The Sad Decline of the American Recruiter

I believe that business processes of major importance should move toward excellence. Simply stated: from bad to good to better to best. I don’t think that is asking too much of something as important as recruiting.

However, I have concerns about whether this is actually happening. Allow me to illustrate three disturbing examples in this article.

Recruiting Does Not Get the Respect It Deserves

To many, it is seen as a necessary evil. Few organizational leaders understand what recruiters do, and it is hard to respect what you don’t understand. As such, they often put people in charge of recruiting who have never actually recruited. (I kid you not!) If this is not disturbing to you, then other than having your hair suddenly burst into flames, I can’t imagine what is. I can’t tell you how many times recruiters have told me that so-and-so won’t change this or get that because they don’t “really understand recruiting.”

“Why do they not understand recruiting?” I ask, with an incredulous look of concern and encroaching horror.

“Because they have never actually done any recruiting,” is the usual response. Why would any organization put a person in charge of recruiting who has never done any?

  • Has your CFO ever done any financials?
  • Has your VP Sales ever done any selling?
  • Has your Chief Scientific Officer ever done anything scientific?

They have? Interesting! So why is it ok to have a person who has never recruited managing that function?

If you have never known the pain of losing a candidate to a counteroffer, never dealt with a hiring manager who doesn’t respond, or never struggled to close a deal using only your street smarts and your ability to sell a vision, you should not be managing the function.

Sourcing Is Often Done By Others

I do not write this to offend any sourcing friends, as I know they have a role in the recruiting function. On the other hand, there was a time when recruiters used to do their own sourcing. If you could not source for yourself, you simply did not make it as a recruiter.

Now, there are many recruiters who do not know how to source candidates. Perhaps some see this as progress; I don’t. Having others doing your sourcing on a consistent basis dilutes the overall power and the effectiveness of today’s recruiter by removing an important dimension of what is required to fill a position in the first place.

Tell me, what do you say to the candidate when they ask how you got their name? That it came off of a list your sourcing department developed? That it came from a Third World country researcher who gets 90 cents per hour to use technology? Sure sounds like a great way to start that all-important recruiter/candidate relationship, doesn’t it? Kind of makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, huh? (You could tell them you got it yourself but lying is so last year?)

With technology that brings a fresh batch of new candidates each day, do you know how to reach out, connect emotionally, and start that all-important conversation? I hope so, because if recruiters no longer source, perhaps the day will come when they will no longer make the first call to the candidate either. Perhaps that too will go away and we will have a new function called “first phone callers.”

Should we continue to slice entire sections off of this profession and make others do it? Will we soon have closers as well? Specialists who just focus on closing the candidate? Assembly-line recruiting anyone?

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Be careful out there; continue to butcher this noble profession and someday, it just might be neither noble nor a profession. Think about it, because for many of us, this is all we have.

Email Has Replaced the Human Touch

Recruiters seldom hand-deliver candidates. This is unfortunate. Great recruiters are usually on fire due to the thrill of the chase. When there is a new candidate who has been screened and is ready to present, this should be a really hot moment for a recruiter. I understand there are hiring managers who are too far away to hand-deliver a candidate’s resume. But if they are close by, hand-delivering is great because if not, the candidate is just another email they will get to later in the week.

Showing up unannounced with a great candidate is as good as it gets. You barge in, no appointment, and with the candidate’s resume in your hands. You exclaim, “This woman doubled sales in less than four months and reduced operating costs by 18%; signed two new strategic alliances; and flattened the entire sales organization. When can you see her? Let’s set it up now?”

The energy is palpable?

Can you see how this level of passion is contagious? Next thing you know, you have the candidate scheduled, the hiring manager is as hot on the candidate as you are, and you source for another candidate or two for backups.

Can you see the advantage to the human touch? To the sale? Candidates are not just steak; there is sizzle there as well, and if you bring both to the table, good things will happen. Who knows, you might even enhance your relationship with that hiring manager in the process. Can you see the difference between hand-delivering a candidate and merely sending another email? I hope so.

I hope you don’t think I am negative. I am just pointing out a few things that bother me from a standpoint of perspective, and experience derived over time. Recruiting is in the blood of those who do it well. There is a passion there that reaches out for the shortest ways to get things done, or the best ways to achieve an end and make real progress in terms of closing a deal and getting a great hire.

