Wednesday 19 October 2011

#Onrec and Recruitment 3.0 / 4.0


   I was at Onrec (UK) on Wednesday – where I finally won an ipad at the exhibition! – thanks to ClearChoiceCareers.

There were some good sessions, including an impressive review of Work 4 Us by Stephane Le Viet, and a challenging panel chaired by Matt Alder.  But I was most intrigued to see a slide in the presentation from Eilish Henson at Wood Mackenzie referencing their potential move to ‘recruitment 3.0 – 4.0: talent mapping and new online networking approaches to tap into passive talent pool’.

This of course is a reference to the recent article by Matthew Jeffery ideas on recruitment 3.0 and 4.0 and the fact that Eilish didn’t reference this is testament to the success of Matthew’s proposition.  But the fact that the article has ‘gone viral’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the points it was making were necessarily right.  So I thought I’d comment on the aspects of Matthew’s ideas about recruitment 3.0 / 4.0 that I agree with, and those that I don’t (something I’ve been meaning to do for some time).

And firstly, I need to state that I think the 3.0 and 4.0 is frankly daft, and also unhelpful – partly because assigning an endless string of numbers to anything is unlikely to help much.  2.0 (web 2.0, enterprise 2.0, HR 2.0 and yes, even recruitment 2.0) means something specific in terms of being a transformational change involving social ways of interacting – but lets leave it there.  Also if Matt’s recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 ‘are fundamentally focused on the active job seeker’, then they’re not fundamentally different, so they’re just different versions (1.0 and 1.1 perhaps) of the same thing.

Same thing with recruitment 3.0 which is concerned with  ‘the non-active / passive individual and a focus on best talent… engaged, two-way, free conversation based, transparent communities… mapping key competitors and seducing cream-of-the-crop talent with your brand and in-house opportunities’ and 4.0 which builds on this to move recruiting from being a cost centre to a profit centre.  Matt’s 3.0 is clearly a step change from his 1.0 and 2.0 but I just don’t see 4.0 as a further transformation.  Plus of course, it’s also possible to make recruitment 1.0 / 1.1 into a profit centre if it’s good enough for someone else to want to get involved in it.  So to me, these are both simply aspects of recruitment 2.0.

However, Matthew does outline some interesting shifts in the nature of recruitment.

Firstly, the idea of recruitment contributing directly to profit one is interesting, and is something that all professional functions within an organisation should work towards.  The idea that this contribution be through the value of an organisation’s talent pools is particularly interesting, however I don’t think it’s a very serious proposition given that 1.  recruitment is likely to need marketing / customer services / open innovation’s contacts more than these functions will need recruitment’s talent pools, 2. any contribution is more likely to be to market value rather than profitability (eg ‘companies like Zynga, Facebook and Linkedin have massive valuations, well above their profitability margins’) and this contribution is likely to be dwarfed by the value provided by the internal talent pool that has already been recruited.

I absolutely do think these external relationships are the key difference between recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 however.  In the panel, Felix Wetzel from Jobsite suggested that mobile is much bigger than social, and that if you’re not doing either, you should do social first. I agree that mobile is providing a big impact - and also support the other other panellist that social, mobile etc are all coming together - but I don’t believe mobile (communication vs consumption) is qualitatively different from what has come before, in the way that social is.

As I’ve posted previously, what I’m not convinced about is that these relationships will necessarily lead to full community, but I don’t consider this to detract from the importance of relationships.  And I also think community development is a great strategy where this is feasible, eg if you have a particularly strong employer brand – which is why, where possible, you should try to establish your own communities, rather than join in with those that already exist.

I also like Matthew’s suggestion that recruitment needs to extend its focus from internal employee referrals to external referrals: ‘crowdsourcing using their communities’ (or just relationships) – a sort of 2.0 squared (but still not 3.0).

There’s a few other things I’d argue with you, including the role of gaming (I think games like My Marriott Hotel are superb but this isn’t the same as trying to make a ‘boring’ process like recruitment more interesting by dressing it up as a game.

But that’s probably enough.  In conclusion, there are some good ideas here, and I think Wood Mackenzie would do well to consider them as part of its strategy.  Just don’t call it recruitment 3.0 / 4.0!


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