Recruiting Was Fine Until You Screwed It Up

Matt Charney Always Be Closing, Audacious Ideas, HR, HR Tech, HR Technology, Recruiting

Every day, I’m lucky enough to get to talk to the people on the cutting edge of the recruiting technology industry; most of these are entrepreneurs who share a passion for their mostly cookie cutter products and the belief that, somehow, they’re going to help fix recruiting, which every single one seems to think is either “broken” or “a problem.”

The problem, at least as I see it, is actually entirely the creation of these companies looking to create a market for solutions and, in doing so, adding unnecessary layers of complexity to something that’s pretty straightforward and simple. Recruiting isn’t that hard.

If you know how to source, how to soft sell a candidate in the guise of a screen and how to present and package those candidates to hiring managers, you can fill a position with or without social, mobile, big data or automated matching algorithms.

I love the fact that millions of dollars of venture are pouring into this space, and literally tens of thousands of startups have started up to try to serve the recruiting market. For the most part, I want to see them succeed, not least because the viability of highly niched or specialized point solutions dedicated to talent acquisition is the canary in the macroeconomic employment coal mine.

That these companies are succeeding is a sign that companies are hiring, because no product dedicated to proactive recruiting, no matter how awesome it might be, is going to survive if companies aren’t hiring, and the recruiting market wasn’t competitive.

So, I do applaud what these emerging companies represent in aggregate – but individually, they aren’t working to do anything more altruistic than be a quick payoff for the venture capitalists and executive team, another tech turnaround project to be frenetically flipped.

The market, historically, has tended to favor consolidation, and the end game for almost every single one of these isn’t an IPO, but rather, to get acquired by one of the bigger players – the exact same companies who actually created the problem they’ve built equity purporting to solve. That the goal is selling out to the very companies they’re selling against seems silly, but when you’re trying to cash in and get out as quickly as possible, that’s just business as usual.

If you think they care about the customers left under contract and forced to pick up the pieces of an unsupported system riding towards the inevitable SaaS sunsetting, you’re probably naive enough to think that, say, you should sink six figures into social recruiting or “gamifying” your recruiting process. The fact is you’re inevitably inviting a bigger problem by buying into these venture funded, unproven, commoditized “solutions” than any they might purport to solve in the first place.

Recruiting might be broken, but it’s up to recruiters to fix it – and there’s no tool or technology on earth that can actually do it for you. Don’t believe that the changing marketplace or platforms have changed the fundamentals – and you should be investing in training people how to make a cold call, disposition a resume, write a job description or close a candidate, not buying a product aimed at automating recruiters into oblivion.

Because the market might change, but the basics never do – and they’re far more pressing than the fact that you’re not using video screening or don’t have a branded talent community integrated into your ATS.

Matt Charney is the Executive Editor for Recruiting Daily, whose flagship property, RecruitingBlogs, is the world’s largest social network and content sharing platform for recruiting and HR professionals. Matt oversees editorial strategy and content marketing for RecruitingDaily’s portfolio of online properties. Prior to joining RecruitingBlogs, Matt served in marketing leadership roles at leading HR technology companies like Talemetry, CornerstoneOnDemand & Monster. Matt began his career as a corporate recruiter for such companies as Walt Disney and Warner Bros.

Matt has been named as one of the top 25 influencers in recruiting by publications like the Huffington Post, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, and has been recognized as one of the 2015 HR Game Changers by HR Magazine adn SHRM, the 2015 HRO Superstar for Analyst Excellence and the 2014 Top Recruiting Blogger by Social Talent. His blog mattcharney.com was also named one of the top 15 business blogs to follow by WordPress in 2014. Matt serves as a member of the advisory boards for the Candidate Experience Awards, Rolepoint, RecruitiFi, Take the Interview, HiringSolved, Universum and Textio.

Follow him @MattCharney or connect with him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/mattcharney).