Crowdstaffing has been functioning as a modern approach to recruitment for several years. Despite this, the number of companies that have decided to permanently implement community recruiting is still small. Aneta Barth, Junior Communication Specialist at Talent Place, talks about why crowdstaffing can become a breakthrough in 21st century recruitment.
Cooperation in solving problems and achieving common goals has been crucial for the development of mankind for centuries. In the face of modern reality which is much more complex, the dynamic development of technology and phenomena such as the paradox of choice, we need to cooperate more than ever.
So how does this relate to recruitment? The developing employee market and the enormity of opportunities offered to candidates have made recruitment increasingly difficult and requires new, more effective solutions.
Crowdstaffing in recruitment: what does it look like?
Portals just a few years ago with job offers were the main source of recruiting candidates. Similarly, recruitment agencies whose services were used by the largest corporations. Currently, these methods are losing effectiveness because they do not provide candidates with individual recruitment experience. To reach and hire the right employees, you need to offer them more. When looking for non-standard solutions, you can find crowdstaffing in recruitment – a fashionable sounding slogan, but what is behind it?
The power of the “crowd”
Over the years, interpersonal cooperation has gained a new dimension, in which many processes have been implemented by the “crowd”, that is, in a direct translation “crowd” – but most often it simply concerns a specific group of people. Below, I will present some empirical examples that will allow me to better illustrate the power of this phenomenon.
One of them is the work on the Oxford English Dictionary, which was created thanks to volunteers from England who provided scientists working on the dictionary with 6 million letters with proposed definitions of English words. It happened in the 19th century!
Easy way to raise funds for the development of a start-up? Crowdfunding! Thanks to platforms such as Crowdcube or Seedrs, new businesses can develop with the help of investments of people who decide to support them with their private funds.
Another example of using the crowd potential are solutions of the Sharing Economy type. The most popular example is Uber, which connects drivers with potential passengers, and all they need to “meet” is a free phone application. Thanks to this, a network of drivers was created who can connect to the application at any time, carry passengers and earn money.
Today you can hear about many different ways of using crowd potential: crowdfunding, crowdtesting, crowdsourcing , or crowdstaffing. I would like to introduce you to crowdstaffing in particular, but to understand its genesis, I will also refer to crowdsourcing.
Crowdstaffing or crowdsourcing?
These names are often used interchangeably, but it is important to distinguish them. So let’s reach for some history. The phrase “crowdsourcing” first appeared around 2005 and became the cornerstone of modern crowdstaffing. Crowdsourcing took shape when Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, editors of Wired magazine, observed companies outsourcing their projects via the Internet. , often to unrelated groups of individuals. Colloquially, they called it “outsourcing to the crowd.” Howe’s official definition describes crowdsourcing as an activity in which an organization outsources tasks performed by employees to an undefined and usually large group of people in the form of an “open call” “.
When crowdsourcing mechanisms also moved to the recruitment and human resources industry, around 2010/2011 a new term slowly began to emerge – crowstaffing. During this time, Brett Farmiloe, an expert in online marketing and the labor market, conducted an experiment in which social media was used to publish job vacancies. The purpose of this procedure was to encourage a specific group of recipients to establish contact with potential candidates and discover their competences and professional aspirations. Brett wanted to connect talented individuals with the right employers so that they could grow each other and change the world for the better. The fruit of this endeavor has become a global network of both passive and active candidates. As it turned out, the recruiting industry effectively “caught” the idea of crowdsouring and adapted it to its needs.
Crowdstuffing at Talent Place: what is it?
Talent Place is the first recruitment solution in Poland based 100% on the crowdstaffing method. We implement this idea by building a remote community of professional recruiters, the aim of which is to connect the candidate and the employer in such a way that both of them can develop their potential. All recruitment processes that we implement are therefore the result of the work, knowledge and experience of the recruiters who work with us.
How does it work in practice and how does crowdstaffing in Talent Place differ from traditional recruitment agencies or internal HR departments? What distinguishes crowdstaffing is, above all, no chance. Due to the fact that we have a network of recruiters from various industries, we are not looking for candidates blindly. Each of them has experience and their own network, so when entering a specific project, they know where, how and who to look for. This makes the recruiter an interview partner for the candidate and is able to build a relationship with him. In the next step, it means that the Client receives a candidate with a successful profile and the desired competences.
