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Recruitment Industry Will Die In 2018? Facts & Figure Of The US Staffing Business


This post is dedicated to everyone confusing themselves with topic surrounding recruiting talent in 2017 as we are witnessing the rise of artificial intelligence in recruiting alongside ATS, CRM, Job Engines/Aggregators & Big data predictive analytics tools.

It was very astonishing to see posts talking about end of recruitment agencies or in particular recruiters with the advent of these tools replacing them. In order to address the need of the hour I wanted to address the main challenges which are still not addressed in the field of recruitment so let’s start from the beginning discussing recruitment in general by diving recruiting into inbound & out bound recruiting talent or resources for the open jobs of the clients. The aim of both approaches is to attract talent for the jobs you have with you(r) employers or clients.

Inbound Recruitment:
It is process of attracting talent through brand, social media, forums, channels, recruitment advertising/marketing, blogging, SEO, content writing & etc.

“Inbound recruiting is a methodology that uses digital marketing strategies to engage targeted groups of passive and active job seekers at different phases of the recruiting funnel.”

Inbound is more focused on attracting talent through various forms of branding by working on candidate journey of selecting an agency/employer for seeking job employment that includes.

Website: A website that is mobile friendly enabled with one click applications, social media login and chatting feature that’s allows candidates to connect with recruiter who is working on that jobs will help a candidate easily reach out to them. A career page must be so much user friendly that it serves the needs of a candidate without a hectic and time consuming process.

Blogging: Having blog always helps a website generate passive attraction covering topics of interest of their services and the target audience. Micro blogs also play an important role and creating back linking to career site for jobs in the middle of the post or end of the post helps. Know that people are online searching information and researching.

Job Advertising: The most under rated and under estimated thing on the side of recruitment is job advertising people are even struggling today on “know how” of it though advertising is the key to attract the talent online. Organization are still today heavily dependent and investing on databases.

LinkedIn: One of the best free tool to utilized for publishing your content on professional site in the world where all companies & professionals connect and network with each other is LinkedIn. Properly updating content IMG, text & video based strategy marketing on LinkedIn would attract more follower base to the company as well as to your site with a proper call to action.

Facebook & Instagram: These platforms could be used integrated for employee engagement activities as we can now use two platforms with one advertising Facebook now serve ads integrating Instagram. Attracting and engaging existing and new talent through different initiatives on this platform will elp attract more people by displaying, advertising and showcasing annual outings, parties, parks, celebration and recognition images/videos.

Twitter: Though twitter is filled with people in the digital, social and marketing space a lot can achieve with tweeting about updates, mailers, news, trends, engagements and more.

YouTube: It is also one of the best tool for creating brand awareness and engagement by creating uploading sharing internal videos with the world and the type of work the client is into for jobs and the opportunities you work for. Optimizing and reaching certain level with qualify for monetization of the account.

Outbound Recruitment
Outbound recruitment is opposite to the inbound in this approach you will try to approach to the candidates via email, cold calling or messaging.

“Outbound marketing tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Depending on the venue, the approach can be extremely broad (TV advertising), thoroughly personal (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails)”

In these approaches you use tools and platforms like job boards, portals, job engines, predictive analytics tools, sourcing tools, artificial intelligence and other open source tools to identify talent or resource based on your search or needs. As a recruitment professional you will be provided with these portals alongside targets to achieve even after you use any of the tools you need human interference and involvement to sort out things and drive these initiatives.

“Let’s walk through a day in a life of recruiter”
As a recruitment professional I will get the job orders from clients I have or I have to hunt new business by researching through websites, forums, blogs, sites and internet. After receiving the job orders a recruiter not only understands the experience, technology, level, domain but also background, culture and role within that company. He seats on identifying all those little details of the client and starts his/her search for the talent either utilizing his/her own data on ATS, Job Boards and Advertise it on platforms so to attract the talent or resource for that job.

Here is one thing everyone have to understand that recruiting is not only sourcing or only marketing or sales it’s a combination of search + sales/marketing because even if you source and identify talent using job board, portals, tools, software or anything but if you are failing to attract the talent you will fail in both approaches be it inbound or outbound.

Simplest definition
Recruitment is the process of attracting talent using inbound and outbound approaches to identify talent and using human intelligence (the art of selling) to engage the talent for the opportunities you may have for your client/employers.

