Australia’s IT & T sector is a massive user of contingent and contract labour, with estimates suggesting there are more than 60,000 temporary and independent contractors in the Australian workforce and in excess of one million globally.
During the past few years, changes to in-house procurement methods, including innovative strategies for identification, attraction and employment, have dramatically changed the recruitment landscape.
Many parts of the technology recruitment industry failed to foresee the challenges this would present and are now struggling to address this structural and permanent shift in the way things are done. Alarmingly, there are many who may be confusing these changes with a depressed economy and are idly waiting for the good old days to return. The bad news is, those times are gone.
Many aspects of the recruitment process have become increasingly commoditised, with clients struggling to see value in their recruitment partners. Herein lies a key challenge – when your client sees less value in your service, then the price will inevitably go down. Worse still, an antipathy or even contempt can develop for your offering, resulting in unrealistic and unacceptable demands that can sometimes border on insult.
I talked with Dan Shapero, global head of talent solutions for LinkedIn, when he Sydney recently. Shapero did not limit the discussion to the number of ways in which LinkedIn could be used in a much more productive and creative manner for technology recruitment, but also talked about the challenges of meeting the needs of a changing workforce, which is particularly relevant to the technology industry.
The globalisation of the technology workforce presents many opportunities for those who are prepared to embrace its onset and structure their businesses accordingly to take full advantage of the commercial benefits.
Generally speaking, there has been a lack of initiative and activity among the broader technology recruitment industry. It has failed to recognise the shift that is occurring in the way the world’s workforce is being viewed as one single, flexible talent pool. Based on my observations, most global recruitment generalists tend to operate in quite separate silos from region to region. There seems to be very little communication and minimal use of technology for promoting international candidate referrals.
In short, recruiters in this industry need to define their vision, invest in ideas, hire smart people and not be shy of taking risks. The alternative might be very unpleasant.