April 19, 2022

Marketplaces: Recruiting As Self Service


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

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Books. Cars. Video games. Fast Food. Apartments. A ride to the airport.

You can buy pretty much anything online. Marketplaces made virtually every purchase experience faster, easier, more transparent, and self-service.

So why not recruiting? Why is the hiring process stuck in analog?

Jeff Smith and James Hornick will dig into the what’s held our industry back and why that’s going to change in the next The 10 Minute Talent Rant, Marketplaces: Recruiting As Self Service

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

The 10 Minute Talent Rant is live. I’m James Hornick joined by Jeff Smith and we are on the clock. The 10 Minute Talent Rant is our ongoing series where we break down things that are broken in the talent acquisition and hiring space. Maybe even pitch a solution two. Probably not today. Maybe not. Before we dig in, all of our content could be found on talentinsights.hirewell.com.

This week’s topic: marketplaces recruiting as a self-service. AKA why talent marketplaces will go from meh to fuck yeah. Amazing title. Yeah. We made some moves recently. Those of you who may know, we acquired an organization last fall that was focused on like AI sourcing tech and last week or two weeks ago at this point, we acquired organization called Rainmakers. It’s a talent marketplace focused in sales, SaaS sales, that whole niche.

Michael Ferguson, his whole team, they’re great. It was a no brainer for us for a bunch of reasons. Why are we making this move and why do I think it’s important? And I have to say I’ve been a fan boy of like marketplaces the whole concept forever. And I’ve always thought this is the direction we want to go from a talent standpoint, but why now?

And what I guess, why is this important? And it all comes back to how bad contingent search sucks. It always does. If you haven’t seen any of our previous flames or any of our previous rants on the inevitable client contingent recruiting cliff notes, it’s basically from a bygone area where skillsets were way more general and personal profiles were hard to find, which is not the world we live in now.

Yep. Job seekers had way, way less options. Companies didn’t have to be sophisticated, you know, it still lingers. You’ve got this viral job out there now- it’s all going into a vacuum. Nobody cares. Yeah, things have kind of taken a bit of a 180, like specialization is the norm.

And part of what we’re going to discuss is exactly why specialization is really important with these specific marketplaces. Job seekers have super high expectations, especially now in this market. And honestly, everyone’s kind of docks themselves on LinkedIn anyway. Yeah, like everyone’s information is ubiquitous.

Like if you would’ve told me 20 years ago that literally every professionals like personal details are gonna be free on the internet somewhere, I would have thought you were crazy. Right. Now it’s just like, it’s just taken for granted. Right, right. I mean, you’re out there. It doesn’t matter. So the way we see it- contingence basically, it’s being ripped apart in four distinct directions.

So like, can you give us just the rundown of those? Sure, sure. So first, highly specialized expensive hires are going the retained route. Exec has always been this way. You would never put like a CEO search out on a contingent basis. Doesn’t make any sense. But the thing is like it’s getting pushed down the org chart, so more and more

VP level roles, director level roles, and even further down manager roles, even really hard to find individual contributor roles. Like it’s all going the route of these are hard to find. We need to be razor focused in kind of the type of people we go for. You need to actually have someone kind of committed to running the search for you.

That’s why that whole businesses- that’s the way our business has gone. But that’s the way a lot of organizations are trying to run and realize they need someone actually committed to running their searches. That’s one. Second is internal talent acquisition is just growing and blowing up. So like high school recruiters who were very good, you know, not just kind of farming, but people who are strong with process, strong branding, strong with the communication aspect, whether it’s permanent hire people or if it’s more of an on demand model where you’re renting them, which is also something that we do. People are realizing it’s important to have very strong internal recruiters.

Sourcing technologies improving. So like the most, the biggest grind and all, any recruiter’s job is actually finding the people to contact. That’s always been the most time consuming portion of any job. So as we were saying before, like there was once important time where you had to actually be good at gathering referrals.

That’s how you actually made your year or if you’re an internal recruiter, like that was only way you can get anything done, finding people. Then everything got put online. Then you can find people on LinkedIn. So everyone’s out there, but even that became time consuming. But now we’re getting to a point where over time as me easier and easier to actually find the right people in lesser and lesser time.

Yeah. But the last part, which is pulling kind of contingent apart is marketplaces. And I’ve always said anything that can be self-service should be self-service. If it’s something that someone can do without having a middleman or someone it’s something that they should. And that’s- I mean, here’s the thing, recruiting firms like

we’re marketplaces. We’re closed private middlemen. I don’t mean this to sound bad, but it’s like the most inefficient marketplace there is. That’s the difference between like going into a brokerage platform and trading versus actually having to call a guy on the floor of the trading floor back in the eighties, to like execute an order for you. Like you paid out the nose, it was painfully inefficient.

There was no public visibility or self-service component to it. And that’s ultimately what we’re looking to do and what the whole, why I believe that aside from what we’re doing, marketplaces are really gonna take off in the next five, ten years. Yeah. It’s why we get compared to real estate all the time. But it’s why when Redfin came out, it was all Redfin’s terrible.

All the real estate- Redfin’s the worst. No, it’s not. It’s literally just all the information is there, so now people can just make decisions on it. Remember, remember when CareerBuilder was going to make recruiters extinct. Yeah. Like, I remember when I started in recruiting, that was like some, why are you getting in that career?

It’s like a dead- it’s a dead industry. There’s Careerbuilder now. We’re going to put all of our jobs on a board and like all these amazing applicants are just going to come knocking on our doorstep and we’re just going to have a pick of the litter. Like it’s just so, so dumb to think that way. Hiring managers, you just get, you know, this now. You get flooded with a bunch of resumes. You don’t know what to do with them. 99% of them like it’s not even sort of close. Like they’re not remotely close. Literally not reading the job spec. And job seekers are sifting through page- hundreds of pages of job postings

that they have absolutely no idea if they’re even relevant for or not. Yeah. And then they get ghosted because the good old, easy apply button made it easy for literally everybody to literally apply to everything and there we go. Just a mess. Yep. And I think of it in terms of like the meat of asserts have too because anybody out there who’s a recruiter knows this,

you have to go to any you- any search that really comes down to is talking to the hiring manager, pulling out like the real things that truly matter, which are never, they’re never in the resume and they’re never in the job description. And that’s also why job boards are terrible. But like in the sales realm, it’s like average deal size or quota or sales cycle length and stuff like that.

Like this next level of bedding and standardizing that data so you can actually do something with, if you’re trying to either evaluate multiple companies or multiple candidates and whatnot. Yeah. Like what’s happening on the backend, job seeker- we don’t hate you. Honestly. Anybody that expresses interest, whether they’re relevant or not is- we really do appreciate the time that folks put into sending these applications out, especially the ones that are thoughtful.

Thousands of people are concurrently doing that at the exact same time. It’s just a bandwidth issue. You’re basically putting a recruiter in a scenario that is untenable. There’s zero to your point, there’s zero intelligence baked into the actual vetting of the competencies that you just went through.

So it’s hysterical to me that like, there’s still places looking to start the new job board. It’s literally a word plus- WordPress plugin. Like click a button and you’ve created one- anyway. Right? I mean the big difference it gets specific to the marketplace. And if you’re like considering the idea of using one is

the idea of self-service is self-service. You have to be able to commit the time investment that it takes to properly vet a candidate. Once you know that the curated lists are targeted to you. So you say all right, Rainmakers and Hirewell definitely know what they’re doing. We can get these sales folks into our funnel, yada, yada, yada. They’re doing the quota analysis. They’re doing like the deal size, all of this stuff.

If your process stinks, it won’t matter. They won’t matter. So you have to, you have to have some semblance of security that your process is good, that your pitch is good, that the product’s good, that the thing that you are building is something that gets people pumped up. And I actually think that that’s more than half of the reason that marketplaces haven’t taken off.

So like, what are some of the reasons you don’t think that that’s happened? I’d say this, it is safe to say that none of them have knocked out of the park yet. It’s funny because I brought this up in a conversation the other day. Like RigUp, Workrise, had tons of street cred like in the oil and gas space, but then I heard they also laid off like 400 people.

So whoops. But anyways. The short answer is kind of two reasons. So first, like all recruitment tech, most of these organizations so far have been driven by non recruiters who don’t even understand the challenges that need to be solved to make a recruiting process work self-service. So that’s one. Every single one that I’ve ever run into is from somebody from the commercial space.

Everyone’s done. Yeah. Secondly, and the reason why more haven’t gotten involved is most actual recruiters feel threatened by this entire process and the whole concept of it. So, I mean, Jeff and I are here fully willing to admit that a segment of our job should be taken out of our hands, just because it can be.

It’s terrifying. This is something that like most recruiters could never wrap their heads around or admit or fear they’re going to work themselves out of a job. But as we’ve talked about before, there’s plenty of other things that recruiters need to be doing that, you know, if there’s jobs that can be like self service, then that also says maybe you should be working in focusing on a different segment.

One of the very few things that I want to just give a big old bear hug to. Hate hugs. I’ll hug making my job easier, even if it means making me a little bit more redundant. And that’s it. We’re short on clock. That’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for tuning in to 10 Minute Talent Rant, part of the Talent Insights series, which is always available for replay on talentinsights.hirewell.com as well as YouTube, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify and Amazon.

Jeff, thanks again is always. Everyone out there, see you soon.

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