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Developing Talent Acquisition Strategies for the Fully - Employed


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  • 1. Whitepaper Developing Talent Acquisition Strategies for the Fully-Employed Executive Summary In late 2013, The Adler Group collaborated with the LinkedIn research team on a major survey delving into job satisfaction, why people leave jobs, and the criteria they use to consider and accept other opportunities. Over 18,000 LinkedIn members from around the world participated in the survey. The focus of this whitepaper is largely on the 1,600 people from North America who responded. As part of this report, several additional Adler Group studies have been incorporated to provide a fuller understanding of how companies can best attract, recruit, and hire passive job-seekers. Some of the major findings: Almost 80% of the fully-employed* workforce classified themselves as Very Satisfied (38%) or Satisfied (41%). In total, this is about the same as a survey conducted with a similar fully-employed group in 2010. However, in the current survey there was a significant increase in those considering themselves Very Satisfied, up from 31% to 38%. While overall job satisfaction has improved slightly in the past few years, passive candidates are still willing to explore jobs that represent significant career growth opportunities. 55% of those people who considered themselves Very Satisfied still indicated they would be open to consider changing jobs if it represented a significant career move. 90% of those people who considered themselves Satisfied indicated that they were either currently looking for a job or open to change jobs for the right position. Job satisfaction is typically higher for more senior-level managers, executives, and high-demand positions. Regardless, these same people can be lured away by savvy companies using advanced recruiting techniques. From a retention standpoint, programs should be developed that track employee satisfaction. The focus of these should be on better understanding why reasonably satisfied employees leave good positions in an attempt to find more satisfying opportunities. On the flipside, this same information should be used to attract and hire passive candidates for the long-term. The key: understand what motivates candidates to excel. This is not necessarily the same as how they compare new opportunities and accept offers. Contents Executive Summary 1 Job Satisfaction of the Professional Fully-Employed Workforce 2 Using Career Zones as a Means to Understand Job-Seeking Behavior 3 Job Satisfaction Is Important, but Not the Only Driver of Job-Hunting Activity 5 The Drivers of Retention and Attraction 7 Developing Recruiting Strategies by Career Zone 9 How Job Level Impacts Sourcing and Recruiting Programs 10 An International Perspective 12 Conclusions 13 May 2014 By Lou Adler * Fully-employed: currently working full-time at a company Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 1
  • 2. The primary focus of the LinkedIn survey was to better understand the job-seeking behavior of fully-employed passive and active candidates. The purpose of this whitepaper is to examine the data from the perspective of a talent leader, recruiter, or company executive interested in hiring the best people possible. The main finding is that high job satisfaction will not prevent your best employees from leaving for better jobs. It’s important to note that from a recruiting standpoint, using short-term sources of job satisfaction – more money, better work/life balance, employer brand, etc. – to attract and hire these same people will be counterproductive. This approach perpetuates the problem by emphasizing short-lived motivators. Instead, recruiting programs need to be developed that are more high-touch, taking into account the long-term career needs of the people being pursued. Hiring managers and recruiters need to be fully invested in the process and committed to find and hire the best. Although it takes somewhat more effort upfront, the long-term benefit of hiring the strongest person possible cannot be disputed. Job Satisfaction of the Professional Fully-Employed Workforce Job satisfaction has often been considered the primary factor predicting whether a person will stay with a company or leave. It appears that the extremely slow recovery in job growth in the U.S. these past few years has altered this view. While the bulk of the workforce is Very or Somewhat Satisfied, an equal share is willing to change jobs for the right reasons. Based on my many conversations with passive candidates, it appears that having a job in comparison to the many who don’t is a component of job satisfaction. However, high job satisfaction is no guarantee that the person can’t be lured away by the opportunity of something significantly better. As the survey indicates, it’s important to be wary: your best employees might be getting ready to jump ship sooner than you expect. Conversely, with the right offer and the right processes, companies can upgrade their talent level with less effort than ever before. Insights and Ideas Job satisfaction and job-hunting activity are relatively unchanged in the last three years, as shown in figure 1. As of December 2013, 79% of the North American professional and fully-employed workforce consider themselves either Very Satisfied or Somewhat Satisfied with their current jobs. This is up slightly from the 77% reported in a similar study conducted in late 2010. Summary and Key Findings 