Category: Team Member Posts


Is Passive Talent Better Than Active Job Seekers?

August 10th, 2016

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One of the more difficult aspects of sourcing and recruiting is engaging with passive talent. It takes a thoughtful and strategic plan, and even a detailed plan isn’t guaranteed to work. So it’s leaves you to wonder — is passive talent better than active candidates, anyway?

The answer isn’t clear. There are benefits to both hiring active and passive talent. Passive talent is often that very niche pool of candidates that has a specialized skill set, and therefore highly sought and generally very valuable to any company. Therefore, recruiting passive talent can be expensive and time consuming, especially without an efficient talent acquisition process.

Active candidates are at least keeping their ears open for a new opportunity and often pursuing those roles proactively. Sometimes, this can mean the candidate is more willing to make a move, will make that move more quickly, and for less of a salary increase. At the same time, why are they actively looking for a new role, good or bad?

Again, it’s hard to determine if one type of candidate is better than the other. Both have their traditional qualities, and both could be the absolute right fit for your company. Generally, having a preference before going into the recruiting process could create undesirable gaps in your talent acquisition process.

How to Recruit Passive Candidates

June 22nd, 2016

magnet attracting passive candidatesSometimes recruiting can be pretty straight forward. You have an open job, you post it online, and a significant pool of talented individuals apply for the job, eagerly expressing their interest. You interview, negotiate offers and fill the position. But often, when the job opening requires unique talent, passive talent will be the target. Active candidates don’t fulfill the requirements and you need to reach the candidates that aren’t searching for jobs, haven’t expressed any interest in your requisition, and are generally happy with their current role.

Recruiting these passive candidates requires a strategic approach to generate interest. Passive candidates usually don’t have a resume online, and certainly aren’t regularly applying to jobs. Identifying and recruiting passive candidates should be focused on marketing the opportunity to each individual. Think about why his or her background translates well into the role, and tailor your message appropriately.

The goal is to engage and build relationships with pools of highly skilled candidates. It’s important to position yourself as an expert in the industry market and develop your network. Again, marketing or selling the job and company is crucial. Put yourself in their shoes. What’s it like to receive an unexpected message, call, or an invitation to connect on social media? Are you making that unexpected conversation worth their while? Remember, in the passive candidate market, the recruiter needs the candidate, not the other way around.

Need help catching the attention of passive talent?

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What is the Job of a Talent Sourcer?

June 1st, 2016

talent-sourcer-sourcing-roleAs Talent Acquisition evolves, so do the roles involved in the process. One of the first challenges when deciding to hire new talent, is identifying the talent itself. Usually, the team member who tackles this challenge is the Talent Sourcer, also referred to as a Sourcing Specialist, Sourcer, Internet Recruiter, Recruiting Researcher, Candidate Attraction Specialist or Talent Scout. What does the Talent Sourcer do on a daily basis?

In it’s most standard definition, a Sourcer’s function in Talent Acquisition is the proactive identification of candidates that match a desired skill set for a current or future job opening. Yet, it is certainly more involved and detailed than such a general definition. While a Recruiter often handles the back end of Talent Acquisition, the Sourcer will handle the primary responsibilities of the process.

A Talent Sourcer is responsible for creating the Sourcing Strategy, which sets the entire process up for success. With strategy in hand, Sourcers proactively identify and engage with skilled workers to fill a current or future need, often gauging and generating interest in the opportunity. Depending on the strategy, reaching out to possible candidates via social media, email, and/or phone calls is also included in the Sourcer’s daily tasks.

While a quick phone screen may included, a Talent Sourcer usually stops short of interviewing and dispositioning, as well as on-boarding and negotiating offers. Sourcers and Recruiters work hand-in-hand, but tend to have defined roles during the recruitment process. Without defined roles and responsibilities, Talent Acquisition can quickly become scattered, and ultimately lack the efficiency that drives a great candidate experience.

Need to define the roles on your talent acquisition team?

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How is talent sourcing different from recruiting?

May 13th, 2016

recruiter-vs-sourcing-specialistRecruiting in the traditional sense includes at the very least some talent sourcing. Both sourcing and recruiting are often intertwined skills and responsibilities. But more recently, Talent Acquisition strategy is trending toward a more specialized approach, separating talent sourcing and recruiting roles. So what’s the difference between sourcing and recruiting, anyway?

Typically, recruiting includes reworking job descriptions, choosing candidates from a pipeline, leading the interview process, and managing offers and on-boarding. Specifically, recruiting does not often include the proactive identification of candidates outside of the talent pipeline. That pipeline is the product of excellent talent sourcing.

Successful talent sourcing requires a thoughtful and detailed strategy. Identifying, engaging, generating interest, and ultimately building a pipeline of candidates can either make or break the talent acquisition process. Therefore, sourcing talent has become a specialized skill set, requiring in-depth knowledge of techniques, tools, and channels that differ from the skill set and strengths of a recruiter.