In order to make this happen, we must remain the masters of our own house, the builders of our own destiny. We must walk that thin line between being fiercely independent and following procedure. Not allowing what we do to become diluted is a great place to begin the ascent to greatness.

Howard Adamsky has been recruiting since 1985 and is still alive to talk about it. A consultant, writer, public speaker, and educator, he works with organizations to support their efforts to build great companies and coaches others on how to do the same. He has over 20 years' experience in identifying, developing, and implementing effective solutions for organizations struggling to recruit and retain top talent. An internationally published author, he is a regular contributor to ERE Media, a member of the Human Capital Institute's Small and Mid-Sized business panel, a Certified Internet Recruiter, and rides one of the largest production motorcycles ever built. His book, Hiring and Retaining Top IT Professionals/The Guide for Savvy Hiring Managers and Job Hunters Alike (Osborne McGraw-Hill) is in local bookstores and available online. He is also working on his second book, The 25 New Rules for Today's Recruiting Professional. See if you are so inclined for the occasional tweet. Email him at


24 Comments on “The Sad Decline of the American Recruiter

  1. Howard,

    You NAILED it on this one. Our business was build around the need for speed, accuracy, and personal relationships. Somewhere along the line, we lost the last piece, but the good recruiters still realize that it is an integral part. Energy is contagious, people feel it and pick up on it.

    Great Article – keep pushing the truth!

  2. Thank you for this article.

    I was in a conversation with a colleague last week and we discussed your three points.

    In the end my friend told me this:

    There are two universal truths:
    1. Business travel is glamorous
    2. Recruiting is easy
    ?just ask someone who does neither.

    Have a great day!!!

  3. Howard, I agree with your lamentations.

    One of the largest problems with recruiting (in my opinion) is that it is considered to be part of ‘HR’.

    I know HR people and I know recruiters and (I just had this conversation with a hiring manager yesterday) on the whole, these roles attract very different kinds of people but generally the ‘recruiting’ function is placed under the VP of HR in the corporate hierarchy.

    I really do not understand this at all. Sales and marketing are very distinct roles that often have completely distinct org charts. To an outsider, it might make sense to merge the two but most marketing professionals bristle at the suggestion. That is how I see recruiting and HR – interdependent, but distinctly different and I think they should be run as discrete business functions (not always possible for smaller companies).

    The other problem with recruiting is that there is no formal career path. People tend to stumble into the profession. You do not need a degree and in fact, many of the most successful recruiters are self made individuals with a unique cocktail of guts, instinct and persuasiveness.

    Not many people really have the natural combination of talents to be a good at every aspect of recruiting (add in the sales involved in running a full desk and it gets even harder). I think this is what is behind the segmentation of the recruiting process into sourcing, recruiting and in the case of agencies, sales. Truly, some people excel at all of those functions, but building a large organization is easier of you silo people into roles that are more easily measured and evaluated.

    This trend is the result (in my opinion) of the need to rapidly scale and maintain internal recruiting capacity.

  4. Sorry – I dont’ agree.. I didn’t think this article was very impressive. I like the way things are evolving. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to the way it was..

    I think the work and profession is very interesting and engaging. I find it very refreshing to work with a sourcing specialist as a valued member of my team. We put our heads together, we talk about the job, the strategies in which we will work together to find candidates. We do love the hunt!

    I network, network, and network some more. I still ask – ‘who do you know?’ Who says that recruiters don’t still chase? I do my own sourcing, I ask for referrals – it’s much easier these days to do that. But, I also work enjoy working with a sourcing specialist – it’s the best of both worlds. I love to work with the new tools, social networking, internet networking – I can cover much more ground. Do I like the idea of being escorted out of an office because I came in without an appointment? No, way! I don’t miss the mounds and mounds and mounds and mound of paper resumes – GOD SAVE THE TREES!

    I often chat with people who like me, got into the business ‘back in the day’ when we had to fax resumes and there was no email, no internet – no job boards, no resume databases – and ‘GOOGLE’ was probably some wierd sound our bodies made…

    Do I miss the days of having to call the night watchman to secretly get names of staff members? No, frankly – that bothered me. I actually felt very uncomfortable doing that – I never really got comfortable with ‘Rousing either’

    The profession is not dying, in fact, it’s more sophistacated and I am proud and happy to be a part of it – So -Bring it on baby! Recruiting is still important, it’s evolved, I am glad & I like it. We’ve come a long way!

