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It all started with a pager...

By Iain McCracken

A pager?!

I'm pretty old… not hang up your boots old, but I have been around long enough to have witnessed the changing landscapes of the recruitment market. 

To give some context, I was handed a pager, not a mobile phone when I started as a recruiter (told you I was old!). Had I joined a few months earlier I would have been using a paper based candidate filing system, rather than a PC.

The last 25 years have seen a lot of change

The last 25 years have seen transformative change to the vast majority of sectors, and recruitment is certainly no different. As with most cases, the driver of change has been technology. Back in the late 90's the key skill needed to thrive within recruitment was the ability to identify candidates. Ironically, engaging with candidates was far simpler. You called them and more often than not they answered! With the increase in mobile phone technology, candidate engagement and cutting through the noise became the skill many clients valued most.

Candidate mapping and engagement vs. the digital world

In a LinkedIn world, the skill of candidate mapping holds no value. The identification of candidates is a few clicks away. Likewise, with candidate engagement, this has been simplified to the point of holding little value to clients. The opening up of candidate markets and the ease of engagement has seen the growth of the internal recruitment function. Combining technology that supports candidate identification with digital forms of engagement allows businesses to solve a portion of the vacancies themselves.
 
In the digital age, recruitment businesses operating within segments that can be replaced by internal talent will be suffering. If candidate engagement is the main characteristic, it offers limited value. This is an issue that will be further impacted as AI starts to erode some of the elements of this type of recruitment.

How can recruitment companies succeed now?

With all this change, the role of the recruitment firm is increasingly valuable, but the core characteristics and service offering have changed. Now to succeed firms trade on market specialism, discretion and proactive methodologies. 

Roles that can be filled by internal talent functions, should be. For everything else, a highly focussed proactive talent partner should be used to access the best talent, not just the best available. The evolution of the recruitment market will continue and those firms that continue to thrive will embrace the change.

To find out how FMC Talent provide internal talent functions with superpowers, visit fmctalent.com

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