Resumes lifted from job boards is not executive search

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Finding a name in today’s wired and increasingly smaller world is obviously a piece of cake. But finding a name easily does not mean it’s easy to find a suitable person to hire. On the contrary, the truth is: easy to find = but difficult to hire. 4138_dominoes_charcoal

I mean, after you have that name and LinkedIn profile, just reaching out, asking the person if she is interested in a new job, surely will not cut it. But then again, this is the question inexperienced recruiters, corporate or recruitment companies, gladly ask right after they have introduced themselves. And don’t forget that HR managers are in HR and not in sales for a reason. Few in HR find cold calling someone and selling a job opportunity to their liking. And yes, a huge part of recruitment is Sales with a capital S.

3518_binoculars_greyYou must bring unique selling points to the table when you establish contact with a person you find on the Internet or LinkedIn. We call these points for Employee Value Proposition in executive search. You must be good at selling the job opportunity, have a high influence factor, be able to quickly establish a good rapport, have a strong impact when you communicate and be full of confidence.  These traits are the hallmarks of a great sales manager and a top recruiter.

Why else will the executive search and recruitment industry never be pushed aside? Remember when Internet job boards came into our world? Remember when large multi-national organisations set up their own recruitment departments, often with staff from the recruitment industry? Some predicted it was the end for headhunters and the like. However, despite these initiatives the recruitment industry is doing well, thank you. In fact, with the expected contraction in the labour force, it’s not just anyone’s guess what that brings to the industry. The best kept secret: there’s golden days ahead for professional headhunters; that is, if they can find the candidates for their clients.

4441_Palm_colorHaving said all that, I do believe that the recruitment companies who only sell resumes lifted from Internet job boards or their own databases will find it tougher out there. Without any value added services in their product offering, their client companies will hesitate to pay for a pile of papers with the names of people who have not been qualified to their requirements.apple_laptop_working

If you find it a challenge to identify applicants and candidates, ask yourself if your company is using technology tools, Internet job boards and tactics learned 15 years ago. You see, more and more people no longer hang out on job boards, participate in discussion forums, or check classified jobs in printed media. I know of some who have taken down their LinkedIn profile, or made the profile private in order to avoid being chased by desperate and hungry corporate and recruitment recruiters. The reason? Just being fed up receiving calls or emails every day asking if they want another job.

I should really laugh when I see how many HR and line managers blindly and clueless continue to post any managerial and top executive vacancy on the Internet job boards. In Thailand alone, there are many choices when it comes to buying a small piece of Internet real estate to announce that your company is looking for people.

3319_books_ledger_colourBut this is not a laughable matter. It’s nothing but mismanagement and is really a reason for dismissal. Ask your preferred Internet job board provider for their candidate demographics. One of the major job board players in Thailand will tell you that around 90% of their candidates are younger than 30 years of age, earn less than 100,000 a month, and have no bachelor or master’s degree. Now tell me if that looks like a good place to find someone to fill your next Finance Director or other senior executive position?

Even worse and plain incredible is seeing client companies use a recruitment company who in turn posts a vacancy on a job board, harvests whatever applications reach the email inbox, sends the collected resumes to their client and if someone is hired, finishes their job with an invoice. Not sure who should be first in the line of fire, the client or the recruitment company. Oh well. If only such recruitment companies would stop calling themselves headhunters when all they do is shoplift on the Internet. I guess the first person to get fired would have to be the ignorant HR department.

PS You are welcome to leave a comment below!3361_toolbox_red

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.