What Is Crowdsourced Recruitment?

This is a very common question we are hearing nowadays and it is a type of recruiting that is springing up around the market. There are a few different companies that are jumping on this bandwagon trying to find a new angle to recruit from. Crowdsource recruiting is very reminiscent of some websites like Upwork or Elance where companies are using technology to pool resources together and make those resources easily available for people and companies to consume.


The idea behind crowdsourced recruiting is to make recruiting cheaper and more effective for companies. The problem is in most cases this does not happen. Many companies have tried to figure out how to replace headhunters, that is human being headhunters. Job boards are all designed to try to replace human headhunters and crowdsourced recruiting marketplaces are also designed to try to replace job boards and human being headhunters. There are a lot of reasons why one might be attracted to a crowdsource recruiting marketplace.

The way a crowdsource recruiting marketplace works is similar to a job board. Unlike a job board though, a company will post their position on the crowdsource marketplace and there will be a variety of recruiters that will then be able to work that position and attempt to submit candidates. The idea here is that more recruiters working on your job is better, but in our experience of over 20 years in business, this is not the case. The last thing you need is to have a whole bunch of recruiters that you have no relationship with who don’t truly understand your business and don’t truly understand your requirements out there talking to people about your position and your company.


You run the risk of not only being misrepresented, but you also run the risk of having people being contacted by multiple recruiters which makes your company seem desperate in the marketplace and also unorganized. Similar to working with an actual human-run executive search firm, you want to limit the amount of recruiters you work with to one or maybe two highly effective headhunters. By limiting this you protect yourself from overexposure and you protect yourself from the risk of having people talk about you, your company and your position who don’t really know you.

Effective headhunting and recruiting is all about relationships and the best headhunters and recruiters out there are the ones who are skilled at building relationships with their clients. The best recruiters understand their clients, their culture, the type of personality fits and the nuances of what types of talent that company wants to see. The other thing to keep in mind is that sourcing resonates as a very small part of the recruiting process.


A true headhunter is going to be able to heavily vet candidates before you see them on your behalf, manage logistics, interview schedule’s, run references for you and handle offering negotiations. In over our 20 years in business we have been the major catalysts for countless deals getting done with our clients that would have never happened without our intervention and negotiating on both parties behalves. Having a recruiter who is a good negotiator working on your behalf is worth a million dollars.

So although crowdsource recruiting can seem attractive at first sight, and it seems like, “Oh wow, if I get more recruiters working on my job, that’s going to be better.” This is not the case. One has to remember that most recruiters out there on the market, whether they’re a recruiting firm or a recruiting contractor, are not that good at what they do. Recruiting is a very challenging industry and finding a good recruiter is way less common than finding a mediocre or less than average recruiter. Unfortunately, given the unregulated nature of the recruiting industry, most recruiters out there are at best average and are going to produce a mediocre result.


That’s why when you find a good recruiting firm, you want to hang onto them and use them whenever needed and have them be your go-to. This will allow you to be organized and will protect you in many ways. So far technology has not found a way to replace the value of a headhunter. Everything that we mentioned here are the valuable things that a recruiter brings to the table are very far from being replaced by any kind of artificial intelligence, any kind of recruitment marketplace or crowdsourcing or job boards. All of these other technologies are a small piece of the puzzle and really aren’t even able to do the small piece of the puzzle that they’re designed to do in a way that would be as effective as a really good headhunter.

So before you sign up for one of these crowdsourced job boards, you want to remember you get what you paid for, perhaps you may be able to save a few percentage points on the fee, but is it really going to be worth it? Do you really think you’re going to get the most quality candidates? Are you going to have a dedicated human being for you and your business who’s going to learn what you do, learn how you work and learn your business in order to be a true business partner? These are the things you need to ask yourself.


There really is no substitute for an excellent headhunter and we recommend that if you need outside recruiting help, that you find a recruiting firm that can be your partner or hire internal people who can recruit for you. This is still the best strategy and we don’t see anytime soon where crowdsourcing or job boards or other technologies are going to replace that. Good luck.

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