And he had a plan: Work hard and fill the funnel. He figured that if he
had plenty of jobs to work on-plus a ready supply of candidates-it was
only a matter of time before something clicked.
And yet, the more jobs he tried to fill, the fewer placements he made.
So, Anthony stepped it up. Instead of submitting five or six resumes for
every open position, he sent 10 or 15 for consideration. But the extra
placements never came.
The Law of Subtraction Anthony's plan was sound-up to a point. He correctly identified
recruiting as a numbers game. But what he didn't know was that numbers
don't exist in a vacuum.
To win the numbers game, you can't just roll the dice, you have to load
the dice. Otherwise, the numbers can work against you.
For example, if I were trying to fill a job in which I was competing
with five other recruiters, the odds are that someone else's candidate
would get the job. In the interest of self-preservation, I've learned to
sidestep searches in which I'm at a statistical disadvantage and
concentrate my efforts on those for which I control the candidate flow.
Scrooge Had It Right Similarly, if I were to submit resumes to an indifferent employer who
had no sense of urgency, it wouldn't matter how many resumes I produced.
I've found that the more resumes you throw at the employer, the more you
reduce their value.
There's no shortage of candidates in the job market. And there's no
shortage of jobs. In effect, both have become commodities, instantly and
easily accessible to employers and recruiters alike, courtesy of job
boards, Boolean searches, directories and social networks.
What's in short supply is the expertise it takes to weed out the jobs
that have a low probability of being filled and reduce, rather than
expand the number of candidates under consideration. If the employer
can't choose between five qualified candidates, you've got a problem.
Selective Generosity In that scarcity and value are joined at the hip, I suggest you give
away that which costs you very little and hold onto what makes you
money. Here are some examples:
Give away a: Ten-minute consultation with a prospective employer;
Set of interviewing tips designed to improve your candidate's
performance; Newsletter filled with useful articles; or a
White paper that tracks salary trends in your industry.
But refrain from: Writing a lengthy job order until the employer can demonstrate a sense
of urgency; Spending an hour interviewing a candidate who may not be qualified; or
Submitting resumes before scheduling interview times in advance.
A pet peeve: Telling the employer that you have -several candidates in
mind-as you're writing up the assignment.
To suggest that candidates are abundant only lowers the perceived value
of your service and raises the expectation that you can always"find more
people." As Anthony learned, numbers are fine in the abstract, but when
put to specific use, they yearn for context.
Whenever I think that filling a position is going to be easy, I remind
myself that each job is unique and if it weren't devilishly difficult to
find-and place-the right candidate, the employer wouldn't need my