, limited budgets, they would have to, most likely, take money from other business priorities be it investment in new staff, employment branding activity, SEO optimisation, sourcing investment etc etc. This issue is excerbated by there being no clear system to go to.

    Hence, the thought is: I want rid of my ATS. But there is nothing that jumps out at me and I am not reallocating budget to something that does not work. Hence, lets stick with the imperfect solution we have…becomes a trend decision.

    I would also add, that in this shall we change mode, companies with less budgets to spend, and unsure what to invest in, will go the bolt on route. Lets add to what we have. Lets hope it improves it etc.

    And I have experienced in previous roles the desire to go with a solution and then bespoke it and tailor it to business needs, trusting in what has been promised only to find a Frankenstein solution.

  229. @Matthew: I’m not saying PeopleXS is the perfect solution. Not by a long shot. They have weaknesses (as they know they do). One thing I like is their flexibility to adapt. However, their main problem is that they are that flexible. Hence, a recruiter really has to know the flow and what he/she wants and… we have a problem there. One of their strong suits, imho, is analytics. Yet, if you don’t tell them upfront what you want to measure and what needs to be presented and how… you’re not getting it.

    What I found, mainly by the medium ATS vendors (not the big ones like Taleo, those are just as flexible as a brick, but the medium sized. They have much, but the client doesn’t know how to get it implemented well and doesn’t want to allocate the budget to hire much needed help (for example me).

    The other thing I don’t agree with you on is the budget. Of course, there is always a budget thing. Yet, I see many changing here in Holland. Many. The problem is… they are handling the changing process all wrong. I’ve seen the RFP’s… I almost cried ones when it came to the questions asked.

    Second: an RFP isn’t a great way to start a relationship and… it’s the relationship that makes the success. The willingness to help each other.

    Third: they never test. An RFP has all the boxes checked, but they never check if there is a ‘little white lie’ in there or if the solution is ‘workable’. There is a big difference between a ‘yes we can’ and ‘it’s actually user friendly’. I can’t understand why the three contenders don’t do a demo, described by the corporate: this is the applicant, this is what’s going to happen: show us how this guy will go trough your system.

    It’s not rocket science, but I’ve yet to meet the first to do this.

    And finally: I talked to a man last week, they were in the middle of selecting a big ATS again (worldwide firm, wanted worldwide ATS). All the usual suspects where there and they were considering ‘the least terrible option’, because non actually was what they wanted. Maybe… I said, you should not buy an ATS worldwide… since there are plenty of local decent systems… But that was prereq one… So they are going to bitch about it, every nation, yet they all were part of it because nobody has the guts to say: this isn’t going to work!

  230. As much as I truly acknowledge the importance and relevance of ATS discussion and having myself over a three year period ‘wasted’ close to 20% of my working time in frustration and battles with a useless ATS (SAP) I do understand why this taking the space it does, I would kindly request if any comments/in-put to the big HR people debate as raised earlier.
    I asked how you Matthew and Jennifer at SABMiller deal with your HR folks, how you get them to fight your side and understand the importance and necessity of TA.

    As said earlier I know that many many people in TA wanting to understand how this subject can be addressed.

  231. @ Bas

    Will definitely look at PeopleXS but obviously noting that it is not perfect but better than others out there due to its adaptability.

    Interesting the whole point you make about flexibility and the big players being inflexible.

    I would come back to you and say what we, (corporates/recruiters), want from an ATS is pretty similar. When I sit down with peers, we all want the same thing, (as I detailed above). So the whole debate on running different ATS solutions across different business units and different geographies is rather a moot point.

    If we had a decent system, it could be tailored to work across companies. But it has not been. That solution is not in place.

    Of course we have our own idiosyncrasies that we want to bespoke systems to but we need a good foundation.

    Those companies opting for a host of ATS solutions across different territories is a nightmare for them. Systems that don’t talk to each other, mean people are employed to create consolidated metrics.

    Let’s see what happens.

    On the budget thing, I don’t see why you disagree there. 🙂 We all get fixed budgets as a cost centre. We have to prioritize. And we have to have a great solution if we present a business case. Hence changing an ATS, if we can agree that there is one great choice, why take budget away from say Branding and invest in a new ATS that does not provide a solution. Easiest choice is to invest some budget into a bolt on and hope it helps.

    And wow. That’s a great bit of work. Doing a paid review on a corporate web site. Cool. Understand it is tough to get to look at Barrick’s site.

    BTW. Genuinely interested in this and you would know more than I. Which corporate career sites do you rate highly? I am struggling. So many sites are the same and let’s be honest follow the same boring pattern. Your steer on this would be a help.

    Loving the perspective you are giving here Bas. A number of people have remarked to me that they are following this whole ATS debate carefully as they are stranded on it as well. (Although they are shy to comment on the thread…be bold).

    Maybe you take on the mantle mate and help drive the solution we all need? And earn a Ferrari from the process. Or Porsche? Or McLaren F1…..or whatever you would go for. Lol. Having an attack of car porn then lol

  232. @Matthew: sorry mate, I don’t agree with you.

    You say you all want the same, but you don’t. Not in the details. I know one company where recruitment just puts all the resume’s to the line, another where recruitment does the primary selection. This asks for difference processes in the ATS.

    You work at an international company. Do you have everything in English? Probably. I know several that want to be able to set the language per country. I was at a big bank in Holland a while ago, they declined an ATS because it didn’t support Dutch Language for the menu’s.

    Same goes for the candidate side. The one company wants it all in the language of the country, the other doesn’t mind it all being English (or I’ve even seen French ATS’s in Holland and then they don’t understand why nobody fills in the right answer to the questions on the form).

    I’ve had clients that are very keen in analytics (everything from time to hire, source of hire, time per action in the process) and I’ve seen many more who don’t give a **** about that. You want different things when it comes down to the details… and it’s all about the details… and since choices are made on the details, the main area’s get too little attention. I’ve heard many people making the choice for an ATS recently on the basis of: their dashboard looked really nice. Seriously, it looks good, it had good graphic design. No matter that the underlying technology isn’t that good or that the analytics the dashboard can display are only half what I’d want….

    And there is, like you say, the problem with international ATS’s that don’t work, yet many want one.

    On the budget: what I mean is: often there is a budget, and yet the new ATS is a terrible choice again, and they know that upfront, but still choose it. I’m still looking for the first satisfied customer of Taleo. But still, they are in all the major pitches… How can that be?

    ps1) paid review work is part of my job, it’s not the first, and I asume not the last 🙂
    pa2) I’ll send you a FB message why I’m not going to discuss that in public now. Enexis ( is a great Dutch site. They won my award this year. Deloitte has been strong as well, winning 2 years before. Internationally… I’m not looking at many and the ones I’ve seen are usually pretty terrible.
    ps3) You know I’m more of a biker. So give me a nice Trek or Cannandale racing bike and I’m happy 🙂
    ps4) when the number of reactions hit 250… I think we should stop this and start writing a new article on ATS’s, don’t you think?

  233. @ Jacob Madsen

    I can’t answer for @Jennifer.

    My suggestion is that we need to appreciate a number of factors when it comes to HR, (this is a generalist statement).

    So, recruitment is one part of HR, (we can argue and debate where Recruitment truly sits, be it as important as we think, hence direct to the CEO, or as part of marketing, or into HR).

    If, as now, the overwhelming majority of Recruitment functions report to HR, then let’s look at their priorities, (HR):

    – Delivering the basics superbly e.g. Compensation & benefits
    – Business Partnering business leaders
    – Ensuring strong Talent Management systems in place
    – Internal Mobility is live, well and functioning
    – Internal governance e.g. disciplinary systems, in place and functioning
    – Training & development
    – Mobility & relocation
    – People legal issues clear
    – Facilities in order
    – Employee views are collected e.g. Employee Surveys
    – And a voice to the board

    Jacob, I am sure you can name more.

    In each area there can be fires. There will be fires. Urgent ones that need attention and need putting out.

    Suddenly, our world, recruitment, becomes 1 of a number of areas that the Head of HR has to deal with.