  5. Howard, great points as usual. I especially like your question, ‘With technology that brings a fresh batch of new candidates each day, do you know how to reach out, connect emotionally, and start that all-important conversation?’ I couldn’t agree with you more – to echo your thought, Danny Cahill stated the following at a recent ‘Sourcing’ conference made up of 90% researchers: ‘Pretty soon, we’ll all have access to all the names, so you better learn how to build relationships, persuade, and sell.’

    I am currently helping several Defense Contractors set up a ‘Strategic Talent Sourcing’ function, but not in the traditional, 1st-generation sense of the way we read about it today (and see it marketed). Setting up a framework that enables better candidate relationship management and the gathering of competitive talent market intel does not have to be the one we see ‘RPO’ and research vendors currently selling. Sure, we can sell additional capacity and I can get high-performing contracting resources moving in a heartbeat, but where I gain traction for my firm is the philosophy that strategic talent sourcing doesn’t have to come in the same package and is true accelerator of competitive advantage . . . And competitive advantage doesn’t emanate from outside vendors. If your company is attempting to outsource competitive advantage, then Michael Porter, Peter Drucker, and Danny Cahill combined couldn’t solve your organizational problems. Dump your stock and move on.

    People > Brains > Ideas > Talent > Competitive Advantage > Sustained Performance > Increasing Market Cap & EPS

    Our power isn’t in our ability to get a receptionist to give us 25 names; it’s not in our ability to find 3 new resumes doing a Google search. The real power in the game we play is our ability to attract, engage, and sell our opportunity and/or work with hiring managers to better see the light and accept their leadership responsibility to develop the skillset or two an otherwise perfect candidate may be missing.

  6. Howard, great article and as someone who has felt compelled to respond to several ‘bright shiny’ new tools articles with a cry for real recruiters doing real recruiting I could not agree with you more.

    I see value in many new tools and even in sourcing services when there is a crunch but if you cannot source for yourself and more importantly do not enjoy the full lifecycle, you are in the wrong job.

    Think about it, imagine hiring a sales person who shares in the interview, they ‘do not make cold calls’…I have had recruiters tell me the same with a straight face. What sales person worth anything would sit and complain their CRM system is not delivering enough qualified leads to them? Yet I hear recruiters explain their inability to fill a position on poor response to a job posting!

    While I agree with Sandra in that I do not want to go back to my early days of rolodex cards, paper resumes and no internet (yes I have been in the business that long!) I do not believe that was Howard’s intent in this article. Yes use the tools available, yes use services and sourcers where need dictates but you MUST be able to do it yourself as well. And you’d better enjoy it!

    The fastest path to client credibility is to show the hiring manager a candidate who is well qualified and to share with that manager how you found the candidate through your own ingenuity. If your story is…’they came to me via’ (sourcer, job board, agent etc, the manager may be happy to see the person, but what value do you think they place on you and your role?

    In the past I have replaced managers or directors who had no recruiting credentials and have had to build trust with clients – it is not an easy task. The only way I suceeded was to demonstrate how I could deliver personally and raise the game of my team. My team really only listened because I could show them I had and could still run a full life cycle desk myself.

    We have to recapture our industry from those who would automate, outsource and fragment it to death if we are serious about having a seat at the table with leaders. Only by being credible can we lead, only by leading our teams do we earn true respect and with respect comes influence.

    Howard keep it up and I salute all full lifecycle recruiters who love what they do…even if some think we are a bunch of luddite curmudgeons!

  7. I could not agree more with your analysis. Sourcing IS recruiting. It is the beginning of the relationship that will turn into a hire. You can not ‘outsource’ this critical stage of the relationship. Just as important, how can you ask this potential candidate to be part of your network, if you have not earned their trust? And, if they do not become part of your network, how can you ask them for professional referrals?

  8. Great article! Well said. I have run a full cycle desk for years- handle every piece of the process, sourcing, calling, representing the candidate & the client throughout the interview process to the close of the deal…and it is the passion and enthusiasm that keeps me going and helps build those all important relationships that turn the wheel that makes this business FUN (and profitable!).

