This is how recruitment tends to work:

When you get your first recruitment job, you are told of “active clients”, “databases”, and “training and development”. You are told of huge earning potential, perhaps even shown a pay slip of a top biller. You are told of the “red-hot desk” that you will inherit once you prove your worth. You do not know what a “desk” is (apart from the obvious), but it all sounds incredibly exciting. You start on day one and spend the morning waiting for your computer and phone to be set up. The afternoon is spent either creating or editing your LinkedIn account. You may be introduced to a work buddy who is meant to serve as a mentor. Keen to impress, you lean over his or her shoulder as they click buttons on a system you don’t understand. This is your ATS training.

If you come from a sales background already, you soon realise that the recruitment industry is an anomaly. You’re used to a sales database, but you’ve always used it to manage leads created by the marketing team. In recruitment, by day three, you realise that you are your own marketing team. You’re also your own admin team. And the delivery team. You now know what a “desk” is. By Thursday you set about calling the “red-hot” client list. You realise that most of these clients have moved on many years ago. Those who haven’t are either dead or hate you for some unknown reason. Some never existed in the first place. Apparitions in the system created by Consultants who, like the Scottish play, shall never been mentioned aloud again.

In week two, frustrated with a lack of traction, you are introduced to the “ad chase”. Speaking in the hushed tone usually reserved for admitting that you actually quite like Simply Red, your mentor explains the process. For those non-recruiters sufficiently bored on a Friday to be reading this, “ad chasing” involves monitoring job boards to see which businesses are hiring, and then calling or emailing them with their dream candidate. We ignore the fact that the client has already chosen not to use the services of a recruitment agency.

For many recruiters, ad chasing is the reason they now have clients. Show me a recruiter who has never chased a job advert, and I will show you a liar. It is a necessary evil which has kickstarted many a desk.

This week I received a LinkedIn message from Scott George of Recruiter Intel. I’ll mention him by name, as his approach was well crafted and professional, and this blog might actually send business his way. I’ll let Scott explain the proposition:

“I’ve co-founded a job board monitoring software platform that filters out low-value roles and provides hiring manager and other critical intel on job openings so you can spend less time researching and more time matching great candidates with great companies using our AI prospecting toolset…. We aggregate all major job boards and monitor over 10,000 company career pages directly to provide you comprehensive new opening coverage. We’ve also created custom Email Automation software that’s integrated into our platform to send automated introductory emails filtered by location and job type directly to hiring managers….”

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So my understanding based on this and their website, is that Recruiter Intel will scan all relevant roles in my sector and geography, and automatically send an email ad chase to a scraped email address. Not only this, but I can electronically hound all clients who don’t respond. At first I was horrified. Like publicly admitting that “Stars” by Simply Red is a bangin’ album, ad chasing should be done, but never spoken about. And do we not have a bad enough reputation without sending 600 emails a day in the hope of striking lucky? Just imagine if we all used this? Imagine the clutter. The noise. The mail-merge errors.

But then I thought some more…

Once upon a time, fishermen were a different breed from the cashed up Aucklanders we see today. They were men with shoulders as wide as oxen, hands like shovels, and chunky-knit jumpers darned by ruddy-cheeked wives. Back then, “Roger the Cabin Boy” was both a name and a hobby. Catching fish took what was probably called “watercraft”. No technology, just knowledge of the seasons and the tides and the seas. Then someone invented the electronic fish finder. All of a sudden, every Murray, Mick, and Hamish was out there in their Haines Hunter fishing the Hauraki dry. I’m sure the purists out there resisted. Fishing, like darning chunky-knit and oceanic buggery, is an art they said. It’s not right to replace a lifetime of knowledge with a bleeping LED screen. But fishing, by it’s definition, is about catching fish. And fish finders gave us all the ability to pull fish out the sea. The purists lost, and we all have a freezer full of snapper

Recruitment, by definition is about recruiting people. Wouldn’t automating a laborious part of the job free us up to spend more time finding great candidates for our clients? Like rogering the cabin boy, does not the ultimately satisfying ending justify the slightly embarrassing means?

I’m keen to get your thoughts.

^SW

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