The Death of Recruitment Consultants is Greatly Exaggerated

As the internet continues to evolve there is much talk on HR, job and recruitment forums and blogs of it bringing about the death of the recruitment profession especially with the rise of social media and in particular Linkedin with its suite of recruiting tools.

Will Linkedin kill the need for recruitment consultants?

There is a train of thought that employers won’t need recruitment agencies because in Linkedin they now have an effective means of connecting with and sourcing their own candidates for roles.

They can hire internal corporate recruiters to manage their employer brand and harness the tools available on sites such as Linkedin.

As a recruitment business owner with nearly thirty years experience in the recruitment industry I have heard claims of the internet sounding the death knell of the recruitment consultant before when job sites such as Monster emerged.

It just didn’t happen. In fact recruitment consultants became the biggest advertiser on job sites because they replaced print advertising as a way for us to advertise for active candidates for client roles.

For example, I did away with our print advertising budget in the early part of the new Millenium and moved entirely online.

Now the supposed threat to the recruitment profession is Linkedin.

However, I speak to CEO’s, MD’s, senior directors and department heads all the time and based on what they tell me I think the advocates of the death of the recruitment consultant are missing two important points:

#1. Time

Senior management just haven’t got the time to spend hours using Linkedin’s impressive set of recruitment tools to find candidates. They have got businesses to run.

#2. Resource

SME’s and fast growing mid sized companies just do not have the staff to handle corporate recruitment.

HR departments are stretched and have enough on their plate implementing their employer’s talent management strategy, and recruiting is only one component of that

So, all but the largest companies have not got the internal resources to devote to it, and they have no intention of adding to their permanent headcount by employing internal corporate recruiters.

Yes, the internet, and Linkedin, in particular, is making it easier for recruitment consultants and corporate recruiters to find candidates, but it is a long and thorough process in doing so which is why so many companies outsource it to recruitment consultants in the first place.

I love Linkedin, it is a powerful tool for anyone looking to recruit, and there is no doubt that it is disrupting the market for job boards, advertisers, recruitment services firms and recruitment software.

The most important thing for recruitment consultants is that they move with the times and stay up to date with what is happening on the internet, and train themselves to be experts in using the new tools which are available to everyone in helping find talent.

The bottom line is that we are paid for our knowledge and contacts and to save our clients time, money and internal human resource in finding the best talent.

The internet provides recruitment professionals with a wonderful opportunity to add value to the process of finding that talent.

The recruitment profession is alive and well, despite the bumpy road of the recession, and I believe it has a bright future.

And as Mark Twain once said on hearing that his obituary had been printed in The New York Journal:

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Photo: A.M.Kuchling on Flickr