Work smarter, not harder. A cliché that’s lost meaning. Here’s why it should mean something to you.

Many of us remember the days when candidates would beat down your door just to get an interview. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those days are over and if you can’t adapt, you’re going to lose.

As a sales and relationship manager for a top Human Capital Management company, I spend my days talking to HR professionals, Operations Executives, Talent Acquisition Directors and C-Level clients all trying to achieve the same thing: hiring the right person, at the right time, for the right price. It sounds simple enough, right? Wrong.

With unemployment hovering between 4.5% and 4.8% (in the 2’s for people with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher); rapidly advancing technology creating an expanding skills gap; and 10,000 baby-boomers retiring every day, companies are in a panic and rightfully so.

I want to address issues associated with the realization that “what we have always done is no longer working.”

The most common manifestations of this issue are:

  • Lack of candidate flow
  • Companies are seeing quantity but not quality
  •  “We need to do something different…but what?”

We know that good talent is harder to find than ever before. Due to the increasing skills gap and a tightening labor market, candidates are more deliberate, more researched in their choice and they have the ability to be picky because their skill sets are in high demand.

The additional double-edged sword that comes with the age of technology and daily start-ups for everything you can imagine, is that companies have more resources than ever before to fight the war on talent.

I’m here to say this isn’t as good as it sounds. Look, I’m all for using multiple resources to find talent. It’s a necessity. Recent candidate behavior studies show that job seekers act more like consumers today, using an average of 16 resources before applying for a job. So yes, use multiple resources. But how do you decide which to use? If your answer is price, your head is in the wrong place from the get-go.

To me the answer is simple. Data. Data is king. Data is the only way to develop a true strategy. As Computer Programmer and Science Fiction writer Daniel Keys Moran once said:

“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”

So, where do you find this data? At least one of your resources- your partner in recruiting should be one with access to data as well as the knowledge of how to turn that data into a strategy that will work for your organization.

I have included a collage of just a few data reports that I analyze every day for my clients and prospective buyers. I won’t get into the specifics of each report but here is a bullet point on what each one does:

  • Hiring Indicator: Looks at a specific position in a specific market and tells me, based on current supply of candidates and the demand for them, which cities in your market are the best to post in for optimum, quality candidate flow
  • Top Cities Posting: This shows the areas in your market that are posting the most for your opening
  • Job Postings Overview: Shows the number of postings being used for 1 opening. In this example you see that companies post 7 times per month for every 1 open Sales position
  • Total vs Unique Postings Trend: This graph shows the trend of the information described in the previous bullet
  • Job Postings vs Hires: This graph shows the number of hires made over time (blue) and the number of postings required to make those hires (orange)
  • Supply & Demand Numbers: This will show the number of active job seekers in a specific market vs the number of open positions. It will also show the total number of people in the workforce (indicating need for passive sourcing)


I can literally talk for hours on this data. I’m a total nerd when it come to this stuff. I will let you decide if this sort of information and a nerd like me helping you interpret it would be useful to you.

My professional opinion? It has to be useful to you. It’s already being used by your competitors and it’s giving them a measured leg up.

I will leave you with a few questions.

  • Are you using the data available to shape and guide your process?
  • Do you have a resource that can help you with this?
  • Are you truly willing to do something different to get better results?
  • What are you going to do now that you’ve seen the light?

My suggestion, call your resources and ask them for this data. If they don’t have it, find one that does. You’ll be glad you did.


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