At a recent meeting with a long standing FM client, the comment was made to me “it must be really hard for you guys as social networking and on-line media is changing your industry”. I banked that one for further thought, but he went on in the discussion to say he was “getting over a 100 emails a day related to applicants”, and the way these were dealt with was to “highlight them all, and press the delete key”!
The insinuation was that social networking sites and on-line job boards have made it much easier for people to apply for roles; hence that makes it more difficult for Search consultants. In truth, it probably makes it more difficult for clients and consultants – companies are getting bombarded by applicants, many of which are of low quality or little relevance; time is wasted both by people applying, and clients and us having to process them at our end.
In effect, social media has had a negative impact on the quality. By making it easier to apply, candidates appear to be thinking less about what they are doing and approaching it from a “volume” perspective – get enough out there and something will stick!
This draws the conclusions that specific search, targeted at exactly the right people is more beneficial than ever. Certainly we are seeing that clients have higher expectations of the specification and knowledge of suitable applicants – even to the extent of knowing specific people in contracts. The days of taking a gamble with people from outside the sector seem to be increasingly rare – companies are looking for assurity – get the “biggest bang for their buck”.
The mis-conception for many clients that because they get a lot of applicants, there is talent ready and waiting to join out in the market is sadly mistaken. Many good people are more nervous about moving in a “down market” fearing if they don’t integrate well initially, will that leave them quickly out of a job.
Hence companies need to be assessing their approach to resourcing – better targeting of the right people and a campaign of how to attract them through a compelling and differentiated process that adds real weight and quality to the approach and results.