    Let’s be honest, a lot of the initiatives we are looking at be that Social Media strategy, Employment Branding, are fast paced and we need to keep up to date with. Hence, many HR Leads, dealing with the workload above, (huge and all pressurized), won’t have time to follow latest developments in Talent Acquisition. (That is totally understandable….with that workload they also try to keep up to date with changes in law, changes the business are making). So any HR Lead will rely on their Head of Recruitment. (That is key they rely on their Head of Recruitment).

    What does the HR Lead want? Recruitment to be quiet i.e. that the business aren’t screaming that hires are not being made. If it is quiet, the HR lead, naturally may take the view, ‘The business are not screaming about Recruitment, that is great, I will leave my Head of Recruitment to do their job and trust them to deliver’. Hence the Recruitment leader has to drive new initiatives and keep their business up to date.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    But it means if there is a Recruitment Leader who is lazy, wants to maintain the status quo, is fearful of change, there is no pressure for them to make any changes. They can tick by. They get rewarded the same way. They can just hop into cruise control.

    Jacob, we are fortunate to have an HR leader that takes a massive interest in Recruitment but also a Head of Recruitment who wants to ensure Autodesk are seen as a world class recruiting function and we innovate. The two together are a perfect scenario.

    So, Jacob, we come back to the issue…..

    How many Recruitment Leaders do you know that are drivers, seek to make a difference, ensure they do the best for their business, innovate, drive ROI……….? Name some…..;)

  234. @Matthew @Bas @Jennifer

    Still loving this discussion! The last question here is an absolute killer – how many recruitment leaders are drivers?

    Who knows? I know I cant give an accurant answer…

    What I can tell you is that I ran a workshop at The Firm conference recently, based on a Recruitment Benchmarking tool we have called the Recruitment Maturity Matrix.

    I promised a soft copy of the tool to anyone attending but in the end wasnt provided with an attendee list, so sent a quick (apologetic!) email to everyone attending the conference offering a free copy to anyone who wanted one…

    So far, only 20 people have taken me up on the offer (@jennifer being one of them – thanks jennifer!). Only 20 people out of more than 120 were interested in getting their hands on a free model for corporate recruitment ‘best practice’. That’s 17%!

    Even if you had your own you;d still want to see someone else’s right?

    So not exactly scientific, but if you apply 17% to the total number of recruitment leaders in the UK how many is that who are drivers of innovation & change….?

  235. @Stuart Jones.

    Wow…..a free resource that could help a TA function take a step forward…and not overwhelmingly taken up….says it all.

    So does so much in this thread. The low take up on mobile. ATS mess.

    BTW. Shamelessly, I love to read your paper Stuart so if ok, I would love a copy. Happy to send to me: ? Thanks if yes.

    Going to be shot down here for saying this.

    There are very few Corporate Leaders I truly keep an eye on, (I won’t name them all but I do like to see what Ted Meulenkamp, Jennifer Candee, Chris Hoyt, Susan Borr, Arie Ball are up to, and in the UK, the likes of Emma Mirrington, Becky Gloyne, Gary Franklin and Melanie Hayes). (There are more but won’t spend ages).

    But there are a number I just wonder how on earth they are in the job they are in. How they hold on to it. And how their organisations could benefit from having someone else at their Recruitment helm. Some are in massive jobs as well.

    Let’s be honest, even going to some of the conferences we listen to Recruitment Heads and we reach for the mobile to catch up on email as they ‘stun through boredom’.

    That’s probably why so many conferences are using Consultants and ‘guru’s’ to fill the gaps left.

    And I guess, the reply above I have given to @Jacob is a key reason why so many Recruitment Leaders are poor.

    Who do you rate @Stuart? Who do you follow to see what they do?

  236. @Matthew
    Thank you for answer, – so you have HR totally onboard and on your side at Autodesk, – great, one more thing to envy you (ha-ha)
    As for comments on HR. Hmmm I see what you are saying and I follow you, but sorry to say that a HR leader not seeing intake and quality of new hires (and all that follows) being pretty much up there amongst the top 5, – they need a reality check.
    Fact is that irrespective of industry and function the o n l y differentiator in a company/organisation being people, – end of.
    If HR truly understanding this and sitting closer to senior management/board than the TA folks they need to push this agenda. They are the ones with the opportunity/responsibility for doing so, – yet only a fraction do. Even with competing priorities I think it could be expected that the wider HR community took at somewhat more active interest and engagement with TA issues, – they ought to.
    A TA function that sits quietly in the back-office working away just going about their business is a in, my view questionable as to how integrated they may be with the business, how much they are part of driving a company/organisation forward, how much they challenge status quo and how much they do to drive the agenda of ‘the right/best people those that will form our future’
    TA leaders need as you have done Matt to take the lead, be pro-active, challenge, kick chairs (in a positive manner) and to at all time attempt to push the agenda for their company rising above mediocrity and to stand out.
    As for who does that, far far too few, and shockingly so. You have addressed this before Matt, and why that may be, and those worth mentioning can quickly be counted.

  237. @ Jacob


    On TA Leaders you respect and admire. Question back to you. Who do you admire? Who would you want to go and listen to at a conference? Read their ideas?

    As to who are the best…….let’s try and point to the best.

    First off, look at winners of the ERE Awards: Where Recruiting Function of the year is nominated. (Not individual Leader).

    Winner of the ERE Awards Best Recruiting Function can steer us to the best Recruitment Departments:

    2011 CACI won
    2010 Sodexo won
    2009 DaVita won

    There are also the Recruiting Awards:

    2012 Recruiting team of the Year was won by SAIC and accepted by Kara Yarnot.

    Jacob, sure you would like to see specific UK Awards. Well in the UK, there are certain awards.

    One of those is the In House Recruitment Awards. Awards are this month. Here’s the link:

    The best in house Recruitment Managers that are nominated are:

    Jonathan Duval (Tullo Marshall Warren)
    Jo Bowman (Shield Guarding)
    Sean Lightfoote (Incisive Media)
    Lou Ryan (HJ Heinz)
    Hilary Anderson (Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
    Jason Gowlett (Direct Line Group)
    Kim Greenhill (Healthcare at Home)

    And for Agency side:

    We can use as the benchmark the Business Leader of the Year Award:

    Nicola Mewse – Hales Group Ltd (Winner)
    Jason Baker – People Source Consulting
    Jason Bowler – Resourcing Group
    Adam Herron – Human Capital Investment Group
    Philip Poole – The Synergy Group
    Debbie Smith – Caritas Recruitment Ltd

    And we have the Recruiter Awards 2013 which we can vote in again NOW:

    So these are the best out there……agree?

  238. allright, let’s throw another stone in the pond…

    Maybe there are few drivers. I think so. But remember: we can’t all be heroes, some of us need to be saved as well in order to be able to make others heroes… What bothers me even more is there are several who are not even followers, but just don’t seem to give a sh*t.

    Let me give you a few examples of the conversations I had in the past couple of months/years

    When helping an ATS get in a client (rather large retail chain).

