Recently two people I have great respect for, Matthew Jeffrey and Kevin Wheeler, stated two total opposite things in their ERE articles. While Kevin asked if internal recruiters were usefull and came to the conclusion that outsourcing recruitment is the way of the future, Matthew made a point of declaring the agencies dead.

So who’s right? Who’s vision is most likely? They can’t both be right? Or can they?

I recently heard a very interesting thought by a philosopher. With almost every vision, if you state the exact opposite, it usually seems just as likely. So I guess they can both be right… or wrong depending on the point of view.

Interestingly enough I agree with both visions. Personally I have a strong preference for Matthew’s vision: recruitment is core business for a company, since people are your main competitive edge. So companies should invest in internal recruitment and you don’t need agencies if you do that the right way.

I’m sure that the companies Matthew will work at will follow this path and be succesful at it. Yet… Kevin does have a point. Recruitment is generally seen as a cost and since it’s an internal piece of the machine they won’t go bust. From a cost perspective RPO usually seems like a good idea. RPO’s do need to be ‘on the edge’ and if they don’t deliver, they will go bankrupt soon enough.

So I think both will be right, or wrong depending on whether you’re a glass half empty or half full person. We will have a split between types of companies, the ones that have always been cost focused will eventually go to RPO deals. Companies that have a people and / or quality focus in their DNA will build serious internal recruitment units and use almost no agencies.

The main question in my opinion is: what companies are going to perform better. I think the ones with the great internal recruitment (significant in this is the word great). Because people don’t like to be treated as cost so the best talent will join the companies that have people and quality focus. But that’s because I believe in the fact that people are every companies competitive edge. Not (intellectual) capital, not cost leadership, not market share or reach, but people. Also in this case the exact opposite of my vision (cost leadership rules the world) seems just as likely, doesn’t it?


Over de Auteur

Bas van de Haterd Bas van de Haterd is professioneel bemoeial. Hij helpt organisaties met het begrijpen van social media en de gedragsveranderingen die dit met zich meebrengt op het gebied van de arbeidsmarkt. Organisaties huren hem in voor het verzorgen van inspirerende lezingen over de toekomst van de arbeidsmarkt, trainingen over het gebruik van social media voor recruitment of het opzetten van een recruitmentsite. Hij is tevens co-auteur van Personal en auteur van Werken Nieuwe Stijl. Hij is te bereiken op

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