79% of the fully-employed professional workforce in North America are Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their current jobs. Only 12% of the workforce categorize themselves as Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied. Despite the high level of job satisfaction, 23% of the total workforce are actively looking for new jobs, 13% have started to tap into their close network to look for new jobs, and a further 43% would consider a better job if contacted directly by a former co-worker or recruiter. Retention for all types of people could become as issue if the economy strengthens as forecasted. Retention for the best, high-demand candidates is always a concern. Job Satisfaction Over Time Figure 1 2010 2013 Very Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 77% in 2010 vs. 79% in 2013 11% in 2010 vs. 12% in 2013 31% 38% 46% 41% 12% 9% 4% 9% 7% 3% Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 2
  • 3. This slight uptick in job satisfaction has not caused a corresponding drop in job- seeking activity. As shown in figure 2, there are far fewer fully passive candidates: 21% in 2013 versus 28% in 2010. Meanwhile, professionals who categorize themselves as very active candidates have risen from 17% to 23% of the fully- employed workforce. Even more significant is the fact that 79% of the fully-employed workforce are either actively looking, starting to look, or open to consider an opportunity if contacted by a former co-worker or recruiter. This is up from 72% in 2010. It appears that the primary factor preventing these people from switching jobs is an economy that hasn’t produced many new jobs in the past few years. Excluding very active candidates, while many people are willing to change positions, they won’t unless the new job is significantly better than the one they now have. “Significantly better” in this case means some combination of long-term growth, increased opportunities for learning and development, and short-term improvements in compensation or work/life balance. Knowing the specific criteria used by fully-employed passive candidates to evaluate and change positions offers companies a means to change their recruiting processes to better map to their ideal prospects’ needs. At the same time, it also offers these same companies a means to intervene and reduce the chance that their strongest people will be lured away for preventable reasons. Using Career Zones as a Means to Understand Job-Seeking Behavior Time is an employee’s most valuable asset. The best people use it more wisely than others for maximizing their personal growth and development. This same concept can be used to better understand why some people are passive candidates and others more active. The Career Zone model tracks changes in employee satisfaction over time as a means to develop recruiting strategies and messages. By figuring out where on the Career Zone curve the ideal candidate is likely to fall, a recruiter is in a stronger position to offer a more attractive opportunity. Much of this involves demonstrating how the prospect can better maximize his or her use of time by changing jobs for the right reasons. Change in Job-Seeking Behavior Figure 2 2010 2013 Very Passive Semi-Passive In-Between Very Active Total passive 68% in 2010 vs. 64% in 2013 Active or open to consider moving 72% in 2010 vs. 79% in 2013 28% 21% 40% 43% 15% 13% 17% 23% Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 3
  • 4. Insights and Ideas While many companies are strong at identifying passive candidates, they often fall short on recruiting and hiring them. The problems seem to be an over-dependence on recruiter quality, plus force-fitting passive candidates into a process designed for active candidates. For example, most companies rely on the use of traditional job descriptions for all candidates, whether they’re active or passive. Their processes are also typically designed to weed out the unqualified, rather than attract the best. This weeding out process is only effective when there’s a surplus of talented people with both an economic need to apply and the willingness to accept a lateral transfer. Since few top people meet these criteria, time to fill is problematic, and the person hired is the best who applies, not the best available. When the demand for the strongest talent exceeds the supply, it’s important to understand what drives people to change jobs when they don’t need to, and reengineer the hiring process accordingly. This is where an understanding of Career Zones can help. There are four Career Zones, as shown in figure 3. The dark curved line represents the change in growth and impact of a person over time. Assuming a person took a job for the right reasons, then growth, learning, and impact normally grow rapidly, driving high job satisfaction. This is Career Zone 1 – the Super Passive, representing 21% of the total fully-employed workforce. People in this zone are extremely passive, unwilling to even consider switching jobs unless the new opportunity is extraordinary. Making this case requires a truly extraordinary job and a very persistent recruiter. As time progresses, job satisfaction typically declines. This is largely attributed to doing similar work over an extended period of time, with few near-term upside growth opportunities. This is represented by the flattening of the curve in Career Zone 2, causing a decline in job satisfaction. While this group of possible candidates is not actively looking for another position, they are quite open to talk with a recruiter or