    So what does your process look like?
    What do you mean?
    Well, how does a resume go trough your system?
    Eeehm, the way the ATS tells us too. And it’s really time consuming.
    Yes, so this ATS is flexible, so how would you like it to work?
    Eeeh, we don’t know. How does your ATS work?
    Whatever way you want it to.
    eeehm…. no, what’s the normal flow in the ATS
    (at this point we moved on with the conversation)

    So what about the recruitment site?
    We have a new one built.
    Ah nice, who’s building it?
    We don’t know.
    How can you not know?
    Well, marketing does that
    But isn’t recruitment involved in the new recruitment website?
    Shouldn’t you be?
    No, we’re busy enough as it is already.
    (at this point I decided to tell the ATS I was helping to have fun, but I wasn’t going to do anything for this client)


    Other conversation about upgrading the recruitment website

    So are we talking about upgrading or a new one?
    This one is live just two month
    You’ve got to be kidding me (yes, those we’re my exact words, in English, in a Dutch conversation)
    Why, it’s still scores a C on your test, doesn’t it?
    Yes, and you want C personal, right?
    No, we have all A’s working here.
    So don’t you think you should offer them an A experience? But tell me something else, how did you ever let this site get like this?
    I wasn’t involved.
    You’re the head of recruitment
    How can you not be involved?
    I just heard a month before we went live we were getting one
    How can you still be working here?
    (I must admit, the person left that company within 3 months)


    Conversation 3 (big multinational IT firm)

    We’re looking for a new worldwide ATS
    Why? you’re all in local business? No Dutch IT professional will apply for a jobs in France or Germany or even Belgium.
    Yes, but corporate wants this
    I don’t know.
    So who are the contenders
    The usual suspects
    And you know non of them work properly
    But still you’re going to choose one?
    And throw away a lot of money and have the same problems as you have now
    Yes, but different, because the new system will have other weaknesses

    I’m not kidding you, these conversations I’ve been having the past year…

  239. @Bas Thank you for finally making me belt out with laughter. I really needed that on a Friday. I can only imagine your face during these innane conversations (especially as I’ve only seen your face on LinkedIn). And that was a great representation of why we have the problems that we do.

    End of story.

  240. @Matthew (i don’t think we need your surname anymore, do we?) and @alan and @everyone else joining our blither on this Friday…

    so…I’m going to change the thread away from the ATS for a moment if I can to impart a conversation @alan whitford and I were having earlier today. I was stating that it would be great if we had a TA Manager in one of our emerging markets who could give a good case study representative from their markets but here’s the rub…our great TA Managers have all been PROMOTED to a Talent Management role. Are we seeing the problem here? This speaks volumes of where we sit within large multinationals when one function is promoted to another. Yes, by the way, I do think Talent Acquisition and Talent Management are very much different functions. Each has interest in the other but only to a certain degree.

    And if I speak to the Regional TM for EU, this person has very clearly stated that we are diluting the TA Manager’s skill set and in 2 clear cases, these employees are no longer happy. Sometime TA can make a seamless leap to TM but if they can, perhaps they should have been TM from the beginning?

    What we need then are strong TA Managers who are willing to stay the course, to push the boundaries and to raise the bar on how the function is viewed in house.

    So I rest my case. This speaks volumes.

  241. @Bas
    Nothing like ‘war stories’ to illustrate state of affairs.
    As much as fun to read, at the same time horror and amazement, this you simply could not make up.
    @Matthew et al, if Ferrari your dream car, looks like there is a pot of gold in coming up with the ultimate ATS, go, go , go 🙂

  242. @Bas – I am so sorry. Yes, that’s right, you did meet me in Amsterdam. Was my first speaking engagement and I’m sorry you were subjected to that. I assure you, I’ve raised the bar by now…

    I’m horrible at names but great at faces so I’m sure I would recognise you in person.

  243. @Jenniffer: you’re sorry about that? Why? The entire reason I remember you is because you were actually the first corporate recruiter I’d ever heard say something sensible about recruiting with Linkedin. Except for Matthew (who I was in a panel with that event and for some reason we kept in tough ever since…) I don’t think I remember anybody from that entire conference I had not met before 🙂

  244. @Bas – ah, flattery on a Friday. I could get used to that. Well, I’m very glad you have that view. I aim to be highly realistic about what we do at SABMiller, what our barriers / challenges are and trying to bolster our case year on year. Thankfully I no longer shake like a leaf when I speak although at my most recent speaking engagement at The Job Post, I managed by one comment to change our entire twitter feed to be picked up by a sex chat group. To the point that we had to change the conference #. Hey, I like to rock the boat. It was hilarious though in retrospect to see how quickly something can change from a social media perspective just by using the term “People whore”. @alan whitford can give you more insight into this one…. trust me the comment had relevance if only for laughs

  245. @Matthew

    Best , -TA leaders, – who inspires, who contributes and who to follow

    In my view those that have something to contribute, those that I can learn from, those that say something that resonate with my own world and what I see/experience, those that are not afraid to challenge, to provoke and to cause a stir, those that truly understand and have solutions to what best in class TA is about.

    Dare I say who tops my list (and no I o n l y do this because I think it being the case) you Matthew.
    I have lauded you at every possible opportunity, – the trilogy of Rec 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 is the grand recruitment masterpiece of the last 3 years.

    This closely followed by the the Grand Old Men of recruitment, Lou Adler, Kevin Wheeler, Dr John Sullivan and then the likes of Jim Stroud and Bill Boorman. On 2nd tier we have a whole range of bloggers and other contributors, where I dip in and out of for inspiration and insight (such as for example Bersin/Aberdeen Grp whitepapers, BullHorn Reach, HBR, TED, HR Daily, etc)

    None of these practising in-house/TA managers I know and all consultants, but they do in each their way make up what I know and what I can make use of.

    As for all the awards stuff.
    Look give me something like the Best Workplace stuff that is a globally acknowledged accreditation and I bow my head in deepest respect (worked in company that had won this in country 5 consecutive years, why I know about this inside out)
    As for the rest, dare I say a bit of own-pat-my-back stuff, and although some merit to some of these awards, I would have more respect if I had ever heard about the folks that are pronounced winners. I am not saying that they are no good, far from, I am sure they are, but 1. I have never heard about them 2. I have never seen any contributions and or articles or anything else where I could make an assessment as to what it is that make them stand out and win in each their category.
    Now if any of these good people stepped forward and were those that would let the rest of us know why they are so great then perhaps it would earn my respect, – until then I will have to rest my case on best, and stick with those that I think contribute (as mentioned above)

  246. @Matthew I think like quite a few others I’m keeping a close eye on you right now! Other people I’ll always prioritise as soon as I see their names attached: Alan (of course), Bill Boorman, Glen Cathey (I’m still a sourcer at heart!).

    In terms of those people in the job, that’s harder to say – I only get close to those I work with and in the majority of cases they’re usually talking to me for a reason…!

    These conversations are rare (and invaluable) because of the insight behind usually closed doors. Let’s face it – it’s these case studies that will ultimately inspire the next generation of recruitment leaders to drive change in their own organisations.

    And consultants dont need to be gurus do they? I hope not otherwise I’m in the wrong job! 😉

  247. @ Jacob

    I am trying not to be controversial here. But you make some interesting points when you say you don’t recognize people or companies.

    So let’s do it this way.

    Here’s how I look at Awards. Rightly or wrongly. People on this thread can tell me and steer me if I am wrong.

    When I look at Awards and the list of nominees, the first question I ask myself is, does this feel right? Do the nominees feel ‘credible’.

    If I look at the nominations for the World Footballer of the Year, I am having a feel for some of the names I expect on that list. I expect Messi, Ronaldo, Rooney etc. The same judgment I apply to Recruitment Awards.

    If we were to judge the best University in the UK, we would feel, that credibly, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, Manchester, would be in the mix.

    Now the problem with many Awards, is that companies/individuals need to be nominated. And that does not happen. Then the Award organisers need to ask themselves, does this feel credible. Is there any way we can ensure that the perceived good applications can be brought on board.

    Obviously, others questions flow from the Award nominees. What’s the judging criteria, previous winners etc etc

    I also like to look at the Judges……

  248. @Matthew
    Giving you the biggest possible compliment (same category as the Grand Old Men) and not a word in return, – ungrateful (ha-ha) lol more of this on direct FB message 🙂

    Credibility was the first word I learned the meaning of when stepping into the world of recruitment, – it is what makes us, it is what sets us apart, and without that all but hot air and empty promises.

    You said it and it speaks for itself

    BTW any of you nominees and/or employees in TA of before said awards of these companies out there reading this, – come out come out wherever you are! (now that is a test as to who is on the ball following where the action is)

  249. @Matthew

    Ok, this is sad but I have to say I don’t recognise one single person on the Recruitment Leader awards list. I’ve been leading the charge here for SABMiller for 6 years. I’m highly networked across the UK, Europe, LatAm, US, S.Africa. I’ve spoken in over 10 conferences in the past 6 years. Either I’m playing in the wrong circles or the criteria used to select these leaders is questionable? They may be fantastic and I’m not by any means making the inference that because I am not aware of them that they shouldn’t have been selected. But it would be interesting to see the criteria.

