IRM – Integrated Recruitment Model

I just wrapped up a webcast for SHRM today on a new recruitment model that I believe will allow all organizations to have the most effective and efficient recruitment strategy available. It’s called IRM (Integrated Recruitment Model). Below is the transcript of today’s session. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. A LinkedIn group has been created specifically for this topic to discuss IRM in an open fashion. You can join this group here.

Best of Both Worlds

The Best of Both Worlds: A Hybrid Approach to Talent Acquisition

Written by: Doug Douglas



Hello and I hope everyone is having a great day. I know all of you have busy schedules and lots of things that compete for your time, so I truly am grateful that you’ve chosen to invest an hour to listen to some of my thoughts around recruiting. The challenge that I always face is to be able to speak about a topic that is useful to a very wide audience. Some of you are working for very large, global companies and others of you are the only person at your company who handles recruiting, and you have other responsibilities in addition to that! Some of you are in a retail environment, or a call center, or manufacturing, or technology space, or a skilled trade. Are you beginning to see the challenge here? My goal is to be able share thoughts and ideas that are broad enough that you might be able to apply this information to your situation, with just a splash of details here and there that can get you to focus on very specific needs that you face.

We will have a question / answer time at the end of the broadcast, so I encourage you to send in questions there on your screen and our moderator will select some for us to address. I’ll also put up a slide at the end of the session with all of my contact information, social media links, etc., and I LOVE to hear from everyone at the end of the session…even if it’s just a quick message that says that you enjoyed it, or that you think I’m crazy. I do not receive any contact information for you, so the only way I can connect with you or communicate with you is if you reach out to me….so please do! I do my very best to try to reply personally to each person who reaches out to me.

Miley Cyrus became a household name when she began her TV and music career on the Disney Channel. During the day, when she was at school, she was known as Miley Stewart. But at night, she would transform into a teenage pop star known as Hannah Montana. The only distinguishable difference was a long blonde wig and a change of clothes. The idea was that she could live a normal, average, typical teenage life while also living an exciting, glamorous, high profile rock star life when she wanted. She could have the best of both worlds.

When it comes to recruiting, we have been led to believe that you can either have an internal corporate recruiting team, or you have to outsource your recruitment efforts through a RPO engagement. It’s one or the other – make a decision and stick with it. The debate has been going on for years about which model is the best. The truth is, every situation is unique, and the challenges each company faces are varied. To get an honest answer about which model serves your company best, it cannot be based on preferences, gut feelings, or what you are most accustomed to…but on performance metrics and data, but also what your company will respond to. Some of the key measurements would be based around:

  • Quality of Hire
  • Time to Fill
  • Cultural Fit
  • Candidate Experience
  • Cost

Even though your data will give you a more accurate picture, I’d like to look at each of these in general sense and see how internal vs external stack up against each other.


Obviously, both internal and external recruiters can make great hires. Every one of us can give examples of incredible hires that we’ve made. But consistency is what needs to be the focus when addressing the quality of a hire.

Most corporate recruiting teams have limited resources available to them when compared to a recruitment firm (agency). The reason being that an agency must be able to serve a wide variety of clients and solve many problems. Understand that when I say “limited,” it does not necessarily mean inadequate or insufficient. A few examples would be:

  • A corporate recruiting team may have an Applicant Tracking System that provides the basic tools to move a candidate from point A to point B, while a recruitment firm may have multiple Applicant Tracking Systems that offer a wider variety of bells and whistles that could be useful for a specific company.
  • A corporate team may have 1 or 2 job boards that they use for posting or resume database usage, but a recruitment firm may have 10 or more boards that they have agreements with to cover some very niche needs of their clients.

So when it comes to generating the largest pool of possible candidates, a recruitment firm would seem to have the best potential for success. Why does the size of the talent pool matter? Well, it is my opinion that if you can hire the best out of 100 people then it is usually better than hiring the best out of 10 people. When we have limited options, we usually find ourselves settling out of urgency instead of waiting it out until we find that rock star.

I’d also like to address the motivation factor of each recruiter. A corporate recruiter is generally self-motivated. If they want to go above and beyond, aggressively pursue and attack an opening, it is because that is the way the person is wired. It’s not because they have commission pay waiting on them to make that placement, and that they lose the opportunity to work on other searches until that one is filled (limiting other potential commission). They have no incentive to work harder, faster, creatively, or aggressively other than just for their own self-satisfaction.

An agency recruiter though, they are heavily incentivized. They have commissions riding on making the placement. Because they only have so much bandwidth, they have to be able to fill open searches quickly and efficiently in order to accept new searches and ultimately earn more commission. And most agency recruiters have some sort of guaranty on their placements, meaning that if the candidate isn’t the right fit for the role and is either released or quits, that recruiter needs to replace them at no additional charge – again, taking up bandwidth and reducing their opportunity to earn other commissions. They are driven to make sure they find the good, solid, quality hire the first time because it impacts them financially if they don’t.

Advantage here: External Recruiter


In many ways, the same reasons for Quality of Hire are the same for Time to Fill. We already spoke about the urgency that recruitment firms operate under. There is a very legitimate bonus for corporate recruiters in this area. Corporate recruiters walk the halls and interact with various managers who are making the hiring decisions for open positions. An agency recruiter would BEG for that opportunity so they can prod the manager along to keep interviews moving forward and not stalling at various times. Gaining feedback is far more convenient for a corporate recruiter for the same reason. Apart from locating qualified candidates, the biggest slowdown in the recruitment process is waiting for a manager to provide feedback or to schedule an interview. Having someone there to keep it moving is of high value. Is it more valuable than having more resources by which to locate candidates, and having recruiters who are incentivized to fill positions quickly – I’m not sure.

Advantage here: Draw


One of the major factors in making a good hire is the cultural fit. Understanding the make-up, values, and priorities of an organization, and then having a personal make-up that matches those same things, usually make the difference between an okay hire and a great hire. Corporate recruiters know the company’s culture because they live it and experience it each and every day themselves. It is a distinct advantage to completely understand the types of people, personalities, motivations, and behaviors that fit in seamlessly. Granted, some agency recruiters work on assignment at client locations and can have this same type of advantage, but keep in mind that I am speaking in general terms.

Advantage here: Internal Recruiter


This has become a major focus in the past few years after many organizations – corporate and agency – went too far in letting technology take over their recruitment efforts and losing the human element of this function. I want to be clear on this: corporate recruiting and agency recruiting are both, generally, doing a horrible job at focusing on the candidate experience. The #1 thing that candidates hate is falling into a black hole where they receive no feedback, communication, or clear expectations. They hate long application processes where all sorts of personal information must be shared without any guaranty that they are even a potential fit for the job.

