Why Dinosaur Recruiters are Heading for Extinction

Our blog How to Source Talent in a Digital World explains the changes to the ways in which experienced professionals are looking for work – and how recruiters aren’t adapting to accommodate them.

The blog illustrates how the employment industry is in the midst of a paradigm shift, driven by the emergence of the new digital economy. Candidates are behaving differently, and existing resourcing strategies are losing their effectiveness, yet recruitment professionals cling stubbornly to out of date methods.

We call these professionals ‘dinosaur recruiters’, and for good reason. They use outdated techniques; failing to personalise adequately, and relying heavily on creaking platforms. Dinosaur recruiters antiquated resourcing strategies often work to actively drive candidates away – diluting the quality of available talent.

What’s more, your Preferred Supplier Lists are likely full of these recruitment dinosaurs, and you may well have a few ex-agency professionals duplicating these poor practices in-house. They might not even know that it’s a problem – when you’re stuck in the past, it can be very hard to see the future.

To help define what makes a dinosaur recruiter, we have outlined five major problems with their practices.

1. Over-reliance on LinkedIn

A major issue for recruiters is an over-reliance on older digital employment channels. It was smart to seize the opportunity that LinkedIn offered upon its launch in 2002 – it was not smart to treat it as a crutch.

Today, LinkedIn is widely considered an annoyance instead of an asset. In 2016, only a quarter of the platform’s users logged in every month. As TechCrunch’s Daniel Kimmelman puts it: “LinkedIn is now, at best, a business card holder. At worst, it’s a delivery service for spam.”

2. Spray and pray

Perhaps the worst quality of the dinosaur recruiter is their general carelessness when it comes to targeting. They fill inboxes without any thought for the candidate’s needs and desires. Their messages replace the first name and nothing else, the wording is vague, and it says nothing to them about their life, their interests, and their priorities. This is a spray and pray methodology, and one that yields limited results: they’ll hit the odd pigeon, but they’ll scare bigger birds away.

3. Job board addicts

These postings tend to attract a higher proportion of candidates who barely fulfil the minimum criteria. They attract fewer genuinely good candidates who fulfil minimum and desirable criteria, and they attract precisely no ‘passive’ candidates who might be convinced to pursue a new challenge.

Yet the dinosaur recruiter’s first reaction is always to run an ad on a job board, whether they’re looking for a Junior Analyst or a CTO. Essentially, they always do what they’ve always done. New order? Run an ad. Several new orders? Run several ads, across several job boards. It’s an unreliable method, but the dinosaur can always be relied on to use it.

4. Resistance to innovation

The over-reliance on job boards is a by-product of a more general reluctance to take advantage of new innovations. Even if their old methods underperform, they find the comfort of what’s been tried and tested impossible to resist.

There’s a manifest lack of initiative – again and again, they return to their job boards, spreadsheets, and hard-copy resumes. They never leap into the unknown and embrace the possibilities of social recruiting.

4. Reluctance to engage

Again, the best candidates aren’t the ones who send in CVs or fill out application forms. Dinosaur recruiters are happy to call themselves ‘head hunters’, but they’re rather less happy to live up to it. They search a dwindling database of contacts, they post the advertisement far and wide, and they assume that’ll settle the matter.

They’ve no real notion of what social recruitment is, and their lack of creativity, inability to think like a marketer, and resistance to engaging people, means they’ll never have access to the top talent.

That fact that a few of the firms in your PSL are struggling to source the right talent, doesn’t mean it’s not out there, it just means that their recruitment philosophy needs to adapt to the new digital economy.

Dinosaurs won’t ever be able to successfully meet your talent sourcing needs, and if you have them in your team, it’s worth thinking about how you might be able to retrain them, or hire recruiters who understand the new environment more intimately.

Want access to new pools of talent? Dodge the dinosaurs and get in touch with Third Republic today!

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