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Q&A with Tim Sackett: In the Future, Marketing Will Do the Recruiting

Cornerstone Editors

Marketers as chief company recruiters? Yes, predicts Tim Sackett, president of staffing firm HRU Technical Resources and blogger at The Tim Sackett Project. With new technologies, the way today's job candidate looks for a potential employer is ever-changing. Same holds true for the way recruiters find appropriate talent. While networking events and personal connections still drive talent acquisition, social tools are becoming more important for recruiters in the early stages. Sackett predicts that as this trend continues, recruiters will eventually become part of a company's marketing department — branding employment as it does its products.

What is the biggest change in the future of company hiring?

Eventually recruiting and talent acquisition will be taken out of HR departments and it’ll be put with the marketing department. Most companies have really good consumer branding, while employment branding is generally run by one person in HR who is working with the marketing department and the IT department. Instead of HR messing with the career site and job descriptions, marketing should deal with it. HR people see job descriptions as a legal thing, but marketing and sales would make the descriptions fun and attractive—like a story.

How have recruiting tools and technology changed over the past five years?

What you’ve seen is this evolution of the job board 2.0. For years Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice were the go-to for recruiting. Companies turned to a resume database site—whether it’s internal or external—plowed through the data and contacted as many people as possible. Then LinkedIn came into the picture, which started out as a cool networking tool for professionals, and then two years ago became a job board site. LinkedIn is different than Monster and CareerBuilder because it has found a way to get companies to think that it’s okay to have employees on LinkedIn. If my profile is on LinkedIn, I don’t have an HR manager coming down to my office asking if everything’s okay, whereas if my resume was on Monster or CareerBuilder, I was going to have that talk because they were afraid I was going to leave.

A number of job board companies are learning how to aggregate all of the data online. Let’s say you belong to Pinterest and Facebook, but you’re not necessarily looking for a job, you’re still leaving a social exhaust, a path of crumbs and pieces of you all over the web. These new technologies have found ways to take these crumbs and create a profile of who a person is—what they do, where they live. Recruiters might only have a Twitter account, but they can now connect with someone who they may have never found before. That’s the future of recruiting.

Because of all of this data on the Internet, do you think more recruiters are searching for people that aren’t actively looking for jobs?

There are two kinds of recruiters. The majority of people in the corporate recruiting industry follow post-and-pray—they’re the gatherers. Then you have a smaller minority that are the hunters—they go out and find people. Hiring managers want that passive candidate that’s already working and not looking for a job because they think that candidate’s better because they aren’t in the job market. It’s a warped sense of reality.

Looking down the road, how will recruiters change their strategies to seek out those passive candidates?

Recruiters need to leverage their networks—such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—and their giant network of employees. Most talent acquisition professionals do a terrible job of leveraging their own employees. They put a poster up about employee referral and then they forget about it—and employees forget about it, too.

You can expand your network as a recruiter by making it super simple to leverage your employees’ networks. In an email to all of your employees, you can say, "We need a new accountant," and in one button, employees can say, "Yes, I want to send this to my network," and it goes to their LinkedIn or Twitter friends. Then their friends within one button can send it to their friends. This is how viral marketing and recruiting takes place. Those companies that figure out how to leverage networks are going to be the ones that find the better talent faster.

Photo: Creative Commons

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