How Do You Hire Top Talent? The Answer is 500.

A question everyone wants to know the answer to is how do you hire top talent? The answer is surprisingly simple, 500. Yes, 500. Identify 500 people that could be suitable for that role and call every one of them.
No, you don’t always need to make 500 calls. Hopefully you can do it in less, much less. The number of people and the number of dials you make will dramatically change based on the position, what you have to offer, and the market in which you are seeking candidates. In this fast-paced and crowded tech talent environment you can’t just post positions and hope to be sorting through the best candidates. In fact, with that strategy you will more than likely have nothing worth sorting through.

The right way to find top talent for a role starts with identifying and creating access to everyone in that space, or what we refer to at Collective Genius as the universe. If you are hiring for your next Head of Product Management in FinTech via a national search you may only have 214 people in the full universe of the role that fit the requirements of the position. Now that you have identified these people it’s time to set aside your calendar for a few days and call every one of them.

Why Do You Need A List?
Too often when I get a call I hear “We are just not seeing enough people to make a decision…” or “We aren’t seeing the right applicants.” One of the most common reasons for this is that people take the ‘post and pray’ approach to recruiting. They pay money for multiple subscriptions and systems that take their job description and blast it out via job boards. What’s so bad about this technique?

First, when you post on job boards you reach only a small number of the right people. Very few people in technology positions are actively looking. To be actively looking they would be online in their free time combing through job boards looking for their next position. The vast majority of the people you want to hire have their heads down working to excel in their current role. They may potentially be open to new opportunities but they simply don’t see your posting because they aren’t looking for it.
Let’s just say 5 percent of people are actively looking for a role. If you are advertising to the 5 percent you are leaving 95 percent of the talent left on the table. And it’s not even guaranteed that the active 5 percent will actually find and apply for your position. Missing out on all that talent only serves to lower the potential of your company.

Another problem that occurs with this mass advertising technique is that you attract more work for you and your recruiter. You will more than likely receive multiple applications from under-qualified hopefuls. Now instead of interviewing top talent you are spending time sifting through the wrong candidates.

What Are You Waiting For?
Think of it this way… how long would you keep your sales and marketing team around if they just posted online ads expecting to close the top clients? Not very long I’m sure. You would expect them to identify potential clients and message them directly.

The secret is to target your talent. Create that list. Then dedicate the time needed to connect with every one of them. That is the first step in hiring top talent.

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