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Recruiting with a Talent Community: Dating your prospective employees?

A few weeks back we started a conversation on whether recruiting processes and systems are selecting or eliminating candidates. Our conclusion was that elimination is not the right way to recruit and a better selection process should start with better positioning of jobs to prospects. Selection needs to be based on ongoing engagement and an understanding of the ‘total addressable market’.

So what do we mean by the term ‘addressable market’ and how can we identify, understand and engage with an ‘addressable market’. Traditional recruiting has always worked on one principle: “Here is a job, apply for it”.  A job posting has been the only “call to action” for Available candidates looking on job boards at that specific time the job was advertised. Whether they are active job seekers or passive job seekers has not really mattered to organisations. As such the current  relationship between organisations and candidates is usually “apply or goodbye”. The conversation between recruiters and candidates has for long been unidirectional and that is not working for organisations. This could have major implications on how organisations can recruit for specialist positions, niche skills and leadership roles.

What we know today is that the job market has started to significantly shift from the organisation to the candidate especially for hard to fill positions that make a difference to business outcomes. What we also know is that most job searches (300+ million per month) start with search engines and 90% candidates don’t apply for an interesting job the first time they see it. That pretty much leaves organizations between and rock and you know what. But why are these statistics contradictory? People are looking for jobs but not applying for them. That doesn’t make sense. Does it? Well yes!  The ‘addressable market’ consists of both, ‘active’ and passive job seekers i.e. the ones that are not really actively looking for a job but open to the possibility to evaluating an interesting and compelling offer.

Part of the answer may lie in organizations accepting some of the changes in the way talent is to be acquired especially with so many changes to the ‘Ways of Working’ as described in this Oxford Economics Study. . A great place to start is to take the pressure off the application process and to engage with candidates for the future. Maybe recruiting could learn something from dating. Wow Relationship Science related to Recruiting?  Ask yourself; When was the last time you went on a First Date and asked for a Hand in Marriage? Is it a similar type of life changing proposal of asking a person to commit to a job (as a currently passive candidate) on the first meeting?

Applying for a job doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be the only option for prospects. Many times, it’s just that people want to know more about your company, your job, the opportunities, but they don’t necessarily want to apply immediately. At that point you still need to engage those people by giving them a look at your ‘EVP’, your ‘Featured Careers’ and a Secondary Call to Action as in “Join our Talent Community”. Organisations need to capture and engage passive prospects, keep them and make your offer compelling for them to want to act. A ‘nurture’ program like a “loyalty program” to build relationships. That’s where a Talent Community can help build relationships that are mutually beneficial to both candidate and organisation.

Research from SAP’s Performance Benchmarking studies suggests that there is 20% lower time to hire and 32% lower cost per hire for organisations in Asia Pacific where external and internal applicants are able to place themselves in a talent pipeline according to their own interests or goals.

A Talent Community elevates the discussion between a candidate (active or passive) and an organization. It gives an opportunity for both sides to understand what they want from the other. “More like ‘dating’ then a proposal on the first date”.

A simplified entry into a talent community and subsequent leaving of your ‘business card’ gives organisations the ability to position the ‘optimal’ job to candidates at the ‘optimal’ time based on what the candidate are specifically seeking.  Don’t ask for an ‘application’ ASK ‘to commence an engagement’

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