Which end of the talent pool are you fishing from?

Last week I was talking with the owner of a national retail chain about recruiting. I asked him was he happy with his staff? His shoulders dropped and he had a look of defeat about him when he answered by saying ‘we get the best of those who apply for the roles’.

He explained that when they advertise for a role they get a good response, maybe 20 or 30 candidates and from there they interview five or so and from there they pick the best one.

However, he felt that none of them really matched his expectations. Now things began to get interesting. I asked him to take me through his recruiting process.

He explained to me that they write their own advert and place it in Seek. They have always used this approach because it is quick and seems cheap.

I explained to him that the problem with advertising in Seek is that the only people looking at Seek are those that don’t have a job or the ones that are actively looking to change jobs. At best this represents 10% of the market.

If you are only using this method it goes a long way to explain why you feel you are always talking to candidates who just don’t measure up to what you really want. I explained to him that I call this fishing in the wrong end of the talent pool.

So, as you can guess his next question was ‘Okay, so what is at the other end of the talent pool’.

I went onto explain that the other end of the pool is made up of the 10% to 20% of candidates that are busy, working hard, loving their job and what they do. They aren’t actively looking for work. Sure, they don’t plan to stay where they are forever it’s just right now they are busy doing their job.

I could see that he was interested in what we were talking about and challenged me by saying ‘Well, they sound like the people I want, how do I get to talk to them, they aren’t actually looking at job ads, right’

I explained that a good recruiter will sit down with you and take a job brief not a job description. The job brief looks at the role in detail, what is required to do the role, where that role fits into the organisation, how that role will grow into the future. The values, behaviours and experience required to perform in the role.

The recruiter then approaches candidates that fit this brief and talk to them, not on behalf of you but more a long the lines of helping them with their next career step.

I also explained that good recruiters are doing this all the time. Building talent pools for certain roles within certain industries.

The benefit of this process is the recruiter can go back to the client and say I have five excellent performers who meet your job brief 100% and I can also tell you what it is that they are looking for in their next role. The surprising point is that it isn’t always about money. Often for the high performers it is the opportunity for growth and more responsibility. It is to align themselves with an organisation that shares their values. Sure you are going to have to pay them what they are worth. However, money is not their only or most important motivation.

He now had a smile on his face. I could see he was happy. The penny had dropped.

If you have any questions about recruiting or talent pools please contact me paul@paulgreening.com

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *