The Future of Recruitment: Strategies To Stay Relevant and Effective, with Greg Savage, Ep #1

The future of recruitment is a topic being bandied about quite a lot these days – and rightly so. There’s a lot of fear about what technological changes mean for the industry and for recruiting as a profession. But a powerful, optimistic voice in that conversation is Greg Savage. Greg is one of the most highly respected figures in the recruitment industry, speaking worldwide at recruitment events and forums. He is a LinkedIn “Top Voice’ and an early adopter of social media use for recruiting.

This conversation focuses on the future of recruitment and how the widespread changes we’re seeing are changing the way we work as recruiters. Greg shares his opinion about the things future-forward recruiters need to be doing to be of service to clients in days ahead as well as the tasks they should happily delegate to automation and AI. You’ll hear why we recruiters MUST evolve to truly serve clients in the future. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:17] Why Greg took the time and effort to write a book
  • [5:18] The things that are changing the job of the recruiter in modern times
  • [13:21] What recruiters should not be doing these days – and what they should be doing instead
  • [17:02] Skills needed by agency recruiters of the future
  • [24:49] The most important places to start for social/digital selling
  • [35:30] The IMPACT model of consistent action as a recruiter
  • [38:38] What does it mean to engage in social selling?
  • [44:21] One of the biggest social selling mistakes

The future of recruitment will look different than anything we’ve known so far

Greg is hesitant to position himself as a Nostradamus for the recruiting industry, but he can make some significant and likely predictions about the industry based on his years of experience and the changes he’s already seen take place. Consider where he’s come from…

In his time in the industry, Greg has seen the advent of fax machines, the internet, job boards, mobile devices, and more. The recruitment industry he began working in looks entirely different than the one we all know now.

Looking ahead, Greg believes AI, machine learning, and automation will change the industry more than anything we’ve seen thus far. Automation will remove the drudgery of recruitment and free up recruiters to do the part of the job that human beings will always do better than machines – and by that, he specifically means the sales process 

Listen to hear how Greg expects selling to look in the future of recruiting and to learn how you can develop the skills that have value to your customers in the future.

How A.I. and automation change recruitment for the better

The typical way of doing business as a recruiter is to spend hours finding candidates, screening them, taking inquiry phone calls, evaluating applications, scraping LinkedIn and other websites, and more. It’s a head-down grind we are very familiar with. In this model, recruiters fill their days with these activities and finish the day feeling like they’ve done good work. But they haven’t. They’ve busied themselves with activities that are soon to be replaced by A.I and machine learning.

Greg insists that engaging in these activities is nothing less than competing with technology – and in those areas, technology will always win. 

The smart recruiters of the future won’t kick against that reality, they will embrace it and make the technology serve them through automating those processes in their workflow. This will provide a type of time-freedom unheard of in the industry, which will, in turn, allow recruiters to do what they do best – build relationships and foster engagement with future clients. Greg’s insights into how to go about doing that are invaluable. Listen to this episode to learn more and be sure to download the action sheet to plan your road to a better recruiting future.

Recruiters should become experts at the HUMAN aspects of their role

Even though we deal with a lot of minutia and detail in the administrative side of what we do, the better we can serve clients at their exact point of need, the more we will be seen as an in-demand expert in the field. That point of need boils down to the human aspects of what we do. The future of recruiting is going to belong to those who specialize in understanding their clients’ needs, developing relationships with candidates from outside the typical sources, and becoming an “agent” of those candidates by owning their search process from A to Z.

Why is this important? Because the people you deal with at companies and as candidates will always want and appreciate a human touch from you. Resist the urge to commoditize what you do and instead, become a relational expert. You’ll make the entire process more enjoyable for everyone involved and be more effective at truly serving your clients. All of that leaves an impression about you and your recruiting approach that money can’t buy. Greg’s got great advice about how you can do the things that only you can do, so be sure you listen.

Recruiters of the future must be consistent digital brands

The recruiter of the future is not only going to be differentiated by the human elements of what he/she does they will also be noticed by the generosity with which they do it. Greg says that the day of being effective with cold calls and unsolicited emails is quickly fading. The era of relationship building and helpfulness is here. His recommendation to those wanting to remain relevant in the future days of recruiting is to develop and implement a strategy that leans heavily on the social part of social media.

His advice? Spend 25 minutes every day creating content that is truly helpful to those you hope to serve. This isn’t about adding more work to your already-full plate. It’s about leveraging the technological solutions available to take care of the minutia so that you can free up your time for what makes the most difference in your business. 

Approach social media from the perspective of finding ways you can serve, rather than finding ways you can profit. Spend your time on social building relationships. That means…

  • reaching out to people in relevant, helpful ways
  • posting or sharing resources that make a difference to your industry
  • connecting people
  • answering questions (even if the person asking is not a potential client)
  • being kind and polite, and
  • engaging in conversations.

These simple practices, done consistently WILL build your brand, attract fans, and generate inbound inquiries. 

The advice Greg shares about this aspect of what we should be doing as recruiters is much more than I can cover here. Please take the time to listen – and don’t miss out on the action sheet included with this episode.

Connect with Greg Savage

Resources & People Mentioned

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  1. Great outing and phenomenal interview there Mark Whitby! Kudos and very thoughtful of you to kick off your debut podcast with one of the recruitment and staffing global industry most respected and highly knowledgeable veteran and thought leaders, Greg Savage. This is befitting honor to a man who has contributed so much to the industry. And as always, Greg Savage more than delivered in this podcast. His appraisal of the overall situation of the industry and relevance of the recruiter visa vis competitive challenges of change today and disruptive technologies; starting from the past, the present and peering into future, and most importantly, his recommendations to stay atop of the impending deluge is most profound.
    As a recruitment agency and business owner, I’m in total agreement with most of what Mr. Savage has espoused in this podcast. The recruiter of the present must be willing and ready to reinvent himself/herself and should continue to adapt and proactively evolve to meet the dizzying challenges that surely will be thrown his/her way in the future in order to remain relevant.
    Based on my experience, I will add that one of the greatest and critical skill set a modern recruiter must have or acquire to stay relevant is coaching skill. It’s trite to say that we are living in one of the greatest time in history where change is happening at too much fast pace and individuals are bombarded with too much information, I dare say, even suffering from information overload, more than ever. And we know that a period of career transition or change of jobs, represents a lot of uncertainty and stress to candidates. Therefore, more than ever, we desperately need a recruiter who doubles as a coach and mentor in order to provide the much needed guidance to his/her qualified job candidate during that critical moment of transition into another job role.

    In an article I published on LinkedIn in 2017, I explored this topic; Will Technology Replace the Recruiter? (
    Just like Greg Savage, I don’t think so. What technology will do is simply replace the drudgery associated with recruitment so that the recruiter can be freed to do things that AI, machine learning aka bots cannot do. But, here is the caveat; The recruiter has to reinvent himself/herself to do that. It cannot be business as usual.