The work in talent acquisition is in our view toughest job in the organization beside sales as both these functions must work in the reality of external world, which by itself is constantly evolving.
The people who are working at external interfaces of the organization hear lot of marketing chutzpah and what others are doing. One of the notions, which has taken firm root is “attracting passive candidates”. In our work with several HR leaders and Talent Acquisition heads this notion is almost always tried with question “How can you help us identify passive candidates out there”.
We need to understand that effective business solutions work on “Probabilities” and not on “Possibilities”. Human beings feel encouraged by “possibilities” because they give hope but if “possibilities” do not convert into substantial “probabilities” what usually follows is a sense of wasted effort or gaining too little vis a vis humongous expenditure incurred.
Let us understand this phenomenon of “Passive candidates”. While it is always a possibility to get them, our focus is more on scientific “probability” of reaching out to them, first in-time and second within a finite budget.
In the diagram above
ZONE 1 – ACTIVE CANDIDATES
It is the zone of active candidates. They are actively looking for a job or a job change. They have made their CV. They are scouring career pages, reading job descriptions and setting alerts on new job openings. They are applying on Job boards and they are contacting their ex-colleagues and friends for referrals.
This is zone of maximum action in Job market.
ZONE 2 – ZONE OF TRUE PROBABILITIES AT LOWER COST
It is the first zone of Passive Candidates, where Probability of reaching out to passive candidates is highest. These are candidates who you can reach through Employee Referral programs or intelligent and collaborative social posts. To generate solid “Probability” out of this zone, organization must work on Creative posts, Engaging Career Page, Objective Job Descriptions, Ease of Application and Candidate Experience. This is where serious focus and technology upliftment is needed.
ZONE 3 – ZONE OF WEAK PROBABILITIES AT MASSIVE COST
Yes, there are passive candidates out there. Yes, it is possible to accost many of them. But even as possibility, they are there but they are locked in networks like LinkedIn. Your ability to reach out to them is limited by the budget you can spend on expensive Recruiter account and expensive Job campaigns without any guarantees of outcomes. The real Probabilities still are dependent on same old aspects such as Employer Branding, Engaging Career Page, Simplified and Objective Job Descriptions, Ease of Application and Timely response/ feedback to candidates.
ZONE 4 – ZONE OF HUGE POSSIBILITY AND NULL PROBABILITY
Yes, world is full of wonderful and competent candidates, question is what is your probability of being able to reach to them and at what expense? If you are ready to take on expense of Print and Digital media in unknown territories, you can try. If a Dutch shipping company cannot reach out to a sailor in Fiji for a contract job, then that sailor is a tree in the forest.
Next time your Hiring Manager wonders whether it will be possible to hire two data science engineers in Seattle by end of this quarter, you need to focus on Zone 2 and if budgets permit Zone 3.
Good Luck !
Oh, the last word – forget about zone 4.