The foundational step in the talent engagement process is to explore the potential talent for an opportunity or a talent pipeline with an organization.

The roadmap that consists of five questions who answers will provide the framework to a successful search effort.

The 5 “W” questions are the instrumental in gathering the necessary information about a search.

Question #1: Who is the target talent?
Question #2: What is the talent thinking?
Question #3: Where is the talent?
Question #4: Why my organization?
Question #5: When will talent listen to my message?

The 5 “W” questions provide the roadmap for the search strategy. The exploration of each question provides the playbook to implement the strategy.

The exploration begins with the “who” question.

The search kickoff meeting main purpose is to align on the skills and abilities with the open opportunity (s). It is also a time for the recruiter/talent sourcer to align with the skills that the hiring manager is seeking. Recent surveys (Hackerrank) suggest hiring managers do not feel that recruiters/talent sourcers share their goals of finding the well qualified candidates that can ramp quickly in this role and will stay in the role a suitable period of time.

The digital era with its consumer minded job seeker has created the need to better understand the target talent audience. That coupled with five generations of people in the workforce has focused the messaging to be more personalized and generation sensitive.

One approach (Gartner CEB) that proves successful is to answer the five things that a prospect wants to know:

  • The type of work the position will involve
  • Company culture
  • Management style of their direct manager
  • Potential career path(s) for the role
  • Characteristics of someone who would be successful in the role

The competitive talent landscape has increased the importance of mapping the potential talent, particularly the talent that is employed by your competitors. Rather than wait for a hiring manager tell you where the potential talent is, the recruiter/talent sourcer should bring that information to the strategy meeting.

The consumer minded target talent that is typically inundated with information and cyber noise typically takes the WIIFM approach. It forces recruiters/talent sourcers to provide relevant and valuable information and services. Our messages must be crisp, impactful, and transparent. We need to brand the work itself so that a prospect understands what that role would mean for their career.

The target talent in the digital age can no longer be classified as active and/or passive; it is more nuanced than that. Gartner CEB suggests a model that reflects the talent marketplace is active, casual, passive and a group of people that are not looking at all. The later category represents 18% of the talent marketplace.

This nuanced status of job seeker requires that we must move beyond advertising to engage this talent that is not actively looking for their next role. A three pronged approach of inbound recruiting, outbound recruiting or talent sourcing and employee referrals to engage those prospects that are not looking at all is effective recruiting strategy.