    Are they driving change? Are they challenging the status quo and moving the TA field further along? Have they brought direct sourcing in house and have fantastic metrics to back up their cost per hire or quality of hire? What methods do they use? How do they further their employer brand and candidate experience? We don’t know.

    Perhaps Alan Whitford’s DEA could set up a regulatory body for this to develop set standards?

  250. @Jennifer

    With you. Agree.

    What the industry needs is the equivalent of the Recruitment Oscars.

    A truly Global Recruitment Awards. That are cherished and highly sought after.

    ERE do phenomenal Awards but do they resonate across EMEA and AsiaPac as much as in North America. There is huge potential for them to go global.

    The Recruiter Awards in the UK are also great BUT very UK centric, (as it says on the tin).

    LinkedIn dabbled last year in Vegas with a 3rd Party Awards but they weren’t LinkedIn Awards.

    It’s interesting, in this thread we have identified 3 business opportunities for the likes of LinkedIn:

    1) Mobile. Let people apply for jobs on mobile by linking to their LinkedIn Profile
    2) ATS. Develop real ATS / CRM functionality into LinkedIn, (all monetarisable)
    3) Global Awards LinkedIn style. (Even better if LinkedIn crowd sourced the names for the categories they selected, hence the best names appear and give credibility).

    There are a host of other ideas for the likes of LinkedIn using crowdsourcing and gamification but we are not their consultants lol

  251. @Jennife @Matthew @Alan @Jacob

    I bow my head to you all.

    I have done a little bit in terms of sharing our journey and the work we have done in my organization this past year or so and as Jennifer said, I am usually shaking in my boots (or at least feel that way). I know I need to share more and in the Canadian market, we are leading the pack in a lot of ways and I think a lot of it is about courage and confidence.

    Speaking as someone who hasn’t contributed a lot in terms of writing or public speaking (couple of speaking panels/newspaper articles) – I think for me it is knowing where to start and finding your voice, which you all have done, and done very well. You have very articulate debates, sound ideas and it is all based on your past of delivering results which builds an incredible amount of credibility.

    I need to learn a thing or two from the book of TA Gods and Goddesses 😉

    I love to be inspired and I also love to inspire others, but it needs to be authentic and earned.

    Awards in our world are so subjective, and I have yet to see one in the world of TA that is truly like @Matthew said, the Oscar of Talent Acquisition. It would be great though, to be able to reward those that are truly driving the change and innovation in TA globally…..its long overdue as far as I am concerned.

    For now I am testing the waters toe deep, but hopefully this time next year I will be in waist deep 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration all

  252. @Stuart Jones

    Agree. Glen is a fascinating speaker. Definitely the world’s leading authority on sourcing. Noone really comes close.

    Yes, it’s great to have discussions like this. They rarely happen and once this article dies its merry death, I hope all continue to speak their minds on other articles 🙂 The industry needs it. I know from emails I am getting there are people following this but not commenting, but getting value as we being honest here.

    Agree. Consultants don’t need to be gurus. But some are claiming to be 😉 Some are getting above themselves and think they are bigger brands than the companies they represent. I am so sure you can name some now in your own mind.

    But. To use that term again, Consultants have to be ‘credible’ before they can be perceived as being ‘goto’ consultants. I have looked at your profile. You have demonstrable long term experience, built up as a recruiter, then senior recruiter, then managing then moving into consultancy. You have that credible, demonstrable success and background for people to want to listen. That’s what business wants. And you don’t preach to be a guru. Noone is. We are all learning. We all make mistakes. All have strengths and weaknesses.

    But…..look at the profiles of some consultants, who feel free to be ‘armchair critics, ‘proclaim their views as the gospel’ and ‘promote their guruness & status’. You cant ‘teach’ how to drive a car unless you have passed a test. You cant write the guide to the Kama Sutra if you are a Virgin. Credibility is earnt not shouted.

    And question to you Stuart.

    Hypothetically, if an Awards panel of judges is made up of over 80% of Consultants judging corporates, agencies, leaders……is that credible for the Awards? What message does that send? Interested in your view.

  253. @Matthew: on your last question, even though I’m not the one asked… there is a problem whatever way you do it.

    I have the same problem with my jury of my ‘best digitale recruiting experiance’ award. I have one judge from an agency. The first year, one of his clients won the award. He was not allowed to vote for them, the other judges did, but still there were many questioning the quality of the jury. Now that his agency hasn’t had any nominee for three years, people question his quality too, since ‘if he’s not good enough to produce a winner, how can he be the best judge?’

    The same for corporates. One of my judges left the agency world for the corporate and is now at Heineken. She’s one of the best judges I’ve even had and when it comes to usability of websites, she’s just great. Whatever happens if she stays, it’s wrong. Even though at Heineken she has nothing to do with the recruitment site, you know what’s going to happen. If they get nominated or win, it’s not fair. If they don’t, how can she be a good judge?

    So back to your question: how can someone from a corporate judge another corporate? Because if he/she is really that good, he/she should be a nominee.

    So whatever way you go, it’ll never be the right one.

  254. Not the one asked either but simply

    You can and should really only have those that are deep and truly into the world in which the nominees operate judge.
    Anything else would make a mockery of the credibility of the entire thing.
    If ever someone like me should change my mind, it would have to start with having a process that oozes credibility and deep insight.

  255. @Bas

    It again comes down to balance for me. A panel with 80-90% consultants to me, feels a little like a court, with the sages presiding and giving their judgement on what Corporates and Agencies do. 50/50 feels ok.

    Some of the Corporates / Agencies may have refused the consultancy advice!

    Bas, nothing is perfect BUT I come back to my love of Crowdsourcing and the ‘court of public opinion’. I suppose loving politics drifts into my business life. A belief in people, in democracy, in the power of the ballot box and the free market. This for me translates into crowdsourcing, crowdvoting & crowd awards.

    I hope ERE and LinkedIn embrace the crowd…..

    I am guessing you would prefer this way Bas?

  256. Matthew: It depends on what you want. Do you want the best or the most popular to win? Because the crowd does the last. Sad… but true. Same goes for politics if you’re really honest.

    I’m sure you’ve seen these cartoons:

    So using the crowd… maybe. But I’ve lost faith in the crowd deciding on the best, when there are people involved. Then it becomes the most popular. And yes, I’m losing faith in the form of democracy we’re having now as well. Even wrote a blog about that a while ago (politics 3.0). But I guess we’ll have to manage for a while.

  257. @Bas

    You are making the argument for an elite.

    Certain individuals can take better decisions than the people is the argument you making 😉

    All the great Dictators have used the argument that they take better decisions than the people’s will.

    In terms of Awards, you point to the most popular winning rather than the best.

    That is saying that people cant make their mind out fairly. And of course, the mass volume of a LinkedIn or ERE, would hopefully counter act popularity contests.

    Sorry. I just would prefer the ‘will of the people’, the ‘will of the crowd’, than trusting the ‘wise old heads, making decisions behind closed doors in smoke filled rooms’!

  258. @Matthew: first of all: no, I’m not. But I’m not convinced anymore that democracy on one extreme end is much better then a dictator on the other. There have been plenty of good dictators in the world… More bad.. but then again… look at the number of terrible mistakes make in democracies. Or do you think we’re doing really well right now?

    Maybe the communist regime of China isn’t even that bad. At least they have some form of long term planning. I haven’t seen much of that in Europe or the USA over the past… well… my lifetime! I’m not saying I’d want that system here… but I am saying this isn’t working well either.

    But back to judging… I believe in the power of the crowd when it comes to things they have a vested interest in. I believe in the power of the crowds when it comes to objective questions (wisdom of the crowds). I don’t believe in the power of crowds ALONE when it comes to people. Simply put: most don’t give enough to even read what’s been asked (1+2) and they do think of their own interests. If you can help someone by voting… you help him. I just did in a Facebook contest again. She’s a friend, do I care if she’s the best looking model? Of course I don’t. It’s about who can get the most friends to vote.

