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Can Hiring Be a ‘Daily Deal’?

Consumers have gravitated to daily deal websites to experience new products and services. Will recruiters do the same for sourcing job candidates?

September 4, 2012
Related Topics: Talent Acquisition, Recruiting, Talent Acquisition
KEYWORDS recruitment
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Despite its plummeting stock price, Groupon Inc. has largely revolutionized the way consumers shop for things. By way of a daily deal email, the company — and many copycats since — has aimed to steer consumers to try products or services that they would have never discovered on their own by offering reduced prices, or “deals,” by grouping buyers together.

Can the same be done for hiring? At least one firm is itching to find out.

GetHired.com, an end-to-end hiring service for small- and medium-sized businesses, unveiled in June its Job Seeker Spotlight. Presented in the form of a daily email to recruiters, the spotlight aims to replicate the daily deal phenomenon by giving recruiters five “qualified” and “pre-screened” job seekers per day, their version of a “deal,” said Suki Shah, co-founder and CEO of GetHired.com, in an interview from the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.

The hope is that the tool will help recruiters and employers weed through the jungle of qualified candidates to find those who best fit their needs. “Our whole idea is the resume is a great tool to help people find a job, but it’s just part of the process,” Shah said.

Each day, GetHired.com highlights five job seekers in each major job category, parsed down to a localized geography. Recruiters receive the email based on their area and needs, and each spotlight email can instantly be reviewed. Each candidate spotlight includes a video introduction, resume and letters of recommendation for each featured candidate.

Shah said the tool brings great benefits to both the job seeker and the recruiter. The job seeker, for instance, is able to get his or her face in front of a recruiter in a seemingly quick and efficient manner, while the recruiter is able to view and evaluate potential candidates quickly.

Still, some recruitment industry experts are skeptical.

For starters, “there are 100,000 third-party recruiters attempting to send their ‘daily best candidates’ in to firms they think they can sell to,” wrote Gerry Crispin, a principal and co-founder of recruitment research and consulting firm CareerXroads, in an email.

“The problem is that recruiters are overwhelmed with ‘candidates,’” he wrote, meaning the bigger issue for recruiters is “getting the attention of the very few prospects available to fill a company’s pivotal job.”

Another point of contention, Crispin said, is that GetHired.com’s service is unlikely to narrow the scope of candidates down to fit recruiters’ exact needs. “If I could designate to GetHired that I only wanted to see the top five prospects for, say, clinical research scientists with three to five years’ supervisory experience, willing to work in Chicago and who will take my call, then we may have something,” Crispin wrote.

GetHired.com’s Shah acknowledges that, in its current form, the tool may not be able to narrow the field down to those exact points. But it’s something they’re working toward. “It’s more broad right now,” Shah said. “It’s not that specific, although that’s our goal.” He also said that the service is better geared toward smaller businesses — those that may not necessarily be swimming through a glut of candidates, as larger firms may be.

Yet to Tammy Johns, senior vice president of innovation and workforce solutions at talent management services firm ManpowerGroup, GetHired.com’s service is just another tool currently clouding a craft that has historically been best based on relationships — the kind not driven through droves of social media profiles.

The challenge with most social recruitment technologies, she said, is being able to mine through the flood of data to combat what she called the fundamental talent mismatch that is plaguing the industry. “I really do believe technology is important and can help categorize, but I also think there’s a risk in over-categorizing people,” Johns said.

“It’s a tool,” she added. “And the more effective the tool is in [producing] really clear information, then that’s going to really help that match a little easier. The challenge is technology runs on a language — whether it’s a technical language or a spoken language. There isn’t a clear taxonomy for work … Work is changing faster than the taxonomies are, so it makes it more difficult to make a precise match.”

Still, Johns said there is some value to tools such as GetHired.com’s Job Seeker Spotlight. As long as the tool stays on point in helping recruiters mend the talent mismatch, it will have a place in the recruitment ecosystem. Time will tell if GetHired.com’s service — or any other daily deal-type service for recruiters, for that matter — will have a lasting effect.

“Being able to stay on top of people’s capabilities [and turning them] into a meaningful connection is something between an art and a science,” Johns said. “And technology can help, but it just gets harder every day.”

Frank Kalman is an associate editor of Talent Management magazine. He can be reached at fkalman@Talentmgt.com.

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