Are Recruiters Just Middle Men?

Jun 22, 2016

“They all promise you the earth and tell you how they are unique ... but they work in the same way and deliver the same solution.”

- APSCo research

For candidates and hiring managers alike, recruiters and their teams are all too often seen as middlemen (or women) who moderate the hiring process.

There is often frustration on the part of applicants, managers and the recruiters themselves. Recruiters are often perceived as slowing down the process or focusing too much on the process. Many hiring managers incorrectly believe that recruiters can simply snap their fingers and present a deep pool of fully qualified, perfect candidates. The candidates believe that recruiters are blocking them from access to a hiring manager. "If only I can speak to Ms. Jones, I'm sure they'll love me," they think.

Recruiters Face a Significant Credibility Gap

Matt Charney, well-known top HR influencer in, 2015 cites the frustrations faced by the current traditional recruitment structure.

"Recruiting, ultimately, all comes down to filling requisitions as cheaply and quickly as possible with the best talent you can both find and afford," he writes. "Of course, recruiting is easier said than done."

Charney argues, “What recruiters need is a new approach to their work, particularly with candidates. As he writes: When you’re recruiting, you don’t want top talent to think of you as another generic recruiter at another generic company peddling the same “employer bland proposition” as every other employer out there; when it comes to top talent, these talking points are likely to fall on deaf ears.”

“While recruiters don’t control compensation, culture fit or career growth – factors which most easily and expediently prompt candidates to take decisions, recruiters can definitely control personal presentation and style. This is one of the most meaningful competitive differentiator any recruiter out there has in their toolkit.”

Getting the Right Candidate for the Right Job at the Right Time is the Key Deliverable of a Recruiter

Another compelling way by which recruiters could enhance their professional value is by using the right technology tools which aid the hiring process in an intelligent manner.

Recruiters often get stuck with mundane problems because they depend on legacy technologies for selecting candidates. Recruiting teams within companies and external staffing agencies continue to use outdated Application Tracking Systems which haven’t kept pace with the digital age. These systems use simple keyword searches and most record updates are still done manually by the recruiting staff. These routine operations consume much of their valuable time and effort.

Getting the right candidate for the right job at the right time is the key deliverable of a recruiter which matters. And this is a common recruiter headache, a task that is easier said than done. Why?

Because it is impossible for an ATS to understand a resume the way a human recruiter does. All that it can do is to match keywords against job descriptions and fetch resumes. The more search term matches, the better. But that is not how a human recruiter reads resumes? A recruiter reads in between lines and figures the relationships between words, skills and work experience before taking the decision whether to shortlist a resume or not. And this process is manual. Given the fact that recruiters have to deal with huge volumes of resumes coming from various sources, it is impossible to read all of them to find the right fit candidates.

It is obvious that talent sourcing becomes cumbersome and time consuming. Companies and Hiring Managers don’t get relevant candidates for interviewing, a common and a somewhat unrecognized problem in the HR industry.

Contextual Technology Empowers Recruiters

Contextual technology tackles three problems with one solution. It could be used as a complement to any existing ATS or as a standalone platform.

Contextual Intelligence is based on capabilities which break down and zero in on the meaning of skills and work experience from talent data (resumes, job descriptions, cover letters, job boards, etc.). It reads, comprehends and interprets the relationships between the web of words the way human recruiters do. This results in the shortlisting and selection of the most relevant candidates for interviews.

For recruiters, a contextual talent acquisition platform solves three problems.

1) Gets right fit candidates

2) Saves time and costs

3) Saves operational effort

The frequency of interviewing relevant candidates also increases the interview-to-select ratio for Hiring Managers.

Recruiters can stop worrying about scouring hundreds of resumes and sticking to deadlines. A contextual platform is so agile that it can simultaneously process thousands of resumes of any format, and from any source at the same time. It can even search up to 1300 parameters at one go. It shortlists resumes in a matter of seconds by measuring skills and qualifying them in an intelligent manner.

Forward-thinking recruiters who can leverage contextual technology will become valuable partners of CHROs, Hiring Managers and candidates.