    1) A while ago we tried to have the ‘recruiter of the decade’ in the Netherlands. I admit, very badly communicated and so on. But… what was killing was the fact that people were nominating and voting for people that weren’t even in the online recruitment a decade ago. The votes went to the people that did the most over the past 2 or 3 years.
    2) We had a ‘biggest Dutchman in history’ election a while ago (I think in 2000). The winner… a murdered politician (Fortuyn) a few years before. Not the founders of our nation, not our big artists (Rembrandt, Van Gogh) not our sea heroes (who even once sailed up the Thames to force England to stop killing us), but someone who never even made it into office.

  259. @everybody 🙂 Can’t keep up with you all today. Must be the Friday blues striking everyone’s keyboards.

    Glad to see we have moved on from ATS for awhile..

    Crowdsourcing nominations and judging: Ask Stephen O’Donnell how that works for NORAS (national online recruitment awards).
    “This year, we received over 164,000 nominations for 583 separate recruitment websites”
    and, IMHO, some of the best sites did not get nominated.

    Judging: I serve on judging panels (either shortlisting or final selection) for 3 different awards in the UK during the year, including the NORAS.
    1 If you do it right, it is incredibly time consuming. I pre-judged a category with 134 nominees to get down to the shortlist
    2 Sometimes it does take the ‘non-participant’ to provide a balanced and impartial view, particularly when looking at site functionality, candidate experience and site responsiveness
    3 I see the point from Bas – if you are ‘one of the potential nominees’, you are caught between two stools, as the Dutch say. And Bas, you always come up with great examples
    4 If you really think the Crowd can choose the best, look at any of your favourite Talent programmes – Rylan?

    For the NORAS, it is completely transparent and down to the judges examination of the sites

    For the other awards I judge, we are provided nominee submissions and materials. Every year, I can throw out 60% of the nominees because they cannot be bothered to answer the nomination brief or provide any substantiating material or links. If they don’t care, why should I? I can remember more than one occasion where the ‘best site/best company’ did not win because of this.

    Top Recruiters
    I would love to be involved in looking at this. But we would need some serious discussion on that a ‘top recruiter’ is. And @jennifercandee laid out the requirements above.

    What we are all really saying is that we want our industry to have high standards and high performers that are recognised by their peers, their employers and their candidates.

  260. @ Bas

    Interesting. Democracies may not be perfect but always allow the people, if they don’t like what they see, to make a change.

    If you don’t like pure democracies, or pure dictatorship, where does that leave you. Not wanting this to turn political. But the principle of crowdsourcing is the same.

    If you don’t like the decision of the crowd, (eg Recruitment Awards), in a pure democratic way, are you saying that some people are more equal than others. Eg certain distinctions could be defined and they get more votes. So a vote from Bas could be worth 50 votes, as opposed to someone else with 1?

    For example, I believe passionately in what I say, can articulate a strong argument but would never want to have more votes than anyone else. If my argument is right, the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ sets in.

    How about the compromise that a body of judges, with their esteemed wisdom decide who should be in each category eg Best Employment Brand, Corporate Careers Site, Internal Referrals scheme, best recruiter, best recruitment leader etc. Then the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ takes over.

    Vote distortion is equaled out by size of vote. The most popular can influence a vote but not across all geographies.

    The people/the crowd can get it wrong but I prefer to trust them…..I think we can agree to disagree on this one.

    I just passionately believe in the power of the crowd for business and recruitment purposes.

    – Crowdsourcing of candidates
    – Crowdsourcing of ideas
    – Crowdsourcing for Awards
    – Crowdfunding

    So many possibilities…….

  261. @Tania Craig

    My mum always said to me, ‘if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else’? I have always loved that.

    I know that you are confident and outgoing but no need to shake in your boots.

    You have a great story to tell. Don’t be afraid to seize some airtime.

    Tania you are articulate, have a fun personality and engaging presentation style.

    A lot of people would be interested and enjoy hearing of your journey and what you have achieved.

    Hence the suggestion @Todd should interview/do a story with you for ERE.

    The more stories we hear the better.

    This is part of the reason I am off the speaking circuit for 8 months or so. People have heard my story, read my views. Time for me to fade away, implement, innovate, then come back.

    It was kind of funny. I won’t name names but a consultant jibed me about speaking at different conferences. I bit my tongue, as they travel the world, speak at lots of events, they have expenses paid by the organisers, earn a fee for speaking, promotion of their consultancy services allowed at the event, (business development), and they had the audacity to jibe me when I don’t get paid to speak, I write papers for free to help give advice/share ideas. Amazing world. Hypocrisy run riot. Oh to speak my mind….lol

  262. Matthew: but you’re saying we can’t think of a different system where changes can be made, but politicians are able to think of the long term? What scares me is that Claude Junker is so right: We all know what needs to be done, we just have no idea how to get re-elected afterwards. There is your political problem.

    And I hate to burst you’re bubble, but crowdsourcing and the decision of the crowd are two different things. Did I even introduce you to Jan Willem Alphenaar. Good business friend of mine. He actually crowdsourced the only (to my knowledge) movie that ever made it into the cinemas. Yes, a crowdsourced movie. You know what his greatest lesson about crowdsourcing is? It cannot exist without a dictator at the helm. And he knows, because unlike you and me, he did such an insane project.

    When it comes to awards… yes, the crowd can help. I’m not saying one persons vote should be more then others, I’m just saying that voting per definition is a popularity contest, not a skill contest. You want proof? Look at the eurovision song contest every year. Songs that are actually sang out of tune get more votes because it’s a certain nation!

    So use the crowd for the shortlisting, but get a jury for the winner.

    And i love crowdsourcing. I’ve actually crowdsourced the cover of my new book trough brandsupply and I love it. I’ve crowdsourced the new logo of Digitaal-Werven. But there, still a dictator (me) is in charge. And yes, I ask my friend what they think is the best. And sometimes (with the book cover) almost everybody agrees and I follow their lead. And sometimes (with the DW logo) everybody has a different opinion and I do whatever I think myself.

  263. @Alan Whitford

    Can’t beat Friday blues. Friday night at the keyboard. Working extra to make up for the fun debates and discussions on here!. Some really valuable learning’s and views for me from reading and listening to this thread.

    Alan, surely you must be missing ATS debate 😉

    Crowdsourcing of Awards. Yes, sometimes the public are mischievous but they are generally right. Let’s look at the XFactor. Yes, Rylan is currently voted in, like Jedward, Wagner, before him. But he won’t win the show. Generally the public make the right choice. The winner is generally the best of the bunch quality wise.

    I get what you say on NORA’s that some of the best sites may not have been selected. Maybe, you would be happier with a wise panel of heads picking the best recruitment sites and then leaving the decision to the crowd?

    I try to limit what I do, but I enjoy being a judge for the Recruiter Awards. And like you say. That takes a long time to read all applications, judge against criteria and of course make copious notes as to your decision and then go to a day of judging with peers in the industry and justify your suggestions.

    I am sure that you agree that not all judges are as fastidious to details and fairness as we are?

    Your comment Alan is spot on: ‘What we are all really saying is that we want our industry to have high standards and high performers that are recognized by their peers, their employers and their candidates’. 100% spot on. BANG ON.

    Where is that now?

    When I look at the Oscars, I see great films.
    When I see the Footballer of the Year Nominations, I see the best footballers.
    When I see the Ivor Novello Awards, I see the best writers.

  264. @Bas

    Your view reminds me of a quote by one of our best known Prime Ministers Winston Churchill. ‘The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter’.

    For me, I subscribe more to Roosevelt’s views. ‘Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education’.

    Trying to bring a little humour. Charles Bukowski says: ‘The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting’.

