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A friend of mine recently sent me this Wall Street Journal article about how recruiters are rethinking the way they’re going after quality applicants, ridding themselves of the “blindfold” that can sometimes keep them from finding the right person. Two main points in the article say it all:

1. Many plan to scale back their use of online job boards, which they say generate mostly unqualified leads, and hunt for candidates with a particular expertise on places like LinkedIn Corp.’s professional networking site before they post an opening. As the market gets more competitive again, they are hiring recruiters with expertise in headhunting and networking, rather than those with experience processing paperwork.

2. About 24% of companies plan to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards this year, according to a December survey from the Corporate Executive Board Co., a business consulting firm. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of job-board alternative methods this year, such as employee referrals and other websites like Facebook Inc. or LinkedIn.

The article suggests – and I confirm from my real world HR experience before becoming a Career Coach – that this really isn’t going to be a new way of recruiting.  We used to do this years and years ago before job boards became so dominant. And from my experience, this return is a good thing – I think it will better match the right people for the right roles (good news for everyone!)

So what does this all mean for job seekers? You want to focus on creating your personal brand and creating a circle of experts in your field that know you personally. They need to know what you get energy doing and, most importantly, are passionate about doing.

You should never give up your power to recruiters or headhunters. Yes, they are a small part of the mix to anyone’s personal marketing plan. So do get your online presence/resume/brand in order and focused. However, remember that in most cases, the hiring manager has the final say and can often request what you the applicant can’t: an interview. So network. Develop your brand. And make your Linkedin presence something recruiters can’t pass up.

Have any of you had recent dealings with recruiters? What was your experience?

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • A lot depends on the curcumstances of the recruiting. As a research manager and later as a university department chair I would not dream of letting anyone in H.R. get involved in our recruiting nor any other third party. I had networks that tracked university students and restless people with competitors. I invited them personally along with their spouses, and held all day and sometimes multiple return interviews to ensure the best fit I often ditched the job description if an exceptionally creeative and talented candiate happened into the mix. In over ten years in a volatile industry we experienced zero unwanted turnover. The extra care up front paid huge dividends long-term

  • Activ8 Activ8 says:

    If only we had more of that kind of hands on slection process in practice today! Thanks for sharing this with the readers. It’s refreshing to know that some really take the time to find a good fit for both the applicant and organization.

  • Kristi Enigl says:

    Great article with timely info David!

    I am an ex-hiring manager, HR Manager and recruiter. I remember when Linked In come online, and I started using that exclusively for recruiting, along with networking. The online job boards are expensive and resulted in no candidates.

    As a career coach today, I advise my clients to have a consistent online brand across ALL social media sites. That is so important! Listen up Job Seekers!!

    Kristi Enigl

  • Activ8 Activ8 says:

    Thanks for you feedback. It looks like we have the same take on this subject.