former co-worker if contacted directly about a job that represents a significant career move. That’s why they’re called Explorers. This is a huge group – 43% of the total fully-employed workforce. It’s important to note that these people will neither respond to the standard uninspired job posting nor agree to participate in the standard screening and interviewing process. The best way to attract these people is through a referral, direct contact, or some well-placed and compelling recruiting message pushed directly to them. The subsequent assessment and recruiting process also needs to be different, more a give-and-take among equals. Recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers need to recognize that passive candidates won’t go under the microscope in a traditional interview process until they believe the job is worthy. Using Career Zones to Understand Job-Seeking Behavior Figure 3 Super Passive Zone 1 Extraordinary Career Move Explorers Zone 2 Significant Career Move Tiptoers Zone 3 Much Better Job Very Active Zone 4 Lateral Transfer 21%* 43%* 13% 23% Summary and Key Findings Most companies have well- defined processes and metrics in place for their active candidate recruiting efforts, but they employ looser techniques for targeting the talent-rich 77% of the fully- employed workforce who need to be proactively recruited. Categorizing candidates by Career Zones helps companies develop targeted programs to find, recruit, and hire the best of all active and passive candidates. The four Career Zones classify candidates by their job-seeking activity, current job satisfaction, and their criteria for changing jobs. Zone I consists of Super Passive candidates. These people are highly satisfied, currently making a significant impact, and not looking to make a job change. Zone 2 is the domain of Explorers. These people are not looking, but due to a variety of circumstances are willing to consider other opportunities that represent significant career moves. Zone 3 represents the Tiptoers. While not actively looking, they are quietly reaching out to their close personal network to discuss potential next moves. Zone 4 represents the Very Active job-seekers. They are using all sources to find another job similar to the one they now hold. Time (years) GrowthandImpact * Survey data Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 4
  • 5. People become more active job-seekers when job satisfaction starts declining. This is shown in figure 3 as Career Zone 3, representing 13% of the workforce. People in this group are referred to as Tiptoers, since they are on the edge of the job market, but in a very low-key, non-public manner. The best people in this situation are typically well networked and highly regarded by their former co-workers. For them, job-seeking takes the form of making a few calls and reconnecting, making their interest in changing jobs known, but confidential. Since Tiptoers are not desperate, they have no need to accept a job unless it’s significantly better than the one they now hold, or one that offers more long-term growth. While these people might respond to a compelling recruitment message, it’s better to find them through some type of employee referral program or by using a deeply networked recruiter. The best of the Tiptoers tend to find better jobs quickly, so getting to these people first needs to be a critical aspect of any talent acquisition strategy. Career Zone 4 represents the Very Active candidates, comprising 23% of the fully- employed workforce – up significantly from 17% in the 2010 survey. When the number of open jobs doesn’t match the growth in the number of active candidates, people begin to apply to as many open jobs as possible, whether they’re qualified for them or not. As a countermeasure, companies create bigger barriers-to-entry, including more pre-hire questionnaires, new sophisticated matching algorithms, sophisticated predictive analytics, and automated CRM interactions. At some level this whole act/react approach needs to be questioned. Being adept at weeding out the weak might not be the most practical means for finding and hiring the best. The Career Zone model offers an alternative for building sourcing and recruiting processes to address the full talent market. By mapping people based on why they switch jobs and how they go about it, companies are in a position to reengineer their recruiting and hiring in a more targeted way. Additional details on how to do this are provided in a later section in this report. The big idea, though, is to first understand the demand for talent in relationship to the supply for any specific target group; next, categorize these groups into Career Zones; and then develop sourcing and recruiting programs to connect with these people before the competition with compelling and customized career messages. Job Satisfaction Is Important, but It’s Not the Only Driver of Job-Hunting Activity The primary emphasis of this survey was to segment the fully-employed professional workforce into different levels of job-hunting activity from Very Active to Very Passive. The results are summarized in figure 4. The second aspect was to determine the factors that cause people to consider other opportunities. This section of the report focuses on the impact of job satisfaction on job-hunting activity. As you’ll discover, while job satisfaction is important, it’s only one of many factors causing people to seek better opportunities. 2013 Survey of Job-Hunting Activity The Career Zone model offers an alternative for building sourcing and recruiting processes to address the full talent market. Figure 4 21% 43% 13% 23% Very Passive Semi-Passive In-Between Very Active Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 5
