Recruitifi – Bringing Crowdsourcing & Gamification To Recruiting

Profiling Recruitifi – A New Player In The Recruiting Industry

RecruitiFi-Logo-Recruiting-Crowdsourcing-GamificationOne of the latest HR technology trends since 2013 has been the democratization and gamification of recruiting. Fueling this trend is the idea that anyone can be a recruiter and that companies can quickly, cheaply, and effectively find and hire top talent if only given the proper technology. Several companies have launched promising to become the “uber of recruiting”. The most prominent example of this trend is Recruitifi based out of New York City. Recruitifi launched in December 2013 and was recently named the 2014 HR Product of the Year from Human Resource Executive Magazine.

Overview: Recruitifi is a crowdsourcing recruiting platform that provides employers a cost effective way to source talent by letting them select and post jobs privately to up to 250 “expert” recruiters. These private postings sent only to pre-selected and targeted recruiters are called “Jobcasts”. The recruiters on the platform are sorted by industry specialization and location. Recruiters receive points for successfully referring hired candidates, referring qualified candidates placed in an employers “Yes” folder, and for the quality and consistency of their activity on the platform. The platform functions as a single point of contact and communication for both recruiters and employers.

Costs: Recruitifi charges $50 to post a job to up to 250 recruiters. Employers pay 14% percent of first-year salary only if they hire a candidate sourced through RecruitiFi within six months of the job post.

The benefits: For employers, RecruitiFi capitalizes on the work already done by an expert recruiter who has recently conducted a comparable search for what an employer may be targeting. The presumption is that these expert recruiters have an inventory of pre-vetted and qualified candidates left over from searches similar to the ones on Recruitifi. Therefore, using a crowdsourced recruiting option such as Recruitifi enables hiring managers to fill open positions in a more cost effective and simpler manner than traditional searches. Recruitifi has very impressive functionality featuring stack-ranking of candidates, as well as the recruiters, in order to make the recruiting process more transparent and manageable.

For recruiters, Recruitifi is a way to monetize their inventory of unplaced quality candidates left over from previous searches. Recruitfi does not disintermediate the recruiting process. In some ways, Recruitifi can extend rather than upend the client relationship by allowing the recruiter to work on searches that are not otherwise open to a search firms’ normal 20-30% fee. Additionally, Recruitifi has brilliantly addressed the “all or none” problem of contingent recruiting by allowing recruiters to get paid a portion of the 14% fee paid to Recruitifi if they successfully refer a back-up candidate placed in the “Yes” folder by the employer.

The drawbacks: Presently, Recruitifi does not allow recruiters to identify themselves by the corporate functions they support in addition to the industries they serve. This results in Jobcasts being sent out to many recruiters who specialize in recruiting specific types of executives (e.g. accounting/finance executives, IT executives, HR executives, etc.) not including job openings that are in line with their area of expertise. However, Recruitifi has promised that changes are being made in 2015 to their methodology and algorithm to address this issue.

Presently, Recruitifi is committed to its flat and universal 14% fee structure. On one hand, this is commendable as it brings simplicity & transparency to the platform. This fee structure can work as long as employer expectations continue to be managed that Recruitifi is a platform to connect with recruiters’ previously sourced and vetted candidates, not to induce recruiters to actively search for new candidates on the client’s behalf. Many employers today fail to distinguish between sourcing (which is equivalent to marketing ) and recruiting (which is more akin to sales and consulting).

Possible concerns: Recruiters often jokingly call Bountyjobs a really great tool for great companies to connect with really awful recruiters. Recruitifi could conversely, if not done right, become a tool for really great recruiters to connect with awful companies. It is not apparent as of yet, if Recruitifi can vett the employers and the job orders as well as they do the recruiters on the platform. Recruitifi would be wise to keep themselves staffed with former recruiters who truly understand the business to make sure the company properly meets both client’s and recruiters expectations. Recruitifi has built in a good technology and policing mechanism to identify, punish, and if necessary, remove bad actors on the platform. One problem Recruitifi might not have considered is that if a truly top expert recruiter is on Recruitifi it is unlikely that his inventory of top candidates will match jobcasts on Recruitifi.  A top recruiter presumptively has a solid network and inventory of top candidates. Therefore, his clientele and correspondingly his top candidates are overwhelmingly from larger and/or hot up & coming companies that have the resources to pay both top agency fees (25-30%) and top candidate compensation in order to successfully poach them from their peers and competitors. It is probable that many of these top candidates, as talented as they are, either a) will not be a good match for a smaller employer and/or b) will not have a present total compensation level or expectation in line with the small employer’s budget.

Additionally, a 14% fee is not likely to entice recruiters (especially if he is one of up to 250 recruiters) to actively search (i.e. sell) the company and the job to prospective candidates. However, this would only be a problem if an employer is expecting proactive recruiting engagement. If that is the case then that employer would be better served by engaging search firms directly at a standard negotiated rate of 20-30% in order to receive the kind of hands-on service they require.

Conclusion:  Recruitifi is an interesting business, technology, and approach to recruiting. Recruitfi, if done properly, could be a game changer and become a new staple of the recruiting industry by creating a hybrid middle ground between the two extremes of either an expensive full blown recruiting engagement (20-30% fee) or not using search firms at all. Recruitifi could be value add to small companies that can’t afford to use top recruiting firms. Additionally, Recruitifi could be value add to top recruiters by enabling them to match those candidates coming from small companies that normally are not a fit for their large company clients (i.e. the companies that can afford to pay top agency fees) and therefore, the candidates they wouldn’t normally be able to collect any fee on at all. Long term, Recrutifi could be a valuable RPO for smaller companies who lack the resources to hire both external search firms and develop their own internal recruiting teams. Time will tell as it is still very early. Recruitifi with its impressive executive leadership team, financial backers, and technology has the potential to work out the existing inevitable kinks in the technology, methodology, and business model.

Recruitifi is certainly worth a look for any employer looking to get access to top candidates vetted by top recruiters, without having to pay for a full agency engagement.

Author: Mr. E.