Friday, 15 February 2008

Recruitment 2.0 ? Getting to the UK in 2020 ?

Having spent some 7 years in the "employment wilderness" now, I am struck by how little recruitment has changed, even where new attitudes can and should be making inroads in the Enterprise 2.0 age.

I note the following:

  1. UK satisfaction levels with recruitment remain below 45%
  2. The same tired old recruitment headlines are exhumed time after time in the quality UK newspapers; there are no primary innovators
  3. The UK still operates risk avoidance in preference to US risk management, most especially in the recruitment arena
  4. Nowhere is the Gartner / PWC message about leadership and culture being taken up in recruitment; box tickers still rule

At 48, and with a highly successful PM track record until 2001, I have been excluded from many jobs because of:

  • "lack of recent experience"
  • "out of date technical skills"
  • "inability to physically attend regularly enough"
  • in one instance, I "wouldn't fit the culture", aka too old - b**l**ks !! What about integrated work forces of "all the talents" ?
  • "those already working are the only ones good enough to target" - Headhunter X !!

I expect to be past retirement age, yet still working, before "recruiters" get outside their comfort zones and embrace the new means of contact and working which are evolving in the world outside their cosy front parlours. This must involve real "thinking outside the box", rejecting spurious employment "blockers", and finding better ways to discover and recruit real talent. Employers must start considering "fresh" talent, not just at board levels, and also really get angry, and demand radically better results from recruiters.

Where are the messages about developing personal contacts, business networks and the online worlds of reputation, working communities and wikinomics ? Who is reaching out and adopting really new thinking ?

I remain optimistic, though, that one day, I can write to others explaining how to overcome these "issues" and who can help them. I am still working on presenting my diverse, and to too many, confusing bundle of skills and talents, so I can once again contribute to society effectively.

And BTW, we shouldn't accept issues without solutions from our Project Management experience, they are just waiting for a higher priority. We all need to take our recruitment issues as ones which are both important and urgent, and need solving sooner rather than of necessity because, finally, everyone else has changed the way they are doing it.

May that day come sooner rather than later, because too many talented people are finding it too hard to get back to work through conventional recruitment.


Marshall said...

This is a great post,it certainly makes a good point and a very important information. Thank you very much for sharing this info.

Andy said...

A comment just doesn't seem long enough, but here goes! I feel your pain and find myslef outside of the loop wth no concievable way to get in. I haven't the experience you have but certainly have talents and skills that can add value. My glass ceiling is as a result of not having shiny pieces of paper that say I'm an authority on innovation, creativity, creative problem solving, diversity and so on. My current employer is typical of the British ethic of risk avoidance rather than risk management. They must beleive they are safe as they are prepared to stick to the adage of 'if you do what what you've always done then you'll get what you've always got'. I'm not God but I'm sceptical and don't think that's a sustainable position. Trying to find an employer or recruitment agency who is prepared to speak to me is proving very difficult. The UK needs to change. We are slipping down many of the international league tables and we are sleep walking. I'm sure I'll get somewhere as I'm not prepared to give up. We sound like we're barking up the same tree! We should talk