  • 6. Insights and Ideas It is surprising that while 38% of the workforce consider themselves Very Satisfied, less than half (45%) of this group define themselves as Very Passive. This is shown in figure 5. For the Somewhat Satisfied, representing another 41% of the workforce, only 9% consider themselves as Very Passive. So while 79% of the workforce consider themselves satisfied with their jobs, this does not predict who will be lured away or who will stay. Practically speaking, it’s likely that the best of these groups will be the ones leaving first for better opportunities, since these are the high- demand people everyone wants to hire. For recruiters this information represents a gold mine for new talent. For HR and company leaders this same information represents a significant concern, especially if their best people begin leaving at an accelerating rate. What unfolds will depend largely on the strength of the economic recovery and the growth in new jobs. From a recruiting perspective, it’s clear that programs designed to attract Zone 4 Active candidates are not appropriate for the other Career Zones. The U.S. Department of Labor’s JOLTs1 report for open jobs provides a picture of changes in the demand for talent at the national level. This report tracks all publicly posted open unique U.S. jobs and is updated monthly. As shown in figure 6, growth in new jobs has been modest for the past 12 months. A significant pickup in net new jobs would be a strong indicator that the labor markets are strengthening. One result would be an increase in voluntary turnover as Tiptoers find jobs more easily, and recruiters become more proactive pursuing Explorers with better job opportunities. Recent predictions for continuing U.S. economic growth have not yet translated into new job growth. Despite this, following the JOLTs data provides talent leaders with useful forward planning information. Summary and Key Findings Only 21% of the workforce consider themselves as Very Passive. The other 79% are either open to consider other opportunities or are actively seeking other opportunities. While 38% of the fully-employed workforce is Very Satisfied, 55% of this group is either actively looking for another spot or willing to consider one. Equally surprising, only 9% of those who consider themselves Somewhat Satisfied categorize themselves as Very Passive Zone 1 candidates. The other 91% are open to consider other jobs or are actively pursuing a change. While job satisfaction is an important indicator of retention, it does not capture all job needs. As a result, any improvement in the hiring market will likely result in a spike in voluntary turnover. Job-Hunting Activity vs. Job Satisfaction Figure 5 Very Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied Zone 1 - Passive Zone 2 - Explorers Zone 3 - Tiptoers Zone 4 - Active 38% 45% 44% 3% 8% 41% 9% 53% 16% 22% 9% 4% 29% 21% 46% 9% 1% 19% 25% 55% 3% 4% 25% 72% 1 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec U.S. Department of Labor JOLTs - February 2014 Figure 6 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 % of fully-employed workforce OpenJobsU.S.(000s) Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 6
  • 7. The Drivers of Retention and Attraction As part of the survey we asked respondents to describe what factors would likely cause them to change jobs. As shown in figure 7, compensation and better growth opportunities headed the list. From actual experience, candidates tend to overvalue the short-term aspects of a potential job (i.e., compensation, location, and the employer brand) when first hearing about it. However, the decision-making process shifts to long-term career factors when comparing actual opportunities and accepting a job. Unfortunately, unless a recruiter forcefully intervenes on first contact, some of the best people opt out before they fully appreciate the long-term potential of an opportunity. This is an area recruiters and talent leaders can focus on to improve conversion rates and ultimately quality of hire. Insights and Ideas In First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, the Gallup Group identified 12 core factors that drove job satisfaction. The big ones focused on the hiring manager’s role, specifically: clarifying job expectations up front; providing support, encouragement, and personal development opportunities; and assigning work the person finds motivating. Not surprisingly, these are the same factors the best candidates use as part of their prime reasons for accepting an offer or not. It’s largely about the work itself. This critical issue is frequently minimized in the rush to recruit and hire, when a short-term emphasis to fill the position often overshadows actual job needs and the long-term potential. This results in a number of preventable hiring mistakes including underperformance, dissatisfaction, and unnecessary turnover. I call this collective effect “The Vicious Cycle of Hiring and Retention.” The concept is summarized in figure 8. A short explanation is in order. Overall job satisfaction, and the desire to change jobs, tends to be driven by an excess of the negative motivators shown in the bottom half of the graph, coupled with an absence of the positive ones in the top half. These positive and negative factors can be further categorized as intrinsic (internal) shown