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Emerging Landscape of Social Recruitment

It is difficult to believe that until the 20th century, the structure and form of recruitment did not change much. Recruitment industry, as we know, has taken shape only after the World War II. Recruitment emerged in its current avatar when American men left to join the army, and the lack of talent available to fill their positions sparked the creation of the first recruitment agencies. 

Recruitment agencies steadily thrived and evolved into headhunting operations. Gradually, over the course of the next half a century, the shift of recruiter focus moved from employees to contacting better-paying employers first. It is the phase where recruitment companies enjoyed a significant amount of prosperity until the labor laws changed in the mid-1980s, with the classification of jobs and the formation of labor unions. Sometime in the 1990s, the Internet boom created jobs for systems analysts, programmers, coders and engineers. With these new jobs, came the slow but steady trickle of online recruiters. Once the Internet boomed, job boards and aggregators cropped up, such as the monster board and those discussed earlier. This digital progress ushered in a new era of smart recruitment.

Since the early 2000s, these online recruitment enterprises grew from small scattered networks into the billion dollars organized online recruitment networks that we know today. Clusters of specialized systems and online recruitment firms also started cropping up and evolved into the recruitment landscape we see today. With the increasing number of social networks like LinkedIn, which allow you to link with the personal and professional acquaintances of your system, the digital era has made job hunting comfortable and convenient today. Recruiters soon realized that making a living in the recruitment field meant bringing people or parties together that had common interests of working together.

As we have seen, recruitment has gone from the historical or conventional model that relied on word of mouth, local hires and need-based hiring to the contemporary method of hiring which involves a limited number of social media and outbound advertisement. 

We are currently in the middle of a massive transition to yet another newer integrated model of recruitment. The whole recruitment system is presently fragmented because social media and personal connections are not being used to their full potential. Recruiters are slowly starting to realize that to succeed in the competitive digital market; we will need the same age-old networking and relationship building techniques that used in conventional recruitment and use them in tandem with contemporary practices. The modern model of recruitment is not that optimized, as it uses insufficient integrative and intuitive technologies and hiring practices. Everything is segmented and clockwork-like. People throw money at social media and expect to receive an instant return on interest. 

The recruiters of today have become content in the ease with which they can tap into social networks to hunt for a strong candidate with the requisite set of skills. However, going forward the future of recruitment is not absolute. Internet resources are quickly and unpredictably expanding to different countries and continents. Businesses are starting to realize how easy it is to hunt for someone on LinkedIn by themselves, and trying to save themselves the cost of hiring an agency or a consultant. In this situation, the only way recruiters can stay relevant is by supplying the best candidates to clients, and by bringing along recruitment expertise that only they possess as experts in the recruitment field.

Ironically, the way recruiters can achieve this exclusivity is by going back to the basics that spawned our profession in the first place, the natural ability to connect with human beings. Although, recruiters must be exceptionally technologically savvy, and at the same time, they must also be exceptionally good at finding out what both parties want, advocating on their behalf to the other party, and ensuring that the outcome and transition to working together are smooth and constructive. 

Recruitment is both an art and a science today.

A part of this shift

is due to the changing societal norms and

worker expectations.

Today, societal norms broken at personal levels in every sphere of professional life. This is especially true in India. Earlier, in traditional Indian families, it was unheard of for a wife even to work, let alone decide where a family lives or relocates because of her professional progress. Often, if the wife worked, and if the husband transferred to another city, the wife would leave her job for the husband. 

Today, the tables are slowly turning. Some couples, where the wife is the primary breadwinner or the better-paid partner, are starting to relocate and live their lifestyle in a way to support the wife's career and professional life. Many, and mostly new age people are not going to go by any written script. They don’t follow a particular belief or paradigm or religion or any set method when it comes to living their lives, which also includes work sphere. Old ideas of how to live and work are quickly becoming redundant now, just like stagnant recruitment practices. The workforce is changing its lifestyle, as we will see in the coming chapters, but their expectations of an ideal workplace are changing as well. 

We, as recruiters must leverage this changing landscape, for the recruiters of tomorrow. Understanding the emerging view of future recruitment won’t just be a choice; it will be a requirement for survival.  If she/he is to survive tomorrow's volatile recruitment market, the recruiter needs to have an intimate understanding of the workplaces of the future, the employment outlook of the future, the workers of the future, and a keen insight into the recruiters of the future. 

Throughout this book, we have made a case for an integrative future of recruitment. This integrative model would use all available channels, digital and personal, and conventional, including HR departments, social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, in-person events, drives and most importantly, own recruiter intuition and wisdom to forge strong bonds with the people they meet to expand their hiring reach. Our key takeaway for you in this book is to start thinking about ways in which we can trigger an integrative change based on the strategies and ideas presented in this book.  The difference in social media will come in the form of an all-encompassing revolution in the way we think, live, and breathe our human resource strategies. So, talk to your boss, your colleagues, and share these ideas at every chance you get.