Of course, Talent Acquisition thrives on the consistency and collaboration of both talent sourcing and recruiting. Consequently, there is a emphasis on information sharing and teamwork for either to be deemed successful. Don’t be afraid to think about your recruiting process critically — you just may identify a weakness that could be easily corrected.

What is a pipeline of candidates?

April 27th, 2016

A common definition: A pipeline of candidates also referred to as a ‘candidate pipeline’ or ‘talent pipeline‘ is a pool of candidates who are qualified to assume open positions when they are created or vacated through retirement, promotion, or someone leaving the company.

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To clear up any misconceptions of what a candidate pipeline is, let’s discuss what a pipeline of candidates is not.

A pipeline of candidates is not…

  1. A Resume Database: Any company with an Applicant Tracking System or file of resumes collected over time technically has a ‘database of candidates.’ Likely those same candidates sent their resume to other companies, which means just having the resume isn’t worth much of anything. Has anyone qualified those candidates or built relationships with the people behind the resumes? Without at least a phone screen, a batch of resumes is no more helpful than a pile of blank paper.
  2. A Static, On-call List of Candidates: In the world of recruiting, you’re not buying a thing, you’re buying a person. People have wants and needs, and they often change and evolve. People are promoted, switch jobs, change paths, have different priorities, etc., etc. It’s important to stay in touch with candidates and move people on and off the list of qualified candidates. If you’re buying a pipeline of candidates, you should expect that a Recruitment Consultant is staying in touch with the humans on the list and updating the talent pipeline.
  3. An Exclusive Access Pass to Top Talent: No recruiter has ‘a list of people that no one has. LinkedIn is public and the world is small. Lists may be different but don’t expect that your money can buy something that the company down the street can’t.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I hope you’ve also learned that developing a pipeline of candidates takes time and requires consistent relationship building. This is what makes a ‘list of names’ investing the time in or worth paying for. Instead of a pile of resumes, a talent pipeline is a list of qualified candidates that have each shared their background, skills, career goals and and interests with a Recruiter and those things line up with your company’s ideal candidate profile.

Building a talent pipeline is a shift from reactive recruiting to proactive recruiting, or recruiting in advance of your hiring needs. So instead of waiting until a position opens or is vacated, you work to fill future openings with talent that is a fit for your business. It means that when you have a new job open or an employee leaves, you can tap your talent pipeline to fill your jobs faster. That’s how a talent pipeline improves your recruiting process.

Engaging Quality Candidates

March 16th, 2016

Attract-engage-talentLast month we examined the preference of sourcing quality over quantity. The catch; however, is that those quality, and often passive candidates, are far more difficult to engage from a sourcing perspective. In turn, approaching engagement with quality candidates strategically can differentiate you from the market and land you the top talent you or your client seek.

So what can you do to separate yourself from the competition?

  1. Be specific and creative: Take the time to research your target’s experience and their footprint. Knowing where the candidate has worked, where they went to school, or what their personal interests are could go a long way in gaining his or her trust as a recruiting partner.
  2. Focus on the opportunity and growth: Put the focus on the talent. Show your expertise in the details about the opportunity and what making a move could mean long-term for your candidate. It’s not just a new job, it could be a crucial progression in a their career, taking he or she to new heights.
  3. Build Relationships: It can be easy to simply sell the job and your company to active candidates who are looking to make a move. On the other hand, passive candidates will need more convincing to even have a conversation. Find out what he or she would be open to hearing about before presenting the opportunity. Try delving into likes and dislikes about their current role, positioning yourself as a consultant, while conveying your industry knowledge and the current state of the market.

Looking for help with your talent strategy?

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Sourcing Quality over Quantity

February 17th, 2016

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Quality Candidates over QuantitySourcing talent is often a sprint to find as many candidates as possible, as quickly as possible. A hiring manager’s starry-eyed expectations drive sourcing specialists’ motivation for speed and quantity. However to deliver quality talent, it’s important to manage those expectations as the best sourcers know that identifying the highest quality talent wins every time. Accordingly, those same sourcers are the ones who can not only source quality candidates, but can do so in a timely manner.

With the lowest national unemployment rate since February 2008, sourcing with efficiency makes the difference in quality hiring. For example, it’s easy to allow active candidates, about 21% of candidates according to LinkedIn, to dominate a majority of your new search. But it’s in the other 79% of candidates where the highest quality candidates hide. The 79% of passive candidates who are not actively searching for opportunities — but if approached strategically, are willing to listen and consider a career change. Choosing to spend time identifying high-quality talent over reviewing resumes that are on the top of the pile is an example of how an efficient sourcer can make a difference.

As a hiring manager: wouldn’t you rather receive a set of three high quality candidates instead of ten run-of-the-mill resumes?

Great sourcing requires digging and strategic thinking to identify a set of passive, high-quality talent. Passive talent is 120% more likely to want to make an impact than active candidates (LinkedIn). Talented sourcers skillfully market their open jobs to passive talent to generate interest in the opportunity, proving time after time the value of quality over quantity.

In the next CBI Way Blog, we’ll examine the strategic ways to market your open job to quality passive candidates.

