Daily Archives: October 11, 2006

The Talent Series V.V: Breaking Update!

Two pieces of news to report to you today.

First of all, Jason Busch, The mighty Prophet of the spend management space, has started his own mini-series on the issue. You can read The Spend Management Talent Game (Part 1) through the link. I’ll summarize and post my thoughts when he finishes the series in a later post.

Also, NextLevelPurchasing, which was recently recognized as the Innovative Business of the Year by the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce (PAACC) is going to launch the first video installment of their Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast Series next Tuesday (October 17, 2006) on the importance of contract management. Be sure to take advantage of this free educational opportunity!

The Talent Series V: Driving Competitive Advantage thru an Effective Talent Supply Chain

Another great presentation at the Fourth Annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management was Head2Head Purchasing‘s talk on Driving Competitive Advantage thru an Effective Talent Supply Chain.

The presentation by Wayne Burgess & Paul Dodd, Managing Partners, pointed out that the human element makes talent procurement distinct and volatile. According to them:

  • Attraction is Critical
  • The best talent is most at risk of flight
  • Talent is extremely volatile & unpredictable
  • Ownership is complex; you need to consider
    • Physical Asset Nature
    • Knowledge and Skills Retention
    • Intellectual Property
    • Work Product
  • Appreciation in Value over Time
  • Expensive Maintenance
  • Expensive Disposal Costs

Furthermore, some markets are even tougher than others. Right now, the countries that are worst off are Mexico (78%), Canada (66%), and Japan (58%). In Canada, Calgary and Vancouver are the hardest hit (over 80% in some industries). Furthermore, each market has its own unique skill pressures.

One of the high points of the talk was where they pointed out that most companies with client acquisition issues had one or more of the following issues:

  • Poor attention to employment and job brand
  • Poor understanding of the best supply channels
  • Supply strategies are stagnant
  • Supply and Demand are rarely linked
  • Reactive recruitment is typical
  • Little attention to supply surety
  • Workforce competition is often an afterthought

Why was this a high-point? Knowing the issues allows you to identify mitigating factors. In particular, these issues identify the following key success factors in the attraction of talent:

  • marketing of employment and job brand
  • supply channel knowledge
  • effective talent sourcing strategy
  • integration with demand generation
  • effective resource planning
  • relationships
  • market and internal data management

Furthermore, attraction, through marketing and PR campaigns, is often the differentiator. Good PR campaigns that create the buzz … continuously … across multiple supply channels.

Everyone knows that some channels work better than others, but one thing that surprised me was how much better some channels were than others. The presentation highlighted the following statistics that serve to indicate just how effective your marketing dollars can be expected to be:

Channel Avg Success Rate
Referrals 50.0%
Career Site 13.3%
Agencies 11.4%
HR Database 10%
Campus Recruitment / Events 9.8%
Advertisements 5.5%

In other words, your most effective channels are often your lowest cost channels. When you consider the cost of an agency, a job fair, or an advertisement, an employee referral program, even at 5K a head, is cheap in comparison. And when you consider the national, and sometimes international, visibility of a career site, their four figure fees pale in comparison to the number of applications you can receive if your ads are appropriately placed.