We can’t find the talent. Really? Try telling me that on your telegraph.

I heard that not long ago from a friend of mine. He says he hears it all the time from heads of HR. We hear it too. We both had a good laugh about it.

Google. Twitter. Facebook. Referrals. Ads. Cold calls. LinkedIn. Research firms. Telephone sourcing. We still can’t find them.

You can find them. You can’t hook them.

If you are not getting the resources above, then you have every right to complain. You should navigate the politics of getting the right resources. Tell your CEO to wake up. But if you are getting the above, you may need to come to grasp a concept that’s tough to hear. It’s not your sourcing, its your approach.

There are thousands of companies that say talent is the most important thing. They use ATS systems, careerbuilder, and have a facebook page. But what are you doing as a company to distinguish yourself from the top competitor in the market? How does David beat Goliath? Well, it’s not by slinging stones at another company’s recruiting group.

If you want to sling stones, do it on the practice range, and sharpen your marksmen skills. If your prey is farther away and less in number, makes sense right? In fact, it may be harder to be a sourcer or recruiter at a less known company then a well known one. Why? Less applicants, stiffer competition, less marketing, etc. Now I am NOT saying that recruiters at name brands are weak. Not saying that at all. But do you really think that a recruiter who worked at Google recruiting in the IT group will have the same ratio of success working for the local branch of the state university and their IT group? Chances are it’s the same talent pool. Same people. But different benefit packages. Different compensation plans. All of a sudden, the driver is placed behind the wheel of an older sports car, but this one has a stick shift, not an automatic.

The new ANSI standard for cost per hired draft was published a while back. It’s a great formula and I was happy to work on it, but here is something I was saying the whole time – the more invisible you are, the more likely your cost per hire will be higher vs. competitors. Stop benchmarking yourself against the wrong people. Did it ever occur to you that your team may need twice as much effort, resource, or training to get the same talent your competitors get because their product or value proposition is actually perceived as better? Or maybe it is better in reality. Either way…apples to apples 🙂

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