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Changing The Hiring Game


There are multiple alternatives out there for those seeking to hire employees and those seeking to be employed. The problem is not one of agencies and availability of sources for employees; the challenge is finding the right match. We ask Mark Dickinson, CEO of Done! Hospitality Training Solutions, to tell us about the current status and future direction of online recruitment Online recruiters have become a funnel for sourcing candidates. They screen and pass along the most suitable ones to employers, who then undertake the traditional paper and face to face interview process (physically or by Skype) at the end of the pipeline. By entering one's own CV online into one of these systems, one becomes more of a number in a machine and less of an individual. The challenge of being a part of an online database of candidates is that you secede control of your key product 'Yourself', and put yourself at the mercy of the numbers game. In our online database we have over 50,000 candidates registered. Each one of them has filled in information concerning their criteria. When a customer seeks a candidate it is the computer that produces the matches. Then when the ideal candidate is identified, the software can clone that candidate and you will have similar people from within the database, past or present employed or not, as a suggested fit for the available vacancy. So the game for online recruitment agencies is to get a volume of quality candidates loaded into the system so that they have sufficient database to feed the available opportunities. And, on the other hand, they also have to have sufficient clients requesting candidates to ensure that they succeed financially through placing people in jobs. Is Linkedin one of the most well-known and reliable sources? Yes. The reason Linkedin is so powerful is because of the business/professional social-network that it is based upon. It enables employers to see potential candidate's profiles and see what he or she has been accredited for by his or her own connections. This goes a long way to helping an employer in determining the successful qualities of a potential candidate. What about others: Monster gulf, for example? There are great agencies out there; however they are mostly one way pipelines, processing candidates to their customers, the employers. Monster gulf and Caterer Global are two of the bigger ones in our region, both doing an excellent job of supplying candidates. They display a wide selection of opportunities on their websites and await candidate registrations. Agencies do not generally truly represent a candidate, and do not make agreements with individual job hunters to assist them until they are hired in a position of their choice. There would probably be a good business opportunity here. What is the caliber of people applying online and to which vacancies? The beauty of online is that there are many types of agencies, boutiques for executives, executive search companies, and mass recruiters. As global connectivity accelerates, the greater access there is to agencies, resulting in the broader diversification of candidates. What are classic recruiters doing to face the tech-Invasion? The smart recruiters are doing what they always did: investing in great personal relationships with their clients' HR managers and owners. They don't cut corners; they screen more tightly and provide strong personal guarantees for replacements. Which companies recruit online? I think probably a fairer question would be, "Which one's don't?" Today, companies should recruit online as part of diversifying their search for qualified candidates. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of recruiting through Linkedin directly rather than a reliable recruitment agency? The advantage of Linkedin for a company recruiting is that their HR will most likely have a first or second level connection with many of the candidates and can find out about that person pretty easily. This entails a higher level of work on the part of the company seeking employees, but may give them a greater sense of security. Again, it depends upon who is recruiting. If it is a large business starting up in the GCC, then many of their employees will be fresh hires from Asian countries. There the online agency will not help as much as a personal relationship with a recruiter who has proved his worth by delivering high quality personnel in the past. The key disadvantage of Linkedin is that it is time intensive, and the employees managing the search have to be aware of what they are really looking for. Additionally there are no guarantees or replacements available should the employment agreement not work out. Just because an agency is online does not make it less reliable. Monster gulf have a terrific follow up and will keep on following for as long as it takes to deliver the type of personal that clients want. Online executive recruitment agencies rarely want to speak with candidates; they first identify potential candidates through their databases until they find a profile fit. After a preliminary check on that candidate, they will typically present a headliner for the client to see which candidate attracts them. Once a client indicates an interest then the recruiter will get in touch with the candidate and prepare them for the interview. Candidates often report a sense of frustration with agencies because once they submit their profile they anticipate an immediate response. The reality is rather different, and for candidates it is a 'sit and wait' game. Is this a fad or have recruiting agencies truly been bypassed? Agencies have only been bypassed if they have allowed themselves to be. There are some classical laces to face only agencies that are doing more business today than they have ever done, and cannot keep up with demand. There are online agencies that cannot find sufficient clients to keep their candidates happy and are therefore unable to sustain their overheads. In our opinion online is not a fad, neither is it the end of face to face' agencies. As in all business, success will go to those who understand how to create a unique combination of all the tools available, and are able to adapt their business model to take advantage of them. Simultaneously, agencies should be seeking additional spokes to their wheel of products that add greater value to their customers, thus ensuring their place for the future. 

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