Why Netflix Should Make You Think Twice About Your Recruitment Strategy

Posted on March 13, 2019 by PaulHickey | Recruitment

The face of recruitment is changing every bit as dramatically as the shift from physical movie-rental stores, like Blockbuster, to the streaming services, such as Netflix that we now take for granted.

Does this mean you should be changing your recruitment strategy?

Yes, but with extreme caution.

Some employers, especially the larger ones, are considering moving away from using recruitment service-providers and instead creating inhouse facilities.

It’s a tempting option.

Services such as Indeed and LinkedIn offer a way to quickly and easily tap into huge databases of candidates.

Why pay a recruiter to produce a candidate shortlist when you can reach hundreds of thousands of prospects for a small investment in these new platforms?

For a couple of very good reasons. But first, let’s look at Netflix as an example of how changing technology can present opportunities, but also additional costs.

From Opportunity to Expensive Maintenance

When Netflix first came along it didn’t offer nearly as many titles as the larger Blockbuster stores. But it succeeded because it was convenient. It turned out people would happily stream an average movie that was a few years old, rather than have to trek out to a store and spend ten bucks on rentals and popcorn, just to get a brand-new movie that would wind up on Netflix eventually anyway.

This contributed to the demise of Blockbuster and the rise and rise of Netflix.

But now the landscape is changing again. More and more competing streaming services have appeared (such as Amazon Prime and Now TV) and more are on their way. And each are spending colossal amounts of money on original programming to win or retain their customer base.

In 2018, 85% of Netflix’s spending went on making or buying original content. This included strategic moves like paying CBS so much for Star Trek Discovery that it virtually covered all of the production costs, and spending $100M to stream Friends for another 12 months.

Netflix is making huge sums of money, but net profits are minimal because it needs to spend like mad just to stave off the competition.

This is hardly surprising when you look at what the competition is up to. Amazon has reportedly spent in excess of one billion dollars on a forthcoming Lord of the Rings series. And Disney are spending $10M per episode on a live-action Star Wars series to help them launch for forthcoming streaming platform. Which, by the way, will result in Netflix losing all of the content they currently buy from Disney, including all the Marvel and Star Wars movies.

Netflix has a strong lead in the streaming market, but it’s going to cost them a fortune to maintain that position. And no one is certain that they’ll pull it off.

Recruitment Is Going to Get VERY Competitive

As appealing as it might be to use an inexpensive service like LinkedIn or Indeed to find candidates, this is only the beginning of a trend towards more and more online services.

Recruitment tech is exploding and it will only be a matter of time before handling recruitment inhouse will require subscribing, not just to one or two online platforms, but dozens.

In the same way that using streaming services for your entertainment is getting ever more expensive, so the price of using recruitment platforms is going to skyrocket.

But that’s only a minor issue.

The real problem is that people are no longer staying in role for decades. The average time that an employee stays in their role is continuing to drop, in part because competition for the best candidates is increasing.

Relying on technology to FIND candidates is one thing, but the real challenge for the future of your recruitment efforts is attracting the BEST candidates and KEEPING them in their job for more than a year or two.

Just like Netflix fighting for its customer base, your future challenges are going to be centred as much on keeping employees as it is finding new ones.

If your recruiter is doing little more than emailing you a bunch of CVs, you have good reason to question whether they could be replaced with an online tool. But your recruiter should be doing more than that.

GrassGreener Group, for instance, considers finding experienced candidates a relatively small part of the process. The real value that we provide to our clients is…

  • Assessing the vacancy to understand exactly what the employer is looking for.
  • Assessing the candidate shortlist to exclude those who are a poor cultural fit.
  • Supporting the employer through the interview process to help them ask the right questions.
  • Working with the employer to support the new hire and increase the likelihood of them staying in the role long-term

This process is time-intensive, which is why we’re able to offer our clients measurable savings in terms of time and money.

Perhaps even more importantly, we’re so successful at placing candidates that stay in their role long-term, we offer free replacement guarantees of up to one year.

It’s like having an insurance policy on your recruitment campaign!


Recruitment is getting more competitive and do-it-yourself technology solutions will only offer financial benefits in the short-term.

It does no good to save a little money during the candidate-attraction phase, only to lose vast sums of money when the employee leaves after a few months and you have to start the recruitment campaign all over again.

The real power in all these tech advancements is going to be consolidated in the candidate assessment and development aspects of recruitment. This is what your recruitment campaigns should be focusing on today, because it’s only going to become more important over time.


For a no-obligation discussion about how we can help you save time and money on your next recruitment campaign.