Generally speaking though, recruitment firms seem to have focused more on addressing candidate concerns. The highly competitive nature of their firms have forced them to look for advantages everywhere they can. Corporate recruiters are making strides in this area as well, but it appears to be a much slower change for them. Technologies are essential to making the recruitment function effective and efficient, but that human element cannot be abandoned.

Advantage here: External Recruiter


Cost can vary greatly from one company to another based on lots of factors:

  • Complexity of the roles to be filled
  • Availability of candidates who can do the job
  • Number of hires that need to be made each year
  • Geographic regions where recruitment efforts are needed
  • Technologies available to support the recruitment efforts

If you are in a small company that does very little and infrequent hiring, then it may not be worth it to have an internal recruiter. Outsourcing that allows you to have a recruiter when you need one and not have the ongoing costs of supporting that recruiter when there aren’t any needs.

For larger companies who have hundreds or thousands of hires to be made, then recruitment costs are obviously going to be significant regardless of a corporate or an outsourced structure. In a corporate recruiter model, you have:

  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Federal and state taxes
  • Worker’s Comp
  • Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Office space
  • Computer
  • Phone
  • Soft costs like training a new employee

Estimates are that your true employee costs are actually 40% more than their actual pay that you provide to them. So if you have a $14/hr employee, your actual cost is around $19.60/hour.

Then, you have your actual recruitment costs above the employee expenses:

  • ATS
  • Job boards
  • Career Fairs
  • Web site
  • Background checks
  • Drug tests
  • Social media fees (LinkedIn)
  • Travel

With an outsourced recruitment model, you trade those expenses for service delivery fees based on performance metrics to be maintained and priced mainly on the volume that will be hired. There are other factors that impact that pricing as well, but the volume of hiring is the main consideration. For those who do large amounts of hiring, RPO can typically can save you up to 30% on your recruitment costs.

Advantage Here: External Recruiter (for those who hire consistently and with a somewhat high volume)


So, as you can see, there are distinct advantages to both models. It only makes sense that the very best model, that would accomplish the most, to get the best of both worlds, would be a hybrid model that includes a mix of corporate recruiting and outsourced agency recruiting. This allows the company to play to the strengths that each part brings. By establishing very clear objectives across that hybrid team, each can work together as a team for the ultimate good of the company.

We have a lot of acronyms within recruiting:

  • RPO – Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • HRO – Human Resource Outsourcing
  • CDR – Certified Diversity Recruiter
  • CIR – Certified Internet Recruiter
  • TS – Talent Sourcer
  • ATS – Applicant Tracking System

I am of the persuasion that thinks there is always room for one more, so I have created a new acronym specifically for our topic today – IRM. Integrated Recruitment Model. I would have preferred to have made it Integrated Recruitment Strategy, but then the acronym would have been IRS and no one would have ever liked that!

IRM is the combination of an internal corporate recruitment team that has a very specific and well-defined set of objectives who partners with an outsourced recruitment organization who also have very specific, well-defined, but a very different set of objectives so that when combined, it provides the most complete, effective, and efficient recruitment model possible.

Consider this: How awesome would it be if Superman and Batman teamed up? Batman didn’t have any special human powers, but he had the coolest gadgets imaginable! Superman had intense special human powers, but no gadgets. Combined – they would have it all! That’s what I’m talking about with the IRM model – creating a Super Hero like recruitment model.

Now that I’ve peaked your interest, you’re probably wondering how it might be possible. What would an IRM look like? How would it be structured? Admittedly, details would vary based on your company and your specific and unique recruitment needs, but generally speaking – this is how an IRM might look.


Let’s first identify the various roles that would be needed in this model, and then we can assign who would be responsible for it based on strength and expertise.


This role would be responsible for receiving the notice of an open requisition, gathering any existing job descriptions, salary details, and other job specific information so the requisition can be built and assigned to a recruiter. This person would build the requisition inside the ATS and be responsible for advertising the opening at the locations the recruiter strategically wants to target. Depending on other details of your strategy, this roll could potentially assist with other support.


This role is the person tasked with locating, screening, and presenting candidates to the manager in need until a suitable person has been hired. This is more than just calling through candidates who have applied. It is a strategic thinker who maps out the recruitment process and then executes it with precision. This is the influencer for the organization – hearing thoughts, ideas and concerns of the hiring manager, and then working with the qualified candidate to make sure all is addressed and acceptable. Negotiator with the candidate to a successful end.


This role is tasked with generating a pool of potential candidates for any given open position. This can be done through a wide variety of means: job boards, internet data mining, social media, career fairs, networking groups, university or trade school partnerships, military exit programs, etc. These candidates would then be funneled into the open requisition for the recruiter to evaluate. This role could also assist with scheduling candidates for interviews with the recruiter or with hiring manager interviews.


This could potentially just be a single person to handle this responsibility, or possibly a small team if you are dealing with a large volume of candidates and people who are willing to engage. The purpose of social media is engagement – not just posting and leaving. This person would be responsible for creative postings, videos, blogging, and building a recruitment brand for your company.


Depending on the size of the recruitment team, there could be several Recruiting Leads that focus on a division, subsidiary, geographic region, etc. as needed. This role is one where recruitment issues can be escalated for resolution, approval of ideas, mediation between opinions, etc. This person can also be responsible for recruiting, but would be a more senior member of the team with more experience to draw from.


This role is the person is to have oversight and leadership for the entire IRM strategy. This person manages the internal corporate recruiters, along with holding the outsourced team accountable for their aspects of daily delivery and escalating any issues that may arise.

Now the decision needs to be made on if the internal or external team holds responsibility for each of these roles. As I assign these now, I am generally speaking based on which side typically has strengths in these areas.




Administrative Support






Social Media Specialist


Recruiting Lead


IRM Manager



One of the biggest challenges that RPO firms face time and time again is the fear of internal corporate teams feeling like they are about to lose their jobs if a RPO firm is engaged. Because of this, they often are hesitant to do things to make the RPO firm successful. By structuring the recruitment team in the IRM model, it alleviates the concern among the internal team and sets up a true team environment where everyone wants to be successful. Quite simply, it should eliminate the US vs THEM mentality that often comes through a blended engagement.

Additionally, one of the drivers for agencies wanting to be successful and working urgently is the reward of commissions when they are successful. I would change the way the entire team is compensated in the IRM structure. I would put into place a quarterly bonus program for the entire team – not just the external team. When the TEAM hits the established key performance metrics as a whole, they are all rewarded with quarterly bonus pay. By having this structure, again, all team members are striving for success and rooting for each other to be successful, instead of having an every man for himself mindset. Depending on how you and your IRM partner decide to price this engagement, it will need to be decided what the bonus pay would be and who would be responsible for those payments – the company or the agency or should each side be responsible for paying their people for financial record keeping purposes.

Since both sides are working in unison, all candidates and records should be kept in a single ATS. If the company has an ATS that is compatible for the recruitment strategies and processes that are being established, then everyone should use that system. If the company does not have an ATS, or they have one but it just isn’t compatible, then the agency should be able to create a new talent portal through their ATS and link it to the company’s web site to process all candidates.

I also have been saying repeatedly for the past 3-4 years that the strategies and processes for reaching Millennials will be far different than those we have used for the past 5-10-15-20 years. It will have to be more collaborative and interactive with a recruiter focused more on influencing rather than recruiting. The IRM model lends itself nicely to the new recruitment ways that will be most effective over the next 10 years.

Everyone, on the corporate side and the agency side, would be responsible to the IRM Manager. If an issue needs to be addressed, the IRM Manager would have the ability to initially address the issue with the individual(s) from the agency side. If it is not successfully addressed, the IRM Manager would escalate the issue to the agency Account Manager for satisfactory resolution.


Obviously, cost will vary based on the specific engagement – size, scope, team size, number of hires needed annually, etc. However, when you look at IRM vs RPO, the cost could be significantly less because you are not requiring the RPO provider to supply as many external headcount to run the engagement.

You must also factor into this that improved effectiveness from the recruitment team (filling open positions) means that your company is operating at peak performance – meaning it is producing more and likely generating more revenue by having increased personnel in place. That could mean that you are accepting new work that you could have been turning away recently because you didn’t have the headcount to execute on the additional work. It could mean that you are saving overtime money that was being spent for being understaffed.

Remember back a few minutes ago and I walked you through the various expenses associated with having an internal recruitment team? Now, in evaluating the pricing – keep in mind that not all of those costs stay consistent and then you add IRM pricing on top of all of that. Some of those expenses will go away because the IRM partner will supply them for you. There is no sense in both the company and the agency paying for job posting costs, or for career fairs, or travel, etc.

If you are interested in this type of model, the first thing that I would suggest that you do is a full evaluation of your current strategies, processes, technologies, people, social media efforts, metrics – every aspect of your recruitment efforts to see what the most critical issues are that need to be addressed. Now, keep in mind, you very well could have a strategy or a process that is doing okay today, but being able to anticipate that it might be an issue down the road is something to take note of. What I’ve also found is that HR leaders and recruiters very often get too close to their own strategies and processes to evaluate them objectively. I would strongly encourage you to have an outside, unbiased, objective person lead this evaluation effort for you so you can have the very best data possible in your hands to make future changes to better equip your recruitment efforts.  I do these evaluations often for all types of companies and I can tell you that I have never had an instance where the HR/Recruitment leadership, and others within their company were in agreement about how recruiting efforts were doing and their effectiveness. The HR leadership usually feels like they are doing a good to great job, but when I go speak with hiring managers, recruiters, executive leadership – they have a very different take on things. Believing something to be true does not necessarily make it true – use someone else to do this evaluation for you.

Now in a couple of minutes, we will be taking some questions regarding this presentation. If you want to go ahead and submit your questions, feel free to do so – just keep in mind that we have a very broad audience listening today. The ideas and concepts that I have presented to you were very general in nature as to introduce this strategy to a wide audience. If you have a very specific question that you’d like to ask, I will be putting up a slide at the end with all of my contact info on it and I would encourage you to contact me directly with those questions.

And again, I really do want to hear from each of you – even if it’s just a quick sentence with your take on today’s session. I do not get a list of people who attended today – or any contact info of yours – so the only way I can communicate with you is if you reach out to me at the conclusion of this presentation.


If you have been around sports much at all, you have no doubt seen the sign that says, “TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.” The old models that we are accustomed to have led us to an US vs THEM mentality, and when we operate from that standpoint, what we get is secrecy, self-serving, self-preservation, and competitiveness. You may say, “Well, isn’t competition a good thing?” Yes and no. Yes, it leads to urgency and energy and production, but inside a company environment – it can also lead to, “Well, we did our part. Your team didn’t.” And as long as we did our part, then we feel satisfied. In the IRM strategy – no one is satisfied unless the company is successful. It’s not about this team or that team, this group or that group, our side or your side – it’s about the company as a whole.

Executives typically evaluate a recruiting solution by looking at cost, scale, and intelligence. In all three of these areas, the IRM strategy is a winner. It is reduced costs over a traditional RPO model. An agency has the ability to plug and play quickly, meaning it can scale up or scale down almost immediately when called upon. And because we are all working in unison, all candidates and their information are placed directly into the company’s ATS – meaning they own the data.

I have lived in the RPO world for almost 10 years. I know the advantages to it – many of which can still be present in the IRM strategy. I know the challenges that RPO causes internally and externally. I mean, even just having the word “outsourcing” in your name causes a negative reaction by some because of the way the word has been used in recent years. IRM is a new, improved, more cost effective, more efficient, and more client friendly alternative to RPO. No more US vs THEM. Working as a united team is the best path forward – Together Everyone Achieves More.


The Best of Both Worlds Webcast

Best of Both WorldsImagine for a second what it would be like if Batman and Superman were morphed into the same person. Pretty awesome, huh? You have one guy with all of the tools and gadgets, and the other guy with super human abilities, and combined they would just be unstoppable! What if the same kind of thing were to happen within recruiting? What if you could take the strengths of the corporate recruiter, and the strengths of the agency recruiter, and morph them into the same team? That would be pretty awesome too…and I believe it can be done!

Tomorrow – Tuesday, October 29 at Noon Central (1:00 Eastern), come and find out more about how this type of model would look and operate. The Best of Both Worlds: A Hybrid Approach to Talent Acquisition webcast is through SHRM, so only SHRM members will be able to hear it – HOWEVER – anyone can join my IRM – Integrated Recruitment Model group on LinkedIn and we will be sharing discussions pertaining to this model after the webcast ends. I’ll also be posting a link so that you can read the transcript of the presentation.

Sign up now if you’re a SHRM member, and if you’re not – join the LinkedIn group!

The Best of Both Worlds

Miley-Cyrus-Best-of-Both-Worlds-300x300Miley Cyrus may have had it right when she was playing Hannah Montana. She led us all to believe that you can have two totally different focuses and end up with the “Best of Both Worlds.” Well, on October 29th at Noon (Central), I will be leading my newest webcast for SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) and IHR (Institute of Human Resources).  In this broadcast, I will be focusing on “The Best of Both Worlds: A Hybrid Engagement Approach to Talent Acquisition.”

When it comes to adopting a strategy for talent acquisition (what we used to simply call “recruiting”), the traditional assumption is you have but two options:

  1. Assemble and rely on an internal corporate recruitment team; or
  2. Outsource recruitment efforts to a third party firm.

What if there was a third choice? What if an internal corporate team, and an outsourced RPO firm could coexist and even thrive working alongside each other? Internal know-how combined with external creativity, giving you the best of both worlds!

