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Moneyball Sourcing Lesson 2: The Science of Winning

Featuring guest blogger Marvin Smith, senior Research recruiter at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

We’ve learned our first Moneyball lesson: conventional wisdom isn’t always relevant wisdom. Now that you’ve deconstructed what you thought you knew about effective sourcing methods and understand why candidate relationship management isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to understand how you can ditch a “gut feeling” approach to making HR decisions and swap it for a data driven one.

In baseball, general managers rely on sabermetrics to help them understand the capabilities and performance of the league’s players. In Moneyball, Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta, then both of the Oakland A’s, used that data in new ways, helping them build a high-performance winning team of players who were previously undervalued. Recognizing that scoring is a process, and that games are not won with home runs alone, Beane and DePodesta assessed players’ on-base percentage (OBP) as a key to victory. Getting on base creates the conditions for the next step in the process.

When it comes to recruiting we can take a similar approach with our data using dashboards as provided by recruiting solutions including Jobs2web and TalentBrew. Remember it’s about nurturing relationships with your candidates, and applying for a job is not a one-time transaction. Much like scoring, getting candidates to apply is a process, and we can determine how many visitors we need to get the right hire. Consider the process a series of multi-touch, trust-building stops around the candidate relationship diamond:

  • First base might be when a candidate signs up for your company’s email list, an RSS blog feed or your talent community.
  • When the candidate begins following your company on Twitter, likes you on Facebook, or subscribes to your LinkedIn groups, they may be reaching second base.
  • The candidate could be rounding third as they download your company’s whitepapers or sign up for a webinar.
  • Candidates are likely to cross home plate and apply for a position as a result of having made several smaller moves toward understanding your company and its initiatives.

Jobs2web talent community data shows that 57 percent of candidates who apply for a position do so on the first day it’s posted, but it’s important to remember that the other 43 percent do come back – after they’ve rounded the bases – and apply afterwards. Whether they are passive candidates, or needed to learn more about your company to commit to an application, your perfect hire might be a member of that 43 percent. As mentioned during Lesson 1, the days of post and pray are over. Wave your candidates on home with a solid CRM strategy.

Next at bat, with details on building a strategic “farm system” and talent lifecycle database, will be “Moneyball Sourcing Lesson 3: Adapt or Die.”

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