Moment of contemplation

If you are an avid follower of LinkedIn and its questions, there have been an ongoing discussion thread of the role of recruiters in the current economy. We find business enterprises stress the need to stay current on changes within our respective industries. The vast majority of recruiters today have not gotten advanced training, they may have not gotten any initial training either. I have had the opportunity over the past year to talk to a number of recruiters who pass themselves off more as staffing agencies, then recruiters. In 1972, a senior partner from I believe it was Hedrick and Struggles wrote a book entitled Confessions of a Corporate Headhunter in which he stated the role of a recruiter was to be the go between between a corporation who did not really understand what they needed and the candidate who was out for the fast buck. In this scenario it was the goal of the recruiter to assist the corporate client to recognize the assets that a candidate brought to an enterprise, not based on what was necessarily in the job description but on the candidate’s experiences. What I have seen both in conversations one on one and on posting in the groups I participate in is that recruiters today find reasons not to refer candidates on to the corporations. This means they are not recruiters but staffing agencies. I have heard recruiters tell candidates that because you have grey hair I won’t pass you on (asking for trouble or what?), because you do not have corporate experience you don’t qualify even if you have been involved in multiple aspects of HR. We supposedly have an unemployment crisis and yet if they in this economy looked beyond the passive music chairs candidates we might very well solve the unemployment crisis quickly. There are plenty of highly qualified candidates out there who are being looked over for new positions because they were the result of the downturn.

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