In this program, we will see how to make that a reality by addressing practical concerns, such as:

  • How do I know when it’s time to ask for outside help?
  • What are the obstacles that must be overcome to begin a hybrid engagement?
  • How would a hybrid model be structured for accountability and success?
  • What does the process look like in action?

If you are a SHRM member, I hope you’ll make plans to listen in and participate. You should be able to register very soon so keep checking the SHRM website!

R.I.P. Recruiting

RIP Cover Slide

R.I.P. Recruiting

by Doug Douglas – Managing Director / Partner at Providence Partners


As we consider our webcast title today, I started to imagine why people selected this one out of all of the other options that are available. There’s no doubt that all of us today are coming from diverse and unique situations and a “one size fits all” approach just doesn’t cut it when we consider the wide range of industries that are represented on this call. From past experience, I know that we have large, global companies represented today, we have cutting edge IT companies represented, retail and hospitality companies are here, and we also have people on this call that are handling HR for a small office of 3 or 4 employees and not sure if any of this will make sense to them or not. As a presenter, this is the toughest part of the gig – trying to provide something that is useful for every circumstance. Hopefully we can accomplish that today.

Specifically, each of us on this call are interested in Recruiting, but that function most often falls under the Human Resources banner. I find it ironic though that so many organizations have taken the “human” out of Human Resources and just replaced it with a significant number of extra cool, powerful, cutting resources – especially when it comes to recruiting. More and more today, we see companies set up recruiting processes that can allow a person to come to their corporate website, spend an hour or more applying for a job online – uploading a resume, then asking them to fill in the same information found on that resume, then asking them to complete some pre-screening questions, and divulge all sorts of personal information. Once they get all of this information entered and spent a good amount of time doing so, they hit “Apply” or “Submit” and within 3 seconds they have an email from that company thanking them for their time but letting them know that they were not a fit for that job. No human eyes ever once saw that applicant’s information. No attempt was made to see if there might be something unique or extraordinary about that applicant. Heck, we even sent the email from a “do not reply” email address so they couldn’t even ask a follow up question. I ask you, where is the human in human resources in that scenario?

Look, I get it. I understand why we have moved so far in that direction. We have seen large numbers of candidates for our open jobs and we needed to find quick, efficient, and effective ways to manage the tidal wave of candidates that come our way. But if you were the candidate, and you knew that you were qualified for that job, and you scored 1 or 2 points below the minimum score on the application screening questions and were automatically kicked out of consideration by a computer – would you be happy about it?

But I think we should be able to find a good balance of high tech and high touch in our recruitment efforts. And more importantly, I think issues like the generational shift that is taking place right now will demand it.


Times change, and I believe they change more rapidly now than they used to because of technologies and the advances that we see. I wasn’t involved in Recruiting or HR 20-30 years ago, but those were the days where we walked into an office and handed over a paper resume or were handed a clipboard with an application on it and were asked to fill it out. Occasionally someone even reviewed it while we waited in the lobby. But technologies came along that changed everything.

Imagine with me how the world around us has changed in the past 20 years. Consider these innovations and how they have changed our lives:
• Internet
• PCs / Laptops / Tablets
• Smartphones
• Email
• Barcodes / QR codes
• Social networking

Just 10 years ago, the following job titles didn’t exist:
• App Developer
• Windfarm Engineer
• Social Media Manager
• Chief Listening Officer
• Cloud Computing
• Zumba Instructor

So many changes, and so many technological advances! It is easy to see why some people have responded like kids in a candy store…they see all of these technologies and these interfaces that make us say, “Wow!” We read white papers and status updates telling us that this tool or this product or this app is the latest and greatest and everyone needs to have it in order to succeed…and we fall for it. We have shifted heavily towards the technology side, that human engagement has been lost in the process, all in the name of efficiency (so we think).

Now, before I go any further – I want to clarify a couple of things:
1) I have been coming down pretty hard on the use of technology so far. I am not against the use of it and quite honestly, can’t even imagine trying to recruit these days without it! I use technologies heavily in my own recruitment strategies and processes to make our efforts more streamlined and efficient and scalable. I use Applicant Tracking Systems, and weighted and scored application questions, online calendar sharing for scheduling, etc. I believe the approach should be to benefit from those tools, but also maintain a solid human touch element with it.

2) The right balance will not be determined by you…but by the people you are trying to reach. Slashfood did a survey recently of American’s least favorite foods. Three of the top vote getters were:
• Spam
• Beets
• Brussels Sprouts

Now you could invite people into your home – you could even open a restaurant – and if you decided ON YOUR OWN that the best thing to do is offer up Spam, beets, and brussels sprouts – you might find a few people who are open to your menu options and be satisfied, but most people would likely pass you by and go somewhere else.

When it comes to recruiting, you can randomly select what you think the right balance is between high tech and high touch, but ultimately the people you are trying to reach will tell you if that balance is right or if further adjustments need to be made.

3) I’m not a bomb thrower and a proclaimer that the end of the world is coming. I usually roll my eyes and dismiss people who make those types of claims. But I 100% believe that the way we recruit – our strategies and our processes – will look dramatically different just 2-3 years from now. Because of two years of research, and because of my own intimate, first-hand knowledge of Gen Y – I believe that the way we recruit today will die in the next 2-3 years. Now let me explain.

• 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each and every day (78 million Baby Boomers)
• 80 million Gen Y people are taking their place in the workforce
• Gen Y is the first generation to have the internet accessible to them every day of their lives
• It has transformed the way that they think, communicate, reason, research, and their expectations
• In addition to the internet, this is also the generation that grew up with everyone getting a trophy or ribbon and that we stopped keeping score
• Collaboration is emphasized greatly
• The need for quick feedback is engrained in them
• They have no concept of “chain or command”
• As they observe the current recruiting processes, they feel disrespected, humiliated, and frustrated
• Current methods and tools will not continue to be available as we know them today:
 Job boards are changing the way they approach candidates and clients, I believe will move towards more of a social media feel
 Linked In – I do not believe that they will continue as it is today. Too many people feel overwhelmed by the amount of recruiting efforts made on them each day. The smart move for Linked In is to side with employers, not with recruiters. Would it be surprising one day if you heard an announcement that Linked In is shutting off access to recruiters. At the same time, they approach major organizations like Google or Microsoft and say, “We have the largest database of candidates in the world, and the recruiters do not have access to them any longer. What would that be worth to you?”
 It is not reasonable to expect that a 100% technology driven process will work long term.

As we experience a generational shift in our workforce, we will also experience a shift in our recruitment strategies to re-engage in the human element of our industry. There is no doubt that it will be a good mix of high tech and high touch, but the engagement of people will be paramount to a recruiter’s success. The days of letting technology do all of the recruiter’s work are coming to an end. Current day recruiting will die…may it R.I.P.

