Site logo

HACKING THE BEST TALENT, Part 1


hack

Last year I wrote about Organic Self-Perpetuating Talent Acquisition, where I discussed some ideas about creating a kind of “grass-roots” culture of constant recruitment. Since then I have received numerous requests for more information and have also further distilled my original ideas.

As I continue to explore unique ways to meet the current, upcoming and long-term human capital needs of technology companies; a few trends have emerged. As the economy continues to recover more investment money pours into start ups, existing companies expand, and the talent market becomes more competitive. Employer brand distinction, unique talent programs, talent technologies, candidate experiences and the communication of core company values to prospective talent all have become more important than ever. But in order to remain truly competitive for the top 1%-5% of available talent an organization must hack its practices, strategies, capabilities perceptions and assumptions.

For 95%+ of the web industry, talent acquisition is reactionary and not (in spite of being called so) strategic. Instead of treating the quest for top talent as a perpetual endeavor, most organizations do not look for talent if there is not an actual role to fill. They do not seek to have an ongoing interaction with the talent market regardless of their human capital needs. And there in lies one of many opportunities for a web venture to distinguish itself.

The common underlying thread that the 95% have in common is that talent acquisition does not happen in an organic, or natural, fashion for them. It is most often a project or outsourced effort that is managed to achieve an event...or hire. Once this goal is met all efforts are ceased until a similar need is identified within the organization. The sad fact is that this “process” has remained largely unchanged for as long as the word recruiter has existed.

The foundation of this distinction opportunity lies in creating something perpetual and organic. Something that reflects the passions of the community we wish to engage, as well what is best about our individual company cultures. Something that will scale, evolve and survive even the people this document concerns. Something that is special.

Why Now?

I could cite socioeconomic studies about the brain drain the web industry will soon suffer by retiring baby boomers. Or I could discuss the historical, and ever increasing, gap between Demand vs. Availability of qualified talent in the web space. But the simple fact is that it makes sense now more than ever.

In modern computing terminology, a "hack" is a solution to a problem, doing a task, or fixing a system that is inefficient, inelegant, or even obsolete, but which nevertheless (more or less) works. My goal is to hack technical talent acquisition and through the exercise create a capability that is significantly redefines what exists today within our industry. I believe this effort to be timely and essential to immediate and long-term human capital needs of all technology driven organizations. It is also critical to any ambitions of attracting the top 1%-5% of web talent. So why now? Why not now?

We’ll discuss this in greater detail in future articles of this series.

Cheers, R-A-L