The Future of the Transactional Recruiter

Over the last 12 and a half years there is a lot that has changed in recruiting and some core principles that have stayed the same. We are entering a time where I believe that the transactional recruiter will fade away. Below is an overview: What has changed, what doesn’t work, what does work, leveraging technology, and what is more important than ever.

What has changed

Recruiting tools, ATS systems, and other technologies are changing at a rapid pace. Many of these tools make sourcing and finding talent much more efficient. These absolutely should be incorporated into your recruiting strategy, but they also open the door for recruiting to become more transactional and less personal.

The challenge that I will make to you is that you need to be able to do both.

Leverage the technology without losing the personal touch and care that only a human being can offer another. This remains a people business. Embrace technology and innovation, but do not lose that core concept that this is about creating opportunities for people.


What doesn’t work

Slamming people in the door” to make a placement doesn’t work. Period. It just doesn’t work. You must focus on creating win/win situations. The opportunity that you speak about must be a step forward or help the candidate in some way shape or form. Without that you have nothing. The next step is making sure that also aligns for the client. It is only when you can create that synergy that you have the recipe for success.

This starts with caring for others and finding a way to deliver them value. Sometimes that means you don’t place them at that time. That is okay. Sometimes that is the right call. This can build trust and respect. It can show someone that you are their advocate and have their best interests in mind.

Posting a job and having them apply is not recruiting. This is a function of sourcing and finding talent, but it cannot be your only tool. You must expand your tool belt. The best candidates are not looking at your postings. They are actively employed or making better use of their time than to comb the job boards. You need to understand this. You need to have this awareness going into calls with people that apply to your postings. They should not be ruled out, but you must approach the conversation with an understanding of this. You must raise your level of awareness.

A mentor once explained it like this to me. Your best candidates will not be looking for you. You must go seek them out.

What does work

Recruiting is a straightforward business. Do not over complicate it. Approach relationships with a long-term mindset and you will win. Recruiters that understand the lifetime value of a relationship have a major advantage.

When they can match that understanding with urgency and a relentless approach to delivering within critical timelines, they have an even greater advantage.

When they can mix those two things and follow a core value of ours which is do the right thing then they will build relationships that can last a lifetime.

One of the effects of this is a recruiter who also earns a lot of money. This is directly tied to the value that they can bring others.

Don’t over complicate it. Focus on long term relationships and hold yourself to a standard of excellence and you can accomplish amazing things within recruiting.

Leveraging Technology

Change in recruiting technology is fast paced. Much like every other industry. The tools available today continue to get better and better each week. You need to embrace that.

The key to incorporating the technology correctly starts with your mindset. The goal is not to have technology do the entire job for you. If that was the case the recruiter would be obsolete. Instead your incorporation of technology should be around the mundane and repetitive tasks. It should be used to get your message out faster and to more people. It should help you up your activity and focus your efforts.

The irreplaceable part of being a recruiter is your relationship building and communication skills. This includes your tone, physiology, thoroughness, confidence, your word, and ability to help people feel comfortable.

You must become the guide to your candidates and clients. You are the one that is going to guide them to a solution or to something better.

What is more important than ever before

 I believe what hasn’t changed is focusing on those win/win situations. On adding value to others and making their lives better. On creating an experience, building trust, and earning referrals because of your impact.

Technology can assist, but never replace that.

What is going to get rolled over is the transactional behavior. Recruiters that operate like that won’t be here in the next 5 years. Heck, they may not be here by the end of 2020…

Concentrate on doing the right thing and helping others. Be relentless about it. It is irreplaceable and it is much more fulfilling.

Aaron Opalewski of Spark Talent

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