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Recruiting in the year 2049 – From Web 2.0 to Web 29.0?

Recruiting in the year 2049 - From Web 2.0 to Web 29.0?What if we had a crystal ball and could look ahead 50 years to see what the recruiting trends will be. How will people be recruiting? Will it be some with the aid of some high tech ‘Web 29.0′ job boards?

If we go back 50 years ago, how useful would a crystal ball have been then? Had any of us had a crystal ball we could have predicted many things and by now been richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett 10 times over. That’s because we could have foreseen the explosion of contingency recruitment, contract and temp recruitment, job boards, ATS technology and the list goes on. Recruitment as we know it today didn’t exist 50 years ago, so how will it look 50 years from now?

With the internet, job board advertising and email usage dominating the contingency recruitment market over the past 14 years or so, recruiters have had more and more opportunity to be lazy.’ In theory a recruiter can get a job emailed from a client, post the job on a job board, get the responses, exchange emails with potential candidates and forward the top three to the client.’ In theory that recruiter can make a placement with very little interaction with either the client or the candidate. This is not recruiting!

50 years from now it’s easy and scary to predict how little interaction a recruiter may need to have in the process. Maybe computers will replace the need for recruiters in 50 years? We can all argue that this could never be, but with a large percentage of contingency recruiters already working as ‘administrators’ and not much more, we can be forgiven for observing a trend curve pointing towards automation.

I feel very fortunate though to have a crystal ball. (-: I know what effective recruiting is going to look like in 50 years, and even 100 years from now. How can I possibly know this? Well it’s the same reason that in 2009 so many contingency recruiters miss a trick.’ With a very high percentage of competing recruitment companies relying almost exclusively on job board advertising and their outdated databases of candidates, they’re all fighting over the same candidates.

These are the 10% or less of the working population who are actively looking for work. In 50 or 100 years one thing is not going to change drastically. The percentage of people who are not actively looking for work will remain the high majority. So whether it’s today or in 100 years, why go fishing in the same pond as thousands of other recruiters? Why not take a leaf out of our high end head hunting friend’s book and start to focus on the population of the workforce who are not looking?

Mapping out company organization structures and headhunting shouldn’t only be for board level executive positions. Just because someone is not actively looking for work, it doesn’t mean to say they’ll not be open minded to a conversation about a potential career move. In 50 years, picking up a phone and asking an employee of a well respected company if they are ‘open minded to a conversation about a potential career move right now’, will be no different to doing that today. A high percentage of them may not be open to moving, but will be open to hearing about what’s going on in the market. ‘This is where relationships starts. This is where quality referrals happen.

Of course the cynics are going to say ‘well it takes too long to headhunt candidates when I can just be advertising for positions’. Well how long does it take to work on a position only to find out your candidate has already been forwarded? I’m not talking about giving up your job board subscriptions and focussing exclusively on headhunting. Why not do both, and over time I believe job board administrator recruiters will develop a much more rewarding career. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it so much you’ll be around in 50 years to tell the ERE community about your ‘most successful half century ever’.


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Filed under:Job Search, Recruiting

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