    And I really can’t wait to read your book…….I look forward to reading the comments, (from the crowd) on Amazon 😉

    Me personally, I am looking at booking a holiday and will listen to the crowd on Trip Advisor 😉 I trust them more than I do Thomas Cook/Thomson’s marketing material!! Before that, I want to download the latest Musa Album but that depends on the crowd sourced ‘star rating’ and comments. If less than 3 star I won’t bother.

    I am not influenced by the crowed 😉 lol

  265. Matthew, You do need to book that holiday, since this is the second friday we’re discussion here 🙂

    I agree with Roossevelt and on this part, that’s the problem…. Education is too little. And once again, there are different parts of wisdom of the crowds.

    I love the comments on amazon and tripadvisor. But that’s not voting. that’s sharing experiences. If you want that in your judges, you should ask former applicants!

    Airbnb has an even better system by the way. I don’t only rate my accommodation, the lender also rates me as a client. Now that’s a nice feature!

    And for the comments on my book. Love them. Hope this time I don’t get accused of plagiarism like last time. I was actually accused of plagiarizing myself… my own articles (I pre published some paragraphs before publication, the commenter accused me of plagiarism of a certain site… never looking at the author)….

  266. @stuart Jones
    Thanks for the comments. Just trying to catch up.

    No, I would never use the word Guru – or Expert for that matter. We are all learning, we have areas of expertise and the ability to listen to the client – and then apply that knowledge to the best of our ability.

    Many of us have earned our stripes in the trenches – working in an agency, as in-house recruiters or recruitment marketeers, or even as HR generalists. There is not one perfect CV for and Advisor (or Consultant).

  267. Hi. I’m coming to this conversation very late (it’s 2:17am) having just spent HOURS reading the article and this entire thread. Thanks Jen Candee for notifying me.

    I used to think I was pretty hot shot in TA and as a recruiter headhunter, until now. I’m neither a legend, guru, leader, etc. in any terms you describe here. I’m okay being a virgin. What I am is inspired, and thrilled to finally hang out with real peers, though I’m not at your level, and have learnt enormously from you all. So thanks for the generosity of your expertise.

    Just a few thoughts…And quickly some context…I work in South Africa (SA) and handle emerging market recruiting in chunks for my friggin sins. I must have dine some bad stuff in my previous life. I’ve worked corporate and agency recruitment, and consulted to corporates and agencies. They think I’m pretty smart, thankfully they havent met you lot or I’d be dead and a streetwalker.

    So, firstly, if I stood up at a conference in SA and presented this 5.0 paper, I’d have a mass walk out long before the final whistle as did the arsenal fans who thought we were hammered by reading! Yes, a sea of WTF, deer in the headlight faces! I mean are you for real? That I’m a useless TA manager / recruiter not worthy of hire, because mobile recruiting, footprints in the cloud, (ours are still in the sand – we’re still hanging out with lil ol Jesus – now of course post 5.0 aspiring to the Almighty!) data DNA, augmented reality are not at the forefront of my TA strategy and dialogue with business? I can tell you right now, that when I walk into the CEOs office he doesn’t want to know whether we are at the forefront of recruiting technology, or how our mobile app development is going, he is not even capable of having that conversation with me, (nor is the Global talent director) – he wants to know have you found 20 4g sales consultants that can speak fluent French and Portuguese so that we can stop losing market share in Africa to our competitors and start charging our clients for their time, oh and please find them locally in Angola, because our trade agreement won’t tolerate foreign hires, oh and can you fetch the top guys from the competitors, and we’re paying crap!

    I don’t know, and maybe I’m wrong, but in this moment while we’re busy designing cute apps, I can’t see how a sexy app is going to help me. I agree my ATS is useless, and my huge global giant company had not until five months ago heard of LInkedin, (kiss my ass for leading the way for them to purchase LinkedIn recruiter licenses,) but actually what won the day was an in – house referral initiative I started ($4000) for our 3G sales force to tell me who the 4g experts are that are kicking their butt in sales with the new technology, that work for the competitors, and our staff in that region in general. Then with those names hundreds of candidate conversations, who do you know, until we mapped the whole damn lot of them operating in that region.

    It took HOURS to get the hiring manager to understand EVP and what I needed to move highly successful sales people, that the money they put on the table was NEVER going to get anyone to move from the many conversations I had with potential candidates, to move the idiot beyond a badly designed job description, to give me a proper brief and educate me in this technology, to get him to understand we needed a scheme to pay them what they were about to lose in commissions if they moved, I mean thats where we are in corporate South Africa! They’ve never heard of EVP and I must talk to them about augmented reality or I’m not worthy of your exclusive club?

    I work damn hard as a recruiter and leader of recruiters. I do throw out the crap I’m given to work with. I headhunt and take specialist recruiters from agency I train. I don’t do anything fancy, but I’ve brought down time to hire from 218 days to 90 days in 8 months, reduced cost per hire (exceeded expectations ito our kpis) because my recruiters know how to recruit and we don’t need agencies that much, (excepting for volume recruitment and they often fail us hopelessly), and our customer ratings are sky high. Sure we can improve but nothing beats picking up the phone and speaking to the people who do these jobs already. I’m a genius in persuasion when I have a potent EVP and spend a very long time with candidates assessing whether I feel it is a great move for them, sometimes I tell them brutally they will not be a success and they respect that, sometimes I tell them it’s not a good move for them, they best off staying where they are, and they respect me for that too.

    ATS – great to track applicants in the process, I’ve used SAP and Taleo, all good, (especially for the 7000 CVs i get if we put out an ad in Nigeria or Kenya – everyone and their dog apply no matter how much you stress only people who match croteria should apply – I have NO GUILT sending them automated bounce back, responses i promise – especially since after theyve sent you the CV, 2 minutes later call to find out if you received their CV, and want a 20 minute chat as to why a plumber cant work in broadband) and I agree not updated in terms of talent, but I don’t agree that LInkedin is updated, I personally headhunted today and at least 30% of peeps I tried to contact had moved company or had profiles as new as 2008!

    Anyhow, If any of your smart methods were working you would have found and hired me, so definitely a need for that ranked database :-))

    As for the data DNA: I don’t give a damn what bubble gum my candidate chews, I’d rather I find a candidate and have data that tells me where that person ranks in industry. I’d love to guarantee my client that all the candidates I source are the top 5 in industry, and I hate that I can’t really know that for sure.

    And I could go on, but here’s my point, I’m more interested frankly in helping managers make great hiring decisions, teaching them EVP, how to interview etc, and gathering info so that they can confidently make great decisions. Our managers in SA are soo bad at this game because they’ve dealt with HR people trying to pretend they understand talent. I agree that HR should stay the hell away from talent, they don’t have a clue what this magic is about and never will. I wrote an article on this and it was published in our “financial times” newspaper. Hundreds of managers said thank you for saying what we can’t to these twits! I also agree that you can’t promote a TA to a talent management role naturally. It’s not the career path in my opinion. You need to leave your TA person in that specialist function because that’s what it is. Our global talent manager hasn’t a clue how to do my job and it’s genius, but I keep her dashboard looking great and she’s happy. Emea and my region have been the number one region for the last year i consecutively, (I’m green on her scorecard, everyone else amber and red and now I must share my ideas with the rest of the region – I will when you make me global head darling 🙂

    I’m not you no, I’m not invited to conference speak no, (although our LinkedIn rep did tell me he has never seen anything like my stats before and high Inmails responses (I use Jen Candee scripts, personalized as she described – they work Jen!) and could I train their clients) – but I know this job and I’m damn good, and I had never heard of any of these trends, and I’ll change my LinkedIn profile to be more reflective of where I am in the grand scheme of things now I’ve met those that really rock!

    Thank you for listening to my rant, Matthew, I loved you until I got to the part where you said ‘man U’ – we can never be friends 🙁 sadly!

    You’re right about tons of things, there are some seriously bad agencies and recruiters out there that destroy our reputation daily. I’m training recruiters at an agency right now, and I told the owner it’s a disgrace that she allows these recruiters to source any candidates, let alone high level roles. I cringe daily!

  268. The only way dishing out awards to recruiters could be in any way valid would be if all of the voting was done by candidates.