on the right, or extrinsic (external) motivators, shown on the left. The extrinsic motivators tend to be short-term or circumstantial, like a bad boss or a one-time increase in compensation. The intrinsic motivators are ongoing sources of satisfaction: for example, working with a great group of people, or doing work the person finds very rewarding. Why Candidates Take Other Jobs Figure 7 40% 39% 40% Zone 1 - Passive Zone 2 - Explorers Zone 3 - Tiptoers Zone 4 - Active Improved Compensation Better Work/Life Balance Better Job/Career Growth Increased Job Security 34% 16% 17% 17% 22% 34% 35% 35% 28% 9% 8% 14% 12% Summary and Key Findings Other than the Very Active candidates, 40% of respondents indicate that an improvement in compensation is an essential requirement for even considering another job. For all groups of job-hunters, the second most significant factor is a better job or a better growth opportunity. The most passive candidates don’t value this as highly, though, since already having a great job is the primary reason they’re passive. Active job-seekers are slightly more interested in security than the less active job-seekers, but not dramatically. 14% consider this important vs. 10% on average for the other groups. Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 7
  • 8. While people leave jobs for both negative intrinsic and extrinsic reasons, they tend to accept them for largely positive short-term or one-time extrinsic reasons. While the positive intrinsic reasons, shown in the upper right in figure 8, including better career growth and doing more satisfying work, are often discussed during the hiring process, it’s typically done at a superficial level. A big problem occurs when the actual job, culture, and hiring manager’s style don’t align with these expectations driving underperformance and dissatisfaction. This is the Vicious Cycle, leading to low job satisfaction and unnecessary turnover. The process then repeats itself in perpetual motion-like fashion in the rush to fill jobs with the wrong people using the wrong reasons. This is shown by the blue arrows in the graphic. It can be stopped in its tracks by clarifying expectations upfront and selecting people who are both competent and motivated to do the actual work required for long- term positive reasons. The chain of events leading to the Vicious Cycle can be broken before first contact. It starts by preparing recruitment messages that emphasize the long-term positive motivators, not job descriptions laden with “must haves” offering no more than lateral transfers. In addition, recruiters need to ensure their passive prospects have a full appreciation of the positive short- and long-term motivators of the job before they opt out for superficial reasons. As the survey data indicates, too many candidates – both passive and active – make quick decisions based on the initial compensation range and short-term benefits of a job, before ever learning about its real substance. Summary and Key Findings Continued Work/life balance is an important consideration for everyone, whether they’re looking or not. However, this needs to be considered as a component of job satisfaction, rather than an individual driving factor. Few top people put work/life balance at the top of their list when deciding to accept or reject an offer. Having worked directly and indirectly with thousands of candidates over the past 30 years, the criteria most candidates use to evaluate opportunities emphasize the work itself, the career growth opportunities, the quality of the hiring manager and team, the strength of the company, and the job’s direct link to a major company initiative. While compensation is on the list, it’s usually in the middle of the pack once all the other factors are known. That’s why it’s important for recruiters to intervene before prospects opt out without considering the full opportunity. When you emphasize short-term factors to recruit and hire the best candidates, rather than the factors that drive long-term satisfaction, you create the Vicious Cycle of underperformance, dissatisfaction, and turnover. The Vicious Cycle of Hiring and Retention Figure 8 Compensation max Short-term rewards Contests, bonus Ego need Career maximization Learn - do - become Helping others Team - hiring manager Company or mission Low salary Bad boss Economic need Slow growth Work mix not satisfying Cultural misfit Negative Motivators Positive Motivators Extrinsic Intrinsic Mission not important Not part of team Deteriorating business Big title - big brand Not appreciated Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 8
  • 9. Developing Recruiting Strategies by Career Zone The key to attracting and recruiting passive candidates is convincing them that what you’re offering is a better use of their time (e.g., a job that puts them in a steeper part of the Career Zone impact curve). This is referred to as a “Going-Towards Job-Seeking Strategy.” This is from the perspective of the candidate, since their motivation to consider your open job is largely about improving an already good situation. Strong recruiters need to be persistent to make this initial case, but it’s up to the hiring manager to prove its validity. This whole strategy flips around for active candidates. Since their prime motivators are leaving something negative, they are operating under a “Going-Away Job- Seeking Strategy.” While the best active candidates are often easier to find, especially if the company has a strong employee referral program in place, these people still need to