Should I Use A Third Party Website to Find Passive Talent?

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on programs like BountyJobs.com or RecruitFI.com.  What do you think their impact on the recruiting industry long term will be?  Is this something we should be participating in?  Bill, Colorado

ANSWER: Bounty has been around for maybe 10 years and, in my opinion, it has never grown.  Good recruiters do not participate in it, so they are not getting great results.  I am actually hearing less from my clients about Bounty now than I did 2 or 3 years ago.  I am not aware of Recruit FI.

Here is the evolution.  I went to conferences in 1998 and 1999 and HotJobs.com and Monster.com came out.  Oh my gosh, all the candidates are putting their resumes up on the internet!  How is that going to impact our job?

Monster is barely mentioned anymore.  It is a horrible quality.  There are a whole bunch of challenges with Monster candidates in a tight market.  They are very promiscuous.  A lot of the people that post there have multiple offers.  It is different look and feel, without getting into all the details.  Monster’s biggest subscriber base was recruiters in its heyday.  I do not know what it is now.

HotJobs got bought.  I cannot even remember the names of the job orders.  There is CareerBuilder.com obviously.  A lot of those disintegrated, and they are shells of their former selves.  The stocks of the companies that own them got killed.

Then you have LinkedIn, right.  Guess who the biggest subscribers to that are?  The recruiting industry is their biggest prospects.

Passive talent will remain passive talent.  No matter what the search function are, we need to be adept. We are in a good economy right now, if you are doing a $100,000 or $150,000 a year in billings as a recruiter, just wait for the recession.  Those people who are average to below average producers will go out of business because they are the ones that are most impacted in a downturn.

First of all, we are all impacted in a downturn, but those that have developed the art of developing passive candidates will be impacted less.  Those who will struggle are the recruiters who try to find a candidate on a job board or through an internet search.

Developing passive candidates is all about the art of talking to somebody, uncovering what their wants, needs, and desires are and then being able to translate that into a career opportunity or transfer what they are hearing in a moment to the aspects of the career opportunity. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff in our business and it is that investment of your time in mastering that art.  It is not having a better pitch.  It is not having a better script.  It is having a better knowledge and developing the art of asking really great questions and being then in alignment with it.

If you want to use BountyJobs as a recycling plan for some excellent talent you find on your other searches, it may or may not be a great strategy.  I just think from a branding standpoint it really diminishes and commoditizes what we do because it is all about the production of resumes and they try to make it sexier than it is, but it is not.  I have not heard of a client who said Bounty has made me rich.  Maybe at some place to start with a new desk specialty to get access to some openings where you can start breeding talent, but I see it as the next thing, and I am not saying it will not exist, until there is a solution that consistently generates phenomenal passive candidates and then can manage the quirky passive candidate through a process of acceptance.

Nothing that comes out electronically is going to have a significant impact in our business.  All the companies we recruit for, depending on the subscription, $5,000 to $50,000 a year or $100,000 a year, they can access the entire database of LinkedIn and they are not getting the results.  Why?  Because they do not know how to recruit passive talent.  They are sending out stupid, hokey emails that are turning people off.

This is probably more than you wanted, but thank you for the question.  It is a great one.  I would just say the way you are going to stay ahead in the game is to continue to master the art of asking phenomenal questions.