Deep Thoughts on Those Sourcing Sweet Spots

You know how great you feel when a person comes along and surpasses your expectations; this person almost always makes you reconsider how you measure for the next position.

But you also know what happens when a person comes along who does not meet your expectations. Sure, this person is no superstar, but they’ll fill the position and maintain the status quo.

Which version of the above scenarios happens most at your company? Are your days filled with chest puffery bravado or feelings of blasé compliance? There has to be hope for a middle ground of sourcing success. So if we can all agree that the “employee model” is in need of a serious overhaul, where do we start?

Using a little sleuth-like eavesdropping is one approach. Bumping into sourcing experts is even better.

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That’s why it’s so cool to be listening to Lou Adler speak at the ERE Expo in San Diego right now. Here are some of his gems:

  • “It’s what you do with what you have, not what you have that counts. A performance profile matters. If I listened to the job description, instead of making 487 placements, I would have made 150 and been an ‘adequate’ recruiter. I became a very good recruiter because I didn’t listen to my clients. I didn’t compromise on performance though.”
  • “Active candidates are hungry for any job; you don’t need to do much to improve this candidate base, which is about 15% of the population. Semi-passive candidate represent about 30% of the market, and less active candidates who want a better job make up about 35%. The remaining “very passive” market makes up about 20%.”
  • “Which pool are you targeting with your online advertising? If you look at the dynamics, most people are going after active candidates. What do you think is the best pool? Where is the sweet spot?”
  • “Top people share the following traits: multi-talented/flexible; show consistent results; need little direction; exceed expectations; and work well with the team.”
  • “Who hires passive candidates? It’s hard as heck. Are you defining your ideal candidates? So who is your ideal candidate, and what is the person doing now? Where does he or she work, and what is the person’s title? Do you even know what kind of recognition this person has received?”
  • “What factors would cause your ideal candidate to be interested in your offer? Does your current messaging meet this person’s needs? Who does this person know in your company? How could you get to this person online?”

If Lou’s advice leaves you sitting there clueless about who this person might know at your company or even how to meet this person’s needs, it’s obviously time to develop your own cache of ideas. So what are your answers? And what are you waiting for?

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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