This post will be somewhat tangential in terms of the SNS line of thought, although I would like to respond/think about Ken Forrester’s blog post “Searching for the New Recruiting Model”. Ken describes a conversation with a contact about how everything is being turned upside down, and that we now have a need to reassess what constitutes a workable recruiting model.

A lot of information is available for free now, where it previously was not. Hence we cannot assume that people (whether companies or candidates) will be willing to pay for services as they have before. Ken’s take was that recruiters need to reestablish themselves as a particular kind of consultant, one that spends “time with their clients to understand their needs and provide a service for a fee.”

Personally, I think what we are faced with here is the need to upgrade the service that we offer in terms of improving the quality of the information that we can make available to clients (again, I am thinking here in terms of both companies and candidates, at least for the time being).  SNS make available an astounding amount of information, for free. But, from the point of view any one particular job seeker or company looking to hire, most of that information is what you might call white noise. It is useless information in the sense of being irrelevant to the task at hand. It is something that needs to be filtered out in some way. It is our job to get someone the information that will be most useful and productive, when they need it.

I will give you an analogy. One of the clients that I work with is a smaller and relatively new pharma marketing firm. They offer consumer analytics services to pharma companies by partnering with retailers involved in the filling of prescriptions (such as larger drug store chains). The problem is that most prescriptions don’t get filled, so it becomes ineffective to get the data about consumers from the professional side (i.e., from physicians).  There is, in effect, a lot of white noise in the raw form of the data. This marketing company essentially scrubs the HIPAA information from the data, sorts out what actually gets filled (along with relevant demographic information) and is then able to offer actionable analytics information to their clients.

This company provides a valuable service by managing and understanding information. The trick is that even if the raw information relevant to finding and filling jobs is available for free, there are still important steps to be taken in order to make that information actionable, and that is where a good recruiter can come in.

My Labor Day weekend starts tomorrow…  Hope everyone has a nice weekend.