Now Is The Time For True Innovation

Following on from Dan Nuroo’s insightful blog this week, I got to thinking about what is “innovation”, and why are agencies compelled to call the services they provide “innovative”. The more I think about this issue, the more I fear for the future of agencies in their current form.
The growth of internal recruitment functions and recruitment technology has created a new recruitment profession and area of expertise.  This enlightenment has meant that agencies no longer have the exclusive domain knowledge of the candidate market nor the processes to turn candidates into quality employees.
So how can agencies add DESIRABLE and COMPELLING incremental value over and above what an internal recruitment function can perform? Customers and clients do NOT like paying an external party for something they believe they can do themselves, often regardless of whether or not this is a optimum use for their time.  Let’s take a look at some of these incremental value points agencies can provide.
Agencies have a good feel for top talent

  • Agencies can review the talent they have recruited for an organisation and gain an understanding on who the client deems to be their best performers, and why.  This data can be used to map the market so that when
  • They can analyse this data and map the market so that when other assignments come along they already understand the formula for creating top talent.

Agencies can create new services that include:

  • Market mapping and talent pooling of client critical skills as well as developing reports on key movements;
  • Develop automated recruitment services that are based on the automation of the sourcing and assessment;
  • Open up their databases for clients to search for candidates;
  • Assisting clients with updating their candidate databases;
  • Assisting clients with specific pieces of the recruitment process such as sourcing or assessment
  • Project managing off shored sourcing and screening at a lesser cost than can be undertaken by the client;
  • Manage career sites and social media platforms

Agencies can set up innovative (there goes that word again) RPOs and MSPs.

  • They can also be involved with many aspects of talent management and risk and compliance, but many don’t offer enough in this space.

Obviously, all of these services require investment and time to develop and fine tune.  Whether these areas can make money, and to what extent remains the question.
As an outsider looking in, the incremental services agencies provide, whilst valuable to the overall recruitment process, are far from innovative. But as an insider, these services are miles away from what agencies traditionally provided organisations (by gavce). The problem here is obviously perception, and I fear many agencies have distorted their perception of what true innovation is, most likely because this would  push them into uncharted waters where their success isn’t assured.
True innovation is scary, you have to willing to be a boat sailing against the current of traditional success, but the reward if you make it is huge;  longevity of the agency recruitment model. I fear that in face of a dramatically changing talent landscape and the rise of recruitment automation, agencies will face a declining market and eventually be viewed as superfluous.  Now is the time for new ideas. Now is the time to move into the talent management specialist space. Now is the time to push services internal functions just can’t possibly provide. Now is the time for true innovation.
 
You can join Trevor and leading sourcing and social recruitment experts at Sourcing.Social.Talent #SST2014 in November to discuss the latest and truly “innovative” recruitment trends. Register now for the event in SydneyMelbourne or Auckland .
 

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