Friday, February 10, 2006

The Next Big Thing in Online Recruiting

Anyone who has been operating in the world of recruiting in general, but certainly in the world of online recruiting per se knows Pete Weddle's name. He has been both a participant as well as an observer of recruiting trends since before the Internet really took off.

He publishes a number of newsletters, books, and articles. I subscribe to both newsletters, and always look forward to what he has to say.

In his Feb. 2 issue of one of the newsletters, he had a piece entitled "The Next Big Thing in Online Recruiting."

Essentially Pete's point of view is that the hoopla over the role of search engines when it comes to recruiting is over-hyped, and there are a number of points that he offers up to argue that the "A" players that everyone says they want to hire are much more likely to use a niche site to look for leads than they are by using a search engine. There are arguments that can be made both ways, and if you follow Joel Cheesman's blog you will already know that he isn't quite so sure.

The answer, of course, is that time will tell us all. Pete's point, if you read his piece is that the "A" level players, especially those who the world labels as a "passive candidate" (whatever that may mean in this day and age) will not be "into" search engines so much as they will be “into” sites that provide them with the content, information and community that engages them on a continuing basis. Given the fact that for the senior executive membership we serve at Execunet this has been a fundamental belief that we have followed for the past 18 years obviously we think Pete is more right than wrong.

Joel, in his comments on Pete's thesis, disagreed to a point. I too have a disagreement, all be it a somewhat minor one. It is simply this. If you read Pete's piece, or many others for that matter, they tend to brush off "active" job seekers from the "A" players or so-called "passive" candidates.

If this were 20 years ago, I would tend to agree that the "A" players were not those who were "active" job seekers. For decades in this country, the person who was "unemployed" (and this was especially true at the executive level) was viewed as an "also ran." It was just one of the many biases that existed then and which along with any number of others still exist, although to a somewhat lesser degree.

With all the down-sizing, M&A goings on, restructurings, right-sizing, or whatever other tags one wishes to put on them, there are literally tens of thousands of executives who are "active" job seekers who, absent the history of the past 20 years or so, would easily be called "A" players or "passive" candidates.

I am not saying that there isn't a difference in the "quality" of candidates for a job. Of course there is. What I am saying, however, is that there is still a tendency to lump "active" job seekers under the heading of "low quality" candidates, and that's just not fair.

If that were the case, among other things, and at least from where we sit, the 3rd party recruiters and companies who have and continue to use ExecuNet as a recruiting resource would have voted with their feet a long time ago.


reinkefj said...

It would seem that the next big thing would be the XML resume. When I present my online self vie the internet to a "job site", I don't want to spend time "filling out their resume form". Like Brass Ring at sites X, then at Y, and then at Z. It would seem that having a resume, not microsoft word, but in a machine readable format like an xml file, with approrpiately parsed fields of data, would allow a quick and accurate "registration".

Perhaps you can lead the charge?

Dave Opton said...

Makes all sorts of sense. In my dream of dreams, maybe we can get it to the point where we can all do this sort of thing intravenously at night!