Monday, October 01, 2007

It's a Matter of Source

I haven't written here in about a week because I've been working on something else that has taken up much of my time and effort. I believe that a fundamental shift is needed in our overall talent acquisition strategy. A shift that requires us to move away from reliance on traditional, 'reactive' recruiting sources and practices, and towards more 'proactive' sources and long-term strategies. The competition in our industry, and what the future holds, demands no less.

Over the next few weeks, I will be developing Source Utilization whitepaper for our Firm. This whitepaper will explore our past and current source utilization metrics and strategies, which will in the process make the case for a realignment of resources to better enable our firm to improve the quantity of quality candidate flow.

The biggest challenge in undertaking this effort is the data. Data integrity is critical, and for a variety of reasons, the data we have up to this point is not what I would consider to be highly reliable. Then there is the whole issue of how to gather this data in the first place. Mark and Gerry at CareerXroads make the valid argument that candidates often arrive at your doorstep via a variety of sources, not just one source, which is what most organizations (including ours) track. Or even worse, they don't know themselves the true source, or select the wrong source by error. For example, I saw a few examples just last week of college students who selected 'Employee Referral' as their source. Yes, they may of been 'referred' by an employee, but they will be involved in the college recruiting process, and therefore don't qualify as 'employee referrals'. Getting this right in the long run will require great diligence by our organization to identify the one, most relevant source for our candidates, especially our hires (even though the selection of one source may continue to be a flawed measure).

The data we have today though will have to be sufficient. Even it isn't highly accurate, it should be reflective enough to show where were we are now, and where we need to get to. Our management needs to be educated as to where our candidate flow comes from, the cost, quantity and quality related to those sources, and which sources moving forward will best support our talent acquisition needs.

I believe that the source utilization metric, as flawed as it may be, is the singular most critical metric needed to chart one's recruiting strategy. It's all about maximizing quality candidate flow in the most cost effective manner possible. Check back as I'll share what I can from this effort.

Also coming this month will be recaps of the Select Minds Conference next week in New York, ERE in DC in mid-October, the CareerXroads Colloquium the following week, the story of the launch of our new RIMS, and much more. October is going to be a VERY busy month...


At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. looking forward to reading about all of this & seeing you in a couple weeks at ERE :)


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Jer - It's been an adventure so far. See you at ERE!


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