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Why Hiring Sucks (And Why It Doesn’t Have To)

Written by Phil Roebuck | August 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

EmployeeReally now, Folks…

In this modern era of recruiting, I’m often surprised by how many employers gripe and moan about aspects of hiring that are, frankly, archaic. I’m especially perplexed when we as an industry have completely evolved solutions which either address or make certain gripes obsolete altogether.

And yes, it all comes back to social recruiting (you probably knew I’d say that).

Here are some of the most common, pull-the-hair-out-of-your-head issues that our clients (CEOs, CFOs, internal recruiters, and human resource professionals) say frustrated them the most before they evolved themselves.

1. Gatekeepers

In medieval times, getting past a gatekeeper efficiently and effectively separated the amateur recruiter from the pro. Engaging the gatekeeper became such an important part of the business that people like Peter Leffkowitz made their career coaching novices through this often daunting ring of fire. Today, industry veterans still write countless white papers andcolumns on minutiae as detailed as where you should put the emphasis in your introduction.

(“Hello. I’m trying to reach Mr. Ravioli” is the best way, just so you know).

While mastering the technique of buttering up the gatekeeper makes sourcing much easier, it’s simply a non-issue in the world of social recruiting.

Simply put, in social recruiting there is no gatekeeper. You source the passive and active candidates directly as you have unique access to the virtual world in which they read, blog, post, like, and sometimes even poke.

A company that integrates social recruiting into its sourcing methodology – or that can employ a firm that does so powerfully – will spare its recruiters the dire task of dealing with a gatekeeper.

2. Sourcing & Research

I’ve never met a recruiter who really enjoys sourcing.

Honestly, I mean someone who really loves that particular aspect of their job. What they DO love is engaging with qualified applicants or passive candidates in their talent pool – but the actual process of sourcing is usually tantamount to torture. The research alone is time consuming, and depending on your role, it takes up precious hours which can be better allocated elsewhere. Not to mention that wading through an overwhelming response of underwhelming candidates is a crummy way to spend a Thursday morning.

Social recruitment tools like LinkedIn have made it easier to target candidates down to their most specific attributes (i.e. “Must love the Grateful Dead AND pharmaceutical sales”).Boolean Algebra is no longer just something that you learned in high school and conveniently forgot. By taking the time to utilize Boolean Search, sourcing can be a more efficient and less ponderous process.

Of course, the rise of RPOs and other effective recruitment solutions can take the sourcing burden off the backs of employers altogether. It just depends on how much you want to pay, as RPOs will usually charge boatload for their services. Which brings me to my last point.

3. Metrics

Like most of the modern workforce, recruiters live in a world of metrics. They are the benchmarks by which we measure our successes and calculate our losses. And because they keep us checked and balanced, the inability to always control certain metrics is a constant source of frustration and annoyance to recruiters.

Cost-Per-Hire is an oft heard metric. This is the number that goes all the way up to the big man in the corner office because it is intrinsically tied to the bottom line.

There are all sorts of elements which factor into Cost-Per-Hire: employee compensation, third-party fees, relocation costs, company size. These are pretty obvious, but the following are less so: LinkedIn Recruiter Licenses, time to hire, lost opportunity cost.

The rise of social recruiting has enabled employers to significantly alleviate and reduce a company’s Cost-Per-Hire, but the recruitment industry’s focus on Cost-Per-Hire alone is not nearly as important as Return-On-Investment. It is the ROI which companies should really look at, because it takes into account not only cost (investment) but the value (return) of the dollar impact that quality hires will generate. I’ll be sure to touch on this in a future blog, but analyzing and stressing about your Cost-Per-Hire prevents you from seeing the whole picture. You’re just looking at the wrong metric.

That should guide your thinking if you plan on using a sourcing solution like an RPO; you’re better off using a company that is focused on ROI over just trying to lower Cost-Per-Hire.

Time-To-Hire is another metric which torments recruiters. The longer a job sits open, the less it’s likely to be filled.

Social recruitment enables the employer to search-engine-optimize their positions so not only will it reach the most candidates, but it will also target the highest quality candidates.

Furthermore, if employers farm out their sourcing & research to a company that finds better candidates in a fraction of the time, they can significantly reduce the Time-To-Hire metric because they will spend more time actually making the hire!!


At the end of the day, the largest headaches that those in the hiring business have to placate are ones which have tangible, real life solutions which use a blend of social media, technology, and people.

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