  9. Touche’ Sandra! Although I couldn’t agree more that technology does indeed get us the names of hiring managers, CEOs, even HR commandos with resources like LinkedIn, Indeed, OneSource, and the others mentioned, industry professionals really couldn’t succeed without the elbow grease and telephone contact it takes to build relationships.
    I also wonder why the author choose to depict ‘American’ Recruiter. Are foreign recruiters working differently than us? Hmmmm, I wonder.

  10. …or, ‘How I Learned To Love The Past’.

    Although I agree that Recruitment is all too often lumped into the ‘necessary evil’ pile known as HR, I have different views on your other two points.

    Sourcing Is Often Done By Others – Even though you state that you don’t want to offend your Sourcing friends, I think your comments show your own lack of respect for this crucial function. For instance, ‘Tell me, what do you say to the candidate when they ask how you got their name?’ How about answering with, ‘We have a specialized team that knows how to discover great talent like yourself.’

    Great Sourcers know how to discover the really hard to find talent and if you are lucky enough to have one on your team, leverage their expertise as much as possible. If you have someone generating data with no value, they are not a Sourcer, they are a Surfer.

    The tone used in describing hard-working individuals in another country who are leveraging technology to increase their global market knowledge as well as their personal quality of life sounds elitist. It shouldn’t matter where the person resides or what they get paid. If the results are great, who cares?

    Email Has Replaced The Human Touch – Simply emailing resumes to your HM with crossed fingers is definitely not an effective way to submit possible hires. However, bursting into a HM’s office with a hot resume sounds more like dramatized made-for-tv-movie fodder to me. This lack of respect for your HM’s time would probably get you transferred out of his/her department fast…or worse.

    A good Corporate Recruiter will schedule specific times with the HM to review strong prospects. The Recruiter is a key business partner, not a paper pusher, and definitely not Jimmy Olsen trying to break a story.

    How you submit depends on the tools available. Many of us are working with ATS’s that automatically ping your HM when you submit a hot Candidate to their open Req. There are probably some that still support deforestation by printing stacks of resumes and stuffing them into the old-school, desk cluttering In Box. Often times email followed up with a short phone call is all that is needed to create the ‘sizzle’.

    Agreed…if you rely on email as your sole source of presenting candidates, your success rate is going to be very low. However, hand-delivering every ‘HOT’ candidate to you HM isn’t going to be a sustainable strategy. By the numbers, here’s why:

    A typical Recruiter handles anywhere from 25-35 active Req’s…let’s use the average of 30.

    To get a hire, your HM will probably interview 5 ‘HOT’ Candidates.

    To hand deliver a Candidate takes, let’s say, 15 minutes (including preparation, travel and presentation).

    30 Req’s X 5 Candidates X 15 minutes = 37.5 hours…and you haven’t even Sourced yet!

    The Bad Old Days of paper resumes and full-lifecycle Recruiting are getting further and further behind us. Companies that are leaders in the Recruitment/Staffing function have anticipated and embraced change. Are you?

  11. I like the article, a lot but it gets me wondering how much of it is self inflicted? I constantly hear fellow recruiters discussing finding the magic short cuts to this buisness. There are none. It is a people biz, as personal and intimate as a business can be and I could rant on and on about that but suffice to say that everytime we compromise fee, everytime we let a hiring manager off the hook for disrupting the process, the timeline…the energy that we all feel, we contribute to the lack of respect we all have to pay for, to the lack of ‘understanding’ that we all complain our clients, HR, hiring managers and other experts suffer from and, in the end, for making our lives more challenging in a very challenging profession.

    Recruiting is a noble profession. It’s hard, it’s demanding and it’s one of the most rewarding professions around. We contribute directly and indirectly to the personal lives of thousands, if not millions each year. We are directly and indirectly responsible for the success and failure of business, literally, around the world. Shame on the client who takes us for granted, but more shame on the recruiter who fails to stand their ground and allows anyone to believe that what we contribute is anything short of critical.

    Easy to shout from the cheap seats but believe in your profession and the rest is easy, ok maybe just easier!