3 Thoughts for RPO in 2016

January 20th, 2016

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

RPO 2016Another year has passed, and the labor market has continued to be strong as we kick off 2016. There were 2.7 million jobs added in 2015. And we ended the year steadily with the lowest unemployment since 2008; dropping 0.7% from January to December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So what can you expect for RPO providers engaging and recruiting talent in 2016?

Talent Pipelining:  With increased hiring comes increased pressure to find the right talent, and find it quickly. This is especially true with 5.4 million open jobs (BLS). RPO Providers will be focused on talent pipeline services in 2016 to help provide clients talent as fast as possible and helping reduce time to fill.

Technology: Technology, our old friend from our 2015 RPO Thoughts. Yet again, technology is a sticking point for this year’s recruiting trends. With the fast paced nature of RPO engagements, technology can streamline processes, saving each partner time and energy. Look for providers that offer real time reporting. Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to your provider’s activity on your hard-to-fill job on a real-time basis? With today’s technology, you shouldn’t have to wait for the next status update from your RPO partner.

Big Data & Analytics: I’m sure you’ve read or heard the words “big data” when looking at trends or predictions. But it’s here, and it’s been here for longer than you might think, driving growth in some very mainstream industries. Data and analytics experts are highly sought talent. Don’t get left behind by partnering with an RPO provider that lacks experience sourcing and engaging these experts successfully.

Looking for recruiting advice in 2016?

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How to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you

November 25th, 2015
Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

As a sourcer of talent, when I find a rock star candidate, sometimes it feels like I’ve won the lottery. That’s when I remember that finding the candidate is only half of the sourcing battle. Next you have to get them to engage. Without engagement, it’s pretty hard to call finding that perfect fit, a win at all.

But, I’m here to tell you that all is not lost. While you may have tried every method you could think of six months ago, there’s certainly an opportunity to resurface and breakthrough the wall of engagement.

Here’s a few strategies to revisit those perfect candidates who seem to have ignored your emails or LinkedIn connection request:

allstar candidate talent sourcingTiming: When you think back to how you tried to get your star candidate’s attention, you remember a desperate attempt of countless emails, LinkedIn messages and voice mails. But every time you worked up the energy to try just one more reach out, you still never captured their attention. Or at least that’s how it felt, and then you made up some reason to rationalize the situation so you could move on. But now that some time has passed, why not try again? Perhaps they actually did see your messages but timing was really bad.  Think of all the events in our lives that we try to juggle. It’s a new day, a new month, or a new year, give it another go!

Woo them: Yes, woo. While you may have told them before, don’t be afraid to reiterate how impressed you are with his or her background. Share that you wanted to try to reach out again, noting your previous attempt. Re-introduce how incredible the opportunity for them would be considering their expertise, and even in the (X) amount of time since first reaching out, he or she is still your ideal candidate.

Show your expertise, ask for theirs: You’re the recruiting and research expert. Explain your understanding of the job market and where the candidate’s particular industry is going. Remember, when working with passive candidates, you need them more than they need you. Maybe he or she is not interested, but would offer their ideas or suggestions for you. They are a ‘rock star’ in their field after all — which means they have deep industry knowledge and likely have some good referrals.

So, when you’re in the valley of desperation during your sourcing journey, don’t lose all hope. There are any number of ways to go back after a “lost” candidate. And in reality, what’s the worst that could happen?

Great sourcing isn’t about just building lists of names or grabbing resumes wherever you can. Great sourcing is about identifying and engaging business-changing talent and passive candidates.

Sourcing Needles in a Haystack – My Journey to Find Arjun

October 28th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Sourcing Needle in a haystackSometimes sourcing talent can become frustrating. But great sourcing means breaking through to find that needle in a haystack. And every so often, breaking through means trying something simple or different, and just seeing where your sourcing journey takes you. This approach can be refreshing for a very hard to fill job, and as I experienced recently, ultimately rewarding.

I have been working on sourcing for a high level management consulting role in business analytics and strategy. This is a very hard to fill role and the other day I was beginning to feel like I’d never find another qualified candidate. What did I do? Instead of giving up, I went back to sourcing basics. I revisited the job description, pulled the most important keywords, and put together a boolean string that could be plugged into almost any source. Specifically, the three most significant keywords that I thought best represented my target. In this case, ‘business development, ‘advanced analytics’, and ‘electronics’ were my top choices.

With my keywords identified, I chose my favorite search engine (Google), and gave it a shot. There was no shortage of hits, of course. But to my surprise, much of what I saw was very relevant. Articles, publications, companies, and even a few random resumes. I dove right in, letting the web take me on a ride for about twenty minutes.

All of a sudden, in front of me was the needle. A resume. Not just any resume. Arjun’s resume. A name I hadn’t seen, nor experience I had identified anywhere else during my sourcing on LinkedIn, job boards, social media, company targets, and every other source you could imagine.

On my journey to find Arjun, I was reminded of a few things: Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, simplify your strategy, and sometimes, take a sourcing journey through the world wide web.

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