Opinion And Analysis

Europe: Will headhunters go the way of the dinosaurs and face extinction?

By Silvia Castro Betancourt 0 Comments NEWS, Opinion And Analysis

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

The search for managers and professionals of a certain level has traditionally moved through the so-called talent headhunters. These exclusive specialists were characterized by their discretion and by managing resources, contacts, and knowledge of management environments far superior to those of the current selection companies.

When a company had the need to hire a top profile, the headhunter was that subtle and infallible detective that went as further than those who could not even approach talent acquisition with conventional recruitment methods. All a talent tracker who knew where those names that went unnoticed for the labor market were because they were not actively looking for a job but could be ideal for that position. They knew where they were and they also knew how to convince them to make that move to another destination. And those skills made them little more than essential. It was they and only they who knew and could manage at those levels and perform that detective work.

Thanks - or because of this specialization - headhunting became an exclusive service for companies with resources because normally the way to pay for a service of this type was through a percentage of the gross salary of the contracted professional. This caused the emergence of an important gap between large companies and small and startups when it came to accessing the key talent they needed because these startups simply could not afford it ... enough effort was already for them to pay a good salary according to the talent they incorporated.

The massive eruption of technology in the world of the selection of people is changing this panorama. Today, privileged information about the labor market is no longer exclusive to talent headhunters, but LinkedIn and other emerging channels and technologies are democratizing the search for professionals. On the one hand, artificial intelligence applied to job search, for example, is already capable of handling, crossing and interpreting a quantity of data infinitely superior to that of the most experienced of headhunters. And not only quantitatively. Also in the qualitative plane, the new intelligent employment platforms are able to incorporate determinant variables in a search as they are the competencies and professional skills that a professional needs not only for a good performance in the position but to guarantee their fit in a certain culture and work team.

Technology is also fostering a new way of working more collaboratively in which professionals have realized that the exchange of knowledge and experiences with other people who share interests is much more enriching and profitable than individual work. Knowledge networks are replacing advantageously the contributions of individual talent, banishing the old conception that sharing the knowledge that one treasures is equivalent to losing the power share in the organization. In this way, the so-called tribes of knowledge emerge, communities of people united physically or virtually by the bond of a specialty, common themes or interests that share all kinds of information or experiences. These communities are informed networks that, within their field of specialty, can treasure the same or greater knowledge of their sector than the headhunters, and can even replace their function if, for example, they see an offer of employment in which they believe that they can fit a contact of their environment and connect them.

This cocktail of technology, collaboration and methodology causes a paradigm shift in the identification and selection of talent, which allows democratizing access to the talent that companies today need, large, medium or small. All this with a reduction of costs, an optimization of processes without comparison and imposing the same rules of the game for all in the fight for talent.

The professionals themselves are also increasingly aware of the need to abandon their work anonymity and enhance their personal brand to become visible and valuable in the eyes of potential employers without the need for anyone to "discover" their talent. The times passed in which a recent graduate entered to work in a company and remained in it until the age of retirement. Today professionals are masters of their own destiny and know that the way to progress is by carrying out various projects and working for different companies, and this happens by taking responsibility for the way in which they communicate their worth to the market.

In this scenario of model change, headhunters need to react. Otherwise it could happen to them the same thing that happened in their day to serene, businessmen of video clubs or to those telephone operators who moved pegs to get two people to converse through the thread. They could be the next dinosaurs destined to extinction if, as is already happening, their function is performed more efficiently and faster by other channels. Like many other professions, they must banish immobility and adapt, look for their new space or redefine what their value contribution is. And they should do it fast.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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