Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Recruiters Must Be Early Adopters

My self-assignment this weekend was to ponder and write about questions posed by John Sumser, CEO and editor of Interbiznet, a daily newsletter that tracks the technology developments that impact recruiting. In a recent blog post, he asks:

I wonder when it became the recruiter’s job to lead the organization into new technology usage. Isn’t the job to staff the existing organization? Aren’t other people supposed to be moving the technology ball forward? Are Recruiters really supposed to spend their time at the cutting edge?

As often happens when surfing, I happened upon something seemingly unrelated, a bit of video about methods to eradicate poverty, that helped me think more clearly about the topic at hand, recruiting and cutting edge technology.

In this presentation for a Ted Conference in 2005, entrepreneur and humanitarian Iqbal Quadir makes the point that increased connectivity leads to increased productivity, which leads to a more prosperous community. It is a fascinating presentation, as he shares bits of his personal history. If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to watch the whole thing (warning: the Ted videos, while wonderful, are addictive, notorius timesucks. View Mr. Quadir's talk in full here).

Mr. Quadir's asserts that increased access to cell phones broadens access to markets and the ability to earn a living. If we extend the concept to recruiting, we see that new technology, especially social media technology, increases the average recruiter's reach into distant talent markets and increases the ability to hire effectively.

So, while it may not be critical that recruiters be on the cutting edge of technology, it is important the we become early adopters to do our jobs well. We can leave the cutting edge for the software developers and I/T departments (although when was the last time your I/T department recommended a new product that made your job easier, cheaper or faster?).

If we are focused on hiring, it is not likely that we will be on the cutting edge -- in fact we rarely participate in the development of products built for us -- but we must be early adopters.

Recruiters who embrace social media, learn its nuances, and incorporate tools into sound recruiting strategy and process can improve their efficiency, reach a bigger and better talent pool, and improve the candidate experience. Recruiters who wait to be told to use these tools find themselves with the digital leavings of their faster, more clever colleagues.

As Mr. Quadir says, increased connectivity leads to increased productivity.


  1. Shawna10:44 AM

    And you turned your homework in on time too :0). I couldn't agree more with our comments.

  2. Hey Carmen,

    Good to see another proactive recruiter.

    I think that Recruiters should be innovaters. We deal with people everyday, trying to manage people's expectations on two sides. We're almost Double agents, and would you really send a double agent out into the world without the best gadgets?

    Of course not.

    We have to be at the forefront of the technology world in order for us to be the best at our jobs. Without knowledge of the industry and technologies you're recruiting for, how can you expect to build a trusted relationship?

    Good posting :-)