  12. What an excellent piece this is! So true, so true. However:
    1. People have a ‘manager’ mentality. That is he who is a good motivator, need not possess the ‘technical’ skills to lead a team. Which is why so many people lead with complete cluelessness on what the job entails and typically are completely unrealistic about what the job entails. By the way, I do know of a Sales Director who never did sales – he is now looking for a job because – uh, he couldn’t handle it. I wish the manager mentality would go away also to one that is a mix of tech and manager.
    2. I disagree wholeheartedly about sourcing and recruiting split. Because is is ‘marketing’ and ‘sales’, remember marketing used to be part of sales – it is a new profession relatively. It was more effective to create two entities focused on separate aspects (sourcing) and (closing). I think the separation is good in recruiting because of the focus and differing skill sets required. However, they need to work efficiently together – that is more critical! Josh L. makes a good case for the separation of sourcing and closing.
    3. Nothing replaces the human touch and passion. Using technology as a support mechanism is great, relying on it to do your job is laziness. A brilliant consultant (sarcastic tone) said that with the advent of web 2.0, no salespeople will be needed because people will build relationships thru social media. I nearly choked when she said there were ‘supporting statistics’ for this. Absolutely nothing beats meeting someone in person, sharing vacation stories, or sharing a meal together. It is about relationships, not about LinkedIN connections!

    The only other thing that I would add, is if recruiting wants respect it needs to earn it. If talent acquisition managers act like non-strategic assets, then they will be treated as such. You want a place at the table, show your value – prove your value.

  13. Howard, I respect your work. I quibble with your example of just showing up with a resume.

    In the post 9/11 world, it isn’t so easy to just show up anywhere and get into a building. I remember doing what you’re recommending and it worked. These days, you could be left in the lobby for 3 hours because you’re client has a packed schedule . . .if you can even get in.

    And, then, you meet someone who’s annoyed because you are stealing the four minutes of their schedule when they were going to have lunch, coffee or use the bathroom.

    The simplest new laziness I would point to is the number of recruiters who email and pray their email is read and don’t pick up the phone to call and say what you are asking them to say.

    Or trust that the automatically configured spam filter isn’t catching their emails (My emails to my best client are trapped by the filter despite numerous attempts to correct it).

  14. I’m all in with Paul Davenport’s reply. However, one of his points was almost laughable, and frankly, putting in real numbers would have made his overall point more strongly. Specifically ‘to hand deliver a Candidate takes, let’s say, 15 minutes (including preparation, travel and presentation).’ I would suggest you couldn’t hand deliver a candidate in 15 minutes if the HM were in the same office as you! What if the company is across town, down the Peninsula, in the next county? You’re talking 1/2 day, and you probably won’t get in to see him once you arrive! But, point taken. Good job, Paul.

  15. I’m going to give in to temptation and chime in on this one.

    I’ve had many cases where our recruiters have:

    a) Found/identified an ideal candidate

    b) Were precluded from representing the candidate due to the candidate disclosing have already ‘submitted the resume via the online web system’ directly to the client company.

    In these cases we do not fret as we have substantial business backlog from decades in this industry … but we do keep an eye on how long it takes for ‘Internal Recruiting’ and Management to actually interview these ‘Self-Submitted’ candidates.

    If for nothing else than pure entertainment purposes.

    Time after time we see days turning into weeks and months even though the ‘Candidate is in the system’. Great system huh?

    Just last month I decided to be Good Samaritan and pick up the damn telephone and call a Vice President in the mid-west to alert him of a candidate in ‘his system’ that had languished there for many weeks – with the clear disclosure I was not seeking a fee … only wanting to alert them how stupid they were (stated in kinder/gentler words).

    Sure enough he admitted after logging on to the ‘System’ there was an ideal candidate there. So whey did they not interview this person for nearly one month? As my teen son says – Duh.

    It gets funnier.

    Within one hour of my call (I have a ten year track record of credibility with this person that does not go ignored) the candidate was telephone interviewed and flown out for a second interview within 7 days.

    The candidate received a splendid offer which under normal circumstances should have been accepted.

    Being that offer was presented by a rather inexperienced internal corporate recruiter however, coupled with all else that took place …
    it was rejected.

    So much for how companies can handle it on their own.

