1-minute 30-second read
A buzzy topic in the recruiting space right now is the influencer model applied to talent communities.
The idea is that an influencer in a professional niche with a loyal following has essentially built a community of high-value job candidates that employers can gain access to.
In theory, this type of influencer should be able to market relevant job opportunities to their community of followers and match them like mad with new, amazing jobs. (And take a rev share, I’d imagine.)
Consumers trust influencers because influencers sit at the magical intersection of trust + FOMO. Therefore, this feels like the shortest line between employer and high-value worker.
But, workers and jobs aren't consumers and diet pills. They're multi-variable and much more complex.
The biggest problem I see with the influencer community play in recruiting is quality. There's no filter.
Why? Because business influencers aren’t recruiters.
a) They don’t know how to vet employers for quality.
b) They don’t have the time to vet employers for quality.
They'll just let 'em all in.
Ok, so let’s say that this is only a minor issue. This second part isn’t:
a) Don’t know how to vet their followers for quality.
b) Don’t have the time to vet their followers for quality.
In fact, filtering their followers would take so much time and slow follower growth so much (aka create friction) that it negates the leverage (scale) of being a business influencer in the first place.
Bottom line: It's a quality issue. And quality is determined by a number of variables that don’t fit nicely on the ingredient list of a bottle or on the design specs of a pair of sneakers.
A consumer buying a product through an influencer clicks the buy button because of need (less) and FOMO (more). It’s straightforward. It’s emotional. It’s a single point in time.
When recruiting, you have the employer who sets their bar for quality. You have the people looking for jobs who set their bar for quality. And in the middle are recruiters trying to match them both. That’s a lot of vetting.
Who in the hell is vetting both sides when it comes to influencers? Nobody.
And that’s a problem for everyone involved.
A final thought:
There’s a lot of energy being put into developing platforms, products, and models that are designed to remove recruiters from the recruiting process. I’ve thought long and hard about this and have changed my perspective a number of times.
This is where I’ve landed currently: The only things that will succeed are the ones that allow recruiters to spend more time doing what they’re meant to do: recruit.
Everything else will be a flash in the pan. These sexy products and platforms might receive VC hype. They might even get some influencers to put their names behind them. But they aren’t solving the real problem. Their just an expensively designed attempt to cut out the skillful humans who make this whole thing work.