July 29, 2015 admin

Replacing Recruiter Greed with Goodwill

Talent Acquisition Evolves

Employers rely heavily on staffing agencies to find, qualify, and hire talent, and the extreme cost inhibits us from innovation. The emerging talent acquisition market is estimated to be valued at $85 billion dollars. Organization leaders are fed up with traditional recruiting dogma coming from self-proclaimed recruiting leaders, and several popular companies who have unlimited resources have been working on creating the new sourcing and recruiting paradigm that will replace the way you do it now. Let me take it one step further. I’m not talking about an improvement to the existing paradigm because a cool, new tool hits the market like connectifier comes along to creatively automate a secondary recruiting function like research. I’m talking about the radical reinvention of the entire marketplace for talent acquisition. In fact, we no longer will call it talent acquisition. Talent delivery is a more appropriate description for the future. On demand.

Tech leaders wiped out historically-stable industries in 2013 and 2014 with marketplace/crowdsourcing technologies and the struggle to hire talent has brought the recruiting industry front and center in 2015 and beyond. The technology to do it better has arrived. The exciting 2015 economic forecast in the USA and the realization of recruiting underperformance in prior years jeopardizes the bold acceleration in technology our society is capable of producing. An internet of things conundrum.

The spotlight in recruiting is ours. A focus on progressing recruiting and talent-delivery technology. I’m not talking about recruiting leaders who capitalize on the broken system. The ones who schmooze C-Levels trying to pose as software gurus at expensive dinners with software-like company names who progress their own markets by developing a new process to aggregate recruiting help but still use traditional fee structures. Those are smoke and mirror jobs and don’t innovate our recruiting industry. They might generate tons of revenue for being different but they stall progress. You companies know who you are. What I am saying is that the genius minds that created companies like google or uber or airbnb or zappos or facebook, have been studying and focusing on your so-called, craft. Those minds. That is the brain power focused on wiping out the primary function of talent acquisition with an entirely new approach. We earned it with greed and the kicker is that it will intuitively and seamlessly include the incremental secondary technology we get excited about at venues like SourceCon. Contact me if you would like a couple links to see the research. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count the amount of discussions I have had with CEOs and CTOs that are planning on aggressively scaling in 2015 with a mindset to acquire talent differently. Before you argue, yes, I agree that you can never sunset something 100%. The recruiting minority will have a vehicle to operate the old way, for example, even casino and hotel industries in Las Vegas still run AS/400 midrange and there is a small market for RPG programmers. I doubt the vehicle for that talent delivery will adopt a new paradigm for obvious reasons.

We’ve driven technology execs to be passionate enough to reinvent our industry and we can’t change that but as recruiting leaders, we can recognize the shift and evolve our practice. Let the tools do the heavy lifting and lets focus on the relationships. Let’s make investments toward supporting the shift rather than fear it, because a new wave of recruiting and sourcing is upon us and we as talent acquisition professionals are best equipped to lead the charge. However, in order to restore trust to our profession we have to make a sacrifice and show leaders that we do our work for the right reasons. It is time we set aside the ridiculously large agency fees. We have to reduce our huge margins on direct hire and contract staffing services. Only then will we receive authority and the figurative keys to the 85 billion dollar castle.

I was raised in a recruiting family and supported my parents nationwide, successful recruiting company and I can’t honestly justify how we assign value in the majority of these huge staffing fees. Let’s be real and take ownership. I joked in a forum recently saying we are in recruiters anonymous and the first step is to acknowledge the dysfunction. Let’s reinvent what our value is to the organization rather than justify our value to each other. Tech leaders don’t value the skill-set. The only thing the extra margin in our fees really do is fuel our lifestyle until we put in the work to make the next match. Not very progressive. Please acknowledge that I say match because placements don’t accurately define the actual thing we are trying to do. We are consultants that identify a match. The minute we start placing people, we become interested in generating revenue, not focused on aligning to the objectives that people have within an organization.
After supporting a few 100M managed service contract staffing programs (MSP) at a couple well-known enterprises, I was amazed at the corruption and reallocation of spending going to the wrong people for the wrong reasons. It is obvious to me why most professionals do not like and do not trust recruiting professionals. With recent advances in technology, we have the capability and opportunity to let go of the past. We can provide relationship-building results and replace the stigma of greed and mistrust if we use the tools as our ally and develop new creative approaches to monetization, just like every other industry is working toward.

Greed will be replaced with Goodwill. Let’s take out the trash within our profession and begin by boycotting huge staffing agency placement fees. In case you missed it, that’s our call to action. Let’s evolve our relationship with hiring leaders and walk away from the thing that many think is the only thing we care about. Let’s prove that there is a stronger approach motivated by relationship values. Let’s support the development of better talent acquisition systems and trust me, we will unlock the door the 85 Billion in monetization that will flow through all of us.


1) Join a marketplace recruiting technology platform

2) Reduce your dependency on the recruiting establishment by saying no to huge fees.

Work only with progressive tech recruiting tools and organizations that define value away from double digit fees.

3) Get creative and demonstrate your true value. Don’t gauge your clients.  Start doing pro-bono recruiting for colleagues and build credibility with your hiring leaders.

4) Come up with a new idea for monetizing recruiter services alongside tools.  Pitch the idea.  Get creative.


James Chmielinski is a second generation recruiting veteran, former athlete, and founder of Veruca.io, the first ever recruiting innovations lab.  His company is built from two generations of sales and recruiting experience resting on the backbone of post-millennial technology.  An industry-leading, hub-spot for consulting, technology, and recruiting process design.  Veruca.io aims to make like easier for professional sourcing and recruiting teams.  Mr. Chmielinski’s inaugural software attracted 178 active users in 114 cities from 17 countries.