On Thursday I attended a talk run as part of Social Media Week London (#SMWLDN) hosted by a recruitment consultancy (ManpowerGroup) and a social business consultancy (Carve Consulting).
It was a great presentation, but not because the content was especially new to me, although it was very good. Some of the slides were difficult to see, but that wasn’t important because one of the speakers – Paul Harrison, MD at Carve was truly engaging.
The guy is a whirlwind and seems to think at 100 miles an hour, but he was there to tell a story, not solely to sell a product or tell people what he and his company had done. He was there to express how important it is for businesses should embrace social media and make it as normal to employees as using Outlook or even the office scanner.
The way in which he told the story was fantastic – he looked at everyone and everything apart from the slides – well he did look at the slides – but they just set the agenda. He swore. He obviously didn’t have a script (or need one). His presenting style oozed enthusiasm, knowledge and genuine passion for his field of expertise – social business.
Why talk about something to people if you don’t have this level of passion for a subject? Not everyone is such a natural communicator, granted, but there are ways to express personal enthusiasm for any given subject – there must be.
I work as a communications and social media executive at a recruitment company. On the way home from work last week, I started thinking about LinkedIn and it’s exponential growth in importance to recruitment agencies and company HR departments. So important, that I reckon in the near future there will be no need for the vast majority of recruitment consultancies that pepper cities and towns all over the world, and those that survive will occupy very small, niche sectors and most likely specialise in confidentiality (something which we have recently learned cannot be assured of while using the internet!)
While LinkedIn is used predominately in the West, particularly The US, automated recruitment software is likely to be wholly transferrable across continents
Imagine Google bought LinkedIn. Not only does Google have an almighty chunk of extremely detailed and useful data of all kinds, but LinkedIn now can take advantage of Google’s financial clout and world leading search algorithms and the brains behind them. Of course there are huge numbers of other consequences and subsequent reactions, but I haven’t the time or the knowledge to write about them.
It ain’t like it used to be…
Rather than LinkedIn acting as a portal where employers are able to go and find people with the skills and experience they need to fill the role of a recently departed employee, the employer – who pays a premium subscription to ‘Google Linked’ – shows LinkedIn the leaver’s profile as it was when he joined the company in question, when he left that company and the job specification for the now vacant role – all found very easily inside LinkedIn’s databases.
LinkedIn analyses this data, and generates a list of people who have indicated if they are “actively looking for work”, “may be convinced to change current job for better opportunities”, “and those who not currently working”. All these people will match to the nearest degree the details of the leaver in terms of age, salary levels, experience, hard and soft skills, location.
They UI would also allow subsribers to their service to search for very specific metrics, like niche skills and qualifications, people they’ve worked with before – but for the specific purpose of hiring, with the right technology recruitment could become largely automated.
The employer then looks through the profiles on the list (which serve as online CVs) and makes a shorter list. A Google Calendar system synced with your work mail schedules online video interviews with those on the shortlist, and you invite the two you like most into your office for the final, face to face interview.
Subscriptions instead of fees, no phone calls with salespeople – no middleman. A simple interaction where the perfect candidate is placed in a perfect role, ostensibly.
City of London at Night
I don’t doubt that this has been said before by many people, but apart from niche areas (highly confidential recruitment, physical jobs like acting or sports, and the Civil Service are all examples), I believe recruitment companies will find them increasingly sidestepped by their existing and prospective clients and I don’t think that many leading recruiters are making preparations for the change early enough.
Do you think the majority of recruitment agencies are doomed? Vote in this poll if you feel like it!