Talent marketplaces and hiring platforms: are they really worth the hype?
As talent marketplaces have evolved, they’ve become more than just digital job boards. Many platforms enable candidates to apply for gigs, find special projects, build relationships with mentors, and, yes, find full-time roles to further their career.
Talent marketplaces have only become as powerful as they are because of the rise of AI to discover candidates, match them with roles, and create unique, personalized experiences for each candidate. This enables these platforms to:
- Empower candidates to own their career journey
- Align meaningful growth opportunities with candidate skills
- Create tailored, contextual experiences for each step of the candidate journey
However, as powerful as talent marketplaces have become, they still aren’t the same as a human recruiter. Candidates don’t get the direct relationship with a career and industry expert who can answer questions, provide inside knowledge of the hiring company, coach the candidate for the interview, and be a trusted point of contact even after placement.
What’s more, as more candidates look at agency and recruiter reputation as validation, human recruiters are a valuable asset in building that reputation.
We recently sat down with Aaron Grossman, founder & CEO of TalentLaunch, to discuss this issue. TalentLaunch is a nationwide network of independently operated staffing and recruiting companies, providing support to these companies in strategic planning, tech infrastructure, sales and marketing, and more.
Read on to see his thoughts on the evolution of the talent marketplace in 2022 and beyond.
How should agencies think about recruiting technology?
TalentLaunch is certainly no stranger to recruiting technology. Several of their key platforms include Great Recruiters, Bullhorn, Herefish, DTRA, HireEasy, and more. “We’re really big on automation,” said Grossman. “This will be the connection point to talent platforms and hiring marketplaces, things of that nature.”
Grossman specifically mentioned that TalentLaunch has invested in Phenom, an AI-powered hiring and candidate experience management platform. Many smaller recruiting companies would be unable to afford this tool. “But because they’re part of a larger network,” said Grossman, “We have the ability to procure these kinds of technologies and provide them at a much lower cost point.”
Amid all the talk around AI, machine learning, and Big Data insights, Grossman made clear that all of these advancements serve a purpose. “I’m a Big Data person,” said Grossman, “I believe you can optimize process by understanding the data behind what you do.”
The key for agencies, then, is to use these tools not as ends in themselves, but as a source of insights to identify and attract top talent, and streamline processes to ensure they have an exceptional experience.
This approach enables technology to enhance the human experience, rather than replace it.
What will recruiting technology look like in the future?
Grossman founded TalentLaunch not just to make money, but to do something meaningful and purposeful. “By design, I’ve always been trying to think about what this industry is missing. Why does this industry have such bad scores when it comes to the experience that they deliver to their customers?”
One particular story that illuminates the work that TalentLaunch does is a story about an entry-level candidate that they helped to place six years ago. Now, the same person manages 150 people at the company. “That business was able to grow because of the person we put in that seat. So what we as recruiters do is important, but it’s not respected that way.”
This story illustrates not only how Grossman approaches his business, but also the evolving role of technology in the recruiting industry. There’s always room for more optimization—processes, culture, internal hires, training, and, most importantly, the candidate and client experience. Recruiters are at their best when they leverage technology to optimize their processes and reach their fullest potential.
Every staffing agency wants to create exceptional experiences for candidates, clients, and placed talent. But managing every input that impacts those experiences—recruiters, processes, facilities, etc.—is tough to do at scale.
Technology and automation enables recruiting agencies to manage all of these experiences at scale. “As a recruiter, when you’re trying to match talent with opportunity, you’ve got to get everybody on the same page and aligned. To do that successfully requires a lot of touches.”
How will technology change how recruiters do their jobs?
Self-service has quickly become the norm across industries. “When you go to book a trip or buy a car, you first go online and do a lot of research first. With our industry, you just go to the recruiter, and they tell you what you need. That’s not consistent with how other industries have given optionality for customers and their self-service needs.”
As such, digital transformation is going to change how recruiters do their jobs. Grossman sees this as an opportunity, not a threat. “I’m incredibly passionate about our industry. I believe in it. And I really want to help improve it, and a lot of people feel like the traditional model creates too much friction.”
But recruiters have to be willing to adopt these changes. The days of merely owning the database and the clients, and functioning in a purely transactional way, are over. Instead, recruiters who can do those things that only humans can do—-the “artists,” as Grossman calls them—will find success in this marketplace.
One valuable tool that TalentLaunch uses to build their internal team is Great Recruiters. “Great Recruiters does two things for us,” said Grossman. “Internally, we use it to recognize recruiters for the good things they’re doing, and what better way to do that than from the people they support and serve? It also helps us self-regulate our experience, helps us judge whether we’re doing the right thing for our customers.”