Recruiters may just consider dropping that title altogether and moving towards a title like “Influencer of People” or “Career Guidance Counselor” or “Chief Seduction Officer.” Recruiting will no longer be about screening candidates and short-listing the best. It will be about building a rapport, a trust, and relationship with the best candidates and helping to influence them to the companies that are your partners. It won’t be a “just in time” approach, but a “pipelining” approach that focuses on locating strong talent and cultivating a trust so that when a position becomes available, you have the people who are familiar with the company, familiar with the leadership, familiar with the culture, and they are then ready to fill the void.

Gen Y simply will not accept the disrespectful, insensitive, unresponsive, and insulting way that many recruiters go about their business today – agency recruiters or corporate recruiters. They are too smart. And they are too technically savvy to just fall into a blackhole of silence and disrespect – they will find ways to get to the decision makers and bypass recruiting. Candidates will remember the way that you made them feel…and it will impact their actions the next time.

The Birth of New Recruiting

Social media is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Many companies have strong social media interactions in place now. We can easily find 200 different social media sites available currently. It would be near impossible to have a presence on all of them, and to be able to use them all effectively. But I want to be clear on this: posting a link to your open jobs on your Facebook page or Linked In profile is not a social media strategy. The point of social media is to engage people, focused on the long term and not on immediately gratification.

The new “Influencer of People” will need to have a different set of skills than the old school recruiter:
• strong computer skills
• ability to drive a process but with grace
• world class influencer
• committed to the candidate experience
• long term vision instead of short term fixes
• transparency instead of secrecy
• relentless networker
• ability to build a personal brand in addition to the company brand – markets himself/herself to gain a solid reputation among potential candidates

The approach will focus on building a pre-qualified and exceptional pipeline of candidates who are ready to enter the game as soon as possible. This is done through identifying talent early – even before they are ready to accept a position. Maybe that means…
• building alliances with colleges/universities to identify the best and brightest and start to build that relationship early on
• offer internships so students can see what it would be like to work there full-time upon graduation
• working with military branches to partner with their exit programs – meeting with personnel months before they exit so they can feel confident as they make that transition
• communicate, communicate, communicate – the exact opposite of what most recruiters do today
• offer open houses so potential candidates can see the facility and meet potential managers
• build strong social media presences specifically for recruiting – day in the life videos, my job has meaning videos, cultural identification videos
• building your own recruitment pipeline app that focuses on long term engagement and communication
• getting out of the cubicle and getting face to face
• maybe more recruitment staff, but in part-time roles so they can be a student and influence classmates your direction
• changing the structure of your team to have roles that you haven’t done before – marketing person to help with messaging on descriptions and social media, a sourcing team to generate leads on potential candidates, on campus ambassadors who work for you but are also a student, military liaison, training leadership to give new workers job details and specific information and processes, etc.

John Porter once said, “People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.”

So, we have talked about a lot of things so far and hopefully you are starting to see that the need for changes is clear. But it’s one thing for me to say it, and even for you to believe me – but it’s quite a different matter to get your executive leadership to get out in front of this and start to invest time, resources, and money into this new model. They may not see a problem, or maybe they see it and just don’t want to bother with it at the moment.

A survey of 2013 college graduates indicates that 68% anticipate being at their first job for 3 years or more – this is up from 49% just a couple of years ago. They are optimistic and excited about their future, but what they receive when they try to enter the workforce can sometimes be deflating and cause pessimism. The candidate experience is so critical – from the very first time they encounter the name of your company, through the application process, the interview process, onboarding, that first day when they arrive and everyone is expecting them and prepared for them, to the training they receive, and so….it all matters. Unfortunately, we think once the offer has been extended and they have agreed to it that the job is done….far from it.

Leadership has this assumption of Gen Y that they are not committed and aren’t worth a heavy investment to recruit them. I’m not so sure that this is true. Think of the day and age where they have entered the workforce. These are not stable times. They see instability all around them – well known companies going under, start ups flourishing, massive mergers and buy-outs, and I just think the landscape is fast moving and ever changing…so they have adapted to it. They are playing by the rules that have been displayed for them.

They have grown up in an incentivized world where you get reward points, and frequent customer rewards, and so on. They desire this in their employment as well. Remember, this is the group where everyone got a trophy or ribbon on the athletic field. What are ways that you can reward solid performance and longevity? How can you still give them their trophy or ribbon?


When I speak on this topic, someone always asks a question about having a multi-generational work environment and how to make it work well. Let me go ahead and address it.

It can be a challenge. When you take a Baby Boomer and have them working alongside a Gen X’er and then you introduce a Gen Y’er into the mix, we have a very broad spectrum of things to consider. Look at it like this…


Baby Boomers

Gen X

Gen Y


Elvis / Beatles / Rolling Stones

INXS, Nirvana, Madonna

Eminem, Britney Spears, Puff Daddy

Iconic Technology

Color TV

Audio Cassette Tapes




Email / Texting / Smartphone

Learning Format







Learning Environment

Classroom Style

Quiet Atmosphere

Round Table Style

Relaxed Ambiance

Café Style

Music / Multi-Modal

Ideal Leaders

Command & Control


Coordination & Cooperation


Consensus & Collaborative


What do you think the chances are of everyone seeing things the same way the first time something is introduced? Everyone is coming from very different starting points so it is a challenge. I always suggest that you start with the end point and what is trying to be accomplished and then work your way back to process. Everyone can usually agree on the end result – they all want to be successful. At times, it may require multiple conversations to get everyone pointed in the same direction, but it can be done.

I would also say, there are many things that Gen Y require or seek that I can agree with them on because they benefit me as well:
• Work/life balance
• Variety in the work I do
• Pay for performance
• Access to senior management
• Knowing my co-workers at a deeper level
• Feeling valued and recognized

Previous generations wanted those things too, but we just weren’t as vocal about it.

Why does Gen Y Matter?

The U.S. Department of Labor forecasted that in 2012 the U.S. economy had the largest workforce in the nation’s history – more than 162 million people. Impressive as that figure may sound, it wasn’t enough to fill the more than 165 million jobs projected to be available. The shortage of 3 million workers was just part of the story, however. Millions of other jobs go unfilled because workers lack the specialized skills required to fill the vacancies. The government estimated a shortage of more than 10 million skilled workers in 2012.

One massive generation is on their way out of the door, and another bigger generation is coming in. We will have challenges to find the very best talent and add them to our teams. Competition will be fierce. There are many forward thinking organizations out there who are already focused on some of the things I’ve shared with you today. While they may be ahead of others in getting started, the way we recruit is going to change rapidly…and we all need to be prepared.

