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Search Consultants Identify Top Threats to the Recruiting Profession

by | Aug 14, 2019 | Owner Issues, Top Echelon Blog

Let’s get one thing straight: there’s going to be a recession. It’s going to happen, and there isn’t anything that anybody can do about it.

That being said, the only question is when it’s going to happen. No matter when a recession strikes, though, it should be a short-term threat to the recruiting profession. At least, that’s the way it’s always been. However, what about long-term threats?

Is there something out there that has the power to eradicate the profession, or at the very least, cripple it severely? As any business person knows, if you want to ensure future success, you must identify possible threats. So who would be the best person to ask this question? A third-party recruiter, of course!

Actually, asking a whole bunch of third-party recruiters or search consultants would be the best strategy. After all, nobody would know better than them what threats, if any, exist for their profession.

With that in mind, we at Top Echelon recently conducted a survey of more than 20,000 recruitment professionals in the United States and Canada. We designed this survey to gauge the professionals’ opinions regarding a wide range of recruiting and hiring topics.

NO threats to the recruiting profession?

One of those topics was that of possible threats to the recruiting profession. In fact, we asked the following question in our survey:

What is the biggest threat to the recruiting profession?

More than half of recruiters (55%) believe that “There is NO threat to the recruiting industry.” While that does constitute a majority, it also leaves plenty of recruiters who think there is some sort of viable threat to the profession. Of those, 24% believe that “Artificial Intelligence” is the main culprit. “LinkedIn” is next at 14.5%, followed by “” (6.6%).

As might be expected, recruiters identified some threats that were not among the ones we offered as choices:

“Lots of large companies are building talent acquisition teams and rarely using third-party search firms. This trend is continuing. LinkedIn treats recruiters like step-children and thinks their platform will replace us. LinkedIn targets companies with the sales pitch, ‘Use our app and do what recruiters do, thus reducing or eliminating your recruiting costs’.”

“My choice wasn’t listed, but a selection was required. Mid-size and large companies using their own internal recruiters, even if they aren’t great.”

“The biggest threat is the lack of human interaction in today’s world.”

For some recruiters, the biggest threat originates from within the profession itself. (“The call is coming from inside the house!”)

“All of the above have affected our industry. However, I do not see them as a threat. Laziness and call reluctance on the part of recruiters is our biggest threat. Failure of our industry to adapt to technology is another threat . . .”

“Incompetence and laziness are always threats.”

And where some might see threats, other recruiters see the opportunity to adapt to ever-changing circumstances:

“Not sure if there is a ‘threat’ to the recruiting industry. There are definitely more challenges now, but also more solutions to previous problems. So it’s just a matter of shifting paradigms and keeping a finger on the pulse of the changes and staying ahead of them. Everything changes.”

“There is really no threat to the REAL recruiting industry. Those who understand where good talent comes from understand the most time/cost-effective way to accomplish their goal is using a GOOD recruiter . . .”

Recruiters appear to be supremely confident that there is no real threat to their profession, at least not a threat big enough to eliminate said profession. However, there are some who view other recruiters as being a threat. A thread throughout the comments in our survey indicate that these recruiters believe there are those in the profession who do not belong in the profession.

And furthermore, the behavior and business practices of these “wannabe recruiters” is only serving to give the profession a bad name in the eyes of candidates and employers.

Our State of the Recruiting Industry Report

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, we conduct a survey of more than 20,000 recruitment professionals in the United States and Canada. We turn the results of this survey into what we call The State of the Recruiting Industry Report. We’ve conducted this survey and published this report in each of the past four years.

Possible threats to the recruiting profession are just one part of Top Echelon’s 2019 State of the Recruiting Industry Report. This special report contains much more, including the following:

  • Recruiters’ top priorities for 2019
  • Most popular recruitment marketing strategies for search consultants
  • Recruiters’ biggest problems with clients
  • The top complaints clients have about candidates
  • Recruiters’ biggest problems with candidates
  • Where to advertise your jobs to reach the most candidates
  • What recruiters think about the future of the profession

Download the 2019 State of the Recruiting Industry Report!

And don’t forget, Top Echelon also offers one of the most affordable recruiting software packages on the market. The price is just $59.50 per user per month under the annual plan. Click here for a FREE 15-day trial of the software.

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