July 17, 2018

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The Surprising Negative Impact of Technology on Recruiting

I heard a Fortune 500 internal recruiting executive say that he loved new technology. I found his view to be acutely myopic, self-centered, and anything but sagacious.

I love shiny new toys also, but it doesn’t mean they are the most useful or the best use of my time.

This is what happened to corporate “recruitment” and how new technology has kept hiring managers from finding the best talent. Or at least it hasn’t given us the results we needed. If it did, then third party recruiters would be out of business and internal recruiters would not be as frustrated as they are. Still. Not to mention the hiring managers who scratch their heads trying to figure out why all these tech resources don’t consistently get them the rock stars they hoped they would.

If I gave a presentation to 300 people and asked one of them to stand up and repeat his name over and over again, everyone in the room would hear him. If I asked everyone to stand up and do the same thing, then you wouldn’t hear anyone. It would be a room filled with noise.

Welcome to social media.

I laugh. Out loud. Whenever I hear internal human resource executives talk about things like employment branding.

“You’ve got to build your employment brands to attract the best candidates!” Not true. You need to build your employment brands to attract the low hanging fruit. The best candidates are too busy succeeding and don’t care about their competitors’ employment brands. They roll their eyes when an internal recruiter tries to poach them. Of course you think your team is the best. You are on it. That’s the weakest argument of them all. Delete.

Sourcers used to be people who built lists of names of good candidates. But now everyone knows how to do that. And if you don’t, you can outsource it offshore for four bucks an hour. So the good ones figured out how to talk to prospective candidates over the phone. They actually became headhunters because the competitive demand for talent pushed the smart ones to think outside of the box.

I gave a speech once to a group of recruiters and asked them for their best technology tool. LinkedIn! Twitter! Facebook! Nobody gave the right answer. I gave it to them: The telephone.

What do hiring mangers really need to attract high performers? Emotion. Raw emotion.

That’s the one thing that is hard to convey in an email. But with your voice, you can build an emotional context to the relationship and draw them in to build an authentic relationship with them, and get them to open their mind up.

Once you open their mind up, now you have earned permission to sell your opportunity, and that’s what good recruiting is all about.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Love

Scott Love is a leading authority in the field of executive search and high level selling. In addition to working as a high-stakes headhunter for Washington law firms, he is a popular keynote speaker at sales meetings for all types of recruiting and sales organizations. Companies that want more influence with prospects hire him to speak at their sales meetings and conventions. To learn more how you can gain more influence with high-level clients, visit his website at