The Best of SourceCon 2012, #3 – The 80/20 Rule Of Sourcing Talent

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Dec 27, 2012

Editor’s note: We are counting down the top 5 posts on SourceCon this year. Here is number three.

With the extraordinary rise of web 2.0 and social media, a vast amount of talent pipelines were incidentally created. The source of your company’s hires can now come from an exponentially growing list of digital talent pools. Twenty years ago, source of hire was limited to your newspaper ad, cold call, or employee referral.  Today, determining the source of hire is quite complicated. Employee referral programs have been moved online, newspapers ads have transformed from job boards to only be scraped by job aggregators, and individual publishing platforms such as Mashable and Media Bistro now boast large enough communities to justify their own job boards.

“Source of Hire is now one of the hardest KPIs in the recruitment realm to determine because of the rise of web 2.0. “

Social media has turned source of hire from a one-time simple measurement to a complete nightmare for your data integrity and analytical persons. On the bright side, with all this new data comes new information. With this new information comes new knowledge. Proper attribution of this data will most likely prove that the majority of your hires come from one of only a few sources.

The 80/20 rule of sourcing

The 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle states that roughly 80% of output can be attributed to 20% of the effort. When applied to business that means 80% of your profits come from only 20% of your customers or 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products. When applied to sourcing it would mean that 80% of your applicants come from about 20% of the potential outlets.

That 20% will differentiate across every industry, company, and business. For some, Linkedin may bring in 80% of your applicants, while others may rely solely on PPC advertisement. Regardless, a lot of resources, time, and money is wasted on unproven sourcing methods.

Possible reasons: Hiring leaders may be demanding outdated or unconventional methods; recruiters are inefficient with their time; or a social media consultant mandated that Google+ was where the future or recruiting lay.

A quick glimpse at one’s ATS or recruitment solution and it’s apparent that source of hire boils down to only a few places of origin. From time to time you will find that perfect candidate by means of an outdated Monster resume, but the majority of hires will not be found this way. Properly determine your source of hires and behold: You have just uncovered your sourcing strategy!

Where to focus your energy

With such data made available, recruiters can now structure an efficient sourcing strategy.  Many times, hiring managers will look for out of the box solutions to fill their role. I am a proponent of creativity and testing, but not at the loss of efficiency. Assuming your recruitment operations are going smoothly – time to fill is short, quality of hires is good, and the hiring leaders are content, there’s no need to change course. If 80% of your hires can be attributed to sourcing Linkedin, there’s little need to scour Pinterest for visual resumes.

Take a step back, see where the ROI is highest, and reinvigorate focus on that platform.

If Linkedin is to be your strongest sourcing tool for an upcoming req., than make that be known. Additionally, consider supplementing your effort if possible. You may be able to focus job board spending strictly on Linkedin or upgrade to a Recruiter license. While sourcing specialists have many tricks up their sleeves, the most successful are those that master certain platforms where they routinely handle the bulk of their workload.

Remain visible everywhere

Juggling communication on more than a few channels is nearly impossible and the return can be diminishing. However, if recruiters are unable to upkeep their presence and communication on other channels, employment branding and messaging will take a hit.

You will want to maintain a presence on other networks. It is important to diversify your channels of communication as this helps attract different talent, offers informal dialogue opportunities, and simply allows you to have more lines in the water. Also, your sourcing strategy will change according to the role, so you must routinely interact on these networks in order to be successful in the long term.

How to stay active everywhere

Many social media and recruitment tools have been created to help expedite this communication. Savvy sourcing specialists can enlist the help of a social media dashboard, such as Hootsuite or Tweet Deck, to schedule messages, job posts, and responds to messages across all of their networks.

Dashboards aren’t a necessity, try:

  • Setting aside 20 minutes a day to post and create conversation on your networks. This will free up the rest of the day to dedicate to your most rewarding network;
  • Look for shortcuts when sharing – when posting a job/update to your Linkedin status, select the Twitter checkbox to send out to your Twitter followers as well.

Certain operational areas will require different sourcing strategy of course.  Software engineers are scattered across various platforms which makes sourcing a more diverse effort. Customer service reps may not have a large Linkeidn presence, but may be more active on twitter.  Each business line will dictate its own granular dissection of the source of hire data.

There will be those instances where you’re struggling to fill a certain position. This will require a new approach and maybe some new tools. Recruitment solutions are arriving everyday – some that may eventually become your go to solution.

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