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Post and Pray?

As part of some pre-work for a retained search industry conference I helped plan (conference was held at the end of April), I asked a few of our clients about their perspective on the market, and their workforce and succession planning plans.  Each of the people on the planning committee was to approach 2 to 4 clients.  I conducted 4 interviews; 2 of the respondents used the terminology Post and Pray when talking about their past efforts to fill positions.  Each said that they need to use this 'post and pray' strategy less.

Degrees of Separation

In an article we will soon be posting on our website, Lou Adler (President of The Adler Group and author of Hire With Your Head) made the distinction between finding and hiring top talent.  He stated, "at the current rate, by March 11, 2011, everyone will be connected by one degree of separation with everyone else either via LinkedIn or Facebook."

Sourcing versus Recruiting

His point (even if you do not agree with his math) was that sourcing was getting easier and easier.  We can find people.  We just can't access, assess or recruit them through simple sourcing.   In terms of finding (or sourcing), many people take pride in simply getting high numbers of connections on LinkedIn.  (I will choose not to cover Facebook connections here.)  High numbers of connections and retained/executive recruiting should NOT be confused as having anything in common. According to a LinkedIn survey The Adler Group conducted in late 2010, only 8% of the fully employed professional level candidates were active in their job search.  An additional 10% were passively looking.  That leaves 82% of the professional working population as not reached.  Yes - they likely have a LinkedIn profile (more on that in a future post from a study we are conducting at this time); they are not using it as an active or passive job search tool.

More from

In an article by the same author (posted by on April 15th), the conclusion was drawn that as the economic outlook continues to slowly improve, we will need to rethink hiring strategies.  Missing 82% of our target market is simply unacceptable.

Going back to the client interviews conducted for the conference . . . . .

. . . . . a conclusion was drawn by half of the clients interviewed across the country that we are finally seeing the McKinsey War for Talent predictions come true.  When looking for senior level talent, the clients interviews expressed a frustration over the perceived availability of talent (9.0% unemployment and a LinkedIn profile for almost everyone) and the inability to find the people they seek.  Remember, the unemployment rate for people with a 4-year degree (or higher) is currently at 4.5%. Consider this the first part of an ongoing story . . . . . our next posting will be about the LinkedIn study we are conducting; we will then talk about a related topic - E-mail fatigue.  (Reaching candidates through LinkedIn-mail or e-mail - not working!)