    By then so much time had elapsed that the candidate calculated (disclosed to me during subsequent emails) that if this company needs an external executive recruiter to help them differentiate their hind side from their elbow … how could she warm up to the concept of working for such a company and accepting an offer?

    Other factors included:

    a) Young hiring manager with no interview experience bumbling the interview
    b) Too-young corporate recruiter that came across like a ‘Valley-Girl’ when presenting the offer.

    No doubt the process tainted the end result despite my attempt to try and help out for what would have been only brownie points.

    People fail to realize the exhaustive hand holding, coaching, coddling, an expert executive recruiter performs has an invaluable benefit not easily visible on paper.

    This was a ‘FREEBIE’ that should have easily bagged – yet bungled completely.

    – Frank

  16. Although I agree in part with your article, I think you have also mixed the corporate HR/Recruiting Function with external TPR practices.

    I’ve worked both sides of the fence and can testify that the difference is drastic.

    As an ‘ethical’ ‘American Recruiter’, I think I am doing okay.

    I am not really sure that your article accurately portrays an accurate assessment of what has caused the decline of what value/respect candidates and corporations give to recruiters. Instead, I feel the major reason for the decline is the DRASTIC decline we have seen from soooo many in the recruiting industry in their ethical and professional practices.

    Now an article on this I would find very interesting!!

  17. I must say – the subject line as well the content glued me for a while and made me think. Being coming from offshore RPO industry – I tried to look from a normal recruiter point of view.

    You have ‘attacked’ a whole recruitment 2.0 way…. as of any modern process, ther are good and not so good sides of this as well. I totally agree to your points like depending on emails and loosing personal touch….

    However, in the candidate driven market – where the candidate information is spread across so much wide area… one can’t overlook an importance of detailed, creative and specialist function of sourcing. Yes, it would have been ‘relatively easier’ to do own sourcing for all the jobs and carry forward the 100% process by yourself. Currently, it is damn time consuming and you can’t engage yoruself in the same process for so long – till the time, someone else would have taken the obvious candidate lot. To find and search the talent is a specialist job now a days – so as recruiting / engaging and delivering; which has become more complex.

    I do agree with the comment, that any recruiter can not 100% depends on sourcer to help them. One has to search their own food and have it! But, it’s an intelligence and strategy behind the recruitment, to install the specialist sourcing component wherever needed. Being an associate – a recruiter can co-relate the candidate to it’s sourcers. So, it’s not loosing any touch. On top of this, the real candidate relation starts after finding a good candidate which is still in a courte of a recruiter.

    Bottomline is – yes, Recruiter do need to know and do full life cycle job but it’s always dilligence and smart-method, to chop this process in pieces wherever require.

  18. Frank,

    As always, you have succinctly layed out the value of using a PROFESSIONAL recruiter. It is also a great continuation of an ERE article, Tony Beshara wrote in Aug of 2005, ‘What You really Buy When You Pay a Fee’.

    I truly appreciate,and highly value your ‘teachings’

  19. I think Frank’s story is a ‘frank’ and validating experience as to why there needs to be a partnership between internal and external recruiting functions. (As if we needed one…) Those of us who have ever head, ‘that person is already in our system’, can really identify with this. I also use to track how long it took those folks to be contacted, if they were contacted at all, and it was pretty sad.

  20. I also remember the days when recruiters had the upper hand, the days when hiring managers were at the mercy of the professional recruiter’s skills to fill a crucial position. I wish I could remember his name now, and I can’t, but you probaly know about whom I mean, that guru whose tapes advocated ‘firing your client’ when he/she did not comply with your agenda. He had some very good points, of course. It was his brusque mannerism and haughty sttitude that made the delivery of those points so rude and insolent.

    The recruiting industry has come full circle since then, and if a hiring manager doesn’t like your style your are as dispensable as a snowflake in a blizzard, or so he may think, and what he thinks is all that really counts. There are hundreds, thousands, of what people call recruiters and one is probably as good as another if you aren’t really concerned about quality, and I’m convinced that most aren’t anymore. If you can do a Boolean search on the Internet, it matters not if you can even read with comprehension above that of an average 5th grader. Just blast ’em in, be nice, and you’ll make a hit eventually.

