The Recruiting Industry is Broken 1

(December 11, 2008) The idea that Recruiting, in its current shape, is some sort of a strategic function is completely laughable. At best, most Recruiters are “fixers” or “firefighters”. They respond to immediate crises.

In most business functions, one plans in order to either avoid or minimize crises. When a commodity is essential to smooth operations, one manages the supply. Predictability in the supply chain is what differentiates a great company from an erratic lifestyle business.

The most obvious example is the cherished position occupied by the search function. Searching is what desperate people have to do when they are unprepared for a shortage. Searching is a profoundly reactive function.

Instead of being the model of industry excellence, searching should be understood as the method of last resort. It represents a failure of the planning necessary to run a successful business. One searches for replacement personnel because one is not prepared.

Because there is no meaningful educational infrastructure in our industry, some extraordinary myths get repeated:

  • Using free software is a cost effective approach to Recruiting;
  • Technology solves Recruiting problems;
  • Someone who isn’t looking for a job is preferable to someone who is;
  • Recruiting is not local, industry or job specific; and
  • Planning is impossible in Recruiting.

The list goes on and on. Everywhere you look, being busy and doing stuff appears to be valued over producing results.

It takes moments of economic transition to bring these sorts of issues into focus.

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