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I met with a Director of a Recruitment firm this week who used the term “option paralysis” to describe the world he fears that some of his consultants live in – they have so many systems to choose from in their work, that progress can be slow or non-existent.

This really got me thinking.  I am the first to get excited about the opportunities the new age of systems presents to the average recruiter, but he has a point!

… so many systems for recruiters to get their teeth into, or dare I say distracted by?  So, Option Paralysis… too many options preventing progress?

How has this happened? I often see Recruitment businesses that have not thought strategically about the above and have just decided to “get online”…

There’s little strategy; the young people in the business have been tasked with getting the Facebook page up and running (because young people “get” social don’t they??); the IT department have implemented a new CRM / ATS because the old one was insecure / out of date / not in the cloud; the marketing department have commissioned a new website.

Your recruiters have now got more tools than they ever have had, and life for them is even more complicated – AND they are expected to compete with their own clients for vacancy placement…

This coupled with what I often see is a lack of guidance and policy on how to use this stuff!  I imagine that some recruiters are often sat at their desks, head in hands, thinking “stop the bus!”

So, my thoughts on getting around this challenge for those of you lucky enough to run your own recruitment firm, or department:

  • Think about your reasons for having these systems… don’t just get online because everyone’s talking about it
  • Have a strategy – it’s only a 3 syllable word, but without it you can happily spend a fortune in time and cash getting nowhere
  • Have a policy and guidance – make your expectations clear and please have practical expectations (asking your staff to close their LinkedIn account when they leave is not practical (or legal?) and expecting Twitter to make money is not a fair expectation – using it to develop relationships and bypass gatekeepers, etc… is a lot more appropriate)
  • Don’t be afraid to train your staff how to use this stuff.  Just because social media is free to use, doesn’t make it easy and results are not guaranteed!  Be tactical and ensure that your recruiters know how the system can improve their business process, and ultimately protect your business.

So, are you a recruiter who sometimes suffers from option paralysis?  Are you a manager who worries that your staff suffer from option paralysis?  If you were back at the coal face, how would you feel?

(Previously published on Bullhorn Reach’s Blog.)

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