Attraction -> Engagement -> Pipeline/Closing
Attraction: In the attraction is all those noises about tools, technologies, portals, board or whatsoever. For a talented recruiter he/she can find talent on internet without having to rely on any of the said things so for a recruiter what matters is engagement part which obviously no software has addressed so far.

They built applicant tracking systems that integrates with websites but are not user and google friendly, poorly designed user interfaces and lengthy processes you cannot even optimize jobs on the internet with those iframes on the sites. Some uses CRMs to keep the track of the leads but again requires them to manually upload resumes to the software they are using to save resumes again adding additional work. Using any other tool gives additional work to recruiter for instance a recruiter uses a job board downloads a resume save it to hard drive for which he / she has to upload that resume to an ATS, update the status by logging in to the site also send offline resume to the client and keep dumping things from everywhere to the application software they are using.

All these platforms claim to bring publicly available data to their platform if it is publicly available a recruiter can’t find it?! coz one of the quality of the recruiter is to be the search expert on internet be it any application, software, site, extension, tool, app and etc.

Engagement: Here is the important aspect of the recruitment process where we (agencies / recruiters) get paid for we sell your company to people even though we work with employer having lengthy interview processes completes months for hiring we keep them engaged and warm until an employer makes a decision to close that profile on boarding after interviewing in the company. We go through all those searches, attraction, talking, selling, presenting, marketing and driving talent to make decision of getting submitted to the employers using end number of approaches updating/uploading load of things just that the job order get closed with the right person.

As the world is coming online it is not hard to find people on professional / social media platforms the hardest part of the recruitment is the engagement not the tools to attract or identify a profile on any platform or blog but right from reaching out with an email / call / text to briefly understanding what one has to offer verses what other is looking on the table from offer meeting both side expectations matching experiences, cultural fitment, role fitment and yes location fitment even a location can screw up things if you know what I mean here.

And to know how hiring managers work which is whole together a new story to explain but the below image will give you an idea. Let’s make long story short!

So as far today it is very hard to say that we have a tool/technology that addresses every aspect of the recruitment like explained above Identifying talent isn’t the problem of this time rather the engagement part of the recruitment. All that noises talks about identifying talent which is already publicly available to us using search techniques. While I write this there comes other situations in mind I would like to address wherein we have to make sure everything goes on smooth from the beginning even that’s just introductory call with employer. Back-outs/no-show/not picking up calls or such things.

And when I have written such lengthy post let me highlight the main issues with us (recruiters and agencies) that we do not always get full clarity of the role or pay/salary a professional will get which again becomes a pain for every one of us to even talk to candidates and explain them the situations.

I hope to see such integrated platforms that addresses all the aspects of recruitment process and still feel the need of human involvement to better understand personalities and matching them with employers which will eventually help recruiters lower their pain of going through lot of activities offline and online.

With that said we have not pen down any thoughts of staffing business and how big is this business as of 2017 below are the five largest staffing firms in the US which are:

Allegis Group, $8.93 billion, 6.5% market share

Randstad Holding: $4.67 billion, 3.4% market share

Adecco: $4.60 billion, 3.4% market share

Robert Half International Inc.: $3.55 billion, 2.6% market share

Kelly Services Inc.: $3.40 billion, 2.5% market share

Staffing Industry Analysts released its annual list of largest US staffing firms, which included 144 firms with US staffing revenue of more than $100 million in 2016. All these things indicates that the recruitment business will evolve not die with like how crowd funding have grown similarly we are witnessing global crowd recruiting platforms which are capturing the marketplace with a rapidly % in the marketplace of staffing business.

Crowd Recruiting & Staffing companies as of 2017 and may be we will have more lined up:

  • CrowdMSP Crowd Recruiting, Staffing & Crowd Sourcing Talent In USA
  • Visage | Crowdsourced recruitment
  • Crowdstaffing: Tap into the Power of the Crowd to hire Contingent Talent
  • Recruitment Marketplace
  • Reflik
  • Job Search and Hiring | Job Market
  • SplitFee JobBoard – Recruitment and Recruiter Split Fee Jobs
  • FeeTrader – Fill Jobs Fast!
  • Split Fee Recruiting Opportunity | J. Patrick & Associates IPA | IPA Recruiter Network | National Recruiting Network | Intercity Personnel Associate

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