In my post Friday evening I featured the first talenteer--Layne Buckley of Plantronics. You may also notice a new link here for the new Talenteering Manifesto that I have been working on. Layne was the first featured talenteer, because he truly represents the talent relationship management values that are expressed in the manifesto. First and foremost talenteering is about talent relationships--the continuous pursuit of the best candidates possible for every position--something Layne and Plantronics have honed in on. In the manifesto, I have defined the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Talenteers (with apologies to Stephen Covey). The 7 habits are summarized here:
- Who do you really need? You have to have a sourcing plan that looks out at least 6 months. Interfacing with the business is imperative to accomplish this. In the Talenteer post of Friday I talked about sitting in meetings with Layne at Plantronics to get exactly this insight.
- Where do you find 'em? Identify sources of potential candidates--especially for key strategic positions. In Layne's case he is working both active candidates mined from job boards and using a variety of sources to identify passive candidates including relationship networking software, networking events, referrals, and many other sources.
a. Don't forget employees as a source. As Tom Peters so often points out in Re-imagine!, the top talent is looking for a challenging great place to work. Plantronics has an employee mobility program that is very active, encouraging all employees to participate.
- Make them want you too! Every position requires a tailored message that will communicate in a style for the position what makes it compelling. Tailored emails, job descriptions, specialized talent portals are all ways to make the company and its positions more interesting to potential candidates.
- Now tell them why they should want you--often! Communicate with the talent pool on a regular basis to send news about the company, seasons greeting, and any other good reason to communicate. Give the talent pool multiple ways to receive communications (email, RSS (more on this later this week), news portal, and other creative ways to get the word out will get candidates interested. This is another area that Plantronics excels. As they grow their talent pool, they leverage the relationships to build the pool into a community--or better yet several communities for engineers, marketing, sales, IT, and other positions by communicating ofter, including but not limited to open positions.
- Get back to 'em as soon as you have something of interest. By doing the work (and it is work) of developing talent relationships ahead of demand, the talent pool is receptive (and maybe even anxious) to receive information about open positions. The sourcing and relationship development in advance of demand is what allowed Plantronics to reduce agency spend by $1.3M in a year at the same time reducing time to fill and improving candidate quality and hiring manager satisfaction.
- Get engaged. Make sure that candidates that do apply hear back from you immediately about where they stand. Tell them what the process will be and keep them informed. Too many companies have "black hole" reputations when it comes to recruiting. This is another area where Plantronics has improved since adopting a talenteering approach. They have a very involved process, often involving as many as 12 people in the interview and assessment process, and then time to discuss and decide following. Candidates are kept in the loop as well as possible and are told ahead of time how the process works.
- Measure. Refine. Iterate. This may be one of the areas that the talenteering approach at Plantronics absolutely shines. Layne is a statistics nut and surveys hiring managers and candidates frequently about what is working and what is not. Candidates who accept offers are asked why--candidates that did not accept offers or who did not apply are asked why not. All of this data is used to improve the processes
I hope this posting helps put some more legs on the Friday post about the talenteering approach at Plantronics. Read the Talenteering Manifesto. Let me know what you think. Use the comments link at the bottom of this post--I want to hear from you. Most of all I'm searching for more talenteers. If you have a story, let me know about it.