see that what you’re offering is better than what they’re leaving. This is typically a combination of minimizing the negatives along with a stronger career opportunity. Hiring the best people, whether they’re active or passive, should not just be about offering a lateral transfer with a big compensation increase. It should always be about offering the best career move, one that’s on an upward sloping career curve in combination with a fair compensation package. Insights and Ideas If the demand for top talent exceeds the supply, it’s best to implement a balanced 50/30/20 sourcing and recruiting program to cover the full talent market. This breaks down to spending 50% of a company’s resources and efforts on aggressively recruiting passive candidates, 30% on finding Tiptoers as soon as they enter the market, and 20% on creative and visible job postings. Recognize that the processes used to find and attract the best active candidates will not work for the less active and passive candidates. In this case the Career Zone model can help guide the development of different plans and programs. This high- level approach is summarized in figure 9. Summary and Key Findings Segmenting the talent market by Career Zones aids in the creation of targeted sourcing and recruiting programs. Finding and attracting the best active candidates requires compelling and visible recruitment messages in combination with a robust employee referral program (ERP). To attract and hire people who are not actively looking requires a high- touch recruiting process including the active engagement of the hiring manager. Implementing a balanced 50/30/20 sourcing and marketing program ensures full exposure to the talent market. Messaging and recruiting techniques need to emphasize the ideal prospect’s job-hunting and career needs. High-Touch Recruiting vs. High-Tech Recruiting Figure 9 Super Passive Zone 1 Extraordinary Career Move Longer Process Exec and HM Engagement Explorers Zone 2 Direct Sourcing Networking PERP High-touch Recruiters HM Engagement Tiptoers Zone 3 Pipelining Expanded ERP CRM w/Nurturing Campaigns Social Media Very Active Zone 4 Compelling Advertising Pushed Targeted SEO 21%* 43%* 13% 23% GrowthandImpact 50% 30% 20% Going Towards Strategy High-Touch Advanced Recruiting Going Away Strategy High-Tech Basic Recruiting Time (years) ERP: HM: PERP: CRM: SEO: Employee Referral Program Hiring Manager Proactive Employee Referral Program Candidate Relationship Management Search Engine Optimization * Survey data Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 9
  • 10. Passive candidates – the Explorers and Super Passives in Career Zones 1 and 2 – need to be convinced to become job-seekers. Since they’re not looking, they would only switch jobs for something that’s clearly superior. This is called a Going- Towards Job-Seeking Strategy. While getting the names of the best people is not insignificant, recruiting and hiring them is the real challenge. This requires three things: great jobs, seasoned and highly-qualified recruiters, and actively engaged managers who know what they’re looking for and who will invest the time necessary to hire the best talent possible. This is a high-touch, go slower process. As important, the written material describing the jobs themselves must clearly represent a significant career opportunity, not a laundry list of required skills and experiences. Ideally, the hiring manager should be able to describe real job needs as a series of critical performance objectives including the challenges and opportunities involved. I refer to these as performance-based job descriptions. Since the Very Active candidates, and the Tiptoers who have been tiptoeing for a while, have already decided to leave their current job for some reason, they have an underlying Going-Away Job-Seeking Strategy. In this case the actual recruiting is a bit easier, but if the people are strong, they’ll be hired more quickly, often within a few weeks after first contact. This speed component needs to be considered when designing hiring programs targeting such candidates. Finding the Very Active is more high-tech than high-touch, involving compelling recruitment advertising that’s easy to find or pushed directly to them. The best of this group are more interested in better jobs, not jobs that appear to be lateral transfers mixed with company hyperbole. For message content, the focus should be on describing the work, not the qualifications required (e.g., “design state-of- the-art microcircuits” vs. “Must have a BSEE”); some connection of the job to the company’s business (e.g., “be part of our new venture group”); and highlighting what’s in it for the person hired (e.g., “become a leader in big data analytics”), not what’s in it for the company. The best way to find Tiptoers is through a very aggressive referral program with a company’s employees proactively searching for former co-workers they’d highly recommend. You’ll know your active candidate sourcing process is working properly when you ask candidates how long they’ve been looking and they say, “I just started, and saw your opening first.” It’s even better when they say, “I just started networking, and (employee) suggested I talk to you first.” How Job Level Impacts Sourcing and Recruiting Programs Based on the survey results, it’s quite evident that those in more senior management positions are both more satisfied with their jobs and more passive. This adds another dimension and level of complexity to the recruiting challenges always involved with passive