Sourcing Top Talent: You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Quality for Quantity by Chris Gee, PhD.

Many companies are currently struggling with the same issue, an inability to source enough QUALITY TALENT. The talent landscape has shifted dramatically and online sourcing channels (e.g., Indeed, GlassDoor) are not generating enough high-quality candidates. As is illustrated below, roughly 85% of candidates have an “Average” or Below probability for success in the position that they are applying to, yet companies are hiring 92.5% of their workforce from this low probability talent pool.

Self Management Group’s data suggests that there needs to be a change not only in the sourcing strategies themselves (a shift towards more warm source/relationship recruitment), but also in the content of the recruitment conversation. As can be seen in the table below, doing so has the capacity to significantly change the composition of one’s talent pool, and thus the ability to be more selective of top talent.  The table below shows the results a Canadian Financial Services company achieved after fully implementing the POP™ assessment in combination with a multi-channel recruitment strategy.


The concept of “The Great Resignation” has been well documented and has contributed to the reduced quantity of candidates coming through recruitment pipelines.  The “Great Resignation” however can be an opportunity to IDENTIFY HIGH POTENTIAL candidates looking for a career change that might not have considered the opportunity in the past.  A warm sourced strategy (e.g., nominators, COIs, Employee Referral Program) allows you to tap into a pool of people that may be harder to attract through an online job posting alone.  It also allows you to get a better understanding of the candidate’s wants and needs, and ultimately selling them on the advantages of your career opportunity. Moving to a more relationship and human-driven recruitment strategy is part of SMG’s best practices implementation process. Doing so will allow your organization to proactively identify and connect with top talent, versus waiting for them to find your opportunity online.

For some candidates seeking a job change today, they do not know exactly why they want to change and more importantly what type of career would best suit them. It seems to be a little bit of the “grass is greener” phenomenon. This confusion and lack of career clarity however aligns with another part of SMG’s recommended best practices approach: CAREER MANAGEMENT. A great warm source recruitment conversation typically is one that centers around career management: What does the candidate like about their current job, and what elements do they not like? Recruiters then utilize this insight to highlight the aspects of their own career opportunity that align with candidates’ desires. Such a strategy has proven to be extremely effective in engaging top quality candidates and creating higher conversion ratios as highlighted in the table above.

SMG’s career management approach utilizes our proprietary CareerManagementPOP™ (CMP™) assessment.  Recruiters are able to offer this product to candidates, who view the gesture as altruistic and supportive, while simultaneously gathering information about the candidate’s suitability to various career paths. Candidates receive insight about themselves that they feel is valuable to making future career decisions, while recruiters are able to position their own opportunities in a more informed and customized manner. Both parties receive value from the interaction, which ultimately amplifies the candidate experience. The benefit to organizations is a substantial increase in the conversion of high-quality candidates into hires. By identifying top talent through the CMP™ assessment, and then structuring the career value proposition in a way that is candidate-centric, SMG clients have experienced significant gains in the quality of their recruitment pool along with their conversion rates of top talent (see table above).

SMG’s best practices approach is one that puts additional emphasis on warm source recruiting strategies, within the framework of a career management conversation. This is not intended to suggest that organizations should completely abandon cold source/online attraction strategies, rather that additional emphasis should be placed on warmer source strategies within the current talent landscape.

Stay tuned for our next blog on how to use the CareerManagementPOP™ with current employees to aid in retention through data driven succession planning and career pathing.