Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Five Things Lost For Candidates And Companies With Online Recruiting

With the advent of online recruiting, actual recruiters have often been cast aside by companies. While they are saving money, there is a huge hidden cost.  Here are five things that are being lost both for companies and people.

1)    The Quality of candidates is suffering
The best candidates often are not online and do not use the online recruiting sites. So, for the most part, companies only receive the résumés of the people who are actively looking online.  Recruiters often know the wishes and desires of their best candidates and only send them when the most appropriate jobs show up.
Although I have not seen empirical evidence, I will bet turnover has increased.

2)    Mentoring
Over the years there are dozens, if not hundreds, of candidates I have been       able to guide and help.  It is one of the joys of recruiting, especially for a single industry recruiter.  There are people whose careers I have actually managed – both junior executives and those well into their careers., including presidents and CEO's. 

Because companies have cut back on the use of recruiting, this benefit is unknown to many young people.

The corollary to that is that many recruiters have left the business and companies have lost the counsel of many who knew their companies well.

3)    Long-term relationships with management have been hindered
Recruiting is a relationship business – both with candidates and companies.
Good recruiters know the principals and hiring managers of many of their clients.  Consequently they know who fits and who will succeed.

Human resources and the network owned company managers, because they are not allowed to use recruiters, are often precluded from taking advantage of this valuable service. 

When a great candidate is spotted for a likely company, it is becoming more and more difficult to market them to that business.

4)    Working with résumés
Effective recruiters can maximize people’s candidacy by interpreting, explaining and often rewriting (or directing the rewrite) résumés.

5)    Recruiters know and understand jobs
Working with recruiters speeds up the recruiting process.  They are familiar with companies and hiring managers and often know the ins and outs of specific jobs so that they can quickly access appropriate candidates.  

Online listings rarely contain enough information and, as a result, companies may receive dozens, if not hundreds, of inappropriate résumés which have to be screened and interviewed.  This is time consuming and costly.  And it often costs companies exceptional candidates. 

Good recruiters are also objective about salaries and are most often able to make deals that are fair to both sides.  People don't like to negotiate for themselves, finding it uncomfortable.  Recruiters can negotiate appropriate salaries commensurate with the job.  This may help lower turnover.



  1. Plus online recruiting overloads companies with hundreds of resumes. Thereby, increasing time spent going through the resumes, with a good possibility of passing over a strong candidate.

  2. It is also a terrible experience for the candidate. It feels like I'm sending my resume into a black hole and most of the time nothing comes from it. At worst, sending your resume in will hurt you. One time a recruiter reached out about a position, but learned that I had previously uploaded a resume to the agency a few months ago. He couldn't help me because the agency wanted "new" people. And even though I was in the agency's records, they never reached out to me about the position either. I make it a policy to not submit resumes anymore and I just reach out to recruiters in the area to see if they have a contact or are working with the agency.

    1. Anon, on March 27 I posted about the problem with key word recruiting. In point of fact, resumes are often screened by the most junior people who are often ignorant of the business. They are told what to look for, but that is, as you suggest, useless.

      But worse. Some companies, once your resume is in their data base (which is rarely if ever reviewed), simply will not accept it when submitted again for an appropriate job. I have been told many times, "We already have their resume and cannot accept it from you." That is terrible both for the candidate and for the company.

  3. Some excellent points here, Paul.

    I'd posit that online candidate sourcing isn't even recruiting at all. I headhunter that I know (not in the advertising business) refers to the technique as "dumpster diving": Employers post online ads for jobs that no one really wants to do (otherwise the positions would've been filled via other means), and then desperate job hunters scavenge through the digital trash looking for palatable morsels.

    It's no wonder that so many ad agencies are making "bad hires" these days.

    1. Great point. It is not recruiting and it does cost companies good people.

  4. You and one other recruiter (since deceased) always gave me the BEST career advice. Helped me determine which agencies I was a good fit for, which agencies not to bother to talk to, and so on. Recruiters are more than paper pushers; they provide solid career advice, an independent ear to discuss job issues with, and will only reach out if they have a position they think is right for you.

    Human recruiters are also the ones who give you the best intel before your interview: who you are meeting with, their background, do's and don't's, tips, etc. I even got feedback on what to wear to specific agency interviews. And the ability to debrief after an interview and learn what I'd done right, and more importantly what I'd done wrong, was invaluable.

    I miss the counsel of good recruiters, and I agree that agencies are missing great talent, and great talent is missing out on the perfect position.


I would welcome your comments, suggestions or anything you would like to share with me or my readers.

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