Candidate Spotting concentrates your recruiting efforts on the most viable candidates. In talent acquisition, focus is what drives results.
There is no shortage of candidates these days. Rather, what we have is a shortage of is qualified candidates. However, all to too often, sourcing focuses on quantity, producing too many of the wrong kinds of candidates. That means more work for you and fewer hires. If you turn to job postings for relief, you often get inundated with unqualified candidates. Worse, job postings leave you helpless. Instead of simply going after the talent you want, you are forced to sit and wait. Not only does the ideal candidate have to somehow magically learn about your job posting, he or she also needs to be seized with the impulse to apply. That ’s the very opposite of proactive.
Candidate spotting is all about control. It involves identifying, profiling, and filtering passive candidates to come up with a hotlist of the most viable prospects. Instead of targeting every potential candidate at every target company, you ’re going to target the contenders most likely to convert in hires.
As you would with any typical sourcing project, you start with a list of target companies -- typically your competitors. However, this time you ’re going to filter that list down to a select few. You want to winnow down the target company list to the most viable companies out of which to recruit. Of course, how you winnow is up to you. How is an expression of your recruitment research and sourcing strategy. But here a a few examples to help you get started.
Filter on duress. This is an opportunistic filter that is based on news triggers. Competitors that are under duress often make ideal targets. Those events often make employees more willing to make a move. Consequently, set news alerts for poor earnings reports, depressed stock prices, mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, and rumors of layoffs. Look for delayed product launches. The moment you receive notification that one of these events has occurred at one of your target companies, you swoop-in to recruit the best talent. If you respond more quickly than recruiters at other companies, you ’ll have first mover advantage.
Filter on fiscal year This is a calendar-based trigger. People often decide to leave after their annual bonus has been paid out or after an annual review. To filter on that, simply set up calendar alerts just before the end of the fiscal year for each of your favorite target companies. Then, whenever the fiscal year end rolls around -- even when it ’s the middle of summer -- recruit out of those companies. If you don’t know when a competitor’s fiscal year ends, you can easily look up it up on the target company’s corporate website, on company information websites such as Hoovers, or simply ask people who have worked there.
Filter on cultural fit. This is a pattern-recognition based filter. Find out where most of your company ’s hires have come from and focus on those workplaces. They’re much more likely to yield results. Often, these are companies whose corporate cultures most resemble your own.
Filter on location. This is a geographic filter. Target companies whose offices are closest to yours. Be sure to double check for local offices of companies headquartered out of your area. You can get even more granular by examining the commute times of prospective candidates currently working at other companies compared to what it would be like were they to work for you.
To recap, target company filters are limited only by your imagination and strategy. You can be opportunistic with news-based filters, tracking events that make employees more willing to leave. A calendar-based filter leverages predictable events that happen like clockwork that you can use to your advantage, like year end bonuses and annual reviews. Pattern-based filters leverages insights on the target companies most likely to yield a hire. Geography-based filters help you uncover more local talent, and leverage commute times to your advantage.
After filtering target companies, you want to profile candidates so that you can filter on that information. Profiling involves gathering biographical data about candidates on the front-end of your sourcing process. In other words, name gen -- just names and titles -- is not enough. Profiling enables you to to prioritize best candidates as well as eliminate candidates who fall short of your standards. As we source for passive candidates, as we identify and profile them. In fact, we actually write biographies for each one. Your goal is to come up with a tight list of the top 20 candidates. To do that, you want to quickly knock out passive candidates that are unlikely contenders. For example . . .
Filter out recent hires. Unless a candidate who just joined a target company has a compelling reason to leave, you should not make it a practice to encourage someone to “job hop”. If they leave a target company to join your firm, they may turn around and do the same thing to your company a few months down the road. A candidate’s willingness or unwillingness to job hop speaks to character. Look for loyalty and eliminate candidates who demonstrate a willingness to leave in less than two years. In our system, we mark candidates with fewer than two years tenure On The Bench.
