Season 6, Episode 5:

The New age of recruiting

Steve sat down with Tim Sackett again to go talk about some issues of diversity and the upcoming talent shortage. Both have a tendency to speak their minds, and had a lot of interesting thoughts on these critical issues.

Mandated Diversity

Steve and Tim got the ball rolling by talking about mandated diversity initiatives. Is it a good idea to force hiring managers to hire certain demographics? What if diversity initiatives push us to hire the wrong candidate?

“Part of the thing I don’t like about a lot of the D&I conversation is people going, “it’s not about numbers”…well at a point it is!”

Tim then shared a story about when he worked at a healthcare provider in Lansing and they wanted 18% of their nurses to be African American to match the demographics of the city. The problem was that the demographics of nurses in Lansing were only 6% African American.

Ultimately, he had to run the business case to show the millions of dollars it would take to bus in nurses from Detroit and Chicago. It was a noble effort but it was completely impractical. We always have to think about what is and isn’t realistic when it comes to these goals.

Steve also emphasized the importance of providing a rationale for these initiatives.

“If you’re going to put some kind of number on it, put a reason why.”

If we don’t explain why we’re doing it and why it’s important to the business, it fosters dissention and arguments.

Advice for TA Leaders Navigating the Talent Shortage?

We have more jobs open today than we had in 2007, and we have less people qualified for a lot of these jobs because of the types of jobs. Steve prompted Tim for his thoughts on these issues and whether he had any advice for TA leaders.

Tim’s response was pretty blunt:

“Get used to it!”

“Demographics are playing against us, we have more people leaving the workforce than we have potentially incoming…this is a real issue that’s going to hit us for the next 5-10 years. Even a softening of the economy and a recession isn’t going to take us away from “not enough qualified talent.”

“So for me, if I’m a TA leader, I’m training my recruiters to be hunters, I’m putting a tech stack in place that’s going to allow them to hunt, I’m going to expect that they’re going to hunt with the data that I’m measuring, and they’re either going to hunt or I’m going to find people who will hunt…and I’m going to performance measure it that way.”

Tim sees a transition where corporate TA recruiting shops are turning into in-house agency shops for the most part. Or they’re totally outsourcing the process.

“You need to just hold your recruiters accountable to recruiting. And great things will actually happen.”

Tim also emphasized that we’re not going to be finding a lot of great unemployed candidates, and that we’re not going to be finding a lot of qualified recent graduates.

“You’re going to have to go steal from competition, or from like kinds of industries across the country, and if you don’t have people that can do that, you’re dead in the water.”

Like it or not, the companies who steal the most and steal the best will come out on top of this talent war. However, not everyone is adapting quickly enough.

“90% of corporate TA shops are still post and pray.”

Is the Model of Agencies Going to Change?

Tim said that TA shops are getting better, their technology is getting better, but they’re still struggling with capacity issues. He mentioned how there are still projects where they hit max capacity, and so look to third-party agencies for support as a strategic partner.

Tim and Steve both mentioned that they’ve seen a huge push to HR departments and TA teams looking to third parties for sourcing services.

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