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Moneyball Sourcing Lesson 1: Challenge Conventional Wisdom

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

By now, most of us know that Moneyball offers much insight for employers on the value of analytics when recruiting. The best-selling book, and now popular film, details Billy Beane’s successful attempt at building a baseball club on a budget, and shares how the Oakland A’s general manager employed computer-generated data analysis to draft a winning team. But before employers can begin to transform their practices and reap the benefits of sabermetrics for HR, they’ll need to match their beliefs with current recruiting realities. This re-education essentially asks employers to challenge conventional recruiting wisdom so they can more effectively attract, identify and retain the right talent. Begin with the following curveballs:

Jobs boards are striking out. According to 2010-2011 results for key Jobs2web clients who provided ATS applicant status data, job boards are the FOURTH most effective source of hires, following sources such as Facebook, company career sites, and industry groups. As qualified candidates flock to more specialized, specific and social sources, employers are reacting. Earlier this year 24 percent of companies said they planned to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards over 2011.

Bat a thousand using candidate relationship management. According to Recruiting Roundtable survey, “Building Talent Pipelines,” passive candidates perform slightly better than active candidates. While this by no means implies that you should give up marketing to those who are actively searching for positions, it does mean businesses need to focus their efforts on candidate relationship management to attract and nurture those who might be the best fit for your company’s open positions.

Post and pray has lost its way. It’s true; the days of post and pray are over. And with the abundance of cutting-edge technologies available to recruiters today, they should be. From social media networking tools that help tap your own networks to social-minded solutions that target candidates where they network, recruiters can economically and effectively tap a wealth or qualified talent, and better yet, understand what’s working.

Keep a watch for “Moneyball Sourcing Lesson 2: The Science of Wisdom,” where we’ll discuss the next step in tossing your gut feelings based recruiting practice for one that’s data-driven.