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Dec 6, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

In June 2014, I attended a wonderful event which got me contemplating a great deal about how thinking like a start-up can help sourcing and talent acquisition professionals shake-up and disrupt the industries that we support. The event, Algorithm Alchemy: Turning Talent Search into Gold, was held at Stanford University, connected Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, Tech Enthusiasts, and many others. It was a great event with some incredible folks dedicated to improving talent acquisition.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have sat with many brilliant entrepreneurs attempting to solve a problem in talent acquisition. These conversations helped get my creative juices flowing. This event gave me some unique perspective on the “pain” candidates, hiring managers, and our clients might feel.

Great talent acquisition organizations should constantly be evolving and so should we. We all need to exercise “disruptive innovation.”

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances. The term was defined and phenomenon analyzed by Clayton M. Christensen beginning in 1995.

Utilizing this concept, how can we, as sourcers, use disruption to change the industries we support? Here are five suggestions.  It’s time to think like an entrepreneur and a start-up.

Think Creatively About Your Industry, & Competitors: Follow your competitors and get information about what they are doing. Always keep an eye on industry changes and top candidates that are moving and shaking your industry. You should also keep an eye on their interests and build the ultimate purple squirrel carrot while getting ready for the day the competitor may be ready to make the move.

If you are ready and have gathered information on all of the moving/shaking in your industry, you will disrupt your industry by bringing aboard the thought leaders that are creating forward energy in your industry. If your competitor is hiring your talent away, keep in mind, the day will come where you can disrupt by building that relationship with the candidate before the role arises. There is nothing more powerful than this.

Speak at industry events, get out in the community, keep an eye on what is happening, and with this talent thought leadership, get your CEO, your board of directors in front of the professional associations that add value in your industry.

Your Talent Brand Becomes Powerful By Speaking/Engaging: You should recognize just how powerful speaking at industry events can be. When you are actively engaged in professional associations that affect your industry, you are already at the forefront. Offer career advice to the attendees, be seen as the “go-to” for talent acquisition in your industry, and candidates will flock to you.

Have your CEO, board of directors, etc., take part and get your hiring managers in front of the industry talent they will be hiring. Have your hiring managers get involved in the governing boards of the certification requirements for the jobs of tomorrow. These are the disruptive activities that help you add value to your network.

With all the talk of artificial intelligence taking over talent acquisition, sit back and relax if you are out and engaged in your talent communities, in the professional associations, and the halls of power in your industry where networking meets your talent brand, as candidate engagement becomes instant.

Are you, as a sourcer out in these talent communities and professional associations? Get involved. This is your brand at stake, and if you are on the phone with candidates, the more you appear to know about the jobs you recruit for by becoming active in the professional communities that support those professionals, the more disruptive in your industry you will be. When your competitors are trying to steal your talent, you will also be doubly powerful by being able to retain industry leaders, by your proactive involvement.

Be Actively Engaging Talent Before the Needs Arise: Creating value add by engaging talent well before the needs arise, you will be strategic and proactive, versus reactive. Nothing is more disruptive and innovative than that. Create a process to engage talent and get your leaders involved before the roles arise before your competitors have openings. While time to fill is a matter of issue, a proactive approach to constantly engaging talent builds the way forward. Get on the phone and network with candidates, speak to them and find what interests them, watch the trends in the marketplace and be ready with a career solution to the candidate before they start looking, then you will be positioned to bring a key candidate aboard, well before your competitors.

Create Talent Personas: A talent persona is, in short, a candidate profile that you frequently fill. You must understand what drives your candidate, what is it they want and find a way to market to those needs. This is powerful, and when combined with the next concept is all the more disruptive.

Talent Mapping: Talent Mapping is the process of identifying key talent in your industry and by the company where they reside and the hierarchy of roles within that company. This can be accomplished through some of the above methods, but it also serves as a strategy. This very effort is the key of sourcing as a disruptive industry presence.

Conclusion:  As a sourcing community we need to constantly be on the hunt, for sure AI tools could well disrupt our world in sourcing, but why worry? Harness the power behind the AI tools, and use that in conjunction with tried and true networking, combined with the latest technological tools and phone networking skills. This is what adds value when we put our strategic hat on and drive forward to disrupt entire industries by the talent we bring aboard.

I am quite sure that recruiting/sourcing roles are here to stay and that the human element, will burn brightly in coming years, as we combine strategy, and networking to drive amazing talent into our companies. When we disrupt candidates, hiring managers, and our clients win. For winning the war in talent against our competitors, is really the greatest feeling in the world as we disrupt with disruptive innovation.




This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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