Resumes lifted from job boards is not executive search

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

2 thoughts on “Resumes lifted from job boards is not executive search

  1. Great post, Tom. This will great for what the ideal function of HR is supposed to be. Jan in his elaborate comment also offers great insight.

  2. Dear Tom,
    Many thanks for your post. It is a pleasure to learn a Headhunter reflecting soberly around headhunting/recruiting itself.

    I agree with you and my observations is that 80% of the HR, Hiring Market is built on totally wrong parameters and it is actually the Investors, Boards, Top Management which are lured into Optimistic and Confirmation Bias by the internal HR professionals which are primed and anchored into all kind of things by external “Headhunters”.

    The above is just based on my up to date limited experience by simultaneously being searching for a steady full time meaningful job in the Thai and Asian market. At the same time doing training, coaching courses for employees within companies in the same region.

    What have I experienced?
    I get contacted by all kind of “headhunter/recruitment pros” offering a lot of at the outset interesting positions were I actually could be of meaningfulness for the business.

    When I ask the following I get answers inline with above:
    Who and Where is the company? We cannot tell you!
    Are you Exclusive on this? No!
    Why is this position needed and Why is it created or open? Not your business to know!
    How can you know I am the right candidate? Not your business and you are wasting our time by nonsense questions!
    How many rounds estimated before signing the contract? We do not know but maybe 5!
    How long will it take before I can get in and work? We do not know but in general it takes 6 months!

    I could go on with the list but, it is evident that all the above is waste of time and a pure desperate fishing expedition! It is time consuming, frustrating and does not enhance or improve anything for any one. I have no learnt to ask the ones contacting me to explain in their own words, what they think the position they are trying to find a candidate for really do or should on annual holistic and strategic level? If the person does not know? How on earth can they then know anything around recruiting?

    The same goes with internal HR pros and I find the same 80% fallacy rate to apply here as well. When one is contacted with queries like, can you join because we need you to transform and change our ability to Innovate and Market! When I ask, why is the company keen on boosting Innovation and Marketing? The usual reply is, because we need to “innovate or die” quickly because all other companies are doing it! When I ask what they consider innovation to be in reality? The normal answer is usually, we do not know but we have to do it soon because everything is changing fast!

    All this is nonsense and innovation is nothing more than improving simple tasks by having better performing perfectly normal and happy people improving the smallest things in order to create more out of less. It can be moving a pile of paper from the left side of the desk to the right side because it faster, easier to process and that is the innovation part because it make sense. It can be moving the hole company from say, Finland to Thailand because it will create more from the same. It can be firing the whole internal HR department which have caused the mess in the first place by hiring the “wrong” people for tasks HR have no clue about. It can be outsourcing to 1 company the whole HR process but Innovation and marketing is nothing more than improving already existing things by taking things apart and putting them together with less parts in a better and sustainable way.

    When internal HR gurus hear all this they get very short in their tone usually and indicates between the lines that I have misunderstood the whole thing about Innovation and Marketing and thank me for the time. Maybe I misunderstand the general accepted hype around transformation, change management and so forth because it does not make sense to me and it cannot on the other ever work except messing up fairly good baseline businesses in a very short time frame. Simplicity and common sense by improving products/services by hard working ever improving happy employees repeating tasks which are considered helpful and positive experiences for paying customers is the real innovation and marketing in any company on this globe.

    Then to the final part and sorry for the long reply to your very important message. When I am designing and delivering courses in the Asia & ME region I meet a lot of very nice, happy, smart people. I actually believe that all of us are the same and our performance factor is connected to the tasks we are assigned to.

    Here again I observe that 80% of the delegates/students are struggling to find motivation in their daily tasks and holistic meaningfulness factor. Why? Because they were hired by people who usually have no clue around the task itself. Most people I meet are a bit disappointed and sometimes even grumpy or angry because they feel they have been lured into a position or task which did look interesting, meaningful, learnful and rewarding according to all evidence available during the whole recruiting process.

    One actually told a horror story about 8 weeks intense communication, 5 interview rounds, psychological and physiological heavy duty testing before landing the job only to find out that job in reality is to make coffee for a certain “important” department, empty some trash cans a bit of cleaning but not even touching the tasks which was the reason for the position in the first place. There are many more but no point on spinning on negative things which already happened.

    Cleaning is very important for sure and I empty my trash and coffee is the blood in any company but I have never had any problems to make coffee for my self and others or wipe my coffee spill or others regardless of my position. Why? Because it is normal and make sense to do so and if it does not, then we have to gently “slap” with a hockeystick some common sense into people.

    In short based on the above, most companies are temporarily into a illusion of understanding and validity around: leadership, change management, employee satisfaction, recruiting, innovation and so forth because of Social Media, IoT, Media priming and anchoring Fear, Uncertainty and Doubts which cause otherwise fairly stable HR departments to lose focus. It does not help to see all the headhunting companies, recruitment specialist popping up like mushrooms after the rain either.

    Finally Tom, my gift back to you because of your meaningful post.
    Innovation going forward will be to dismantle the internal silos and department thinking and re arrange the business model to be task based which can be identified as an Action task or Re-Action task between people in the company. The companies which will survive and thrive are the ones which can reinstate the fastest way back to reality and what makes the profit for all parties involved. Constant improvements around positive experiences from simple make sense tasks by employing the right Attitude by training for gaining more skills everyday regardless of position will do it. Simple things in humble opinion and I keep it simple because I like to be simple ?

    Have a great weekend, stay safe and have fun!

    Kind regards,

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