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Is crowdsourcing shaping the future of recruitment?

Written by Kimberley Startup | March 5, 2012 | 8 Comments

CrowdsourcingWe’ve barely entered the revolution of recruitment 3.0, and already there are talks about recruitment 4.0.

Whilst this is still some years off, with the rise of digital technology and traditional recruitment methods drawing a blank, it is clear that there will be recruitment 4.0. And with the advances of technology, it’s simply another natural progression of time.

As a relatively new concept, the following article is based on information provided from Matthew Jeffrey: ‘Recruitment 4.0: Crowdsourcing, Gamification, Recruitment as a Profit Center,  and the Death of Recruitment Agencies! ’ And ‘The Gamification of Work: Let’s Have Some Fun’ by the

But before we begin, let’s recap the development of recruitment over the last several years:

Both recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 are essentially focused on the active job seeker. Recruitment 3.0 made a huge advancement with the rise of social media by focusing on building communities in order to attract both the active and passive jobseeker. As mentioned by Matthew Jeffrey , the key to this is compelling, rich content and creating a destination that people want to go to frequently.

Building on this, recruitment 4.0 is all about the value of these communities. Consider the world we live in – it is the information age and the power lies in networks. Companies like Facebook and LinkedIn have a massive reach and potential reach, their following is huge – and it’s an engaged following creating tremendous value, particularly for HR and recruiters.

So how do these communities benefit recruitment?

We’ve seen the rise in social media used to source and attract top talent, enabling companies to build their own communities under a strong brand.

Moving forward, recruitment 4.0 sees the community itself evolve where recruitment can be executed by crowdsourcing. As mentioned in Matthew Jeffrey’s article , companies have always embraced the concept of internal referrals, so why not the reverse?

He continues with saying how people love the power of recognition and public reward, so if we take this principal into recruiting, why not reward referrals from crowdsourcing? Particularly as companies build their own recruitment databases through their own communities, they can use creative ways to source talents and reward as necessary.

Crowdsourcing itself is defined by Jeff Howe  as ‘the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call’.

How can recruitment gather referrals from crowdsourcing?

Communities themselves evolve around certain disciplines, careers and industries. And crowdsourcing, as a notion, lends itself perfectly to recruitment and HR as they are the perfect place to reach passive candidates, and it’s free.

Take this example provided by Matthew Jeffrey:  a company posts a problem online, a large number of individuals offer their opinions and ideas as to how to solve it, the winning idea is rewarded in some form, and the end result is the company adopting the idea for its own benefit.

As more and more people explore the theory of crowdsourcing and use it to tap into new sources of talents, there are companies that are already on the wagon, and are fast realising the benefits, including improved employee skills and the ability to reach fresh talent. IBM is one; they collected more than 37,000 ideas for potential areas for innovation from brainstorming with their customers, employees and family members

So what methods could you use to crowdsource?

Gamification is the latest buzzword in recruitment. The simplest definition of gamification is as follows: “Gamification is the use of game attributes to drive game-like player behaviour in a non-game context .”

People love games – not just your typical Playstation or Xbox games, but also casual games like Farmville on Facebook – interactive entertainment is enjoyed by everyone, no matter what age. And its casual games like these that are the key to the door of mass community engagement.

In fact, new research has estimated that by 2014, some 70% of large companies will use gamification techniques for at least one business process.

But before you add a crowdsourcing aspect to your hiring process, as with any element of social media, you need to consider your audience: What can you offer them? And what are you looking to achieve? Don’t forget to check out our next blog to find out how gamification can help your hiring process.

Will you be embracing recruitment 4.0? Or maybe you have already? Let us know your thoughts of this next advancement within the digital decade.

8 thoughts on “Is crowdsourcing shaping the future of recruitment?

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