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Talent Talk: To Find the Best Candidates, Map the Market

Article-Talent Talk: To Find the Best Candidates, Map the Market

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Readily available tools can help you identify a pool of candidates that best matches your job requirements.

Last week we discussed the first step in recruiting rock stars — establishing a job scorecard. This week we move on to the next step — identifying the talent pool that most closely matches what you have laid out in the job scorecard.

Before I get to the specifics, let’s look at an alternative option to doing all this work — simply running a job ad. A study by LinkedIn showed that 18% of all candidates are actively looking at any given time. In today’s plastics manufacturing world, it is less than 10%. In addition to being a minority of the workforce, I think you would agree that this group of active job seekers may not be the crème de la crème. That means a job posting will not be very effective in attracting the person you want.

There is a mathematical component to finding top talent. You typically want to start with between 100 and 200 people. At my company, we call it mapping the market. Using a variety of tools like your own network, LinkedIn, Boolean searching, and so on, you want to create a universe of the top 100 to 200 people who comprise the upper echelon of available talent for your specific role.

For extremely specialized roles, you may find there are fewer than 100 people in the country that meet your requirements. If that number falls too low, you may want to revisit the job scorecard to see if you have narrowed the field too far. There is an art to this, and perfection is not your goal: If you are very skilled at doing this, and diligent, you can identify around 90 to 95% of the top talent pool.

If you want an A player, stick to this list. There are exceptions to everything, but this is the rule. Now you have your scorecard, you have your target candidate list, and the entire hiring team is on the same page. You are ready to start recruiting, which is where we will pick up next week.


About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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