7 downsides of DIY recruitment via LinkedIn

DIY recruitment is short sighted and lazy

Two people apparently join LinkedIn every second  of every day.

This platform and others like it have changed forever the way organisations identify and recruit talent. Some aspects are improvements. Others are not.

These platforms should potentially reduce the need for external recruiters and change the way they are managed by corporations.  Historically the key claim to the added value of third-party specialists was their networks and in-house data bases.  These were built up over the lengthy careers of each consultant and protected ferociously.  Much of this information is now obviously in the public domain, creating a level playing field for all.

In certain de-regulated geographies anyone with a LinkedIn account and a lap top can set up shop and call themselves a recruitment specialist, whether internally within an organisation or as an independent third-party. But it has also produced a slipshod DIY approach to hiring talent, carried out by those involved in the process who mistakenly believe it’s an opportunity to recruit on the cheap.

I was approached myself by a London-based in-house recruiter only last week!  Yes really! Me! Sadly, my credentials are as distant from the required profile as Brussels is from Beijing.  However, my name had appeared in a LinkedIn search. I was what I call  a “low hanging fruit” candidate. Visible and easy pickings.

This I believe will ultimately back fire. And here’s why.

7  reasons why DIY recruitment can fail: 

  • So anxious are organisations to reduce the length of the recruitment process that in-house recruiters  are taking on the searches themselves and are targeting the “low hanging fruit” candidates. Minimal or no skill is required and they can be identified by the most rudimentary search.  These are the candidates who are on the market,  rather than a thorough search of the talent that is in the market. And therein lies a huge difference. Researchers usually  junior,  end up calling the wrong people. This only serves to extend , rather than reduce the timeframe,  generating even further costs, estimated at between 3-5  times the annual salary of the open position.transparent-linkedin
  • Hiring managers can be so focused on reducing the cost of the process of filling each individual open position, that they fail to link the expense of the recruitment assignment to the bottom line of their own businesses. Very often the  “butts on seats” approach,   affectionately  known as the “Homer Simpson hire” also  has extensive hidden costs. An unsuccessful or inadequate hiring decision can lose companies thousands in the opportunity cost of an under performing new hire or one who leaves early.
  • With the growth of LinkedIn an increasing number of us ( 21%) have 500+ connections.  Identifying the most on-target candidates will becoming more complex.
  • Highly sought after profiles will become beleaguered by numerous contacts from recruiters targeting “low hanging fruit.” They will either stop using LinkedIn altogether or refuse to engage.
  • It’s not enough to identify the candidate, but to bring  him or her to the to the hiring table.  This requires professional soft skills in what Greg Savage calls “candidate seduction.”  I would love to put that in my profile but have concerns about the type of  impression “Dorothy Dalton: Candidate Seductress” might create!
  • Changing careers  is rarely an emotional snap decision although I  have seen that happen. It is usually a protracted process involving partners, families and other factors. A relationship with a trusted partner with a strong reputation who acts as a sounding board will be important in that process.
  • The fear of getting hiring decisions wrong shunts recruiters into “copy-paste”  placement  mode,  playing safe and ignoring valuable transferable skills leading to  more  “low hanging fruit” candidates who are easily sourced.

Does the proliferation  of online profiles mean that the future of the industry is under threat? I don’t think so. But it is certainly a game changer and any one in the sector would be unwise to ignore that fact.

If it weeds out the unskilled, incompetent DIY-ers that would be welcome collateral damage.

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