Hire Before You Post

Recently, I heard the story of a woman who was rejected for an auditor’s job in the office of the comptroller at a company. Later, a financial analyst position opened up in the company. Thanks to an automatic matching function within the company’s applicant tracking system, this woman’s profile popped up against the requisition and she was hired immediately, before the company even advertised the job. When you hire someone before you even post the job, you reduce cycle time and sourcing costs immensely. Matching Supply and Demand Robust applicant tracking systems can identify matching candidates in the corporate candidate pool to a newly created requisition and immediately invite them to apply to the vacancy. At the core of this automated capability is the definition of talent supply and demand in a common vocabulary. First, the requisition is created based upon standardized skills and competencies drawn from a centralized database. Candidates then match themselves against these skills and competencies, storing the information in a structured candidate profile database. The automated matching of supply and demand enables a significantly better paradigm, as opposed to merely automating an old process. Old Paradigm In the conventional hiring cycle, the process begins with identification of a hiring need, summarized in the requisition. Sourcing is triggered by and flows from the requisition. The marketing message is generated out of the requisition document, and this message gets posted to a mix of traditional and interactive media, determined by a sourcing strategy. The conventional hiring cycle typically proceeds as follows:

  1. Hiring need identified
  2. Post position to interactive media
  3. Post position to non-interactive media

The list of potential candidates consists of those who respond to the sourcing stimulus. Delays inherent in waiting for the candidate population to react to the marketing stimulus contribute significantly to prolonging the overall cycle-time of the conventional recruiting process. If the exposure in the media is not sufficient, then as a last resort company may turn to a fourth step:

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  1. External agency search

The company may receive hundreds of resumes via postal mail and email, some of which may explicitly cite the requisition number. Those that do not must be manually matched up with the requisition, or else they join the thousands of other, largely ignored, unsolicited resumes the company has on file. Typically, once the hiring need has been filled, resumes of unsuccessful candidates are stored for a period. Storage of paper resumes presents a tremendous barrier to retrieval. In some ways, it is cheaper for the company to re-source for each new requisition rather than taking weeks to sift manually through filed resumes looking for candidates with the right skills. Hence, the full cost to attract a candidate must be incurred again for every new hiring need. Many large corporations have adopted resume management systems to handle the volume. However, this merely automates an older process, since it relies on non-scalable keyword searches. Matching keywords is an imprecise activity requiring human intervention to ensure accuracy. New Paradigm A structured candidate relationship database opens up new sourcing options. Hiring before you post means making use of developed pools of talent, within the corporation and without. With candidate relationship databases, sourcing is really transitioning to the following step-wise strategy:

  1. Hiring need identified
  2. Invite from employee pool
  3. Invite from external candidate pool
  4. Search internal mobility pool
  5. Search external candidate pool
  6. Post position to corporate website
  7. Post position to commercial job sites
  8. Post position to non-interactive media
  9. External agency search

This escalation strategy moves from the lowest cost to the highest cost source, with the opportunity to fill the vacancy at each stage. As each source is exhausted, the strategy advances to the next source. Of course, this is not meant to say that the steps follow each other chronologically, rather that there is this order of business priority. Talent Inventory The value of candidate relationship management is the transformation of sourcing expenditures into inventory. With the automated matching of talent supply and demand, the recruiting process can move past a “one-off” activity in which each candidate is identified, screened and assessed, and hired or discarded. In the new paradigm, candidates touched by both past and present sourcing activities, are automatically accessible to communicate with for a hiring need. The cost of acquiring each candidate is significantly reduced as the existing proprietary corporate candidate database gets mined. The results of past sourcing dollars flow forward to be leveraged for all future demand. External sourcing no longer needs be started anew for each new staffing need. That’s how you can hire before you post!

Yves Lermusi (aka Lermusiaux) is CEO & co-founder of Checkster. Mr. Lermusi is a well known public speaker and a Career and Talent industry commentator. He is often quoted in the leading business media worldwide, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, and Time Magazine. His articles and commentary are published regularly in online publications and business magazines. Mr. Lermusi was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry” and his blog has been recognized as the best third party blog.



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