Zappos gets rid of job postings…What are you planning?

Zappose has been taking many bold steps in Talent Management and has been reaping its benefits. One the bold new step it has taken is to scrap job posting. Yeah! You heard it right! They have decided to STOP posting any JDs on their career site, or on job boards! Here is a link

This shift is a general shift in the way corporations are thinking about talent attraction. In yesteryears companies had a simplistic view of the way talent could be attracted. They believed that talent is constantly looking for opportunities and companies need to just communicate opportunity far and wide to ensure good response from Talent. However with dwindling response to job posting on Career page, companies are puzzled how to improve their response rates. During this time, the HR thought leaders started talking like marketer; talking about differentiators! Answering “How is my company better from yours”. The world coined “Employer Branding” and the organizations embraced it. But it all happened so quick that companies never had enough time and resources to do it right. They all followed the “Me Too” approach and this led to every company project similar employer image. So the effort didn’t yield desired results. Parallel efforts led companies also to write better Job Descriptions (JD) but it too isn’t yielding much results because companies manage hundreds of JDs and improving across for all positions and customising every JD for individual openings seems an impossibility.

Zappos has found its workaround, people can become part of their community and be warm candidate. JD will be customised for you and you could start and be ready to be productive very fast. Other companies will of course try to follow thsi approach and others will come up with something more innovative. But essential challenge will remain, what is being communicated to talent at large? Is it consistent, accurate and interesting enough? As long as this is right, any approach would work!

My article on PeopleMatters, changing trends among talent

Recently got my article up on PeopleMatters,

It talk about how talent has changes in recent times, the divide between active and passive candidates is blurring. Today we have several people who are in the middle, active about looking for opportunity but dormant in applying to those jobs. Therefore companies need to capitalise on this willingness to explore opportunity and build strong employer brand.

Candidates are more actively sourcing information from their friends on social media and by Google.  Therefore company generated PR content is getting marginalised. Companies need to now empower employees to go talk great about companies. They need to co-create EVP (Employee Value Proposition) with employees and spread the word with joint effort and not just company PR.

I invite you to go through the details:

Please do share your views on the article and whether you as a talent do the above.


Changing Recruitment Trends

I came across this bold advertisement from abc Consultants that kept me thinking.

I was curious to figure out why abc consultants took such a bold step. I believe I have the reasons. In this blog, I would pen down the changes in the talent landscape that is mandating changes in the business of recruitment. Hopefully it will help us get better prepared to accommodate these changes.

Labor market has seen only a few dramatic landscape changes. The first was due to introduction of division of labour by Adam Smith, regarding the manufacture of pins, in his book The Wealth of Nations, which was published way back in 1776. The second dramatic change was introduced by Henry Ford by introducing assembly line for Ford Motor Company between 1908 and 1915. Assembly lines become norm in the following decade through the social ramifications of mass production, such as the affordability of the Ford Model T. The above two changes basically did the following:

  •       Jobs were broken down into smaller assignments
  •       Labor was focused on doing small part repeatedly
  •       As a result of the above the labor became specialized
  •       A new breed of semiskilled workers emerged

This century has experienced movement of economy from being a manufacturing driven to a service driven. The above principles, division of labor and assembly line concept, were applied to service industry too and thus services too have experienced extreme job division and classification ultimately leading to job super specialization.

Symptoms in the market that super specialization is real:

Super specialization is a vicious circle because any specialization leads to systemic rigidity which creates need for further division of labor and classification and the chain continues.

I already see symptoms of such phenomenon begin:

  •       Recruiters without deep understanding of the business are unable to fill positions because they don’t understand the fine classification
  •       Hiring funnels are becoming wider since JD and resumes are mostly generic
  •       As a result of wider funnel, companies are creating more interviews rounds to ensure only prequalified candidates take time of hiring managers.
  •       Companies are talking of War for Talent however we still see many job seekers in the market. This is because talent is not able to switch between super specializations.

Preparation for the future:

Several recruitment firms are heavily dependent on jobsites. Such firms will notice that:

  •       Market for generic and volume hiring would dwindle
  •       Their profitability is dwindling as well

Recruitment firms keen on avoiding the above trap should train their recruiters to address niche requirements. Since most requirements will tend to become niche, the overall market will expand thereby benefiting the firm.

Recruiters should also be trained to interact directly with hiring managers to ensure there is no loss of data (Chinese whisper loss). In specialized jobs, details play a vital role.

Since positions are niche, recruiters will need to scrutinize several profiles before they come across a fitting profile. I could liken this searching for the right person to Edison’s 1000 filament tests! Thus recruiters need to be given right technology platform to approach recruitment in a systematic fashion with great rigor.

Market Dynamics:

Very small firms will find it difficult to attract and train and retain expert recruiters since the demand will far out strip availability. Also training is a specialized function that needs very close attention and professional management and resources.

Every industry is cyclical. Small firms attempting to specialize in spite of above challenge would find that they are in a position to address only a few sections of an Industry. Thus during a down turn in the industry will result in loss of short term capital to run business. If fluctuations become too frequent, then sustaining without operating in several industries, effectively hedging one industry over other, will become impractical.

The above two reasons could push out less competitive firms out of market pushing the supply down and thus bolstering a recruitment firm’s bargaining powers. Therefore surviving firms would experience better profitability if they successfully manage to control cost to existing levels.