My Pinch-hitting Home Run Moment: Pattern Based Sourcing

Sep 19, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Before I get into the meat of this post, let me explain what I mean by a pinch-hitting home run. A pinch-hit home run is a very rare occurrence in baseball. A pinch-hitter is a substitute batter. This player enters the baseball game cold, and against all odds, hits a home run. I can relate this uncommon pinch-hitting home run moment to a recent experience I had in sourcing. It came during a conversation my recruiter and I was having with a client. During this conversation, the client informed us of the exact candidate he was trying to identify. Our client even provided us with several resumes of candidates that they have previously hired in the same role and other resumes of candidates that didn’t make the cut.

I started to look at the resumes of those candidates that were successful in being hired and noticed some similarities and patterns between them. I then reviewed the resumes of candidates who were unsuccessful at securing the job and again noticed some consistencies. The patterns I was identifying amongst the successfully placed candidates were very different than the patterns of the candidates who were not placed. It was evident that I needed to match the patterns for those candidates who were successfully hired than those who were not. Through some sourcing, I provided my client with three matched resumes. The client loved all three candidates and, to date, hired two of the three candidates.

Now, despite my success, this is not my pinch-hitting home run moment. That experience came when I used the same matching method for another client who we had been struggling to find candidates for. I asked the client for some example resumes and he provided me with several resumes of candidates that were hired, and again provided me with resumes of candidates that were not hired. I looked for patterns and found them. I then sourced for new candidates that matched the patterns and found four new candidates. I immediately sent them to the client who, again, fell in love with the new candidate selection and hired one, and is looking to onboard two more of these candidates in the near future. This is my pinch-hitting home run moment, as we were close to losing that client.


The Pattern

Patterns can often be difficult to see on resumes. However, sometimes they are obvious. As an example, out of ten candidates who have been hired, eight attended an Ivy League school or eight had previously worked at Microsoft, this would allude to a pattern of success. In this example, candidates who have attended an Ivy League school or who have previously worked at Microsoft are more likely to succeed in becoming hired than others.

You can use many different data points to determine a pattern. Data point could be: degree, college, previous company, years of experience, geographical location, and much more, can tell us a pattern of success and failure.

From my experience, geography is relevant. If you do your analysis and discover 90 percent of candidates that have relocated from the Midwest fail in this job, then it’s probably not best to concentrate on sourcing in that region.

The concept here is simple. Past success or failures can help determine future success or failures. All you need to do is analyze the data, recognize patterns and use that information to help you source and present the best candidates, who have the best background and have proven to be successful in a given role.

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