Timote Geimer

Crowdrecruitment: What if We Were Recruiting Collaboratively?

  • Uncategorized

On October 14th, I had the chance to attend #rmsconf in Paris. It is one of the biggest conferences about recruitment innovation and employer branding in Europe. This year the core focus was this simple question:

How will we hire in 2025?

After a scary / exciting introduction by Laurent Alexandre (@dr_l_alexandre), Surgeon-urologist, Founder of Doctissimo and Chairman of DNA Vision, the 600 attendees split to follow one of the six proposed tracks: Prospective, Mobile, Social, Lab, Innovation and Networking.

In 2025 I might be able to divide myself in 6 in order to attend all tracks but unfortunately for this year, I’ve been forced to make a choice. I therefore decided to follow the “prospective” track.

In this track I attended multiple sessions of great interest such as “What employer brand in 2025?”, “MOOC: new grail of recruitment?”, “the HRD in 2025”,  “When behavioral sciences will change the recruiter into a Talent Manager…”, “Robots: what impact on employment?”, “Big data: bullshit?” and  “Crowdrecruitment: what if we were recruiting collaboratively?”.

In this post I’ll talk about this last topic, Crowdrecruitment.

What is Crowdrecruiting?

The definition of crowdsourcing will easily help you to understand what crowdrecruiting means:

Obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.


In consequence, the analogy with recruitment can be done easily: Crowdrecruiting is a technique that allows one to obtain information about great candidates that would match your search by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.

In a sense this idea is not new, since recruiters and companies have been using techniques such as cooptation or references for a while now. Some recruiting agencies allow people in their network to recommend a person for a job opening. If the referee is hired, the referencing person receives a certain amount of money or a gadget such as an iPad/iPhone/… Some companies are also allowing their employees to recommend someone for a specific job.

More recently companies such as Keycoopt are building a business model above the referencing concept. This company has built a platform where companies can advertise their job for a certain price (retainer + percentage of the annual gross salary of the person hired). A group of people have access to those job offers and can recommend one person per job. If the recommended person is hired, they earn a fee.

What’s the difference between a referencing model and crowdrecruiting?

The main difference probably comes from the scope. If we take the example of these recruiting agencies or companies, they both request the support of people they know / know them. A recruiting agency is generally active locally and people who support them are local too. The logic is the same for companies. This can drive to HR issues such as replication in a company (always hiring the same profiles who have similar ideas or ways of thinking can have several side effects and even a negative impact, on innovation for example). Also, these models have limitations since agencies’ and companies’ networks are limited. Therefore, except for specific profiles (e.g. young graduate), these models have some limits.

What if we were recruiting together?

A solution to counterbalance the above limit would be to open the referencing model to anyone. We can therefore talk about crowdrecruiting. What if we were allowing anyone to recommend us a good candidate? Let’s think it through.

Currently on the HR market, we tend to limit our thoughts to preformatted ideas: “recruitment should be done by experts”, “contacting a recruiting agency is our only chance to find good talent”… But why should it work this way?

We all have a network and we all know valuable people that might be open to the market.

People that would have access to valuable information about your organization and the exact profile you are looking for could definitely help you in your Talent search. If you manage to connect people with your organization and involve them in your recruiting process, if they believe that their work could make a difference and help you to achieve your goals, they will definitely be more incline to help you. Of course, this is not enough. You’ll have to put some money on the table.

What would a crowdrecruiting program require?

In a nutshell, I think that 5 key element are necessary to build an effective crowdrecruiting program:

1. A true and attractive presentation of your company

Presenting your company in two figures and three lines is definitely not enough. You need to honestly present your company, explain how you work, what your current and future challenges are, how you try to make a difference, etc. What is your company culture? Who are the people currently working with you and looking for a new team member?

2. A clear description of the job and how the person would make the difference

What will the new hire concretely do? What are the challenges that they will encounter? Who will they report to? What are their responsibilities? What’s a typical week at your company?

3. An honest description of what you have to offer

What will you concretely put in place to support the candidate in is work? How will you make sure they’ll manage to achieve the goals you’ve defined?

4. A clear explanation of the recruiting steps

What will happen after having submitting someone? Will the referee receive a confirmation email? A follow up email? A feedback email? How long will the process take?

5. An honest compensation for the work done

All work deserves to be paid. So obviously you’ll have to compensate the effort made to recommend the right person. But there isn’t a single solution. Indeed, you can choose to only pay the person who has referred someone who actually got hired, or you can give an incentive to every person who refers to a candidate that goes at least as far as a physical interview.

Are you ready to crowdsource?
Have you already tried to put in place a crowdsourcing program?
Have you heard about interesting initiative?
Do you believe this can work?

Share your thoughts! We’d be glad to hear you!