    In my early days of recruitment we had a sourcing department but, for the most part, I preferred to do my own sourcing. I was the one who had spoken to the hiring manager and beyond the skill sets and background, I knew what he/she wanted because I knew him/her and the culture of the company and personality that also needed the match. Does that HR person you speak to now, 75% of the time, really know what that hiring manager wants? No, it’s a game of sheer numbers. Get enough contingency recruiters to blast resumes though the routers and six months from now they can fill that position, and probably leave you out of it completely because the guarantee period is expired. There’s no longer the urgency that was once needed. Corporations are planning their needs months ahead of time to allow for this rampant and deceptive practice.

    I still play the game sometimes, but it’s very different now. The rules have changed. Sourcing is merely the tip of the iceberg. I’m slowly, but surely, phasing out of this business. Time to market my own skills, and thanks to recruiting I surely know how to do that.

  21. 100 % agree with the lack of relationship with the candidates unfortunately we are today in a small world, where recruiting is also outsourced.

    I am trying to figure out how best we can use the global opportunity for our advance. Hope some one can write an article about that topic, I know there is opportunity for us we have the expertise that our global players does not have .

  22. Duane – Good to hear from the folks I hold at high regard at Korn Ferry.

    I have a funny story to share re: KF.

    In 1990 I had developed an ‘itch’ to leave the regional search firm I was working with in Englewood Cliffs, NJ – to join Korn Ferry. I had applied to an ad in the NY Times, and received a call back from someone in Manhattan.

    Just as I was becoming excited of the prospect of joining the firm I had read about and admired for so long – I was talked out of it by my colleague!

    ‘You’re so good, Frank’ he said. ‘Why would you want to start over again as a freshman spoon feeding another executive recruiter who gets the credit just to have to re-prove yourself’. He went on an on telling me ‘Don’t you want and deserve the full glory, the full benefit’ … by the time he was done my head was like a hot air balloon floating in the clouds.

    My hot air balloon floated out of the office a few months later and landed elsewhere as my own firm.

    The speech worked. And I have been pulling my hair out ever since (Kidding – I love this industry). The rest is recruiting industry history now.

    Good to hear from you.

    By the way – Everyone here at ERE should keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming article which will appear first week of April on the the subject of increasing tension between H.R. and external recruiting experts: I promise it’s a WHOPPER and will appear here on ERE! You won’t want to miss it!

  23. History will always repeat itself. I have been a recruiter since 1976. Owned, operated my own firm since 1985. Before that, work for a national firm setting up ?employment Agencies? in the Southwestern region. I am a simple soul. The fact is my father, an engineer who was in charge of one of the largest government facilities in the southwestern area, asks me, ?With all of your education; when are you going to get a real job??
    I am a RECRUITER. There is a love hate relationship with my career. I love what I do and just hate it when it goes wrong. Yet, feeling the adrenaline rush through my veins each time I pick up the phone to speak with a person who may fit the bill (or not.) It is of no consequence that I do not know this person. What I know is I have something that may be of value to them. How would they ever know if they don?t have the opportunity to speak with me? There is so much to talk about.
    This is my outlook every day. It is a great game. There is Value for everyone, our gift to each other. I do not want to work with everyone, it simply cannot be done. Love the fact that my selling skills, my ability to probe, the demand of accuracy, honesty are required every minute of the day for both the candidate and the company. If they do not want me, good because there is someone else out there who needs me and my style of representing them. Be it candidate or company. One more no, is just closer to that much needed, YES! Loyalty?a must?I represent the company, working as an extension of their office. The candidate, I am their agent. Stay with me and you will find what you are looking for, together we are a team.
    Do I care what the other recruiters are doing, no? There are so many roads to travel. How does that saying go, ?so many men so little time,? something like that?Boards, ?have seen a few, use them? no. Leads for position my people fit into well? Read? focus? listen?network?ask for help?trusting?and working as an extension provides one with many miles of success.
    My viewpoint of everything being said is noise. Just noise. Times will always change. Those of us who are dedicated to our belief will succeed and those who just pass by have learned a respect for what we do. Our industry like other industries will change, will grow and repeat itself over and over. It is what we do as humans.
    I think we just love the drama of everything so enjoy. Oh, yeah, dance all the way to the bank?Cheers, Doris Kistenmacher

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