    Given that that is never going to happen, recruiter award ceremonies is just the industry masturbating in public.

    That needs to stop.

    As does this thread.

    PS…don’t forget to vote for me in the UK Recruiter Blog Of The Year competition. Thank you. Have a lovely weekend.

  269. @artemis ellis
    Wow. Thank you for bringing us all back to earth with Recruitment 1.0. Just get the bodies you need in the seats that need filling. Loved in.

  270. @Alan Whitford

    You are a decent man and of course would not self proclamate/ self-anoint. But it is happening out there.

    All of us are learning, that is the fun part. Together we can collectively help take the industry forward.

    Also part of life is being honest.

    I do see an issue with the quality of recruiters and it needs to be called out.

    I do see an issue with the quality of Recruitment Leaders and it needs to be called out as well.

    And yes, whilst you acknowledge you have been through the trenches, like Stuart, and have earnt your stripes as a Consultant, there are a host of examples, and growing, of those that have not. Those that sit on their blogs recycling others thinking and criticizing new ideas.

    And yes, if a company does their research on the consultants they choose, if only looking at their LinkedIn profile, then that is a win.

    Alan, I would hate for someone like you to lose out work because of this.

    Social Media and the ability to shout loud can create stars out of anyone. Even in our space.

    Denial and avoiding calling these things out is allowing mediocrity a voice over experience. Denial is the food of the weak. ‘We live in a world of denial, and we don’t know what the truth is anymore’, as Javier Bardem once said.

    Am I off track Alan?

  271. @Stuart Jones.

    Thanks for sending me your maturity index.

    Couple of observations.

    1) I am shocked that so few people took you up on a copy of this after your FIRM session.

    2) This is a great model. I love its simplicity but it really allows a recruitment function to judge where it is and rank itself.

    Nice work. I hope more people see this Maturity Index.

    Jen, you have seen it. It’s cool isnt it.

  272. @Matthew

    I’m glad you like the Matrix – it is a simple model but it seems to cover all the bases effectively. Quite useful as an MOT even on an annual basis. Thanks for the feedback though – it means a lot!

    Regarding The FIRM, I have huge respect for Emma, Gary and the guys and the conference in September was a huge success. The attendance, interest & quality of recruiter there on the day was phenomenal – I love what they are doing and where they are positioning themselves in the industry. I’ve spoken to Emma a couple of times to let her know I’m right behind them.

    My comments about the uptake of the model were not meant to be critical – lets face it, there could be any number of reasons people haven’t taken up the model – not least of which being I’m sure my email was snowed under a pile of more important messages relating to the day job. The majority I’m sure don’t know me or recognise the email address! The offer to forward a copy of the model still stands and it’s probably more about awareness of its value – I’m sure this conversation will help spread the message.

    Again, great respect for The FIRM and regularly point those recruiters I meet through my work in their direction.They have a unique role in the sector from where I’m standing…

  273. @Artemis Elias

    First off wow. Love your passion and direct speak. The industry needs more Artemis’. #LoveIt

    Secondly. WOW. You read the whole article and all the comments. Wowsers. Dedication. Thank you. Very impressive. That must have taken hours. Again, thanks. Hope you got value.

    I do love your plain speaking. @Jennifer Candee speaks VERY highly of you as well.

    Artemis, key to remember there are no gurus in this industry. We are all equal. All of us trying to do the basics. Sharing ideas. And trying to help the industry take a step forward. Your voice and opinions are just as powerful as mine, Jennifer, Alan’s, whoever. As long as people speak out, the industry wins.

    Great you handle Emerging Markets. That is the engine of the global economy. That is where the growth is. And one of my biggest passions right now is recruiting in the Emerging Markets. And you are right, especially in the regions you work in, some of the things we are debating in this thread and others, are not so immediately relevant.

    And yes, heaven forbid, don’t present Recruitment 5.0 at a Recruitment Conference in South Africa right now….you may be looked at weirdly. Maybe 3.0 is better 😉

    Remember 5.0 is a Paper, (the last of three), which paint a vision for the potential future of recruitment. 5.0 is a futuristic suggestion BUT based on modern trends. And much is relevant. The growth of Mobile is huge in Emerging Markets, hence your views on this area Artemis are important.

    Our CEO’s will always just be focused on ‘bums on seats’.

    Our job is to ensure that ‘quality of hire’ is the key words on the CEO lips.

    ‘Are we hiring the best people’?


    ‘Who are the best people’? (That takes us into mapping, organagramming, sourcing).


    ‘Do they know us? Do they want to work for us’? ‘Why should someone work for us’? (Then we are into EVP, Employment Branding, Marketing).

    This also leads us into Communities and building our brand in those communities, (much of deals with this).

    If we are to build communities, (much of our traffic on Facebook is from Emerging markets eg India), then crowdsourcing comes into play and of course, if we are providing communities with content, it has to be engaging and great content, hence gamification builds relevance, (

    As to the mobile apps /. Strategy. If we are saying mobile is huge, (and in emerging markets), and candidates are looking for jobs by mobile, (and cases like PepsiCo show ROI and hires being made), it surely is worth your time having a look Artemis? Mobile optimization of your current site could be a great win.

    Augmented reality is something down the line. I have been privy to some great work in this area that I have been asked to be quiet about. I wish I could say more. Augmented Reality and mobile are great together. I think that when you and others see some of the new ideas involving augmented reality and recruitment you will get it and go wow. That makes a difference. I think Alan will even be won over 😉

    Artemis, your time per hire stats. Wow. Just wow. I hope your business values that. That’s a massive achievement. Congrats.

    And you are right. Nothing beats picking up a phone and talking. It never will. That is the ‘basics’. But we can embrace technology and the new channels of communication to make our jobs easier. I am sure that you have over 300,000 names in your database. How much contact have they had with your business? Many would have had phone calls, many have not. Many have received nothing but a bounce back email? Are they advocates of your company. Will they speak highly to friends and colleagues? These are the questions that we need to ask and discuss. I know Alan and I differ on this but using technology to ‘build relationships’ with that 300,000 through targeted emails/targeted comms helps the Brand and reputation in key recruiting communities.

    And that CEO. Yes they talk bums on seats. But we have seen, if they get a complaint, eg ‘My neighbor applied for a job in the company but never heard back’, we get that email straight back at us.

    Artemis, you say, ‘If our smart methods would have worked, we would have found you’. You are on my radar. You are close with Jennifer and I have known that. The methods work. Few use them.

    On DATA DNA, you make the point you don’t care what bubblegum a canddiate chews. Lol. I don’t think any of us care. But any data that helps us determine whether we are making a safe hire or not. As Paul Maxim says, canddiates and consumers are the same. Amazon, when they use our data, want to convince us to purchse that new CD, DVD , camera because its what the inner me would want. Amazon are hungry for that data. Data = knowledge. Knowledge=predicetability. This all equals sales and money. Apple iTunes use our data to predict the music we could love. To make more money. So a hiring manager, nervous of a mis hire, if they can access data that helps predict an potential employee, do you think they would say ‘no thanks’.

    Look at LinkedIn endorsements. That is effectively ‘crowdsourcing’ of skills. It had its critics at the start. But I look at my peers in recruitment and the endorsements trending on their profiles are true. As endorsements build, will hiring managers not look at that sort of data? If I employ a sourcer and I look at their endorsements on LinkedIn and sourcing does not rank highly, is that not a flag of concern?

    Artemis, love to read your article on HR and talent that was in the Financial Times. Happy to email me. Looks like a great read.

    Also intrigued at the Jennifer Candee personalised scripts you use. Jen you happy to share?

    Artemis. Oh no. Because of my support of Manchester United, you now hate me. 🙁 (Great result against Arsenal yesterday btw). Sorry.

    @Ted Meulenkamp, (who is one of the few that I REALLY respect in this trade), also has issues with Man Utd. He is a Barca man.

    Artemis, keep that passion, plain speaking. I cant wait to see you storm ahead in your career and make your mark in Global Talent Acquisition.

