Culture is key to agency performance; A prophesy of the death of sourcing and HR

Source: Shortlist, 19 October 2012

Culture is key for high-performing recruitment companies
With more employers doing interesting and creative recruitment work in-house, the agency sector faces increasing competition to attract top talent, and the best way to do this is through culture, says Jonathan Rice of NZ rec-to-rec Rice Consulting.

A strong culture delivers good results, Rice told the RHUB NZ conference yesterday, and skilled or high-potential recruiters are attracted to success.

“Recruiters like joining winning teams, and they stay.”

As well as low staff turnover, another marker of an agency with a good culture was headcount growth through employee referrals.

“That means the people in your team are out there talking to their personal networks – they believe in your culture so strongly that they’re willing to risk a friendship in bringing someone into the business.”

Rice offered a number of tips for agency owners and managers to improve their culture:

Ask clients how they perceive the culture of your team, and then ask your team. “If there’s a big difference you’ve got a problem.”

Praise loudly and publicly, criticise privately.

“For God’s sake, please give your recruiters access to social media! Did you know you can use it to recruit?”

Encourage employee referrals. Have a formal referral program with rewards for referrers.

Whatever you do, don’t treat the top biller differently. “It’s a tough climate, but treat staff with the dignity they deserve.”

Remuneration matters to recruiters. Wherever possible you should ensure your consultants have the opportunity to earn a total package in the six figure range.

A prophesy of the death of sourcing and HR
Sourcing, and the HR function as a whole, are on the way out, claims social recruiting and employer branding specialist and Jobgram director, Paul Jacobs.

Speaking at the RHUB event yesterday, Jacobs made some bold predictions about changes to the recruitment landscape between now and 2020.

He said by 2020 “everybody is going to be a recruiter”, and cited the example of Deloitte Australia, which has said publicly it wants all 5,500 of its employees act as its recruiters and sourcers.

At the same time, Jacobs said, the growth of big data and the use of pre-programmed search algorithms to comb through this data meant that dedicated sourcers would no longer be needed.

“My theory is that we will see the death of sourcing and the death of sourcers. What we’re doing with Boolean searches and stuff like that, at the moment, I actually think will be all done in real time, automated and personalised – information will come to us.”

He added that he believed that HR as a business unit would also be dead by 2020, through its own failure to innovate.

“[Internal] recruitment is going to remain but HR is going to die – I don’t think HR is spearheading ideas or championing collaborative tools, social media tools, and so forth. I don’t think they are keeping up, I think they are becoming irrelevant.”

Jacobs said his experience was that social media, marketing and communications experts had better ideas for HR initiatives than the HR community itself.