Greg Savage leads London masterclass
Greg Savage ran an Elite Recruitment Network MasterClass in London on November 22nd to over 100 recruitment professionals, sharing his vision of the future and how successful recruitment can thrive in what Greg describes as the & lsquo;scariest’ market he has experienced in 30 years.
Entitled “The Future of Recruitment - New Kool vs. Old Skool” Greg’s premise was this: the market and clients’ attitude to recruiters is changing and while strategically many clients recognise that the acquisition of talent is potentially the critical business strategy, many don’t see recruitment businesses as being part of the mix which will deliver the solution. Internal talent acquisition strategies and utilising the same sophisticated technology that recruiters use – job boards and social media platforms – are obvious ways forward to bi-pass recruiters. Let’s face it, why wouldn’t you do it yourself if you didn’t think recruiters were adding any value and were no more than & lsquo;key word matchers’ hiding behind technology.
Having depressed the audience with some harsh realities and straight talking (Greg’s savage truth!) Greg gave the audience hope with some proven strategies that recruitment businesses can, and in his view must, embrace.
Firstly Greg believes that despite technology becoming more and more sophisticated, it won’t replace recruiters - recruitment will remain a predominantly human endeavour and those businesses that practice the real & lsquo;craft of recruitment’ - high finesse negotiation, psychology and personality – will have the edge when combining that craft with sophisticated technology.
The skill of recruiters and where they can add real value is in two areas:
1. Find people clients can’t find themselves
2. Bring them to the hiring table
Those businesses that remain transactional – the & lsquo;old skool’ - and over reliant on technology, will reduce the skillset and the impact of their recruiters and eliminate the value they offer clients. Recruiters need to push against the transactional tide and find the & lsquo;sweet spot’ as niche recruiters with genuine niche expertise practising the craft of recruitment with a focus on the candidate – attracting talent and candidates that others don’t have.
In Greg’s world the & lsquo;old game is over’ and dysfunctional outdated business models will die. Recruitment businesses are failing all the time because of a failure to adapt and recognise that what worked in the past won’t work in the future.
Greg’s take is that everything that is both scary and exciting about the future relates to the candidate. Skill shortages are high in many sectors and if, and it’s a big if, we find the talent then that’s good for us (although do expect more and more counter offers moving forward as clients look to retain their employees).
Yet the reality is that many recruiters currently treat candidates badly: candidates want transparency and speed and don’t get it, they don’t get treated with the respect and professionalism that & lsquo;talent’ deserves and suffer from & lsquo;job board’ fatigue (false jobs, multi-listed jobs etc.) Additionally the typical candidate is behaving differently, like a consumer, going online and making decisions based on what they find, and continuously searching even when they are in a job they are satisfied in. They are suspicious of recruitment businesses, have a short attention span and are always searching.
Recruitment businesses need a mind-set and strategy to drive and develop the on-going relationships with candidates, what Greg calls CRM: Candidate Relationship Management. CRM delivers benefits to candidates and creates a value adding community.
The evolution of talent sourcing requires recruitment businesses to become a social recruitment company embracing social recruitment, and not as a sales channel, at every touch point. That doesn’t mean hide further behind technology (and by the way under 7% of people go on job boards, they prefer to go directly to search engines, so don’t over rely on them) and social media platforms, it means blending the technological opportunities with the human aspect of recruitment. Recruiters need to & lsquo;get off their backside, get on the phone and have more real time chat’.
Recognising how candidates behave, and our need to differentiate ourselves and add value by having talent clients otherwise wouldn’t find, requires us to bring unavailable talent to the table - if they have the skills, even if they are not looking, they are a candidate: they just need to be & lsquo;ignited’.
To make this happen we need to create a community where potential candidates within our niche want to hang out. Successful social recruitment businesses will have dedicated e-sourcers – people who are smart at identifying candidates and & lsquo;seducing’ them into the community. Greg’s & lsquo;seduction’ and & lsquo;flirting’ of potential candidates (and this is someone who has built up a massive community himself with over 25,000 followers) creates a community, an online brand and credibility. It creates a magnet of talent.
Strategically and culturally we need to become talent centric, focused on what the candidate thinks and wants. This needs to start at the top with the CEO and be promoted by all the staff, with every touch point and all content – whether webinars, LinkedIn, YouTube, or additional creative and bespoke services such as salary surveys - turning static databases into dynamic communities.
Once in the community, it is the recruiter – the & lsquo;rock star of the social strategy’ who uses the craft and psychology of recruitment to engage the talent- people still buy from people! So in Greg’s words don’t recruit OINC (Only in Name Consultants) recruit DRINCKAEs:
· Digital recruiters
· No d***heads
· Content (ability to write)
· Knowledge and niche
· Attitude over resume
The right type of consultant with a clear strategy for candidate care – Greg uses a seven point care plan – with their own community which has been built by candidate centric recruitment business and smart social recruitment – that’s the future.
Compare that with the reality of today and the future can be very exciting. Greg’s view: recruitment and recruiters won’t die or be replaced, but unless we have a laser like focus on what clients will pay for, become niche players and true & lsquo;social recruiters’, we won’t be in the game.
Greg is superbly engaging and thought provoking presenter with a compelling insight into what is ahead and how to survive and thrive.