I was at the RCSA ball last week. It was a good night – a few too many speeches and not enough dance floor action for my liking, but a fun night anyway. I like to keep shoptalk to a minimum at these events – and thankfully most others do. But at one point I found myself talking to “Gordo” from LinkedIn, a fantastic chap who was passionate about telling me that LinkedIn was not the enemy of recruiters. Hanging on the edge of this conversation was a not so fantastic chap – the sort that loves the sound of their own voice and causing trouble.
“So you are in Rec-to-Rec Luke. Well you are screwed now LinkedIn is here. I mean, why would any decent recruiter need to use you to find a job when they can do it all themselves?”
There has been an endless discussion about LinkedIn and the part it can play in recruitment. Most of these discussions have been from the point of view of the hiring manager or agency recruiter. But this chap was talking about it from the point of view of a candidate looking for a new job.
His question had been specific to him as a recruiter looking for a new job. But I think the discussion that followed is relevant to more or less anyone seeking or considering a new job – and therefore relevant to any recruiter. In fact, if I can justify why a recruiter should use another recruiter to look for a new job, then anyone should be able to justify it to their market………
“So, if you were considering a new job, how would you go about it?”
“ Well Luke, I would reach out to my network and approach people directly. But in any case I get approached all the time via LinkedIn”
“So you are only going to talk to companies that you already know of, that approach you or those that are advertising. That is a small section of the companies out there who could potentially offer you that next job? What about the rest of the market, including those that you have never heard of?”
“Well, I haven’t got the time to speak to everyone. And if I haven’t heard of them I am not interested.”
“So, how much time do you think it will take you to secure a new job doing it yourself”
“I am tipping it will take you a lot more time than you think. Have you got the time to do it properly”
“And I presume that your colleagues and bosses know you are leaving already, so there is no danger if they find out?”
“How would they find out?”
“Well. It is a goldfish bowl out there and so if you start flinging off your CV here and there, or speaking to people who knows where it will end up.”
“And when you get offered a job, how do you know what the business is really like? Just because you liked what they said in your interview and a few mates told you good things about them, is that enough information to make a big decision like this on? You wouldn’t buy a house without getting a survey done would you?”
By this point our friend was starting to make a beeline for the bar, clearly unimpressed with the forehand cross court winner I had just returned to him.
“Gordo” on the other hand simply said “Nice one. Spot on”
In essence, what our friend was saying was that he would rather look for a new job in a small pool of potential employers, run the risk of his boss finding out, make a decision based on maybe not very much more than a gut feel or a good sales pitch, and spend quite a bit of time doing all that.
Alternatively if he was to use someone like me he could consider a much larger part of the market including companies he doesn’t know of and companies that aren’t actively hiring. He can assure himself of confidentiality, make an informed decision based on expert advice, and spend a fraction of his time achieving all that…and of course for free.
I might be biased, but if a recruiter can do all that (of course not all of them can) ….. why wouldn’t you use them? I always would. What about you?