DMD Consulting

Revolution, Evolution, or “Old School” Recruitment

By: Gordy Warner, DMD Consulting, LLC Executive Recruiter

As someone involved in recruiting for over 25 years, I have seen quite a bit of change in regards to what recruiting has become. No matter what evolution has developed in terms of technology and tools, one irreversible thing comes through no matter what changes have taken place: you must use “old school” methods to find the right candidate, at the right time and for the right company.

Before the internet and social media, recruiting was stripped down to the basics. Recruiting was all about a stack of resumes, a phone, and cold calling. Recruiters would call candidate after candidate hoping to make contact. Our best bet was to try and catch the candidates at night and at home. At that time, not everyone had a mobile phone or email, for that matter.

Then we came into the age of technology: the evolution of the internet, online job boards and email. Monster and Career Builder became the tool of choice for not only candidates looking for new jobs but for recruiters. Posting jobs became the new language of the day and viewing databases of resumes became the best way to find candidates faster than accumulating resumes from a job fair, employee referral program, or hoping someone qualified applied to the position via the career page on your corporate website.

LinkedIn became the next evolution of technology for recruiting. LinkedIn is some of the answer to a successful recruiting process, but it is only a tool. LinkedIn is the most used recruiting tool out there. Most everyone now has a LinkedIn profile. This gives candidates the ability to market themselves without overtly advertising that they may be interested in a new opportunity. It also provides recruiters a detailed look at candidates for the positions they are trying to fill.

Only by physically reaching out and talking to potential candidates face to face or via video chat will allow us to identify the right talent quickly. A standard ten-question interview guide does not do this. You will be able to identify the right talent through knowledge of the business, position detail and qualifications. You will also need to know the culture of a company to make the right fit also. The social media platforms provide data of who is the most qualified, who is looking, and when people are likely to make a change in employment but cannot evaluate the talent pool. Using the face-to-face method will allow you to identify the candidate’s soft skills, their personality, confidence and their visual presentation. You cannot do this through a LinkedIn profile or phone interview.

The technology evolution has increased the pool of candidates but did not alleviate the ability to delineate the right talent. A recruiter still has to know the job detail and company needs and then actually talk to a candidate versus trading emails. How do you find the right fit if you cannot carry on a conversation with a candidate?

Revolution? More like evolution. Recruiting should go back to the basics. “Old school” methods have always been there, but should be used in earnest. The evolution is really an evolution of the tools to find pools of candidates and the speed of change. Advances in technology, new generations, employment market trends based on the economy will continue and happen fast. In order to be a success in recruiting top talent the recruiters that will succeed will be the ones that have the three things we had 25 years ago — a phone, ability to connect on a personal level, and the correct knowledge of the business or client. A recruiter is really a salesperson who finds the right person using “old school” methodology.