The advent of many social media platforms and networking sites has greatly impacted the way in which organizations and potential employees interact with each other. In this context, one would be entitled to wonder if the traditional method of head-hunting will withstand the onslaught of technology?
Typically, Head-hunters are the ones who work in tandem with the HR department of a client organization to fill out their key positions. Head-hunters step in when organizations need “some extra help” in filling out critical and urgent positions.
Since such positions are often not publicly displayed by the organization, the urgency of filling up the position lies with the head-hunters. Since the head-hunters represent the client organization to the prospective employee, their communication is critical to ensure selection of the candidate that fits best in the position.
Digital recruitment platforms such as on page job portals, professional networking sites and commercial services such as the one offered by Naukri.com, shine.com, monster.com, and others have made it very easy for candidates to reach out to prospective employers and vice-versa. HR teams can thus identify and shortlist candidates very easily these days.
In the light of this ease of access, headhunting seems easy. But recruiting the right resource is not at all easy. If we explore why, the answer will also help us understand that the traditional method of head-hunting is here to stay, at least in the Construction industry.
In the construction industry, the engineering positions usually demand core engineering expertise, which in turn requires a good mix of technical knowledge, hands-on experience, and high-level practical understanding of site implementations. Many of these competencies are not easily discernible from CVs. On top of this, the candidates are getting savvy in window dressing their profile to match the employer’s requirement published on digital recruitment platforms. We have come across many CVs that appear excellent, only to find out during further scrutiny that it was apparently written by a professional CV-writer and the candidate falls much short of the requirements.
The hiring manager who must invest precious time for screening/interviewing the candidates, faces many challenges to make the right decision. These include
The efforts taken by a good head-hunter are to take proper time to evaluate a profile and send detailed information over to the client. Their main role is to ease out the pressure of hiring managers by helping them to select the right candidate with minimum effort. The key is to minimize the number of candidates that need to be interviewed before the final selection. The saving in time and effort of the senior executives of the client organization more than compensates for the head-hunter’s fees.
Head-hunters keep candidates engaged and well prepared about their scheduled interview, which in turn boosts their confidence. Also, the hiring manager gets a sense that he is going to interview the most suitable candidate. Through this entire process, the head-hunter can pre-emptively foresee if the applicant is suitable for the prospective role.
May other tasks performed by the head-hunter behind-the-scenes cannot be performed by an automated process based on the digital platforms. These include;
While the digital platforms may increase the number of applicants to a position, it will actually create a problem of plenty! The real value-add is in filtering out the misfits and providing nuanced insights about the candidates, which the head-hunters seem to be doing better than the current level of AI.
While we all must face and embrace all changes that new technology brings to us, I hope that the human touch in this important human-resource process is never abdicated to Artificial Intelligence.