candidates. For one thing, more time is required since the decision is more critical to both the company and the person, and there are more variables to consider. Family considerations are also more complex since managers tend to be older and less flexible when it comes to switching jobs. The role of the hiring manager is even more essential, since much of the candidate’s decision depends on the hiring manager’s leadership qualities. Recruiting leaders need to develop specific recruiting strategies that not only differentiate between active and passive candidates, but also consider the differences between more senior positions and individual contributors. While getting the names of the best people is not insignificant, recruiting and hiring them is the real challenge.This requires three things: great jobs, seasoned and highly-qualified recruiters, and actively engaged managers who know what they’re looking for and who will invest the time necessary to hire the best talent possible. You’ll know your active candidate sourcing process is working properly when you ask candidates how long they’ve been looking and they say, “I just started, and saw your opening first.” It’s even better when they say, “I just started networking, and (employee) suggested I talk to you first.” Based on the survey results, it’s quite evident that those in more senior management positions are both more satisfied with their jobs and more passive. Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 10
  • 11. Insights and Ideas One of the key aspects of job satisfaction is the degree of control a person has over how their work is organized and assigned. Managers are in a position to delegate work they find less appealing to their team members. As a result, one would anticipate that managers and more senior executives would be slightly more satisfied with their jobs than their subordinates, and less active when it comes to seeking other job opportunities. As shown in figures 10 and 11, the survey data bears this idea out: directors are more super passive (26% vs. 18%), and individual contributors are more active: 29% compared to 18% for directors. Just the fact that managers and directors are more passive makes them more difficult to recruit. In addition, they’re also more discriminating and often less flexible, since family issues become a more significant factor to be considered. Engaging them requires stronger recruiters who are very knowledgeable about the job, the hiring manager, the company, and the industry; and who can act as career advisors, not gatekeepers. Significant changes at the process level are equally important if a company wants to maximize the quality of the people seen and hired for management roles. Some of these changes include more in-depth interviews, more discussions about real job needs and resources, the need for the hiring manager to spend more time with the candidate, more flexibility in structuring the role, and a more open-ended negotiation process. The impact of a bad hiring decision at the management and executive ranks is more significant for both the company and the person being hired. This alone suggests a different and more sophisticated hiring process than the one used for hiring staff members. Key Findings Those in more senior management roles are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than those in individual contributor positions: 84% consider themselves Satisfied or Very Satisfied vs. 71%. Since fewer senior-level people are likely to respond to traditional job postings (18% vs. 29%), more reliance on networking and direct sourcing will be required to identify potential candidates for these senior positions. Recruiting the best people for senior manager roles requires confident and knowledgeable recruiters to make first contact, and professional and fully-engaged hiring managers to seal the deal. While the process to find and hire passive candidates is different than for active candidates, the process also needs to be modified to take into account the needs of people in more senior management levels. Job Satisfaction by Seniority Figure 10 Very Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied Director and Above Manager Individual Contributor 48% 36% 6% 38% 44% 8% 8% 29% 42% 11% 12% 8% 2% 2% 5% Career Zones by Title Figure 11 Zone 1 - Passive Zone 2 - Explorers Zone 3 - Tiptoers Zone 4 - Active Director and Above Manager Individual Contributor 26% 44% 11% 18% 46% 13% 22% 18% 40% 13% 29% 18% Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 11
  • 12. An International Perspective This report details professional attitudes to work and job-seeking in the United States and Canada. We conducted the same survey in 24 additional countries, ranging from Brazil and Australia to Russia and the UK. For a full breakdown of global results, please see the related Talent Trends 2014 report. While there are significant differences in job satisfaction around the globe, there are more similarities in terms of what the best people require in order to switch jobs. For the typical person, whether active or passive, much of the decision focuses on job security, work/life balance, compensation, and the company’s overall strength and brand. For the best people, the decision to switch will largely be driven by the upside potential of the position, the impact the person can make on the company, and the quality of the people the person will be working with. Compensation, of course, is not unimportant, but this is always considered in balance with all of the short- and long-term