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Attracting, hiring and retaining the right top talent is one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of running a firm in today’s market.

So when the time comes, and it has been determined that a hire is needed to fill a vacant position, or that additional staff is needed, today’s employer has a variety of options to choose from in selecting how to begin their hiring process.

Traditionally, there are a handful of defined avenues a firm uses as typical sources of their hires:

  • Referrals / Networking (approximately make up 27% of external hires)
  • Classified Advertising (Print and Online)
  • Career Fairs
  • Sourcing
  • College Recruiting
  • The utilization of a third party Search Firm, and more…

Regardless of how a hire is made, the process and conclusion of the hire falls within an industry commonly referred to as Talent Acquisition. As a service, Talent Acquisition, like the above sources of any hire, comes in a variety of solutions. All firms qualify which Talent Acquisition service solution, or approach to use, based on which solution best suits their particular needs (Timing of the hire, financial impact of the hire, location of the hire, existing relationships, etc…).

Most who conclude to use any form of a source of hire recognize that there will be a financial burden to do so. Free is always first choice! However free may not be the best solution. Among the free categorized sources are: Referrals and Networking. Always recommend to look there first, whenever applicable.

Alternative cost effective sources include online services, such as your firm’s very own web presence (a career page on a firm’s web site, for example represents approximately 22% of hires made through this online presence). Online Employment Advertising (Job Board / Resume Bank) services is another low cost means of attracting talent. This source represents approximately 13% of external hires. This source is further divided up into a variety of Online Employment Advertising “Job Board Sources”. For example Niche Job Board sites, such as or are identified as “Niche Job Boards” and represent the largest segment of all online employment “Job Board Sources” at approximately 27% of Job Board Sources of hires.

Any Online Advertising, whether through your own proprietary web presence, or through a paid job posting service, should be considered a measured supplemental effort, to that of your other efforts of attracting talent. To rely exclusively on this medium, is to rely on your specific advertising to be viewed, maybe, by those who are actively looking for new employment. Proper utilization of your online career needs presence, has proven to be an effective way to not only get your vacancy to the masses, it is a re-enforcement to your organizations overall brand awareness.

So, advertise, advertise, and advertise!

Sourcing Candidates, as a Talent Acquisition function, is quickly becoming an effective and efficient means of taking your hiring efforts beyond that of your supplemental career advertising needs. Whether through the utilization of your own data base of Resumes and mining through them, making direct connection with the Job Seeker, or through outsourcing your Candidate Sourcing needs with a third party agency firm, such as JBN Consulting, Sourcing Candidates allows your hiring management team to form an expansion of previously unavailable information as to a Job Seekers specific professional skill set than that which is limited on a Resume.

Sourcing should include direct dialogue, between a targeted candidate, and that of your hiring team. Direct Dialogue can be as passive as sending a targeted candidate an e-mail, letter via US Postal Service, or even a phone call, depending on your specific personality and / or philosophy.

A respected protocol, including the awareness of Anti-Spam laws, local relationships and how your firm is perceived within your industry when using this form of Talent Acquisition, should be followed. There is a fine line between market intelligence and that of being perceived as raiding your competition.

Sourcing Candidates, has averaged approximately 7.6% over the past 5 years as a tool within the Talent Acquisition arsenal, however, with the overall growth of technology, coupled with the improved knowledge base of how technology integrates within the Talent Acquisition process, Sourcing Candidates should be viewed as a growing trend for your strategy going forward.

Executive Search, commonly known and measured within the Talent Acquisition Services industry as a “Third Party” or “Placement Agency” services organizations, represent approximately 3% of source of hires. Search Services firms are typically perceived as an avenue of last resort. Whether fairly or unfairly is for your firm to conclude. Search Fees are significant, in most cases, unless properly bundled with those agencies, like JBN consulting, who are positioned to offer Online Employment Advertising (Job board), Data Mining Sourcing (Resume Bank) services, Direct Candidate Sourcing services and that of Executive Search.

To properly partner with an Executive Search firm to research, identify, target, attract, recruit and present through the interview stage and ultimately to hire, the Client Company, should take the necessary time to properly qualify them, ensuring that the Search Firm is properly positioned to best represent the hiring, brand and future needs of the Client Company.
Any outsourced Talent Acquisition service provider, whether a Job Board, Sourcing Services provider or Executive Search firm should be viewed as an extension of the various departments within your firm. These included, but are not limited to: Marketing, Operations, Sales, and yes, even Human Resources.

Knowing this, you should carefully determine which Talent Acquisition Service firm will properly represent your organization’s hiring needs, market your opportunities when attracting top talent, properly screen those candidates based on qualifications, environmental and cultural matching and more the best.

Your Talent Acquisition – Search Services partner should know as much about your firm as your current staff. Human Capital is the most critical ingredient to the success of your firms’ long term existence, and having the right strategic partner for Talent acquisition should be viewed as an equally valued ingredient.

If it is a fair position to take that the Search firm knows enough about your firm, industry, position, etc… to qualify as to whether they deserve your business, doesn’t it make sense that the Client Company should have an equitable understanding of the world of Executive Search?

As previously stated, a Search firm represents approximately 3% of source of hires. This means they have a 97% rejection rate and a very large pool of talent to recruit from. Search firms are constantly qualifying Client Companies and who or which of them they have a preference to partner with. So, again, doesn’t it make sense that the Client Company have an equitable understanding of the world of Executive Search?

