The end of the recruiter?

TaskRabbit is a work bulletin board connecting busy people with long to-do-lists to those with time on their hands.

People post tasks, the site sets the price, and interested parties respond. Once the task is complete, the money changes hands.

As well as delivery, cleaning and handyman tasks, it’s used to recruit respondents for market research.

Example MR tasks on TaskRabbit

Example MR tasks on TaskRabbit

Henry Tsai has written a great summary  about how he used TaskRabbit to recruit people for a UX project.

His experience showed it to be quick, cheap and reliable.

The benefits mean that there must be opportunities for qual recruitment more generally.  I could see it working for telephone interviews.

Posting up a general task description (e.g. “Looking for internet users aged 25-44) and following up with a screener looks like the best way to go.

Example MR task on TaskRabbit

Example MR task on TaskRabbit

Whilst TaskRabbit isn’t going to replace your recruiter tomorrow, it’s worth considering the implications. The internet has disintermediated many professions – why should recruitment be any different? 

About Simon Shaw

I'm a Director at an insight consultancy. I'm interested in marketing, market research & consumer psychology. The views expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Customer Experience, Marketing Research, Qualitative research, Social Media, Technology, UX and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The end of the recruiter?

  1. gemma says:

    I agree…to an extent. I don’t think the internet could replace the ‘human filtering’ I’d expect from (good) recruiters to recruit respondents who were confident enough to contribute in a group setting and didn’t have terrible BO / swear ten times a minute etc.

    I also run client/agency/respondent workshops where I need articulate individuals who are confident enough not to wilt into the background in that kind of environment and you can’t filter that online – perhaps unless you used Skype?

    • Simon Shaw says:

      Good build Gemma

      Telephone screening would be essential

      I’d be wary of using something like this for anything more than a pilot right now

      That said, it’s chipping away at the recruiter’s role

      In 10 years time we may all be relying more on decentralised ad hoc help for tasks generally – MR could piggyback this trend

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