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IN Voices

Jan 5, 2014 @ 12:01 am (Updated 2:57 pm) EST

LinkedIn vs. recruiters

A

story by reporter Joyce Hanson about how broker-dealers are increasingly bypassing recruiters by turning to LinkedIn to fill openings for advisers drew a strong response from readers. Some believe that the social-media website is tailor-made for businesses to locate talent, while others defend traditional recruiters as providing a much deeper working relationship than LinkedIn.

I find that most (not all, but definitely most) recruiters are annoying robo-dialers who would be better suited working as telemarketers than at a recruiting firm. Most clearly don't know the first thing about me or my business when they call, and their tired spiels all sound the same. There are a couple out there that are very good, and while I doubt I am going to make a move, I'd definitely use one of the two if I ever did. One of them called me recently just to wish me a happy birthday (thanks, Ron). I have no idea how he knew that, because I don't have it posted anywhere. I also don't know how those people make any money, because it feels like there are as many recruiters as financial advisers. Maybe they all just get one guy per year and the fee is huge.” — Always Happy

I am having a SERIOUS déjà vu moment here! In 22 years, I have seen this exact article printed and reprinted countless times. First time I believe was in 1996 when Monster.com was going to eliminate the need for recruiters. Then it was Careerbuilder, etc., etc., etc. ... In 1996, 7% to 8% of all jobs were filled by third-party recruiters. In 2013, 7% to 8% of all jobs were filled by third-party recruiters. You can triple that number in the financial adviser space. We tell our clients to use any and all social media and job boards to attract the talent available there. My friend Howard [recruiter Howard Diamond] is spot-on — the best recruiters never have and never will compete with that methodology. Now excuse me, I have to get back on the phone.” — AFG Carlsbad

LinkedIn's entire Internet model is built upon networking and connecting talent with organizations. I'm sorry, but in the information age, recruiters are increasingly going to become unnecessary; the old dramatic standby of, "I can't let you know about this opportunity until you sign on,' will work no longer. The fact of the matter is, job seekers can connect with opportunities faster and with less work than ever before. The need for a human element in the middle will simply prove to be an obstacle.” — e130478

I believe that any recruiter today that told a financial adviser, "I can't let you know about this opportunity until you sign on,' would have a greater chance of convincing that FA to wire money to a stranger in Nigeria. That said, the options in the financial services universe are increasingly numerous and complex. Given the choice of going it alone or having a no-cost, experienced guide to assist them, most intelligent people will opt for the latter. The hazards in trying to do due diligence in advance of a potential move include things like wasting valuable time interviewing with firms that were never a good fit, discovery by an adviser's existing firm that the adviser is interviewing with competitors, or selecting a new firm based on inaccurate or incomplete information.” — Ron_Edde