The end?  Or new beginnings?

The end? Or new beginnings?

Graeme Wright's opinion piece ("The end of recruitment advertising?") has attracted some of the best comments so far received at Ri5, from a variety of people and from different parts of the world.  You can click the link to read everything and join in.  Alternatively, here are extracted highlights (preceded by our own précis of the original):

Graeme's view is that online social media and business networking sites offer such potential for targeting talent that conventional, brand-based advertising could become a thing of the past.  His message is that, as in other areas of internet marketing, the trend in recruitment will be towards rifled conversations between employers and individual candidates, rather than scattergun marketing aimed at groups or communities.  "...the future lies with a type of one-to-one marketing where the individual is king" is Graeme's concluding line.

An anonymous comment came first, questioning whether clients wouldn't be missing out candidates who decline to "post their inanities every two seconds on facebook, myspace, linkedin or twitter".  Writer Alasdair Murray questions the relevance of social media's mind-boggling stats, and states "... I am unconvinced that social recruiting is as far along the road as some suggest it to be."  And this from our old friend Tomothy Turnip: "We both knew .. that the days of advertising jobs in newsagent's windows were numbered.  So we started advertising in the back of newspapers instead.  I think it is called evolving your service offering .. as opposed to pooping your pants at progress."

John Langford's comments make you think: "... down in the real world, neither branding or hype is necessary for successful recruitment outcomes" and "... the fragmentation of the recruitment marketplace into so many niche methods is just confusing and is a barrier to the two sides knowing where to look for each other."  Richard Rizzo Hills has interesting things to say too, including this (we couldn't resist): "If I wanted to work in recruitment communications then I'd look on Ri5, not ... Facebook."

In New York, Bruce Dorskind believes that Graeme's blog, whilst making salient points, falls short in its conclusion: "There are hundreds of thousands of employers around the world, most of whom have little or no brand recognition.  In the United States, 8 out of 10 new jobs are created by employers with less than 500 people."  And Mark Baldwin, md of Oxus China in Beijing, offers a view from his own market, including this:  "... in China Facebook and Twitter are irrelevant as they are banned by the government ... Social media does exist - indeed it is kicking ass - 450 million bods online and counting."  Another thoughtful piece comes from Shalimar Wimble: "... current market dynamics reflect a depressed labour market, where there are more good candidates available than there have been since the seventies .... A big question is how the media mix will perform when there's genuine, business-critical competition for talent at all levels."

Lou Rooney sees social media as a huge creative opportunity, where the low cost of the media itself should allow for greater investment in words and pictures: "All those dead blogs and Twitter accounts can be revived by content/copywriters everywhere! And brought visually to life by ADs who can get their work off the page into real life.  All creating campaigns that are more meaningful, truthful and that hugely streamline attraction and retention.  Bring it on!"

This is just a taster of what appears with the original piece.  Toby Barnes, Sinead Bunting and Andrew Wilkinson are among the other contributors with interesting things to say.  And as a final thought, here's what Graeme's chairman, Simon Howard, thinks about it all: "Today it is more difficult for an individual to find the right employer and for the employer to find the right individual.  Technology has not created a more open market, but one which is more complex and more restricted."

This debate contains many of the key questions facing the recruitment communications industry, and some of the answers.  Do keep commenting - or, if you prefer, contact with suggestions for further articles.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

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