Future recruiter – how we will come to buy business

Simon McManus has made an excellent point in his recent blog post about Facebook, which is to do with the way companies will come to assemble teams and buy services in the future.

“…My mind runs away with ideas of allowing customers to pick a team based on public profile pages with reviews from previous client. … 1 : Does your company have good quality staff / teams and the resource to provide good customer service? 2 : Can your company hold onto its best staff even with their success being public knowledge?”

These are great points. I can very easily imagine that recruitment will take place on a project-by-project case, with custom teams being assembled from anywhere around the world. Employees will come to resemble contractors (or even become contractors).

This is pretty big stuff for companies. Let’s not kid ourselves that the vision of public profiles and internet-wide social networks isn’t going to happen. Once it does, human resourcing becomes as accessible as storage or bandwidth. There will be no real reason for companies to restrict the recruitment process to the monolithic model that is often followed today – any team lead will be as able as anyone else to recruit someone highly suited to the task at hand.

Conversely, there will be no real need for talented employees to remain within the walls of a single company – instead of following orders coming down from on-high for the same old salary year in, year out, talent will be drawn to the contractors’ business model, because it will become so easy… and of course, the money will be good – the highest bidder wins, and the market is worldwide.

This should be shocking to management who hang on to the idea of employees mounting up like a pile of sand, who believe the credibility of a company comes from the number of people it employs. If we want to command loyalty, we will need to give other incentives: environmental, financial, social. I guess Google has developed a reputation for this already, based around a hugely compelling social cachet and enjoyable work environment. I’ve heard Google salaries aren’t great, but the company still commands an intimidating draw over talent.

This sounds a bit like Cluetrain applied to HR…