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  • Writer's picturetimmeehan2

Your Talent Pool Stinks

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

I want challenge the recruitment industry to break a long held paradigm. I'm talking about the central assumption that "better talent pools" or "more in the top of the funnel" is strongly correlated to overall recruitment success. I mean, think about it: Do you think YOU are sitting in someones talent pool? And if I am only hiring one person, why do I really need so many applicants?

First, let's think about the idea of a talent pool. Basic models are often nothing more than applicants in a ”pooling req" in the ATS. More advanced models use CRM tech to make it easier for talent to join, and recruiters to search. And some companies add content marketing to improve ”engagement”. But all make the same fatal flaw and assume talent is static, circling like Koi in a virtual "talent pool", waiting to be caught.

I prefer to think of talent as moving quickly past us in a raging river. To catch them we must act swiftly, have the right equipment, and try several times. This isn’t to suggest we should ignore the top of the funnel. I’m suggesting we shift from “putting talent in a pool, so we can catch them” to “accelerating to the speed of talent, so they can catch us”. What does this mean?

Let’s start by measuring success properly. Most TA team‘s measure success using data derived from the "apply to hire" process in their ATS data. This is far too narrow a perspective. It fails to capture candidate engagement prior to their apply experience. Ask yourself.

Are you using Programmatic Advertising to measure job-board view to click rates? I've seen ratios from 10 to 100 views to an apply click. This means only a very small percent of the viewers felt the post was worthy of an apply effort.

Are you measuring start-apply to complete-apply performance? Aka "Abandon Rate". I had one client with nearly a 35% abandon rate. This means their ATS reduced their applicant flow by 1/3!

Are you measuring your apply process time? I'm pleased to see steady improvements here, but am shocked to still see some take more than ten minutes. Five minutes is a max and really, under two if you want to capture more passive, curious, talent.

Finally, have you explored inverting how you measure success? Rather than using your ATS, switch to the latest generation of CRM e.g PhenomPeople or Eightfold? These platforms capture and measure all the above AND also your ATS data. This means you can measure success more accurately, real time.

For me, all the above are the new "table stakes" in the Talent Acquisition space. This model won't actually accelerate you to the speed of talent. But it will help you accurately measure just how much speeding up you need to do.

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