‘We have cut down our use of job boards and recruitment agencies by 95% in the last 18 months…’
I hear phrases similar to this bandied around like confetti at a 80’s wedding these days. Here is my problem with it…
I don’t really care where my candidates come from as long as they are the right candidates. If they come via an advert I have placed on a job board, it doesn’t make them any worse a candidate than if that same person sent me a message on Twitter or responded to a head hunting approach. I could meet them in a Baghdad nightclub for all I care. The fact that I am working with them – and they are right – is all that matters.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a Seek sponsored blog, defending job boards, or a shot at the old internal versus agency argument.
Like everyone, I don’t like spending money unnecessarily and personally I would be happy to never write another advert. But, just like LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, Pinterest, etc etc… job boards have proven to be a relevant and useful sourcing channel for me (and for the majority of recruiters at one point or another I suspect). I have successfully sourced candidates through all these channels and still do. I certainly wouldn’t rely on job boards, and about two thirds of my placements come from other sources. But then I wouldn’t solely rely on any single one source. That’s crazy talk!!!!
Obviously a lot of the anti job board / anti agency argument is about cost (although I think there is an element of smug snobbishness going on here too!). Of course we all want to save money wherever we can, and if we can get the same result for less, then that makes sense. In this respect, social media has been a blessing for many and changed the monopoly job boards once had… and the power agencies had over desperate clients.
But the argument that not using job boards or agencies is cheaper is simply not accurate. Even if most social media sites are free to use at some level, there is a hidden cost. It takes time and effort to make social media work really well as a hiring source. And like everything that takes time and effort, there is an associated cost. I estimate that it takes 2 hours a day to build and maintain a really effective social media recruitment strategy. It’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn and Twitter and check in every now and then. So, what is 2 hours of your time worth?
Surely, our job as recruiters, internal or external, is to do everything possible to find what we are looking for. So it makes far more sense to have a sourcing strategy that is inclusive and uses whatever channel you have available… even if it is not where your candidates come from most of the time. Can you be certain where your next ideal candidate is going to come from? Ignoring any sourcing channel is stupid.
Now, I’m off to a Baghdad nightclub to find a particularly difficult candidate… that’s my excuse anyway…