factors. Insights and Ideas The recruiting and sourcing advice presented in this report has been developed over the years based largely on data and evidence generated in North America. However, after having worked with dozens of international companies on a variety of different positions, it’s evident that the challenges involved in finding, recruiting, and hiring the best talent are universal. Regardless of where they live in the world, the best people with high-demand skills want similar things: a great job, a strong company, a strong manager, and significant upside opportunity. While there are fewer highly satisfied people in EMEA and APAC (see figure 12), and fewer Super Passive Zone 1 candidates as a result, individual sourcing and recruiting programs need to be adjusted based on local supply vs. demand constraints and cultural norms. Based on the survey results, there is little difference in the percentage of Very Active candidates regardless of region. This is shown in figure 13. Given this, companies and their recruiters still need to implement programs that emphasize sourcing and recruiting Tiptoers and Explorers in order to improve their quality of talent. As stated earlier in this report, this requires an emphasis on offering career moves, not lateral transfers; strong recruiters who can engage with people at all levels and act as credible career advisors; and fully-engaged hiring managers who are determined to hire the best performers. Key Findings The level of Very Satisfied people working outside North America is significantly lower than those inside North America: 25-28% vs. 38%. Despite the differences in positive satisfaction, those who are dissatisfied hovers around 12% regardless of geographic location. This survey did not tie job satisfaction or job-hunting activity to candidate quality. Recognize that just because someone is passive doesn’t mean they’re automatically better than an active candidate. From what we’ve seen, the strategies needed to attract and hire high- quality and high-demand candidates are similar across the globe. Job Satisfaction by Region Figure 12 Very Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied NAMER EMEA APAC NAMER EMEA APAC 38% 41% 9% 28% 46% 14% 10% 25% 48% 14% 10% 9% 3% 3% 3% Figure 13 16% 46% 14% 25% 21% 43% 13% 23% 14% 43% 16% 26% Zone 1 - Passive Zone 2 - Explorers Zone 3 - Tiptoers Zone 4 - Active NAMER: North America EMEA: Europe, Middle East and Africa APAC: Asia Pacific Career Zones by Region Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 12
  • 13. Job-Seeking Behavior and Talent Strategy 13 Conclusions Filling a seat with the best person who applies is not the same as finding, recruiting, and hiring the best person available. According to the LinkedIn survey, 77% of the fully-employed people in North America consider themselves passive, so it’s likely the best person available is a passive candidate. For managers and executives, and all types of high demand candidates, the percent of passive candidates is even higher. For companies interested in hiring these people, a talent strategy based on skills and competency-laden job descriptions, filling jobs as rapidly as possible, and overloading their recruiters with too many requisitions is one likely to fail. Instead, companies need to implement talent strategies designed to attract and hire the best, not those designed to weed out the weak. The following core principles can help guide the development of this type of talent strategy: Recognize that in a talent scarcity situation, where the demand for talent is greater than the supply, the underlying recruiting premise must be driven by fulfilling the candidate’s career needs, not the company’s hiring requirements. Convert the concept that “hiring the best is #1” into a series of actionable tactics, especially evaluating hiring managers on the quality of the people they hire. Go slower. Hiring the best is not a transactional activity. It’s a process that begins with an exploratory discussion with the hiring manager and prospect as equal partners. Recruiters need to be as well trained and knowledgeable about the jobs they’re trying to fill as any sales person selling a complex and customizable product in a highly competitive industry. Market segmentation and target advertising emphasizing benefits and opportunities is as important for attracting the best talent as it is for attracting the best customers. In recruiting top talent, getting the best people on the bus is the first step. While the subsequent ride is often longer than expected, the results more than make up for the extra time spent driving around. About The Adler Group The Adler Group helps companies around the world implement Performance- based Hiring as their core recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. Performance-based Hiring has been shown to help companies raise their overall talent level by focusing on the criteria high-demand candidates use to make their critical career decisions. The process has been fully-documented and validated, and is based on Lou Adler’s Amazon-best seller, Hire With Your Head (Wiley, 2007) and his current book, The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired (Workbench Media, 2013). Performance-based Hiring is now used by hundreds of large and small companies around the world. “In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who.’ They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Jim Collins Good to Great Copyright © 2014. All brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. SM