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Guest Post: From Post and Pray to Good Old Days

Ed Nathanson is the Director Talent Acquisition at Rapid7 (www.rapid7.com) where he brings over 17 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and Human Resources in Global Technology and Retail organizations. Ed’s a self-proclaimed “recruiting and sourcing nerd” who is passionate about new HR/Recruiting technologies and processes. He suggests that in spite of the rapidly evolving role of digital recruiting tools, (good) recruiting at its core hasn’t really changed. 

A couple of months ago, Monster had to say goodbye to 7% of its worldwide workforce – I took this as further proof of something I have long since believed – that the days of “post and pray” are over. I remember when I first started recruiting in an agency (my first “real” job out of college). The “training” I received was – post your opening on Monster, DICE, CareerBuilder and other boards and just keep checking your nets.  As I started to learn the art of recruiting and sourcing, thought, from some really great mentors, this notion became more and more questionable to me. How does waiting for someone to find your opening add any value to your company or customer?

Without a doubt, the traditional job boards have offered value over the years. There was always an inherent branding value to being seen on these boards. And sometimes you might actually come up with a good candidate or two. However, more often than not we recruiters spent our time weeding through countless unqualified resumes while increasing our cost-per-hire. The problem remained: if you were not an experienced recruiter who had been trained in the real art of sourcing or if you were a company that couldn’t afford someone with those skills, then the job boards were about the best option out there.

Recent events and technologies have changed the game. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, BranchOut and BeKnown have shaken things up by making the ever elusive candidate much easier to get in touch with. And aggregators like Indeed and Simply Hired give job seekers a centralized  scouring of open positions from the web – bringing recruiters and candidates together much more quickly. In and of themselves, aggregrators might just be the death knell for the traditional job boards. Why would companies pay for something they can now (essentially) get for free?

While it is disheartening to hear about layoffs and the effects of these new trends on good companies that have been a big part of the digital talent acquisition game, the reality is that the days of “post and pray” are over. We’re likely to see continued consolidation, partnerships, and maybe even marriages of these digital recruiting powerhouses in the coming months. We will of course continue to see an evolution in the tools these powerhouses provide. But in all of this, one thing is for sure: It doesn’t matter what’s all new and shiny, the good old days of smiling and dialing, targeted sourcing, influence, and deal making will always prevail.

Image Credit: HAMED MASOUMI

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