If talent is “top priority” for CEOs…

Then why is recruitment reactive and not strategic? Except for within the rarest of organizations, recruitment gets relegated to a reactive role.

Operating in sheer survival mode under the unrelenting pressure from hiring managers and job seekers alike, recruiters get inundated with urgent (but seldomly important) requests. This fire drill will remain the norm. Unless business leaders see that the industrial age recruitment model they currently use is dying. And that it must get replaced with proactive talent sourcing in order to achieve their most critical business objective. Growth.


Top Four Growth Objectives of Most CEOs

  1. Penetrate Emerging Markets
  2. Gain Sustainable Competitive Advantages
  3. Innovate for Continued Market Place Relevance and Value
  4. Manage Resources Efficiently to Reduce Cost and Maximize ROI

Hiring is the single largest common denominator for all four priorities. But to hire you must source talent!

So why do leaders take a hard look at their current staff and plan future headcount during the strategic planning process? Yet they pay no mind to strategic talent sourcing initiatives.

Leaders in most fields of business consider professional and organizational development as a paramount need. So why are Staffing and Recruitment leaders told to spend the same or less year-to-year when developing their recruitment team?

Growing companies seeking world-class talent can no longer rely on traditional reactive Recruitment Marketing. While a critical component, it is but only one of several needed for execution with synchronicity and efficiency to achieve greatness in attracting the right talent at the right time.


Here are the rest of the components.

1. Sensible Team Architecture

If a recruiter’s primary role is not well defined, it will always prove difficult to evaluate your organization’s needs for dedicated Sourcing and Recruiting resources. Whether centralized, decentralized, or hybrid, all models lacked strong definitions until now.

The standard definition is in this book: The Talent Sourcing & Recruitment Handbook. By determining an effective team structure your organization will make better use of technology.


2. Direct Sourcing from Competitors

About 20% of critical talent won’t respond to marketing, no matter what you do. Sometimes more, and sometimes less. But finding talent and making connections is core to recruiting. Not all hires are critical, but recruiters must be able to fend for themselves on those that are. They need not be master researchers, just able to find a handful of critical leads.


3. Actionable Analytics

Metrics clearly demonstrating ROI will permit a more efficient technology spend. Today, 62% of staffing leaders feel they have the wrong metrics. But 70% of them feel their marketing strategies are satisfactory. How can something not adequately measured be satisfactory?

Your organization must be able to get details on every click and forward before investing money in a shiny new object. And, once you do buy that “hot new technology” flavor of the day, you must ensure adoption and prioritization.

To do that your new system must be capable of tracking every source without the requirement of manual input or extensive customization, administration, or forensic reporting.


4. Responsive Career Web Sites

Applicants demand convergence, integration, and portability. Online prospects expect you to be web-savvy. So in order to provide good user experience, you must remove obstacles in technology use by fully integrating with ATS and HRIS.

The next-generation career websites allow applicants to use them how they want and connect with you on their terms. While I’m at it, instead of making your candidates go where you want them to go, you now have to be where they already are (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)


5. Sustainability

Nurture a center of excellence (CoE) and champion subject matter expertise around Talent Sourcing in your organization. Nobody knows everything, but together we know most of what we need. The problem is you don’t have a place to house collective experiences or someone charged with managing knowledge. So even if you do collect the experiences how do you put them into practice to create organizational wisdom? You need a learning management system of some kind.


6. Recruiter Development

Of course, what is learning if it does not lead to development? So much time wasted to keep up with changes, experiment with dead ends, and to re-invent the wheel.

Most staffing leaders believe that training is key to their recruitment strategy and a product that should be kept in-house. Yet almost half of them feel their team is not trained adequately and aren’t satisfied with their current sourcing capability!

Anything short of a recruitment strategy that integrates all these components remains reactive, no matter how excellent the execution.

Shally Steckerl

One of the pioneers of the sourcing discipline, Shally is the Founder and former President of The Sourcing Institute, where he has helped numerous F500 and mid-market organizations train and develop their talent sourcing capabilities for nearly 20 years. When it comes to innovative approaches to candidate search, Shally literally wrote the book. He is the author of the industry-standard textbook “The Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook” as well as “The Sourcing Method: Tactics to Find Unfindable Talent.”


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