Filter out weirdness. A candidate ’s career trajectory should make sense, Ideally, it should feature a steady climb up the career ladder without gaps, with increasing titles and responsibilities. Of course, a lateral move to carve out time for young children or time off to care for ailing parents isn’t weird. If fact, it suggests the candidate is a decent human being. So do not eliminate people who have demonstrated that kind of giving back or work-life balance. What I am suggesting is that a career trajectory tells a story. Make sure it makes sense. Make sure it isn’t weird.
Filter out Googlers and employees of other Best Places to Work. Employees at these companies are used to being treated very, very well. They get to bring dogs to work. They get free food. They get a Starbucks latte without having to leave the office. Unless your company is prepared to match that kind of value proposition or is prepared to give a candidate an offer he can ’t refuse, don’t waste your time.
Filter out anyone who lacks must-have knowledge, skills and abilities known as KSAs. It may seem obvious, but when you are working off a list of just names and titles, it is impossible to tell who has the requisite education or experience. That is why we heavily profile candidates at the front in of the sourcing process, aggregating available biographical information. Its worth the investment and can save you days of wasted effort recruiting the wrong people.
Prioritize excellence. Look for evidence of serious accomplishment. Successful people often have intense drive that enables them to outperform from a very young age. Look for candidates who are alumni of top schools and with high GPAs. Look for inventors named on patents, and other forms of professional, verifiable recognition. Be wary of empty suits -- high profile people who ’ve achieved recognition but have accomplished little on their own.
To recap, candidate filters are informed by strategy and limited only by your imagination. Tenure-based filters exclude recent hires within the past 2 years. Pattern-based filters enable you to screen out things like weird career trajectories. Motivations-based filters enable you to excluding long-shot candidates working at high-retention companies. KSA-based filters determines early on whether a candidate is qualified. Last, accomplishment based filters focus on the best and brightest. Candidate spotting is about focus. It is about zooming in on the best of the best.
Of course, candidate spotting is an approach to passive candidate sourcing. It can be outsourced, conducted by internal teams, or some combination of the two. I do recommend you consult with recruitment research experts to uncover the right filters to use. Expert researchers can help you identify the patterns and markers that separate the the rock stars from the roadies. In the end, you should not have to kiss every frog to find your next hire. The next time you feel as though you have, try candidate spotting.
Candidate Spotting - Intellerati Recruitment Research
Candidate Spotting <ul><li>Investigative Sourcing and Recruitment Research </li></ul>
Spotting Reasons <ul><li>Too many candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Too few hires </li></ul><ul><li>Unqualified applicants </li></ul><ul><li>Reactive recruiting </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of control </li></ul>
CANDIDATE Spotting <ul><li>All About Control </li></ul>CANDIDATE Spotting All About Control
TARGET COMPANIES <ul><li>Filter the list down to a select few </li></ul>
FILTER ON DURESS <ul><li>Swoop-in opportunities </li></ul>
FILTER ON BONUS <ul><li>Recruit after bonus payouts and annual reviews </li></ul>
FILTER ON FIT <ul><li>Look for companies with same cultural DNA </li></ul>FILTER ON FIT Look for companies with same cultural DNA
FILTER ON LOCATION <ul><li>Local offices for out-of-state targets </li></ul>
COMPANY FILTERS <ul><li>News-based </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar-based </li></ul><ul><li>Pattern-based </li></ul><ul><li>Geography-based </li></ul>
CANDIDATE PROFILING <ul><li>Name gen is not enough </li></ul>
FILTER OUT RECENT HIRES <ul><li>Don ’ t tempt candidates to “ job hop ” </li></ul>
FILTER OUT WIERDNESS <ul><li>Career trajectories should make sense </li></ul>
FILTER OUT GOOGLERS <ul><li>Unless you ’ re prepared to match value proposition </li></ul>
MUST-HAVES A MUST <ul><li>Filter out candidates lacking must-haves </li></ul>
FILTER IN EXCELLENCE <ul><li>Track records should be impressive </li></ul>