I have attended all 5 ATCs held in Sydney. They have all been very interesting in their own way and a valuable source of trends and case studies for my speaking, writing, training and coaching.
I am still digesting everything I learned at the event, so before anything escapes my over-flowing brain, here’s a quick summary of my initial conclusions:
- LinkedIn is VERY serious about dominating the recruitment market for top professional talent
LinkedIn were a platinum sponsor of this ATC. On the first morning of the conference, Sjoerd Gehring, the Global Head of Sourcing for multi-national management consulting firm, Accenture, gave a compelling presentation on the effectiveness of LinkedIn. This presentation alone would be enough for agency recruiters to truly understand how organisations can and will use LinkedIn to reduce their reliance on recruitment agencies. Some quick highlights;
- a)Accenture cross-referenced their recruitment agency-sourced hires in the USA to LinkedIn and found only 29% did not have a LinkedIn profile.
- b)Accenture currently have a combined 395,000 members in their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter talent communities. A majority of people joining are at Manager level.
- c)Accenture is piloting a LinkedIn algorithm which takes all Accenture vacancies (approx. 4000 open jobs) and searches in each of the 110,000 Accenture employees’ 1st level LinkedIn networks (a total of 4.3 million 1st level connections) for the purpose of identifying a member of their employees’ network as a potentially suitable candidate for a vacancy at Accenture.
- Work with top talent on their turf
The most revealing presentation of the whole conference was from Jason Kerr, founder of find.ly. Kerr’s company has developed an application (The Talent Hive) which allows companies to follow the careers of those candidates who have given that company (via a one-click opt-in process) permission to track them on either LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace.
The beauty of the find.ly application is that the two major problems of traditional candidate databases (data storage and data freshness) are completely removed. Each search is done with real time data and the find.ly program instantly converts the employment related data, found in that search, into a standard format for each candidate.
Find.ly has also developed the technology to predict the likelihood of a candidate leaving their current employment simply by assessing the frequency and content of activity that the candidate is engaged in on their nominated social media site. The ATS/CRM and job board industries have just seen the sunset of their respective business models.
- Forget cold telephone marketing to the Big End of Town
Just in case you haven’t worked this one out for yourself, a number of speakers and delegates said it’s a waste of time recruitment agencies picking up the phone and cold calling Recruitment Managers at big companies. They aren’t interested in talking to you. Working your way into contention via existing contacts is the only way to go if you insist on marketing to blue chip companies.
- RPOs have contracting and temping firmly in their sights
Paula Baskus, the Asia Pacific MD for Alexander Mann Solutions, used a case study to demonstrate that sourcing and running a contingent workforce via an RPO provider, is the next place to look if you want to save millions of dollars in ‘agency margin’. Having commoditised permanent recruitment, RPOs have now got their sights very firmly on agency dominated temp and contract recruitment.
- Job boards are so last century for finding the very best talent
Watching the find.ly presentation and then watching the LinkMeJobs presentation the following day, made it very obvious to me that any business model that relies on candidates making pro-active applications for jobs, is destined, in the not too distant future, to have a very low margin future, if any future at all.
Within this decade, top talent will stop applying for jobs because their next job will come to them almost every time. An ANZ Recruitment Manager said to me, over a coffee, that if he found out that any agency he used was placing an ANZ vacancy on a job board, he would probably never use them again because ‘if a job board posting is that agency’s immediate response to sourcing the best candidate then they obviously don’t have any depth of specialisation in that particular candidate market. We use agencies to access their own unique networks, not duplicate something we have already done, or could do, ourselves’.
6. Use video and transparency to bring your branding efforts alive.
James Elliott,National Recruitment Director atDeloitte Australia, spoke about the importance of making the Deloitte employer brand authentic through the use of videos (Deloitte recently held a Deloitte Film Festival to showcase the Deloitte culture) and also using social media in all its many guises to provide prospective employees with a genuine insight into what working at Deloitte is really like.
7. Mobile, mobile, mobile
I said inInSight #166 that making your marketing, attraction and brand development mobile-friendly was going to be critical and everything I heard at this year’s ATC confirmed this for me. If your website (as a starting point) is a user’s visual and navigation nightmare on a mobile device then you better get it sorted out quick smart. You don’t know what your website looks like on mobile? Time to get with the program (PS: Watch out later this year for the Ross Clennett App – coming soon to your mobile device).
8. Gaming is the next wave of candidate assessment and brand experience
America’s Armyproved that games could provide a huge recruiting return on your investment, if you had a huge budget and needed to hire tens of thousands of the same type of candidate each year.Professor Sara de Freitas of The Serious Game Institute (University of Coventry, UK) clearly demonstrated the huge potential of gaming to dramatically improve both hiring outcomes and the candidate experience of the employer brand.
I left the event excited about the future of recruitment. It was clear to me that the next few years will see a widening of the gap between those companies that have an effective recruitment and talent management strategy and those that do not.
From where I stand, the old recruitment agency business model is looking shakier by the day.