lucy dunnLucy Dunn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
29 March 2016
With the global success of Uber, the taxi-hailing app, a deluge of start-ups has been copying its formula of success, combining real-time data, mobile devices, instant gratification, and dynamic pricing to create a phenomenal new business model. There are even people who believe these technology revolutions will “Uberize” many more aspects of the economy. Isn't that a scary thought? If you think about it, many of the “customer service or intermediary businesses” could be or are under serious threats. It is not limited to but could include: lawyers, real estate agents, booking agents, and perhaps even people who sell shipping or storage capacity or dynamic manufacturing capacity.
My question is – can you Uberize the recruitment process? Today, indeed there are already disruptive technologies related to recruiting. The problem is that most are just that, disruptive to your time and are constantly thrusting U (you), the hiring manager or even candidate, into more and more of a self-service model without regard to the impact on your other work. So are we going see an Uber like app for recruitment and candidates? Really? Or is it only going to happen in a sci-fi movie?
Undoubtedly someone will come up with a version of Angry Birds for recruiting, but I personally think it is unlikely, because –
  • Making the correct hiring decision involves a significant risk. The cost of a mistake can easily cost the employer 1.5X the annual salary in lost time, income, lost competitive information, and accounts... vs. spending $10 on a cab ride or $0.99 on a game app
  • What makes apps like Uber valuable is an immediate need which is answered with real-time data. The data would be useless if the U don’t make an input about your latest. Now, think about the last time you updated your resume, how long ago was that? What if these apps demanded that candidates updated their company/whereabouts/projects on a tiny phone app every few days? What about the rest of their already hectic daily life, most people are even getting fatigué on Facebook which is meant to be pleasurable and not a chore
  • What makes Uber so successful financially is the “surge pricing” where they can double or even triple the cost of a ride during peak times. So now in recruiting, we are talking about thousands of dollars, how is HR going to feel if the app says “I have the perfect candidate but it will cost you 3X the normal rate to see their CV, want to proceed?”
  • Familiarity breeds contempt. Unlike a taxi driver in SFO or SHA, not everyone wants to be visible 24/7 like a LinkedIn or Facebook connection suggestion. Those candidates who are in high demand are preserving and growing their professional reputation, they will want to stay way back from the common public forms so as not to look like they are constantly “looking for what-next.” These candidates will only choose to be seen in the limelight of their industry in a manner that presents the professional image and a mystique that will advance them. They work with professional recruiters to help position them, and to grow into the positions that offer prestige and, perhaps the big bucks as well
When you feel sick, you go to a doctor; when you need advice on legal matters, you go see a lawyer/solicitor. My point is: you seek advice from the relevant subject-matter expert. When you want to explore career alternatives, you speak with a professional recruiter. Recruitment is still an intensely personal endeavor and unlikely to be replaced by a few clicks on your mobile screen.
I would think that smart candidates would rather spend time on building their reputation in the industry, than constantly updating their “Uber” status online.
What do you think?

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