Therefore, in our view, the “crowd” of recruiters is not a random group of people, but a community of professionals who, with their knowledge and experience, bring great value to the labor market.
Crowstaffing opportunities from the employer’s perspective
Speed of operation
If a company has a pressing need to recruit and is looking for many candidates in a short amount of time, internal HR departments may find it difficult to accomplish this task. On the other hand, enlarging the team would expose the client to further costs and extend the recruitment process. Thanks to crowstaffing, the company quickly gains access not only to a large group of recruiters, but also specialists experienced in the search for candidates in a given industry. And the more experienced the recruiter, the larger his contact base – which allows for an easier selection of people with appropriate qualifications in a short time.
Crowdstaffing is also a scalable solution. This means that we decide ourselves with which recruiters we cooperate, and we can invite experts from all over Europe or the world to our community. This gives us unlimited possibilities for the implementation of recruitment projects. If the employer needs to employ candidates, e.g. in the Netherlands, thanks to crowdstaffing, the project can be implemented by a person who knows the realities of the local labor market.
Expanded recruitment opportunities
Another problem that crowdstaffing solves is recruiting for a variety of positions. It often happens that internal HR departments, especially small ones, are not able to act multidisciplinary and at the same time to recruit e.g. managers, production engineers, sales director and administration employee. Community recruitment allows not only to reach candidates with different profiles and levels of seniority, but also to reduce the operational burden on the team.
A tailor-made experience
Building a community of professional recruiters who have experience in many industries increases the range of recruitment projects that a company can engage in. This means that the recruitment process we offer in Talent Place as part of crowdstaffing is tailored to each client individually. A partner who reports a recruitment need can feel safe that the project will be delivered in 100%. Why?
In the case of crowdstaffing, the recruiter is matched to the project, not the other way around, as is often the case in agencies. This means that we do not undertake the project if we currently do not have recruiters specialized in a given industry in our network. But that doesn’t mean we’re not starting to look for it! The knowledge, experience and networking of the community can bring great value to the client and his organization. Each recruiter is an expert in their field and can act as a real partner during the recruitment process.
Advantages of crowdstaffing from the recruiter’s perspective
The work of the average recruiter is less and less often within the standard hours of 9-17. Candidates are usually available after 5 pm, and the number of interviews and operational tasks does not allow for effective development and achievement of long-term goals. All this makes the recruiter’s work ineffective and often very stressful. Therefore, flexibility and adaptation to the candidate’s needs are key in this profession. Thanks to crowdstaffing, the recruiter can work remotely and independently decide about his availability. This allows him to adapt to the needs of the candidates. One of the advantages of crowdstaffing is that for the recruiter it is working on their own terms.
Exchange of Potential
Each of the recruiters who are part of the community has a lot of experience and knowledge. Thanks to this, being part of the “crowd” is a great opportunity to develop competences, expand the network of contacts and broaden your horizons. This constant exchange of knowledge finds its reflection in the implementation of recruitment projects. The more a recruiter knows about the labor market and individual industries, the better he will build relationships with both clients and candidates, being an expert in their eyes.
The reality of recruitment has so far meant that freelancers could often feel that they were solely on their own. However, in the case of crowdstaffing, they have other experts at their disposal with whom they can exchange knowledge and tips. It also allows them to find a space to talk, thanks to which they can face the difficulties of working in the model in which they operate.
Is crowdstaffing the future of recruitment?
The recruitment industry is dynamically changing and at every step, we can meet new operating models or technological novelties that are to improve recruitment. Crowdstaffing, however, is not just a trend that will pass with the coming year. When companies bet on bots and “innovative” systems, crowdstaffing focuses on people, relationships and recommendations. Only a few years ago, no one heard about this model – now it is growing in strength and attracting more and more clients, recruiters and candidates. Everyone who has encountered crowdstaffing is not parting with it anymore. Proof of this is the cooperation between Talent Place and Credit Agricole bank, which has been going on for over 2 years.
Is crowdstaffing the future? Definitely! Of course, it will not replace solutions such as job portals or agencies, but it is slowly becoming the most effective recruitment method.