Thats cute...

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

“That’s cute, but don’t tell anyone about it” was the feedback Steve Sasson got when he shared his invention the digital camera to his management in 1975. Steve was working for Kodak and yes, Kodak had invented the digital camera, but they chose not to upset the revenue streams coming out of established films market. Kodak could have become the market leader but their reluctance to change established markets and revenue streams cost them a lot.

Corporate history has examples of so many epic failures. Companies that have seen the demise of these giants have all woken up and have adopted a customer/ market-centric approach. That has helped many companies grow by leaps and bounds. As a result of this, every department in the organisation also had to change how they operate dramatically.

Now and then we used to hear the CEO of the company talking about talent, the war for talent and how difficult it is to recruit and retain talent. Yes, that is true. Companies that are at the top of the game are willing to pay top dollar to poach talent. However, when we look at how talent is identified, screened, and inducted into an organisation the process has not changed a lot for the last few decades.

Agree that there have been bits of automation in this space. However, this has been driven by the need to manage the process of recruitment than manage talent. There are a lot of tools and apps that are currently being developed and are slowly but surely changing the recruitment industry.

Artificial-Intelligence combined with the insights it generates about a candidate is increasingly being used to screen candidates. Behavioural algorithm and AI algorithms have started blending to help organisations to recruit, retain and help them grow. With so many tools available at a company’s disposal, some have already begun employing internal recruiters to replace the work done by recruitment agencies.

Does this mean the end of recruitment agencies? Although it is early days, we can say that the traditional approach has and will change. Rather than recruit bodies or briefcases, agencies that adopt a humane approach to managing talent will grow faster. Companies will realise the need to have potential talent management partners and these agencies will step up to the challenge and will shape the future of this sector going forward. Agencies that stop viewing the talent pool as a commodity and start treating them like assets will become the norm.

Although this is a vision that is out there, looking at the current working practices of the sector, we can see that it is going to challenge existing practices. Companies are keen to retain talent, recruitment agencies, on the other hand, are motivated by churn as that is where their revenue streams happen to exist. What favours one will hamper the other.

The sector is ripe and ready for the next chance, but it is also reluctant to let go of the traditional approach. Challenging that approach is like confronting the films market. We either can learn from history or can say that’s cute but…

Compaira was set up to make not just recruitment but talent management better. Not because AI is clever but because it is fairer. Not because it is inhuman – always because it can help us be more human. Fancy a chat to know more? Why not contact us at

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