Ten Principles of e-Recruiting

A few issues ago, Business 2.0, a magazine for the Internet age, listed its ten principles for the new economy. In reading them, it seemed to me that they had corollaries in e-Recruiting. Here are the ten principles: Matter. It matters less. Paper is hard to distribute, easy to destroy, and lose, and hard to store and retrieve (hence systems like Restrac and Resumix). As I have repeatedly said, paper resumes should be dead. They should be replaced with simple, on-line resume builders or video resumes. Space. Distance has vanished. Where you live doesn’t really matter any more. Global companies should be able to accommodate anyone, anywhere. Interviewing should be done via on-line systems, testing and background screening can also be done on the Internet. Telecommuting is already popular and growing. Many software firms have workers spread all over the world, coordinated with email and on-line conferencing systems. Recruiters need to develop better skills in dealing with virtual space. As most of us as “people” people, we find it difficult to move into this new, rather more impersonal media. But, if we don’t we probably won’t be recruiters for much longer. Time. It’s collapsing. No one wants to wait for a candidate. How can recruiters accommodate this? Build small and very specialized networks of people within a discipline. Trade information; give out information about your company and what it has to offer. Put out a newsletter or provide some regular content that is useful to this group of people. Whenever you need someone, you can tap this network and seek out candidates who have already been screened, at least to some degree. Work hard to manage the perception of time that managers have by involving them more completely in the recruiting process. People. They’re the crown jewels. Every company knows this now, but we still treat candidates poorly. If our store clerks or customer service reps treated us as we often treat our candidates, we would not do business with them anymore. We need to vastly improve our responsiveness to candidates by offering them real time updates on the status of their resume/application, by reducing the number of interviews, and by making offers swiftly. Growth. It’s accelerated by the network. We need to increase the number of people we contact for any job. We need to search globally. Value. Rise exponentially with market share. The more candidates we can build a relationship with and the wider we cast our net the more value we can add to our firm. Diversity builds innovation. Efficiency. The middleman lives. I don’t advocate the removal of the recruiter from the recruiting process, as some do. But, I do believe that the role of the recruiter should change to be more of a marketer, relationship developer, and candidate searcher. Markets. Buyers are king. As I said before, the candidate is king. The candidate controls the entire relationship and can at any time decide to move on to another recruiter or another firm. Know the markets you are recruiting from and adjust your recruiting practices to them. Transactions. It’s a one-on-one game. All relationships are one-on-one. There are no groups of people anymore. There are no programmers or engineers; only individuals with individual needs and motivations. The recruiter has to understand these individual differences and work with the human resources people to adapt policies and compensation to each person. Impulse. The gap between desire and fulfillment has closed. Both candidates and managers expect swift, efficient, polite and fun relationships. Neither will wait for bureaucracy or adminsitrivia. I will comment more on many of these ten principles solve the coming weeks. But, the recruiting world we used to know is cresting the horizon, and a new one is being born at the speed of electrons.

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.


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