The future of profitable agency recruiting is where cutting edge technology meets skilled human interaction.”
I love this sentence by Greg Savage. It sums up neatly my view on how recruitment will evolve. Technology will take over more and more admin tasks – everything that is repeated twice or more – and this will give recruiters more time to focus on the human to human interaction, with both candidates and clients.
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In evolution some species thrive, others don’t adapt and are extinct. The difference between us and animals are our cognitive abilities – we can speed up and direct change. This makes it more surprising how slow and/or unwilling some recruiters are to embrace change. Especially as it isn’t optional – it is do or die. Recruitment agencies that don’t change will soon be out of business.
By change I don’t mean cutting spend by using fewer job boards or abandoning less profitable sections and by definition becoming more niche. Running away from competition and holding on to the existing business model will still lead to extinction, it only slows it down. Agencies have to ask themselves: How much more can they cut before they cut off their lifeblood? How much more can they recede to more profitable niches before the niche becomes a micro-niche and then a non-existent space? This approach isn’t a viable option. Cost cutting doesn’t create real sustainable value, it only gives a short-term reprieve.
Pull your head out of the sand and start moving.
Instead, a re-think is required and answers to the following questions need to be found:
Would people miss you if your business were to disappear tomorrow?
What do you offer to the market that automation can’t? How can you strengthen this?
What is your distinct expertise? Is it really distinct? How can you measure it? How can you improve it?
I would start with the premise that recruitment will be automated and done directly by the end customer (why should recruitment be different to other industries?). Work with this question in mind to find and define your current position.
Don’t wait, the old days won’t come back, change is happening and will be relentless. Get yourself in position and with the necessary equipment to ride the wave and then it becomes exhilarating!