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The Conflicting Realities of Tech Recruiting (And My Opinions on Why They Exist)

This post is for those of you that see trends and patterns and the way that things are being done in other markets that are signals of human behavior.

1-minute read

There are two conflicting realities that exist in tech recruiting:

  • Recruiting platforms optimize for inbound applications. Think job boards, employer branding/culture platforms, and review sites.
  • Recruiters at most tech companies ignore inbound applications due to their low quality and instead focus their sourcing efforts on sending outbound messages to qualified candidates who are currently employed.

My opinion:

  • The majority of recruiting teams at high-growth tech companies don’t know how to generate qualified inbound interest from high-demand talent. Therefore, their one and only strategy is to find the most creative ways to send InMails and emails to people who are already gainfully employed.

My strong opinions:

  • Because most of the recruiting industry cannot stop being reactive for one single moment, most recruiters will continue to work within a broken model—even if it’s not serving them.
  • Technology vendors will continue to build tools that serve this broken model because Talent leaders and recruiters who can’t see the forest for the trees will continue to pay for better versions of the same thing.

My question:

  • Why are we having the wrong conversations?

I observe the most ridiculous threads from sourcing hustlers promoting new ways to hack contact data in order to spam a candidate's inbox. And I see recruiters applauding these ideas in return.

I see technologies that are built by people who obviously don’t have domain expertise or empathy for either side of the markets they claim to be serving. And I see recruiting teams continuing to pay for them.

None of this is evolving the industry. All of it is causing it to degrade. The market is moving forward, while strategies and products are not.

This is not a dig on the recruiting industry. This is a rallying cry.

I know many (hundreds) of extremely thoughtful, creative, and smart talent folks who want a new way of meeting candidates.

For those of you, let’s start having the right conversations—the ones that are about the future of this space and what strategies and products are needed to get us there.

Because one thing is for certain: The way that high-demand talent connects with, discovers, and buys new opportunities is changing.

And right now, it feels like most of the recruiting space is ignoring this—choosing to continue brute-forcing their way into new hires because, on some level, it still works.

But that's naive and short-sighted.

Few talent folks will care about this. They’ll think that what worked 10 years ago still works today. Therefore, it will work for years to come.

This post isn’t for them. This is for those of you that see trends and patterns and the way that things are being done in other markets that are signals of human behavior.

To those of you in this small group: Let’s start having the right conversations.

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