The HR tech startup that cried death of recruiters.

Not a week goes past that I don’t read of another HR tech company running PR that they are the proverbial nail in the coffin for the recruitment industry.

I remember a conversation with Ian Basser, ex-CEO of Chandler Macleod when he was recounting to me a speech he gave at a large recruitment conference. It was during the rise of HR tech revolution… LinkedIn, and every recruiter was getting twitchy about their future. He challenged everyone in the audience to stand up and speak with three people they had never met. The floor erupted for 15 minutes in electric conversation, and when he finally got them to settle down again he said;

“See! Technology can’t kill recruitment.”

Basser was spot on, the talent industry, whether you are a candidate, a corporate enterprise, recruiter, labour hire, or a small business, is about human interaction. HR Tech can facilitate this for sure, but it’s the human interaction that makes it so special.

Think Uber vs. Taxi. Uber has not destroyed the taxi service; it’s made it more human. I can’t remember ever knowing the name of a taxi driver previously, but I can tell you the name of most that have picked me up via Uber. Taxi drivers are not being displaced, the technology, systems, commercials, and regulations that currently control the industry are because they now have a better technology which enriches their relationship with their clients. They might charge different per ride, but they have more riders. In fact, in San Fransisco, the revenue of Uber is three times the entire taxi industry.

Technology and its ability to humanise processes, will grow markets.Tweet This

I’m not sure if all these HR tech startups are looking for attention and the only way to get it is to pick a fight, or maybe the media just angles it that way, but the reality (as I see it anyway!) is:

Recruiters and labour hire exist because many companies prefer to outsource aspects of their business, or highly value the time saving. This holds true for many business services.

Is Xero or Sassu disrupting the Bookkeeping industry because it is now so easy to manage your financials? No, it’s helping smart bookkeepers deliver an awesome service faster.

Good recruiters are simply trying to match their clients with the best assessed and available talent as quickly as possible so their client’s core business can continue to thrive.

Labour Hire offer a flexible workforce to those businesses that have volatile employee numbers and skill requirements and wish to remain agile.

HR tech startups should be thinking about whether their ideas deliver value to everyone in the industry. Are they building a minimum lovable product?


Recruitment Systems are Broken


The problem as I see it is the technology and processes are broken, not the practitioners, and by this I mean the reactive recruitment process, and static private databases. Here’s how it typically plays out:

Large company or Recruitment Agency advertises on job board, receives 100 applicants in a flood (this is ever increasing actually, as job aggregation technologies now scrape and redistribute the ads to more people online). The company does not have the resources to read them all so they go into a database of 100,000+ other applicants that have applied in the past (probably the same frustrated people).

Hiring or Recruitment Manager looks fondly at their so-called “valuable” static database while sipping cognac surrounded by rich mahogany and dusty old books. Meanwhile, the internal administration costs of maintaining up-to-date candidate records ramp up and the time to hire blows out.

All the while, the sourcing team or consultants are only posting more job adverts as they can’t be bothered searching the database because you can’t search pdf cv’s very well, the ATS technology looks and feels like a 1980’s Atari console, and besides, half those candidates might be dead.

Or Zombies!

Quick! Where is the Ice Cream!

Sorry, slight digression, but it’s a good video link, you should click it.


At this point, I hear some recruiters say:

“Yeah, but we manage our database well”.

Sure. If you were managing it well, it would be your major source of hire…

“OK, we advertise to maintain brand position and look like we are in demand.”

Oh, so your not advertising real jobs? All those applicants must be getting pissed off with your brand right now.

Cleanse the world of Zombies

Did you know every year in Australia there are over 300 million job applications? That’s a lot of applications for a workforce of 11 million. That means every candidate could exist on upwards of 30 different stale databases.

Cognac anyone?

That’s a lot of wasted time applying, processing, rejecting, and even worse, ignoring going on. Waste, that CEO’s are paying for in dollars and employer brand damage.

Smart companies like KPMG, Bupa, among others, are flipping those databases into Talent Communities, where the candidates choose to join, create a live digital profile, share their data with that company, then leverage their profile (privately) across many other Talent Communities for maximum efficiency and time-saving. When the candidate updates their data, every Talent Community they have opted into receives the same update (privately). It’s called a closed connection, opposite to an open connection like LinkedIn.

What has more value to a company?

Thinking you own a candidates old and stale CV (when everyone else is thinking the same)?

Or having trust and an actual relationship with that candidate? Tweet This

What’s a more human experience?

The key I believe to an efficient labour market, is that every candidate owns their data, controls their privacy, and chooses which Talent Communities they wish their data and communication channels to be connected with (hosted by companies, recruitment firms or labour hire).

In other words, every Live Talent Community is part of a whole Live Talent Ecosystem, where the candidate is happy and willing to update their own data on projects, skills, availability, mobility, salary and more, because it is a closed (private) connection, and flows through the multiple Talent Communities they have joined in one click.

That’s LiveHire

So why is LiveHire not death to recruiters?

Because it’s a technology that reduces the cost of managing and engaging pools of talent, while helping deliver a faster, more quality service to clients.

Clients that aren’t buying you for your exclusive database (think taxis), they are buying you for your relationships, and fast and efficient service (think Uber). You are there when they need you, and you deliver, faster, with certainty and quality.

Not because they have no other options. That was yesterday.

The world moves fast, are you keeping up?

Align with HR tech that are productivity tools.

Recruiters and Labour Hire have the opportunity to own the largest Live Talent Communities in the industry, much larger than any companies could afford, and be assisting many clients with deep talent data, insights, and availability. Validating and verifying talent profiles with their own unique (private) review data and relationships to ensure candidates are honest.

The exceptionally smart recruiters, like Randstad Sourceright, are building and running Live Talent Communities on behalf of their large clients (like RPO V2.0) to handle all their permanent workforce requirements. If the objective is to help a client find the best talent faster, simpler and smarter, then this HR tech is like honey for them. A game changer in a world of stale service models and dwindling profit margins.

In the words of Geoff Morgan, our Chairman and Founder of Talent2, now owned by Allegis, with over 20,000 recruitment clients globally;

“I want to approach my clients with this and help them become smarter. I can’t be afraid to lose business by doing that if you don’t help them, you lose anyway. I want to create the data, not eat it.”

At LiveHire, we try to focus on building HR tech that everybody in the talent industry loves.

Where labour hire, recruitment, and large corporates can all work together to create value in employment and remove massive amounts of friction from the process. All are trying to match talent with opportunities most efficiently and share that value.

At LiveHire we develop with the objective of helping everyone achieve that goal together.

After all, it’s just work, not war.

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