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!)
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.
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.
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.
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