  274. @ Stuart Jones

    Yup. Get you were not criticising The Firm. It was more the take up for your matrix that you mentioned. If Free and people aware of it, I would expect a large takeup.

    For me THE FIRM is the best UK recruitment network. I cannot speak highly enough of Emma and Gary. I have attended events and been fortunate to present. They do a great job.

  275. @Ted Meulenkamp

    Nice to see you still following mate.

    BTW I recommended to LinkedIn that you would be a great keynote next year for your transformation of Roche and the innovations you have implemented.

    I dont know whether you will introduce dancers though 😉 lol. Maybe a live band 🙂

  276. Lots of really good stuff and take-aways in Stuart’s Maturity Matrix.
    That said it works and describes perspectives from a macro level.

    I came across this some time back and I think this is can be used as a follow on and a more personal perspective on the Maturity Matrix, – if one deep dive into the slides I think it covers more or less 90% of what makes a wholesome (and good?) corporate recruiter.


  277. @Matthew Thanks for follow up. I don’t disagree with the need for transparency. I do believe that it is very tough for the corporate to decide who can help – or in fact if they even realise that there are folks out there who can help ease their load in a cost effective manner. A little education, learning, training, advice from people like @stuartjones, @andyheadworth et all delivers benefits that way outstrip the cost.

    @StuartJones. Can you send me the Maturity Index? Love to then have an interview with you and promote it via use

    @Jacob Nice find of the work for Alexandre Crispin – he frequently talks sense.

  278. @Alan

    Agree on transparency.

    Transparency and integrity are so key in people. You embody these traits very well.

    It’s interesting the lack of transparency in our industry at times.

    Now I have a rhino skin and happy for criticism, (I happily take the mickey out of myself), but I do find certain people two faced. Interestingly, people I considered close but I have re-appraised that after feedback from different people who were at #TruLondon. Someone was cheeky enough to ask for an endorsement/reference and another help to find them a new job. Lol. Yes I must rush to do that 😉 This is a small industry and feedback always gets back.

    I am professional enough to brush the negativity aside for myself but in my mind those people have lost massive credibility in my eyes. Massive. I worry more for others with less thick skin.

    There is a culture of negativity amongst some that damages their brand and it’s a shame. I wonder if they even realize it?

    Others have spoken to me about that and their fear of speaking, stating their opinions because of the ‘firing squad’. Obviously not going to call them out but shame on them with their need to pull the trigger. We know who they are…..

    Some need to reflect on their brand and attitude. I love the quote from Emile M. Cioran. ‘Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves’.

    Some people hold back from expressing their views, speaking at conferences because of the culture of ‘one upmanship’ and ‘armchair criticism’. We need to encourage them and be less tolerant of the ‘armchair commentariat’.

    As Elbert Hubbard once said: ‘To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing’. Some are genuinely feeling that and it’s a shame as some great stories should be heard.

    All new ideas are worth listening to. No idea deserves criticism from people afraid to put their own ideas out there and only want to use their blogs/voice to criticize or say things can’t be done.

    There are some who I genuinely believe would have been advising the Wright Brothers not to waste their time trying to fly as it could never be done. Telling George Stephenson that trying to use steam to power a train was madness and should give up. Even telling Alexander Graham Bell that a ‘telephone’ could never be invented and people could not speak to each other from different locations.

    Criticism needs to be balanced, constructive and of course alternative ideas put forward.

    It’s a pet hate of mine. The temptation to call people out is huge….but professionalism is key and rising above the two faced.

  279. @Matthew I agree. I’ve met Lisa a couple of times and been hugely impressed – great addition to the team. I like what I’ve seen on the TribePad offering as well although no first hand experience of it yet.

    @Alan Wow. Thanks! Being involved in these conversations is one thing, being mentioned alongside @AndyHeadworth is another thing entirely! I’ll forward a copy of the Matrix in the morning and would be happy to talk in more detail. Look forward to it.

    @Jacob Thanks also for forwarding Alexandre Crispin’s slides – I haven’t had a proper chance to look in detail yet but I agree an exercise to identify the ideal modern recruiter would be an interesting one. The cogs are whirring…!

    Thanks again to everyone for your comments on the matrix – as with all of these things it never stops evolving and I look forward to trying to keep it up to date with all the changes you’re all driving! 😉

  280. @ Matthew – first things first – congrats on your win – as painful as losing is, especially with VP scoring, I did derive much pleasure from Rooney’s missed penalty I have to say.

    Thanks for your kind words and yes, insomnia is a wonderful gift when you’re putting out papers like 5.0.

    The mobile recruiting thing is confusing to me because I’m not understanding how, as passive candidates are not actively looking in general, why they would suddenly want to seek out apps for jobs and especially spend hours playing spot the real picture games as a pre cursor to checking out jobs they’re not looking for.. Am I being naive? I go to iTunes to buy music when I want to buy music. I’m not checking in everyday to see what new artists or albums are out. Similarly with books. After all that has been said about active versus passive candidates, I’m just not sure the passives want to become active. Why / how is this different to checking in on job boards? I get everyone is going mobile, I’m just not sure in emerging markets they’re as excited as we are, and i havent seen any stats. Some of our best response out in North Africa comes from good old fashioned newspaper ads! Fact is a ton of people are buying and reading actual, hold in your hand, daily newspapers still, they’re not as mobile savvy. I do like what Branson does – you “like” Virgin on Facebook and they notify you on Facebook of new job postings. I’m there everyday and it’s part of my daily Facebook activity.

    Let’s briefly address LinkedIn – again in emerging markets people aren’t checking in daily or talking in groups or any of that gorgeousness that LinkedIn was designed to achieve. I mainly use LinkedIn to get candidate or company names and then call them.. If I’m working multiple roles then I do send Inmails because they can work in the background while I’m working other jobs. My time to hire came down as a result of calling candidates instead of relying on technology, largely (and introducing a referral – this is my holy grail). If I can talk to a candidate now, why wait for an inmail response or email? In this market I could wait two weeks or a month. I also hate that group discussions are hijacked by recruiter adverts! This practice should be banned. Remember the nasty habit recruiters had of placing generic ads when positions didn’t even exist in newspapers, well they’ve just changed that game to LinkedIn. I use groups to learn about my industry, markets, etc, and to learn about market salaries, talent trends etc. LinkedIn isn’t my holy grail, but it is a stunning tool for name gathering and I go there first.

    I don’t care about endorsements. I don’t not contact people because someone hasn’t endorsed them. I ask about performance in interviews and from referees, I spend most of my time on this with all candidates, and get my hiring managers to do the same. Impact is a critical factor for me when hiring. Some gentle advice: stop giving LinkedIn so much power over you and your recruiting process. Seriously, they do great work, and have their use, I just don’t think we should be discriminating based on the use or non use of a tool theyve created. I haven’t seen a single review that said someone was bad at what they did – oh Artemis is great, I just find her sourcing ability dubious – who says that and who doesn’t delete that feedback?

    Data DNA – ill buy into any info facility right now if it helps me with credit\ criminal checks and educational verification – and references and salary surveys.. In most African countries you can’t check this info. Oh and anything that tells me about your entire family tree – nepotism is huge!

    The 300 000 candidates on the database? About 1000, if that, are worth anything – seriously. and they are mainly candidates our staff referred. And yes, the air hostess from Botswana may someday be my Systems Engineer, but while she is 22 and unskilled in the industry, I don’t have time to sweet talk her daily. Now if her daddy is the CEO of a huge telecoms giant – (Now there’s the kind of value I see in data DNA) – I might be persuaded to contact her and even invite her for tea. Do I care if she speaks highly of us to the baggage handler at the airport or not – No! In this industry the company staff have generally Met everyone you’re likely to hire, very small universe, so we rather take time to chat to them and get referrals and information, than speak with the 1000s of unsolicited and unqualified candidates.

    With data DNA I shudder at the amount of discrimination that could be brought right back into the industry, the recruitment process, that legislation has so successfully kept out. Give me an example of the use of this. I see how wrong psychometric test info can get in the han