The Future of Recruiting (This Is Not About Tools or Technology)

/ / training, HR, recruiter, Recruiting

By Ben Gotkin

Many blog posts and articles have been written over the years about the "Future of Recruiting", and those articles typically focus on technology.  This is not one of those articles.  This is about the future of our profession.

Almost 20 years ago, I graduated from college and started my Recruiting career.  Looking back, it was a very much of a transitional period for our profession, particularly for the corporate recruiting function.  Corporate Recruiting was beginning the transition from being a highly transactional, relatively unsophisticated function to one that over the next two decades would start to embrace new technology, sourcing, assessment and selection tools and methodologies.  Corporate Recruiting became more and more specialized, adding in new roles focused on sourcing, employment branding, in-house executive recruiting, social media and more.  One thing that did not change much however in that time is how people entered the recruiting profession and how they learned and mastered their craft.

For the most part, people have become Recruiters accidentally and have learned through mostly on-the-job with the occasional sprinkling in of conferences, articles and either corporate, vendor or consultant-led training.  Recruiting Toolbox (disclaimer: the firm that I work for) is a fine example of a consultant-led training provider, with training built upon years-and-years of proven methods, best-practices, and practitioner expertise.

Other resources for learning such as ERE, Recruiting Trends, Recruiting Blogs, local SMA chapters or grassroots local groups like the one I run, recruitDC, as well as a variety of vendor-led webinars, user-conferences and whitepapers, have also done a fine job of filling a massive gap in educational resources for our profession.

I think a lot about the future of the profession that I have embraced and loved for just about half of my lifetime.  When I think about it though, I have a lot of concerns.  I’m concerned that not many people outside of our profession understand what we do or what impact we have on our organizations.  I’m concerned about our profession’s ability to attract highly-talented, well-aligned individuals in a more deliberate manner.  I’m concerned about our profession’s ability to train and develop everyone in a more consistent and systematic way.  When it comes to the future of our profession and the Corporate Recruiting Function in particular, I am most concerned about our ability to advance and grow our profession without standards, an academic discipline and effective advocacy.

In the coming weeks and months, I hope to spark a conversation through a series of blog posts and articles, both here on the Recruiting Toolbox blog and through other channels, regarding what do we as a profession want to become?  What is our profession’s potential?  How much more effective could we be if education and training of our own was seen as a top priority?  What would the Future of Recruiting look like if the profession was to become more united, transparent, collaborative, standardized and understood?

With each blog post and article, I would like to invite your opinions and feedback.  This time around, what does the Future of Recruiting look like to you and what can be done to build and grow the profession that we know and love?