The easy thing for you to do is ignore what we have discussed today. Just leave things as they are and dismiss the urgency behind my message. Afterall, someone else can deal with it later – right? But as highly valued employees, leaders who have been tasked with focusing on people – our workforces – and making sure your organization has the best so the company can thrive for years to come…how you can you not at least seriously consider the data I’ve given you? How can you not have that conversation with your leadership team?

Reasons why to ignore…
• Don’t believe there is a problem / don’t believe the data
• Don’t want to risk the conversation with leadership
• It requires a new set of skills and new ways of thinking and that scares you or maybe you don’t have those new skills so you worry about losing your value
• Change is uncomfortable
• Don’t truly care

As we discussed at the beginning of this session, we are Human Resources. Human. We need to keep in mind that we aren’t just dealing with a name on a piece of paper, or an employee ID number – we deal with people. And when people are without a job, those are very stressful, anxious, and nervous times. Common courtesy should prevail in all situations, and not look for ways to avoid conversations and interactions. We get the chance – every day – to make a difference in people’s lives! How cool is that? We get to take them from some of the most stressful of times, to ones of relief and gratitude. What we do matters!

I have a good friend here in Austin. He is in his 50’s. Great guy. Very professional. Very talented. I have known him personally. I have worked with him professionally. He is one of those guys that a company should create a place for because of his ability to do so many things. He has run into some bad luck lately…and can’t seem to find a place to fit in. Austin is a unique place with so many young, hip, start-up, creative type places – and sometimes the older worker has an issue fitting in culturally, or even being considered in the first place. Our current manner of recruiting has failed this guy. He applies and jumps through all of the hoops that are asked of him, and he is repeatedly turned down immediately after hitting “submit” on the career page of a company’s site. He can’t get a conversation. He can’t explain the many things that he can do. He cannot get a human to pay attention to him.

I am the Managing Director and a Partner with a recruiting firm. I know recruiting. I started out entry level and I worked my way up and build a solid reputation with my clients and candidates. I have given companies multi-million dollar ROIs for the recruitment work that I’ve done for them. I have reduced turnover rates at incredible percentages. But as part of my own study on this topic, I have gone to the top 13 ranked RPO recruiting firms and applied at all of them….and none of them made me an offer. None of them interviewed me. None of them even called me to have a phone screen. More than half never contacted me in any manner whatsoever – even to send the generic email thanking me for applying.

Our current system is broken. This is not sustainable. Changes are coming and coming quickly. I am hearing more and more industry experts start to speak about these things…which I am grateful for. I have been saying it for a couple of years, and now others are starting to agree. This is the time to be bold, stand up, and address this issue.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein

R.I.P. Recruiting – Thursday, June 27

RIP Cover SlideIf you are a SHRM member, please make plans to join my webcast at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 12:00 p.m. Central this Thursday, June 27. For a couple of years, I have been speaking of the significant transformation that is coming to recruiting strategies, processes, and methodologies. In the past few months, I have started to hear other well known and trusted leaders within the industry begin to speak of it as well. In this session, we will take a look at where we are and why it is not sustainable. Our current method of recruiting is broken, and it will morph into something totally new in the next 2-3 years (at the latest).

As we experience a generational shift in our workforce, we will also experience a shift in our recruitment strategies to re-engage in the human element of our industry. There is no doubt that it will be a good mix of high tech and high touch, but the engagement of people will be paramount to a recruiter’s success. The days of letting technology do all of the recruiter’s work are coming to an end. Current day recruiting will die…may it R.I.P.

Don’t miss this critically important webcast!

The New Recruiting Paradigm

The New Recruiting Paradigm Cover








The New Recruiting Paradigm

Doug Douglas – National Engagement Manager at Stark Talent

Presented on – 2/27/13



In my day to day responsibilities, I work with HR executives and leaders who are either having issues with attracting the right talent for their open positions and we take on recruiting responsibilities on their behalf, or I help them look at their current processes, strategies, and technologies and make recommendations on areas where improvement can be made that will give the organization the best chances possible of attracting great candidates. And one of the things that I have been focused on heavily for more than a year now is the next generational workforce (Gen Y / Millennials). This generation is very unique and the old tried and true methods of recruiting that most of us have been using for the past decade or two just simply will not appeal to them. So, I’ve spent a lot of time researching them and looking at the best methods of attracting, managing, and retaining Gen Y. We’ll be discussing  that some later in this broadcast.


The problem with leading a session on new trends is that by the time it is recognized as a trend, it means it has pretty much already become a norm. If it’s already become a norm, and you are just now hearing about it, then it means you are already behind everyone else and new trends are already being established. It’s a vicious cycle but lends validity to the old adage that the only thing constant is change.

The other challenge that I face as a presenter is that I have a diverse audience today. Some are senior executives at major world-wide global brands that everyone recognizes, and others may be a newly hired Recruiter for a company with 25 people and a small budget who still thinks newspaper ads are cutting edge. I have decision makers on this call, and I have junior level staff on this call. It is difficult for me to organize a presentation where everything that I present is targeted directly to your unique individual needs and circumstances.

So today, I will just tell you what I see happening in the recruiting world. I’ll help you understand why some of the traditional aspects of recruiting don’t work as effectively any longer. I’ll tell you about new approaches where organizations are having success. And I’ll even try to give you a glimpse of the future of recruiting.

Current State of Recruiting

As I consider where recruiting is today, I have a mixed reaction to it. On one hand, it is exciting because we literally have 24/7 capabilities of getting the word our regarding our organizations and specific needs within those organizations. Technology is a powerful tool for recruiters to tap into to get the most of their efforts. When we consider the interactive nature of what technology can bring to us, it’s mind boggling the possibilities.

On the other hand though, I believe we might be leaning too much on the technologies that are available and neglecting the human element of what we do. A candidate can now apply for a position and go through a recruitment process, be eliminated from a search, and no human eyes ever once saw that candidate. That might be a great accomplishment for some on this call, but I wonder…if it was you who applied for a position that you felt like you were greatly qualified for, and you jumped through all of the recruiting hoops they asked you to, and then you were eliminated from consideration by a computer without a single person taking a few moments to take a look – would you still consider that a great accomplishment?

It is my belief that technologies can make our jobs easier as recruiters:

  • It allows us to publish jobs at various locations with just the click of a button.
  • It allows us to set up pre-screen questions to filter the best from the rest.
  • It allows us a database to store all of our client, hiring manager, job, and candidate information where it is searchable and reportable.
  • It allows us to share calendars online so candidates can look at available times and schedule a time to speak to recruiters without having to pick up a phone and leave messages back and forth until we finally catch each other.
  • It allows us to have video interviews and not have the extra expense of traveling all over the country to meet with people who may or may not be the right fit.

There are definite benefits of using technologies and making the process more efficient and convenient for all involved.

