Interview on Recruiting Tech and Trends

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Will Thomson

Jobhuk recently was able to sit down with Austin based recruiter, Will Thomson. We knew it was time to exclusively sit down and dive into Will’s thoughts after a few brief discussions on recruiting. Below you will find the interview with Will about his thoughts on recruiting and how he originally got involved.

About the Author: Will Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the Global Sales and Marketing Recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years.

He received his undergraduate from The University of Mississippi, and his Master’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry.

He is the founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting and you can find him on Twitter @WillRecruits.

1. Tell us a little bit about how you fell into the recruiting path. 

I wish I had a glamorous story to tell you about how I got into recruiting, but I sort of fell into it.  After I graduated from college a good friend set me up with an interview with a staffing agency called Aerotek.  I didn’t know anything about them other than everyone I talked to really enjoyed what they were doing. I loved the energy in the office.  It wasn’t until I went to training in Baltimore a month later where I fully understood the duties of a recruiter.  I was in the field for 3 years, left the field, and returned back to it 10 years later. I have had the opportunity to work for some of the worlds most recognized brands in Dell, eBay, and Rosetta Stone.  I have also helped build organizations such as Rainmaker Systems and Balfour.

2. What is your biggest challenge in recruiting?

I could give you a couple of them.  The first challenge is time.  It is so important to prioritize your day as a recruiter.  Sometimes it seems like there are never enough hours to get things done.  Sourcing candidates takes time.  It doesn’t happen over night.  Secondly, I would say managing expectations.  When things are busy, everyone has a need that needs to be filled “yesterday”.  It is how you handle those relationships and expectations that make you successful.

3. What aspects of recruiting is hard in finding great talent?

Recruiting is competitive on all levels.  A majority of the “good” talent is currently working.  You have to be a good salesperson to be successful and to make a candidate WANT to make a change.  That being said, I am feeling a shift in recruiting.  For the past several years recruiters have been using Linkedin as their primary tool to recruit individuals.  Candidates are catching on and employers are growing tired of paying outrageous fees.  With that being said there is a huge opportunity right now for a competitor to come in and challenge the whole recruiting industry.

4. How do you think technology is affecting the recruiting?

So it has changed recruiting quite a bit.  The one thing that remains constant is that there will always be a need for a human and computers won’t take over the role of a recruiter.  That being said, with technology we are able to identify talent more effectively and efficiently than ever before.  The emergence of big data will send our industry in a tailspin.  Social Media has also allowed recruiters to learn much more about a candidate than we have ever been able to see.

5. Which one would you prefer to work with, staffing agencies or independent recruiters?

I am a corporate recruiter and haven’t been with an agency in many years.  Truthfully, it is all about relationships to me.  If I am going to work with someone outside, I want to feel confident in his or her ability to deliver.  If an independent recruiter can deliver better quality candidates than an agency, then I would go with them.  You could reverse this statement and it would be the same.

6. What are your thoughts on independent recruiting?

I think there will always be a need for independent recruiters.  I also think you will see more and more of them in the future.  With the ability for a recruiter to work anywhere in the world, you don’t need much more than a phone and Internet connectivity.   I also see people doing recruiting on the side, much like real estate.  You can source at any time of day.  Like I said, time is the biggest problem so having an independent recruiter to help augment work is a huge asset to an organization.

7. Can you please tell us a few promising trends you see happening in recruitment industry this year?

The two biggest trends I see are Big Data and Mobility.  I know these are easy topics to discuss, but they are the biggest.  We all have phones, we all are having more access to data that we have never had and we are going to be able to predict the future based upon statistics.  Crazy stuff, but real!


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