"The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there's fifty feet of crap, and then there's us. It's an unfair game. And you guys just sit around talking the same old "good body" nonsense like we're selling jeans. Like we're looking for Fabio. We've got to think differently. We are the last dog at the bowl. You see what happens to the runt of the litter? He dies."
--Billy Beane, Moneyball
Recruiting is sales. To be effective at either, you've got to know your market.
Without knowing the market, where you slot and your strategy, you're a spaz. You're just flopping around and as you do that, you're wasting a lot of time and energy.
Let me give you an example - the following are three candidates, functional area doesn't matter. Take a look at tell me which one you'd target for your company.
--Candidate A - the best candidate available. Has the experience you need, but cost 120% of what you'd like to pay. Works at a company that seems to have a better brand than yours.
--Candidate B - a good candidate with some experience you need, but not the perfect candidate "A" is. Costs 105% of what you'd like to pay. Looks less accomplished than candidate "A". Has only been at currently company for 15 months and is in the marketplace.
--Candidate C - recent grad with 18 months of semi-related experience in the area you need. Can be acquired for 65% of Candidate "A". No other details available.
Which one do you hire?
We're all attracted to "A", right? We want all of that, but it's more than we can really pay and the candidate's used to being at a company with some brand swagger. You, my friend, have no brand swagger.
If you're chasing "A" without the means to satisfy them, you're going to be disappointed.
That's why the key for most of us is thinking about the options that remain - B or C - and creating a strategy around that. Are we hiring experienced talent that we can afford and doing our best to pick the players from the rejects in this group, or are we saying "#### it" and committing to a strategy of hiring new grads - and creating the training/development that's necessary to bring the kids on?
If you can chase and land "A", good for you. Most of you/us can't. And yes, there are functional area considerations and many candidate profiles you could add to the list above. Do that and come back to the question - what's your strategy?
Stop wasting time by knowing who you are and where you can be most effective in the talent game.
Knowing who you are and what you can land on the recruiting scene and then creating a strategy to deal with those realities is key. You've got to make lemonade out of lemons.
Or you can keep trying to date the hottest candidate and get crushed.