But what technology doesn’t always do is consider the human element and common courtesies. And it’s not always the technology’s fault – it’s the people who create the processes behind them. For example:

  • CareerBuilder recently did a survey of 3,991 people and 75% said they never heard from the company that they applied with. Nothing. Not an email. Not a phone call. Not a text message. Nothing. Total silence.

Think of it this way…

Consider that you are working a Career Fair. You have your booth set up. You have job descriptions for all of your open jobs printed and laying on the table in your booth. You place a basket in front of each job description so if a job seeker comes by and is interested in that job, they can set their resume in the basket for the opening. One by one job seekers come by and drop their resume in the appropriate basket, and they try to engage with you by speaking with you and offering their hand to shake hands with you – but you just ignore them, sitting their checking your email on your smartphone, and never even make eye contact with them.

What do you think their opinion is of you as they walk away? And even more importantly, what do you think their opinion of your brand, your company, is when they walk away? That same survey that CareerBuilder did indicated that 22% of those people would tell others not to work for that company based on how their application was treated. 32% said they were less inclined to buy the products or services of that company.  (

Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Although I don’t believe he was referring to our current state of recruiting, I think he captured my thinking towards it as it stands today.

Evolving Trends

Creativity to make recruitment more fun or interesting is a big portion of what I see occurring often. Having a talent portal with a list of jobs posted is still the dominant way that people let their needs be known, but more and more are finding creative ways to engage pools of potential candidates through interactive and less formal looking means.


  • This site allows companies to set up a free Virtual Career Fair booth.
  • Companies present a challenge to a business need they have and students or others come up with solutions for the need.
  • Winners can get internships, cash awards, or even full-time employment.
  • This is being used by Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, Kayak, John Deere, Box, Intuit


Just recently launched, Throng is a mobile app for both iPhone and Android. Users put in their job search criteria in a very simple and casual looking format. Alerts are then given to the user to let them see openings that match their search criteria. There is a YouTube video that demonstrates how this app works.


This is a reputation ranking site. It rates its users based on both hard skills and soft skills and awards the top performers. There’s a video on the homepage that explains in more detail. This is specifically designed to focus on IT talent.

These creative approaches are finding solid results. Obviously, you have to research and see what are the possibilities for you and your organization based on time, people, resources, etc.

The US Army was one of the first to take this approach. They launched a game called America’s Army and this has generated great results in their recruiting efforts. L’Oreal launched Brandstorm in an effort to recruit marketing professionals. IBM launched CityOne, an interactive game that targets business professionals, city planners, and government agencies.

Those are full fledge games, but maybe there are things that you can do to your current technologies that will add some flare as well.

Do you have a Linked In profile or a Facebook profile? On it, it tells you how complete your profile is and tells you what you need to do to get it closer to 100%. My OCD kicks in and I cannot have less than 100% completeness – that is completely unacceptable, so I go back and back and back until I get that to 100%.  Maybe this is a possibility for your candidate profiles when they register for your Talent Community.

This doesn’t appeal to me much personally – but apparently it does to lots of other people or we wouldn’t see this everywhere, but have gold stars or badges that candidates are rewarded with each time they come to your site and complete a poll, or “Like” your Facebook corporate page, or downloaded a whitepaper.

Day In the Life Videos. Many organizations have produced videos showing what it would be like to have the job that the candidate is interested in. Starbucks, Sherwin-Williams, and Key Bank have used these and they feel that it produced great results.

Before you write this off and consider it to be childish, research shows that around 35% of C-suite executives play video games, and 97% of Generation Y plays them. If they are going to play games anyway, why not find a way to penetrate that and use it to your advantage?

Mobile Must

According to Simply Hired’s recent research, 70% say they search for jobs on their smartphones (86% say would they like to use their smartphone). The problem is that only 7% of employers have a mobile version of their career website, and only 3% have a mobile job app. Add to that, only 9% of websites are optimized for mobile use. Ummm…..we have a problem.

Here are the suggestions that Simply Hired made for employers after their research…

  • Develop mobile optimized sites – specifically the Careers and About sections of your site
  • Enable tracking data to determine which devices candidates are using and well as their location
  • Create an app for videos, actions, or touch capabilities / for static info, just create a mobile site
  • Add contact pages to get in touch with recruitment and HR teams (unless you are set up to be like the Career Fair people that I spoke of at the beginning of this session). If your process doesn’t focus on the candidate experience and providing feedback and information to candidates, either change your process where you do offer it – OR –  then don’t offer it up on your site and disregard this bullet point.
  • Pay attention to cross-platform development. Recruiters should be able to reach candidates no matter what mobile device they may be using. This means it is necessary to do code apps and mobile sites in a cross-platform markup language (like HTML5).
  • Allow job seekers to easily share the pages of your Careers section with friends via social networks/email.
  • Maintain a strong presence on key social media sites that mobile users typically use…Linked In, Twitter, Facebook. Google+, and blogging sites like Tumblr or WordPress.
  • Offer capabilities for job seekers to register with one click to indicate their interest in a position, or text message job alerts.
  • Allow candidates to upload and edit resumes and cover letters via mobile device or tablets, or to register using their Linked In or Facebook profile.
  • Provide job seekers with the capability of tracking their application status over their smartphone.

Link to Simply Hired full report

Rehiring Programs

Some companies have decided to emphasize rehiring previous employees as a way to address their recruitment needs. This would focus on employees who left on their own, not those who were released from the company. Yes, I know all of the arguments on why this might be a bad idea…

  • The impact it might have on current employees when a previous employee is brought back at potentially a higher salary or job position.
  • There were reasons the employee left in the first place, and those may return.
  • Pride. It might look as though they can’t find any other options than to bring people back.
  • The returning employee may have been gone for a while and the climate and culture of the company may have changed, and that might not work for them now.

But, there are some advantages to rehiring as well…

  • They could already know the company, the culture, procedures, and day-to-day operations. This makes it an easier transition than someone who is brand new to the organization. Even if you have new software or processes, these can typically be learned easily.
  • People who have left, stayed within your same industry, and now return to you might bring with them additional knowledge, processes, and strategies to improve your organization.
  • Someone who left and returns could provide the added benefit of telling other current employees that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
  • When you gain the reputation of being willing to bring back previous employees, it can actually encourage other top performers who may have left to check into the possibility as well.

Shifting the Strategy of the Future

Well, we have covered the current state of recruiting, and we have looked at some of the current trends in recruiting, but what will recruiting look like 3-4-5 years from now? In my opinion, it is going to look dramatically different than what it does today for a couple of reasons:

1)      Technology will continue advancing and offer new strategic opportunities to reach more people (in previously untapped ways), faster, and move them through the pipeline for immediate hiring needs.

2)      The ongoing generational changes in the workforce will demand it.

