It is with great excitement that we announce that Richard Triggs book “Uncover the Hidden Job Market: How to find and win your next Senior Executive role” has been published.
The book is now available on Amazon Kindle, Apple ibooks, Booktopia, Bookdepository, Fishpond and many more around the globe.
To support the launch of the book we are providing a sneak peak with the first chapter below. For every book bought we will make a contribution to children in need and education through our giving partners B1G1.
We would also welcome your feedback on Amazon or directly to us about the book and future editions.
Chapter 1 – THE FUTURE OF RECRUITMENT
The recruitment industry has gone through significant change over the last few years. At a macro-economic level, the world has been dealing with an unstable employment market, driven by the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent challenging economic environment, and other more local and national issues.
So the last five years have been tough, with 2013/14 particularly so. When economic uncertainty is high, and business confidence is low, then the perceived risk of a career change is also high for many executives. So lots of people, who would have changed jobs/employers in a more positive market, chose instead to remain in their current roles. Even though in their own minds they were ready and wanted a change, they deemed the risk too high, so they stayed put.
This means that the recruitment activity that would happen in a better market to fill the roles vacated by people moving on to bigger and better opportunities, has been almost non-existant. Coupled with certain industries going through contraction and resultant redundancies, the employment market looks gloomy indeed.
The economic outlook is now far more positive (regardless of what the newspapers say), the employment market has significantly improved, employers are starting to grow their teams, and most importantly the people who were hesitant to change employment are now more confident and therefore more active in their job search. All this is good news for job seekers.
However, there is another factor that has completely changed the recruitment landscape, and that is LinkedIn. Five years ago LinkedIn was starting to get some traction with executive headhunters (including yours truly) as a talent-sourcing tool. In fact, in 2009/2010, I personally built a LinkedIn network of over 17,000 direct LinkedIn connections, purely so that I could “see” over 30 million profiles of LinkedIn users (at that time you could only see profiles within three degrees of separation – more on this later). This became my candidate database and Arete Executive filled almost all of our recruitment assignments with candidates sourced directly from LinkedIn.
Fast forward to the last 12 months or so, and LinkedIn now offers a special subscription license called LinkedIn Recruiter, which allows the subscriber complete visibility of all profiles globally on the LinkedIn network (thus making my 17,000 direct connections largely irrelevant). Larger employers have quickly taken up these LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, and in-house recruitment teams have become far more competent at using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool for filling their own vacancies.
Using recruitment consultants is not dissimilar to paying for parking. When you are driving into the city for an important meeting, often you need to pay a hefty fee to use a centrally located parking facility. Nobody excitedly says, “Wow, I just paid $60 to park my car for two hours, what an awesome investment!” Parking is a regrettable spend. You’re in a hurry, you appreciate the convenience of being able to park close to your appointment, but you certainly aren’t excited about paying the fee.
Likewise is paying for a third-party recruitment consultant to present candidates for your vacancy.
Let’s assume a mining company wants to hire a new CFO, and the salary is $300,000 per annum. A tier-one global search company could charge between 30 and 40 percent of the salary for managing this assignment. For the sake of this illustration, let’s say they use a local provider who offers to do the work for 20 percent of the package, or $60,000 (20 percent of $300k).
Now $60k in anyone’s language is a lot of money. No employer is excited about paying this fee (it’s a regrettable spend), however in the past they were obliged to, because the recruitment consultant who specialises in identifying and placing CFOs has the database of candidates, and the employer wants these candidates. Your typical employer does not perceive that the recruitment consultant adds much, if any, value to the process. In fact, many employers regard recruitment consultants in the same light as used car salespeople, or simply “body shoppers”.
However, the situation is now very different. Probably 95 percent of white-collar professionals have a LinkedIn profile, including CFOs. So the mining company says to their $60k per annum internal recruitment resource (often an early career HR graduate or an external recruiter who has gone in-house to avoid the pressures of sales targets etc.), “Mary, we want you to find the details of every CFO at every ASX listed mining company based in Brisbane. Preferably CPA qualified, preferably 15 plus years experience, preferably having worked in one of the major underground coal mining companies”.
Mary jumps onto LinkedIn using her Recruiter license, and using a few key word searches she can easily and very quickly complete the list. She then shows the profiles to her boss, they agree on which individuals to target, and the recruitment process begins. So instead of the mining company paying $60k for one placement, they can employ Mary for an entire year, and get much greater bang for their buck.
The poor old traditional recruiter is, in my opinion, dying a certain and unavoidable death, never to be resuscitated. Their entire value proposition has been eroded, because for the first time ever, employers have direct access to their prospective candidate pool, easily and cheaply.
So the poor old traditional recruiter is, in my opinion, dying a certain and unavoidable death, never to be resuscitated. Their entire value proposition has been eroded, because for the first time ever, through using LinkedIn employers have direct access to their prospective candidate pool, easily and cheaply. Just like MYOB had a profound impact on the accounting profession, LinkedIn is now the same catalyst for change within the recruitment industry.
Recently I met with and interviewed the Chief Human Resources Officer (or equivalent) of many of the ASX top 50 companies, as part of my research for this book. Without exception, every single one of them said that their current strategy was to in-source their entire recruitment capability, and only use external recruiters as a matter of absolute last recourse. Most said that they were consistently able to fill greater than 90 percent of their vacancies without any reliance on external recruitment companies. When I offered my opinion that the traditional external recruitment provider was dead, never to be resuscitated, they agreed immediately and completely.
Not great news for my peers within the recruitment industry. If you are a job seeker and you go and meet with a recruitment consultant, I can almost guarantee that they will tell you the employment market is bad, there’s little if any activity, and your prospects for finding a new job are limited.
Quite honestly, this is absolute rubbish.
The market is strong and good candidates are easily finding good work. However, these opportunities are rarely coming through traditional recruitment consultants. Either the candidate is being approached directly by the employer, or the candidate is proactively getting in front of the employer, and accessing the hidden job market. Just as LinkedIn now means that employers no longer require recruitment consultants to access their candidates, likewise candidates no longer require recruitment consultants to access their employers of choice.
Up until recently, recruitment consultants made a lot of money by “showcasing talent”, or “floating” candidates, to their employers of choice. For example, I recruited predominantly in the property development industry. Let’s say that a Senior Development Manager from Stockland came to see me saying they wanted a new job. Maybe they had outgrown their existing role, no longer had a positive relationship with their boss, or perhaps they wanted to move geographically. I would say to them that I could present them to a range of other employers, including Lend Lease, Australand, Devine and the like.
I’d then contact the relevant employer and offer to arrange for them to meet my candidate, on the basis that if the meeting went well and they subsequently employed that person, then I would be paid a substantial fee. And pay they would, because in a booming market, with no direct access to candidates, the employer would have no other option.
Nowadays, it is very rare for an employer to have the meeting under the obligation of needing to pay a substantial fee should they choose to employ the candidate. However if they could have the meeting and then employ for free (i.e. with no recruitment fees applied) then they will do so every day of the week.
I recently tested this assumption at a workshop I ran for 83 senior executive leaders. I asked the group whether, if contacted directly by a legitimate, well-qualified executive to discuss the executive’s interest in joining their business, they would have the meeting? Every single one of them said yes. I then asked them how often they were approached on this basis, and they said rarely if ever.
This is the greatest opportunity for you as a job seeker. Identify your target employers of choice, approach the relevant executive line manager you are most likely to report to directly, and get in front of them before they know they need you. This is how to access the hidden job market. LinkedIn gives you immediate and direct access like never before. This is the premise of this book, and how you can headhunt your own perfect job. This book is going to show you exactly how to do this for best results.