Recruiting Top Talent in the Modern Era
Companies need to revolutionize their approach to attracting talent and they need to do it NOW. There is a shortage of qualified talent in today’s market – driven by the retirement of Baby Boomers and a much smaller class of Gen-Xers to replace them, growth in the need for skilled technical and intellectual talent, the booming Big Data, Social Media and Business Intelligence fields and more. If you’re in the market for these elusive and exclusive talents – an immediate mindset adjustment is in order.
What’s in a name?
Talent Acquisition versus Human Resources or Recruitment. Chief People Officer. We can’t just rename these positions, we need to adjust our mindset – The days of companies being courted by talent are waning and employers need to embrace the opposite – what do we need to do to persuade job seekers to want us?
Catching the Elusive “Purple Squirrel”
For years recruiters have referred to the “purple squirrel”. The hiring manager has a shopping list of required talents – Five years of some software that’s two years old, Top School, high GPA, 20 minute commute, a name beginning with Q or X and willing to work 60 hours a week – all for $52,467 a year. Today companies are looking for the latest and greatest new tools, ambitious, pro-active employees. These folks are very hard to find and even more difficult to land – to convince to accept your job. They’re looking for much more than the right compensation package – they want many other things to be “right”:
- They have wish lists for who they wish to work for. The Purple Squirrel does their homework. They find companies they admire and follow them on social media. It’s imperative that companies today manage their social presence – on Linked-In, Glassdoor, Twitter, Facebook and remain active.
- The PS does TONS of research. They follow companies they like – and of the people who follow your company on LinkedIn (according to LinkedIn) 70% are interested in working for you. One might guess that statistic remains true across all social platforms. 90% of fruitful job seekers who land jobs relatively quickly apply to less than 10 jobs. These seekers did their research and concentrated their search on the employers where they sensed the right karmic connection.
- They Network – Todays streetwise job-seeker is not interested in job portals, on-line applications and other electronic gateways (black holes). They understand that 85% of positons are filled by networking and referrals. Via Meet-ups, Social platforms, friends, colleagues the PS is successful at obtaining introductions directly with employees at their target employers. Through these introductions they are better able to discern if you are the right home for them and then often can circumvent the dreaded HR and connect directly with the hiring manager – greatly shortening the hiring cycle.
- They’re picky and wary of recruiters. As an agency recruiter – I am now screened by many folks before they are willing to engage. The sophisticated job seeker wants to know their recruiter is knowledgeable, well connected, has a clean reputation. Do we understand the target company’s culture? Not only is the PS careful about what companies they will work for – they are equally choosy about which recruiters they will associate with – so recruiters must also manage their brand to insure their qualifications are in order.
The Take Away – Companies today need to be proactive in not only creating and managing an appealing culture – they need to promote their culture as part of their brand (Think Zappos or Google). Stable, growing, product reputation, are no longer enough (Think Lehman Brothers, Merck). Company culture – why the PS would want to work for you has to be out there – loud and proud or the exclusive/elusive job seeker will assume you don’t have what it takes, or worse, you have something to hide.