Adapt To New Recruiting Tactics and Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

February 15

At least once a day I am asked, "Why should I work with a recruitment advertising agency?" Depending on the person asking the question any, or all, of the following are true:

  • Our knowledge and expertise.
  • Our ability to develop and execute sound strategies that get results.
  • Our ability to save money and negotiate added-value on media plans.
  • Our purpose-built infrastructure and professional account management teams.

There is, however, a deeper, and potentially more important, answer: "Because we make you uncomfortable." Now, that is a somewhat disquieting statement, isn't it? Aren't agencies supposed to make your life easier? Of course we are, but we also have a responsibility to push you.

Einstein defined "Insanity" as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Today, many recruiting professionals are stuck in a rut, using the same sourcing tools and strategies over and over again, year after year. Why do they do this? Mostly, because these tools and strategies are in their "comfort zone." These recruiting managers know and understand the tools, have the infrastructure to support their use, and have budgeted for their costs. "We do this because we have always done it," is no longer a valid reason to engage in a sourcing strategy or recruitment effort.

The recruitment advertising marketplace has shifted dramatically in the past 5 years, and it continues to do so at an ever-increasing pace. The impending Baby-Boomer retirements and the emergence of Generations X and Y have changed the landscape. New tools and technologies have been developed to help recruiting professionals drive efficiencies in sourcing and recruiting. The adoption rates for these tools are growing, just not as quickly as one might think. Many recruiting managers are interested in trying new ideas and tools, they just do not know how, and more importantly, they cannot risk failed ROI on the project.

A recent SHRM study found the majority of job applicants now come from on-line recruitment. Where print once dominated the marketplace, online job postings have now become the "go-to" option. Job boards are growing at about 23.5% annually so the predictions of their demise are overrated, however, everyone is using them to source. Thus, active candidates can be found but how do you reach the passive seeker? How do you use online tools to differentiate your organization?

This is where the discomfort comes in. Agencies should constantly push clients to test new ideas for engaging candidates. At TMP Worldwide, our Innovation Lab is always tinkering with new ways to source, attract, and recruit the right talent using new technologies and tools. We are consistently sharing new ideas with clients, knowing full well that most of them will not implement them anytime soon. The value is in challenging their perceptions and in educating them about current and looming trends.

When I discuss Web 2.0 and Mobile Marketing with HR professionals, most are familiar with the terms and have some experience with them, either at work or at home. If they have teenagers, they are certainly aware of Facebook, MySpace, and SMS messaging. What they do not know is how to use these effectively in the recruiting arena.

Take Second Life, the virtual world created by Linden Labs, for example. How does one take an online world, similar to a video game, and turn it into a recruiting tool? Innovative thinking allowed us to reach a targeted audience of seekers in an environment that was outside the norm. TMP Worldwide hosted the first (and second) in world recruiting events in the history of Second Life. Participants included Sodexho, GE and Verizon, to name a few. The companies benefited not only from the actual recruiting activity conducted, but also from the huge amount of positive press coverage the events garnered. When asked why they participated, Sodexho replied, "This was a great opportunity to explore a creative medium to meet candidates and have an engaging experience!" When the idea was first proposed, you can imagine some of the reactions we got. "You want me to recruit where?"

The point I am making is a simple one. While HR professionals are focused on the daily demands of their job, open requisitions, and recruiting, there is little time left for them to delve deeply into the evolving recruiting landscape. Often, when they do find the time, they do not have the resources needed to implement any of the new ideas. That's why they call us. We help get the day-to-day stuff done efficiently and effectively, while ensuring that they stay leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.

If you want to learn about Mobile Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Web 2.0, or anything else outside your comfort zone, call me.

Steve can be reached at or 800-867-2001 extension 2097

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