Why Do Executive Recruiters Fail?

Why Do Executive Recruiters Fail?

Why Do Executive Recruiters Fail?

There is, in executive search, such as thing as too much candidate data.  Few recruiters understand how to wrangle it. They lack the necessary deep data expertise to gather, parse, and analyse data to make executive search smarter.  In fact, many executive recruiters still turn to “name generation” — research aimed generating more candidate names. Information overload is the problem and not the solution.

Recruiters didn’t need much research expertise a decade ago.  But these days, they need to up their data science skill-set. The amount of information has multiplied exponentially. Executive recruiters are overwhelmed by resumes, social media profiles, email, tweets and texts. They lack the ability to match force with a tsunami of career data. They cannot separate the signal from the noise. They miss perfect candidates because too many lesser executives get in the way. As a result, executive recruiters fail.

Googling a prospective candidate’s name, rank, and serial number is easy.

You know what’s harder? Deep web data.

The amount of digital data is increasing at a stunning rate.  IDC, a global market intelligence firm, estimates a 40 percent to 50 percent growth rate in digital data. In only five years, the firm anticipates there will be 40 zettabytes of data out there. Does your search firm even know what a zettabyte is? It should.

A zettabyte is a measure of storage capacity and is 2 to the 70th power bytes, also expressed as 1021 or 1 sextillion bytes. One zettabyte is approximately equal to a thousand exabytes or a billion terabytes.

Michael Walker, the Managing Partner of Rose Business Technologies, describes what we’re witnessing as the Rise of Data Anarchy.

Unstructured Data Growth - graphic for executive recruiters

Data Expertise Makes Executive Recruiters Smarter

Imagine making hires harnessing the prediction power of a Nate Silver. Imagine actually knowing who top candidates are and how they have outperformed all the others. It’s the executive version of Moneyball that discovered competitive advantage hidden deep inside baseball statistics — beyond the obvious batting averages, home runs, runs batted in (RBIs), and wins. Only these players are in suits.

Executive recruiter sourcing “best practices” are outdated. Search firms must invest in research data expertise. They must invest in brilliant information scientists and data investigators. Those who refuse to make that investment are, informationally, searching with their eyes closed. The key to finding a top-notch executive search firm is to look for a firm with serious data research credentials. (We’re glad you found us.) These days, more than ever before, knowledge is power.

Occupy Wall Street: Preoccupied Recruiters

Occupy Wall Street: Preoccupied Recruiters

Since the market dip and round after round of layoffs, executive recruiters have served on the front lines of the jobless recovery.  We’ve born witness to the devastation that downsizing brings. Due to Occupy Wall Street, we have become preoccupied. Recruiters have sensed the desperation in our dealings with candidates who have been unemployed far too long. While recruiters do not make jobs, we fill them.  And so I wonder, with this Great Unfilling, is there a “there there”?  Where is the collective response from the very professionals who specialize in jobs, jobs, jobs?

A group of Americans have gathered to occupy Wall Street, in large part due too massively high unemployment — particularly for young people.  An article by Noreen Malone in New York Magazine entitled The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright details the stark statistics.

14 percent of college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2010 can’t find full time work.  Half of people ages 16 to 29 don’t have jobs —  55.3 percent.  That’s the lowest level since World War II (1945). College students are graduating with bone-crushing debt, which for the class of 2009 averages $24,000.  USA Today reports that at some point this year, student loan debt will exceed $1 trillion, surpassing even credit card debt. Total student loan debt is rising as other debts are tapering off. Delinquency has increased, too, since the height of the financial crisis.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has turned us into preoccupied recruiters. Many recruiters do what we can ad hoc to introduce people to the career-saving opportunities they need. But the work is solitary. It lacks scale. It helps but a handful.  I would like to think that we, the recruiters who stand at the epicenter of the jobs crisis, would have something constructive to say and do, together, to fix what appears to be so very broken.  I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

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