Crowdsourced recruiting is an idea that’s been around for a while. But the last couple of years have seen more and more players emerge offering employers their version of the concept. Can these platforms deliver on their promise of cheaper, faster talent sourcing? Here’s the EWS verdict...
What if you could cast your vacancy into an online global pool of independent recruiters, barely have to wait for qualified candidates to start rolling in, then pay less for the ones you want?
That’s the essential promise of crowdsourced recruiting: Harness the power of social networks, tap into bountiful new talent markets and receive relevant referrals faster, for less. What could possibly go wrong?
The answer depends on your priorities as an employer. Crowdsourced recruiting may well be an effective way to generate lots of quick candidates, including some you probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. But as every hard-pressed recruiter knows, that’s not the same as finding the right person for the job.
For us, there are four major factors impeding crowdsourcing’s effectiveness as a recruiting tool.
Crowdsourcing platforms universally promise expert recruiters and sourcers. But how can you be sure? How, indeed, can they? As for the accuracy of their mysterious candidate matching algorithms... well, you can only take their word for it! The fact is, without direct relationships with a trusted team of quality recruiters, it’s hard to be sure of consistently accessing the best candidates.
There is nothing to stop referrers from using crowdsourcing platforms as a numbers game or a lucky punt. Referrers effectively operate as anonymous bounty hunters, so why wouldn’t they try their luck with ill-matched candidates and leave the platform to do the legwork? (Especially after the platform has taken its cut and left successful referrers paid less than they would were they to work with you directly.)
Recruitment can never be 100% predictable. But as an employer, you’re aiming to minimise bumps in the road. So why open yourself up to crowdsourced uncertainties? Not just patchy candidate quality, but unpredictable timing and unknown sourcing methods. Without knowing that trusted recruiters are pulling out all the stops to deliver the right talent to your timelines, you’re re-introducing a lot of the unpredictability you were looking to avoid in the first place!
Crowdsourcing is undoubtedly a ‘shallow and wide’ search. As well as favouring quantity over quality, that limits its effectiveness for confidential, highly targeted or very senior roles. When discretion is a critical factor in your recruitment process, the wide open market is the very last place you need to be.
Here at EWS, we’re excited by every great leap forward in talent sourcing. Our own business was born out of the direct sourcing possibilities opened up by maturing digital channels in 2004. But we just don’t see the crowdsourcing model as the best fit for recruiting... certainly not if your priority is to hire the right people reliably and efficiently.
Those in the know, share. If you think your network would find inspiration in this post, we’ve made it really easy for you to tell them using the LinkedIn Share button below.