Recruiters will play bigger part in future ‘talent ecosystem’

Recruitment agencies will become a much more important part of the “talent ecosystem” because they look after an individual’s career, says professor of management practice at London Business School, Lynda Gratton.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015

Recruitment agencies will become a much more important part of the “talent ecosystem” because they look after an individual’s career, says professor of management practice at London Business School, Lynda Gratton.

Speaking to Recruiter following her keynote address at the Hot Spots Movement’s Talent Innovation conference in London yesterday, she said just as actors, sportspeople and speakers have agents, talent will increasingly do so, too.

“In the olden days, the unions did that but these days, so many skilled jobs don’t have unions and who is actually representing the individual?” she asked, concluding that it would be recruitment agencies which will help people plan and navigate career paths. 

The “100-year career”, as she refers to people’s extended working life, will see more “staging” in people’s careers – they will move in and out of businesses, maybe become an entrepreneur for a while, then move back into a company. 

Managing those transitions will become an increasingly important part of talent management for both in-house and agency recruiters. 

She said organisations consider employment relationships like a marriage and if it ends, it’s a terrible thing but that shouldn’t be the case. 

“If you can provide work that people really want, they will stay with you. They can then go off and do something else, and then potentially they can come back, so I think that we need to see a much more flexible way of how people are employed and then re-employed.

“I think if somebody has invested in you and you have invested in them, there’s a good reason for wanting to continue that investment, so why not bring them back – which, of course, means you have to change the way you feel about them when they go.”

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