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Recruitment D-I-S-R-U-P-T-I-O-N (real or really?)

Posted 10 months ago by James Taylor

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Innovation, disruption, observing the masses and doing the opposite are all words/phrases that appeal to me.  Which was why I read the recent article published by an old supplier of mine entitled “Businesses wasting thousands on inefficient hiring”.

I have been working in recruitment for 21 years, I have met a few thousand candidates and hiring managers in that time and I too believe that the hiring process is flawed.  I don’t, however, agree with the article (that's not like me at all ;-)).

Up to £40-50k (starting salary) , the market is talent short.  By this I mean that there aren’t enough candidates out there to satisfy the demand businesses have.  Above £60k however and the pendulum swings.  There are typically lots of very good candidates to match the hard skill requirements of a job spec, and hiring becomes more about cultural fit and behavioural preferences.

The article discusses an on-line platform that is attempting to disrupt the recruitment industry with some of the research being based on the fact that many job applicants don’t believe that they are having their CVs submitted to vacancies (by recruitment consultancies) that they believe they are relevant and suitable for. 

My point here is that yes, the recruitment market can and potentially should be disrupted in the space where businesses can advertise jobs themselves and then sift through 10-20 candidate applications and hire the best of them.  However, most businesses come to a recruitment company for assistance with vacancies where the talent is hard to find, or where the cultural fit is critical, they pay us not just to find the best talent but also to save their time (and by its very nature, money).  Most candidates believe that they are relevant for the jobs that they apply for, and on paper they are… it’s the behavioural fit that prevents them being shortlisted.  Where a recruiter has met the business, knows the Line Manager and therefore understands what will and won't work from a team and personality dynamic perspective.

The article goes on to say  “We’re operating in a world now where it is all too common to see inefficient and costly processes challenged by forward thinking businesses and individuals – take PurpleBricks and Airbnb, for example. The same is needed in recruitment.” 

I was the recruiter who placed the Finance Director at PurpleBricks back in 2014 before they had even launched the business and therefore challenge the sentiment in the article.  Matthew Farrow, the guy I placed, was the ONLY candidate in the market, at that point in time who could a) do the job and b) wanted to do the job.  It was a BIG risk/reward career choice and it needed a certain personality type.  Before taking on the assignment to recruit the FD for them, I met with Michael Bruce, their charismatic CEO.  He could’ve advertised the job and would have been completely inundated with responses, hundreds if not thousands given how exciting he made the opportunity sound… my 21 years of knowledge of the candidate market allowed him to meet just three, Matt being the absolute stand out and the guy who was a major part in the launch and IPO of Purplebricks.

This debate is a fascinating one.  It peaks my interest as the MD of Macildowie as I launched an award winning workshop back in 2008 called “How to use Linkedin to recruit for free”… this disrupted the market in our East Mids region… but it was using someone else’s platform and was never going to make me or Macildowie rich over night.

The thought processes for the guys in the article are right… I am not sure the business model is. To view the original article – click here.

Let the debate commence!

JT