Keys in determining which firm to select vary depending on the structure, culture and direction of your organization. When investing into a partnership with an Executive Search firm, include the following:

Industry Experience | Historic Search Successes | Process | Attracting the Candidates

Industry Experience
Industry Experience should not be limited to how much recruiting experience they have. It should be related to how much recruiting experience is had within your industry. Do they know your industry lingo? What roles have they filled related to your industry, and at what level.

Production, as it relates to the Recruiter’s respective production. How many search assignments are they currently working on, will have an impact as to the amount of time and energy that can be focused on your particular vacancy need. How many open positions do they work, on average per month? How many interviews do they schedule each month on average? How many successful placements are made each month on average? What is the average fee?

Search firms, like your firm and all other commercial enterprises engaged in commerce, have a reporting mechanism, or metrics, they follow internally. Due diligence should be taken to understand that when researching your Talent Acquisition Services partner.

You should know that an average recruiter should have a 10:1 (ten to one) Interview to Hire ratio. This does not mean the Recruiter will send you ten people to interview. Remember, they work multiple open positions daily / monthly.

JBN Consulting takes the approach of knowing that, as a Talent Acquisition Services organization, there is a cost connected to doing business with us. As such, we recognize that we are directly tied to the success, or failure and to that of your Profit & Loss statement, more directly, or equal to that of the salary for your Department Manager. That key understanding is what separates us, and our Process, from that of your Human Resources department or an Internal Corporate Recruiter.

Search Process
Search Process is a function which is driven by the same strategic approach your firm may take when planning on expanding into a new market, or investing into a new product or service offering to your respective client base. For example; a close observation of the landscape of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going. This is followed with a thorough analysis of your findings. What have you discovered? How do you make necessary adjustments?

As it relates to a Search Process, what are you looking for in a candidate? What does your firm have to offer to get them to interview? What historic success or failures have affected your efforts in attracting top talent? What are the results from maintaining a productive position vacant? As you know, the cost of keeping a budgeted revenue generating position open can be very costly.

Establishing an effective marketing approach to attract top talent is a necessity. Advertise, advertise, and advertise utilizing the most effective Online Employment Advertising resource that best represents your industry, as a supplement, again is a critical component to your overall Talent Acquisition Marketing plan.

Although there is a population within the workforce that may appear to fall from the sky when you run a Job Posting. Simply having a vacancy, in any economy, is not enough. In today’s professional environment, demographics work against all of us. Several issues are to blame here, including a decreasing number of people entering the workforce as a result of an aging workforce. According to the Segal Special Report, “The Aging of Aquarius, the Baby Boom Generation Matures”, a maturing baby boom generation and a significantly smaller succeeding generation (Generation X) is causing the aging of America. For example: In 1980, half of America’s workforce was under thirty-five years of age. It continued to say that, in 2005, that same midpoint age was forty-one. Retirement age adult population (sixty-five plus years of age) will increase 102% between 2000 and 2030 (34.8 to 70.3 million retirees).

Industry related college graduates, have seen an increase between generations as well. 64% of “Generation X” workers have an education past high school, compared to that of 44% of baby boomers. As the industry educates itself, we have found that more often today, those college graduates are being recruited right out of college (College Recruiting represents approximately 6% of hires as a source), by firms who are positioned to involve themselves in this strategy.

The additional strain on the ever increasing, decreased workforce only amplifies the issue and creates a larger separation between the big versus small firms. Therefore, attracting experienced and educated industry related talent, such as technicians, design/engineers, sales, project managers, and program managers who are considered to be a the top of their trade should be highly embraced.
Finding the right person is arguable the most important and often the most difficult part of the hiring process. Look around your office today; you can probably guess who reads the classified ads or searches online for what is out there on a regular basis. Are they your top performers? Top performers (remember the 80 / 20 rule) in almost all cases are generally satisfied or happy with their positions and are not “looking” for other opportunities.

Attracting the Candidates
Once you’ve identified a strong prospective candidate, you will need to put the extra effort into attracting that talent to your firm. This will include a need to properly sell your opportunity. Gone are the days where that top talent candidate needs your job more than your company needs that top talented candidate. You may have already identified this, even as unemployment hits the highest levels in years. It’s the “Top Talent” that will prove to be the largest return on your personnel investment.

Your efforts in selling the opportunity should begin at your very first communication with each candidate. This step is often the most poorly handled and frequently overlooked element of the entire process. This is a shame too, as selling the opportunity consists mostly of asking questions about the candidates career interests, then communicating how your firm can more effectively fulfill their professional interests. It is equally important for candidate be viewed as a long term career employee instead of as someone to fill an immediate need. The truth is that if a candidate does not leave the first communication with more interest than when they entered, you have wasted a valuable opportunity to progressively expand your firm’s brand.

Top prospective candidates are not desperate for a job. They almost never are, regardless of market conditions. Most times, they do not have a resume available. If this is the case for a candidate who has been identified as a strong prospective candidate, it is a good sign. Supply and demand is always the rule… The higher the demand for the top performers, coupled with low supply of those qualified, applies here as well. Those who are recognized as being at the top of their game have countless options.

The Job Board Network, Inc. / JBN Consulting is dedicated to partnering with your firm in an effort to efficiently and effectively grow your team with the best available talent.

To learn more about how we can help with your Talent Acquisition Service’s needs, call today: 877-562-7626