To the first reason, there is no doubt that new recruitment technologies will come along that will make things easier for us to do our jobs, reach more people, will have some cool interfaces to it, and we will all jump on board. But people will also just create other technologies – not necessarily for recruiting – but we recruiters will somehow find a way to make it a recruiting tool. These technologies will have to focus on 3 things for the recruiting world to successfully use them:

1)      It must incorporate human elements and engagement in them.

2)      It must be efficient and focused on speed.

3)      It has to be easily accessible and convenient for people to use. Something that people are using anyway and don’t have to go out of their way to specifically be recruited.

The second of my reasons is, by far, the driver behind this shift in recruitment practices and strategies. We are in the middle of a massive generational shift in our workforce. The Baby Boomers are exiting (10,000 per day) and Generation Y (Millennials) are replacing them. You may be saying, “So what?” Well, the “what” is that Gen Y is wired (literally) differently than every generation before it. They are the first generation to have the internet accessible to them every day of their lives. Additionally, society has raised this generation of kids far differently than generations before it. One example would be that when they were kids, everyone got a trophy or a ribbon – there was no winner or loser, everyone must be treated equally, so we didn’t even keep score.


  • This generation approaches problem solving in a very different way.
  • They have a deeper social consciousness.
  • Their priorities are different.
  • They are more relational and have a need for feedback and encouragement and it better be often.
  • They are geographically mobile and will move for a great opportunity.
  • On average, they will only stay at a job for 2 years and then do something else.

When we look at the way that we are recruiting today, they simply will not accept it. Asking them to read a vague job description that may not even accurately portray what the job is, then apply through a career portal that takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete, asking them a bunch of pre-screening questions where each one is loaded with knock out capabilities, and then fall into the black hole of Talent Acquisition where they never speak with a human or have any interaction whatsoever….no, that’s just not appealing to them.

The companies who have moved beyond this old school way of doing things are having the best success in capturing the best and brightest of this new generation. Only 10% of the population would be classified as actively seeking a new job opportunity. The best talent, likely, isn’t even looking. Posting jobs on Monster or CareerBuilder, or throwing an ad on Craigslist and then sorting through the ones who apply – that’s no way to get the best talent. Then when you do get someone interested and have them apply through your career page, and then never respond to them – that’s no way to get the best talent. Waiting for them to come to you, that’s not a strategy, it’s a death sentence for your company.

Some of the people who are seen as long time recruiting experts, and the best recruiters on the planet – in this new paradigm, they will disappear because they either refuse to acknowledge the changing time and cultures, or they won’t be able to adapt to them. Google your recruitment leader’s name today, alongside your company name. What do you see? The vast majority of Fortune 500 recruitment leaders have no identity on search engines. They don’t promote their company brand.  They don’t speak at events. They/you will be fired for not being a proactive champion of their company as a great place to work.

People are naturally social. They love to talk. Engage. Gossip. They are hungry for information. When forming a relationship, they want honesty, authenticity, integrity, transparency and communication. Two-way communication. When looking at employment branding, people want relationships with people, not faceless, bureaucratic companies.

The emphasis will be placed on relational recruiting. Targeting people early – before they even start their careers – and getting to know them through internships and casual networking or friendships. They also get to know about your company and envision what it would be like to work there full time after school.

It will be having brand ambassadors from your organization in the public arena speaking and being a thought leader so job seekers and potential job seekers can have a name, and a face, and a feel for their organization. It will be following up with those who show interest in you and your company – maybe for extended periods of time , through emails and text messages and even a phone call from time to time. It will be the use of social media and engaging others for a journey with you. It will be about relationships.

The following was taken from an article in ERE written by Matthew Jeffrey and Amy McKee. They hit on the importance of relationships through the recruitment process…

Social media and networks are on fire. Whatever you look at — Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter — the growth stats and usage is phenomenal. People talking, 24/7.

Why have so many recruiting leaders and Fortune 500 companies failed to grasp the importance of social media and engaging and building talent communities?

Yes, many companies can beat their chest and proclaim they have a presence on Facebook or Twitter but they are using them in a style reminiscent of Recruitment 1.0 “post, pray, and spray.”

Leap onto some corporate Twitter feeds today. You will see that many are de-facto job boards. A long list of jobs with a hyperlink back to their jobs site. Try replying and communicating with that company and you will more often than not never receive a reply. Indeed some corporate Twitter feeds post more jobs in the course of a week than they have followers.

Let’s cut to the key point. Social media is not about immediate bums on seats. It will not lead to immediate mass new hires or pipeline. It is a vehicle to take people on a journey. A journey that people will board at different junctures. But when reaching the destination, the goal is that they are either someone who wants to work for your company or that they are a Brand Ambassador. Brand Ambassadors are people who may not want to work for you, but they engage in your community, participate in discussions, sing your praises to friends and act as a champion of your brand.

Why do people join at different points on the destination? Some people know your brand and have a feel for your company and hence can reach the end of the journey quickly. Others may not have even heard of your company and hence a long journey of discovery and education awaits. The key is how you attract their attention and how you engage with them.

Recruitment 3.0 is about building engaged communities, telling a story, listening, discussing and fostering an emotional attachment with new talent.

Recruiter 1.0 and 2.0 will be a dying breed in the coming months and years, replaced and thrown on the scrap heap by Recruiter 3.0 who can combine a range of skills including:

PR & messaging


Direct Marketing

Market segmentation

Candidate Relationship Management


Presentation and Communication Skills


Are your recruiters ready? Is your recruitment leadership ready?

All will unravel over the coming months and years and we will see which companies can be transparent and build engaged communities. Will yours?


I have been saying these things for a couple of years now and it’s good to see others starting to beat the drum as well.

I feel like I need to say this….every year or so, someone comes along and they say that something big is going to happen and something is no longer going to work and blah, blah, blah. I ignore them almost 100% of the time. Yet, I find myself in the position now of being the person who says that the current recruitment strategies and processes are about to die and all those who cling to them will suffer career deaths as well. So, I get it if you roll your eyes or let out a sigh or at least are a bit skeptical. But what makes this real for me is that I was a youth minister for almost 20 years before I entered recruiting. And guess who the kids were that I ministered to? Gen Y. I know them. I understand how they think and operate and process. I can relate to their emotions. I get them at a very deep level. I’ve had conversations with them regarding these things that we have discussed today. I tell you…with 100% sincerity…I believe in this new paradigm shift. It will not be minor. It will be a major transformation.

The new recruiting paradigm will be a balance of high tech with high touch. It will be relational. It will be about pipeline building and less about just in time searching. The people who will succeed as recruiters will have a different make-up than the ones you may have working for you now. Compensation packages will have to be adjusted to reward those recruiters who successfully make this change as it won’t be so transactional.

I have other presentations where I dive deep into Gen Y, new recruiting models, etc. I’m happy to share those with you. If you’ll connect with me after this session, I can direct you to those resources. I am also available to speak with you and your leadership about the future of recruiting and help design a model that fits your organization.