Friday, March 7, 2008

The Talent War

Eric Beauford, Director of Business Development, told me the following about the future of passive candidates and why a talent war is coming soon.

..."While it is definitely harder and takes longer to find and recruit passive candidates, I believe epecially in today's market, finding passive candidates is as important as ever. Actually, a term I have seen that I think defines these indiviudals better is, "actively passive", meaning they are not on the boards, probably don't have an updated resume but have their ears and eyes are open and are "willing to listen".

It would be difficult to provide you "hard" objective numbers/metrics when it comes to the advantages of recruiting and ultimately hiring passive candidates. If I were trying to convince my management team, I would focus on the characteristics of today's job market and its workers. On average non-baby boomer workers are changing jobs every three years and according to a lot of industry experts, 70% of those people are finding these jobs through some type of referral. Another trend is that the more talented workers (especially information workers) will not post their resumes any longer and have become more of board watchers. The top talent is also tired of the proverbial "Well if not you know do you know anyone who might be intersted", they know is coming after every conversation with a recruiter who found them on the board. Little known secret in the industry is that although the boards seem to be where recruiting dollars go the most, they are only responsible for about 5% of all hires, and that is why some in the biz consider the boards as today's virtual unemployment line.

The biggie that I would tie in (and the importance of this depends on your industry/company/market) is the coming labor shortage in the next 5-7 years. 77 million baby boomers retiring and only 33 million Millenials to replace them. The term industry experts keep throwing around is the coming "Talent War" and if your organization does not incorporate a plan to find and hire passive candidates...ever hear the saying that if you can't identify the sucker at the poker table, its you? The great thing about today is that Web 2.0 technologies continue to mature well enough to be an effective tool to communicate and establish relationships with various networks out there in order to brand you and your company and tap into the passive pool. Good or bad, we are at a point where candidates can pick and choose where, when and how they will communicate with recruiters and companies.

After saying all of that, I would recommend as a baby step for your management, take some very key positions and put together an employee referral process in order to control the source of your passive candidates and measure the quality of applicants, time to hire, cost of hire, is my opinion that employees are the best source of referral and again, I have seen some quotes from various industry experts (on this site as well) that indicate if you are not getting 50% of your hires through your employees, you will lose the coming talent war. Whew, my fingers are tired...sorry so long, hope it helps.

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