A 21st Century Recruiter Manifesto

A 21st Century Recruiter Manifesto

What Is It Going to Take to Be a Successful Recruiter?

What will it take to be a successful recruiter as we move further into this century and out of the Coronavirus pandemic? We know that work, business, and daily life have already irreversibly changed. Here are some thoughts on what this means for recruiters.

Human+ : Become One With Technology

As I and many others have written extensively, the merger of people and technology is close to complete. Automation does not necessarily mean totally taking over what a person does. What it does mean is that almost everyone will be or already is aided and guided by automated software or robots.

Technology has become an extension of who we are and many jobs would be impossible or very difficult to do without the Internet, physical technology, databases, and the processing power of computers and robots.

While a few recruiters may still be needed for some human-to-human interaction, somewhere around 90-95% of what a recruiter does today can and will be heavily assisted or completely done by software.

Lesson: Become familiar with a wide variety of recruiting and related technologies. Marry yourself to technology that gives you leverage in speed and quality.

The New Way of Working: Embrace Many Different Ways

Remote, global and more and more contingent, firms will have workers located where ever a skill or expertise exists. According to Global Workforce Analytics, with no change in how work is defined or structured, over 56% of the U.S. workforce could work remotely. With restructuring, this could increase even more. This is mirrored in other countries, as well. Relocation and physical proximity will be reserved for a handful of people who must be present to do whatever work there is.

Lesson: As a recruiter learn to be comfortable working as an internal or external recruiter. Learn to be flexible, agile and open to a variety of working arrangements.

New Work: Hire for Skills not Jobs

Rather than a focus on hiring a personality, or a degree, recruiters will be asked to hire a set of skills that can be put into use quickly. Think how we select and hire a consultancy today, as an example.

We will have a far more diverse workforce with English and Mandarin as the most common universal online languages. AI and machine learning will make translation instantaneous and more accurate than it is today. This will be especially true if the translations are focused on specific, work-related vocabulary.

Lesson: Do not limit your sourcing to permanent hires; cast a wide net. Think differently and boldly about what work might look like.

The New Organization: Become an Outside Supplier of Talent

Charles Handy, a management philosopher and writer, outlined the emerging organization decades ago. He was just way too early. His outline, called the Shamrock Organization, suggested that there would be a small core of permanent employees with broad, diverse skills who defined the business and utilized and coordinated the skills of a professional contract workforce as well as a contingent workforce. They would also develop strategic alliances with partners and outsourced many services.

Today’s organizations will look more and more like this. I believe recruiting will consist of a combination of contracted skilled recruiters and strategic alliances with RPOs or other similar organizations. There will probably be no recruiters in the permanent professional core.

Lesson: Brand yourself and become known as a superior external supplier of talent. Learn to work in whatever capacity an employer wants. Agility equals success.

Essential Recruiter Skills: The Need to Influence

The more traditional skills of sourcing, screening, and interviewing will be replaced or augmented with technology. Your unique capability is in the soft skills of collaboration, communication, influence, persuasion and having a wide knowledge of business and economic trends.

Lesson: Read books or take courses like those offered by Robert B. Cialdini, or the American Management Association. Seek out learning, read widely, and learn from mentors.


Special Thanks

Thanks to Ivan Harrison, Fred Wise, Jane Gray, Solange Corm, Jacob Sten Madsen, Gerry Crispin and all the others who liked and shared last week’s newsletter. We appreciate your support and referrals.


How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Redefining Jobs

Three ways to shift work, talent, and resources to where they’re needed most.

Scarce Skills, Not Scarce Jobs - The Atlantic

The “real” challenge technology presents isn’t that it replaces workers, but rather displaces them.

To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now

Reskilling employees and adapting their roles to the post-COVID-19 ways of working will be crucial to building operating-model resilience.

How to Use Cialdini's 6 Principles of Persuasion to Boost Conversions

“Influence,” by Robert Cialdini, is a marketer’s bible. Find out how to use Cialdini’s 6 persuasion principles to boost conversions.

The Future of Jobs - Reports - World Economic Forum

Graphs of trends and emerging skills.


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About This Newsletter

Hand curated articles, videos, podcasts, and other media on the future of work, talent, recruitment, and learning. If you find this useful, please share on Twitter. You can always reach me at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.

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