Sometimes HR recruiters say the darndest things.
Liz Ryan, the head of HR for U.S. Robotics says:
“When the energy is good in your company, people want to work for you. You don’t have to run job ads. You don’t have to beat the bushes to find candidates. They show up at your door!”
Liz—like millions of her fellow LinkedIn users—has found the world’s largest business networking site to have changed recruiting and talent acquisition forever.
Another LinkedIn recruiter, John Syed, a recruitment leader in the Gas and Oil Industry, reminisces over the change from the old to the new school:
“Recruiters [once] received a daily cascade of candidates who covered the full spectrum of capabilities. You could post a job for CEO and get entry level resumes sent to you. Of the hundreds of thousands of applicants per job posting, recruiters had to manually sift through paper resumes, color coding them along the way and marking them fail, hold or progress…
A big challenge during those times was the lack of any true Applicant Tracking System. Some companies who were savvy enough modified CRM systems to manage candidates, but most relied on a paper based system.”
The change, in essence, was a power shift. Recruiters were the ones responsible for filtering candidates. In fact, compared to today’s LinkedIn worldwide network, there is no filter at all. Anyone who would apply, could apply. It was up to Recruiters to decide whether the applicant was worthy of becoming a candidate.
More importantly, the pool of candidates was limited to those who applied.
Then, it happened: The first online job board appeared.
Hit the Fast-forward button—skittering past Monster.com and Indeed.com in chipmunk-like fashion—to today’s scenario:
The HR world post-LinkedIn (or as a result of LinkedIn, depending on the source), burst the applicant pool wide open like a pin to a water balloon. Suddenly recruiters had an entire universe of job applicants to select from in one or both ways:
#1 Active: Hunter-mode. Recruiters and HR leaders, no longer restricted to a job ad’s direct responses, now get their spears and scan the LinkedIn landscape for potential leads—even reaching out to qualified prospects directly that look like they are a good fit.
#2. Passive: Allowing the fish to swim upstream. Recruiters and Staffers can post a job on LinkedIn and let the leads come to them.
LinkedIn Pros for recruiters
Networking. Where else can a recruiter have immediate access to so many job candidates with resumes attached?
Low-cost. Aside from paying for LinkedIn’s recruiter tool, there is a relatively low overhead. No cost for newspaper ads. No travel expenses. No excess paperwork. Some businesses can even get away with circumventing paid tools by sheer networking determination, such as posting job openings in relevant LinkedIn professional groups.
Time-savvy. Recruiters can get a quick read of a client’s LinkedIn profile resume with one or two clicks. No more waiting for a resume to arrive in snail mail with the applicant’s contact information. With LinkedIn, the once-lengthy recruitment process speeds up dramatically. Since all exchanges are archived, LinkedIn allows recruiters to track their list of prospects, saving hours from working with third party CRM software.
LinkedIn Cons for recruiters
Misrepresentation. As on any social media platform, people can create an entire false reality of themselves online without having to back it up. This virtual fantasy world of avatars can be misleading to recruiters seeking qualified candidates. John looks great on his LinkedIn profile. His photo is clean-cut with the power suit and tie and his resume looks spectacular. After reaching out to John, however, Joe the recruiter finds out John only has a B.S. degree (and that doesn’t stand for a “Bachelors of Science”, either).
Hello convenience, goodbye personal relationships. When Diane the job seeker meets with Helen the Head Hunter, Helen gets to know Diane personally. She learns what Diane is looking for, what her strengths and weaknesses are and then works with her to refine her resume and interviewing skills. This exchange happens face to face and over the phone.
In other words, there is a relationship.
As a headhunter, Helen has connections in Diane’s industries of interest and because of these relationships on the hiring side, can give Diane inside tips on improving her chances of getting the job-everything from technical details down to how to dress to impress that particular employer.
“Whereas a candidate would previously have had a conversation with a single headhunter about what they were looking for in a job, they must now have such conversations with each corporate recruiter who contacts them. The sheer number of contacts they get can be frustrating.”
In other words, LinkedIn, as much as it boasts of its innovative networking chops, is still limited when it comes to organic networking. Technology makes networking and recruiting more efficient, but it cannot replace networking itself. The key going forward is to successfully integrate the best of both worlds.
How can recruiters vet the virtual applicant pool to more efficiently recruit talent?
There are tech companies like Boon App that puts their applicants through a pre-qualifying vetting process to ensure the talent pool you’re drawing from is the best suited for your company’s needs- all for a competitive price.