Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Just a short while ago I posted a piece on how some people are no longer able to view full profiles of their 3rd degree LinkedIn connections when logged in and searching within LinkedIn.

At the time of the article, I had not been affected, and I kept checking daily to see if and when I would be.

Alas, the time has come – I can no longer view full profiles of 3rd degree LinkedIn connections with my free account when I am searching within LinkedIn.

Well, I take that back.

Although I no longer enjoy automatically being treated to full profiles of 3rd degree connections while searching LinkedIn with my free account, here are the way in which I can view a full profile of my 3rd degree connections:

1. Use Google Chrome as a browser to search for the profile in LinkedIn

I can take the headline phrase or a unique combination of keywords from the 3rd degree profile I am trying to view and use Google chrome as a browser to search for that phrase/term combo in another browser in which I am not logged into LinkedIn (or use Chrome incognito).

Here you can see Chrome as a browser which I am logged into LinkedIn, and trying to connect CHRIS ENDREW, Software engineer into LinkedIn. Well, He is in my 3rd connection…what do we do now ?? Don’t freak urself. Wait n watch..


2. Copy the ID mentioned in the address bar of the person.


3. Paste this link – into the another tab in google chrome. And paste the ID after “=” sign.

see the below image…







4. Now click on “Invite to Connect” and see the below image.




5. Share the profile

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve actually never written about the “Share” method in which you can send a profile to someone else and copy yourself to get a link to view the full profile.

While I know this is a popular method for many, it has never really been a viable method for me because my network is so large that when I try to type in a name or use the LinkedIn address book, the system either times out or I get tired of waiting for names to show up/load.

For the sake of this post I tried to be very patient and after a few attempts I was able to share a 3rd degree profile with someone, copy myself, and then view the full profile from the link in the message in my inbox.

However, it’s much faster and easier for me to simply use methods 1-4 above.

Of course, the LinkedIn team is likely already looking into closing these holes, but some of these methods have been published and in use for years, so you may be able to enjoy them for quite some time.

Sharing is Caring

If you found this post helpful, please share it with someone you think would benefit.

They’ll thank you.


The predictions for the eCommerce development in 2013 are quite optimistic. The rapid growth of the industry promises wider opportunities for business growth, and more severe competition respectively. Online customers’ tastes become more elaborate. Proper service and in-time delivery will not be enough to make them return again. So the merchants should be more inventive to meet the requirements. To keep up with the times and not be forced out by competitors, get familiar with future eCommerce trends. Get ready to be flexible as 2013 will obviously rock the online business world.

Trend 1: Touch Commerce

Mobile Commerce is rapidly growing over the last 5 years. mCommerce is close to catch up with eCommerce in terms of profits and popularity among customers. In today’s dynamic world touch devices are inevitable time-savers. The store can be accessed from anywhere you go and the purchase is several touches away. Isn’t it convenient?

By 2016 tablet use is expected to exceed computer use. For now we can say that weekend tablet use is more frequent than desktop. “Sofa shopping” as it is called is especially popular on Sunday and dinner time, when customers are outside or reluctant to turn on computers. The average order value for tablet devices is said to be $123. So it will be considerable advantage for merchants to cover this industry niche.

Tips: Adjust your eCommerce site to specific tablet requirements. It is recommended to develop separate iPad site to avoid discrepancy between existing site and its mobile version. After establishing mobile store constantly monitor your loading time.

Trend 2: Location-based services

Location-based services are the program level services which provide geolocation and time data control functionality. The main advantages are:

  • an opportunity to identify frequent customers

  • advertising and promotion by word-of-mouth, as customers can share information with their friends

Mobile location-based services can help you reach the customers anywhere they are and provide them with updated information about your stock. You can respond to the customers request dynamically at the time they need it.

Social LBS will give customers an opportunity to share your product information on social networks and thus provide you with effective marketing tool. Winning social market will attract more target audience to your store.

Tips: With the help of in-store LBS you can send special offers and inform about updates. The information will be spread faster than you can do it with any mailing system. Moreover, people are more responsive to the recommendations from people they know and trust. So, the offer will reach customers exactly when they need it.

Trend 3: Personalization

Personalization is also the trend which appears to satisfy the elaborate demands of customers. The rule is pretty simple – the more realistic and interactive shopping experience is provided, the more customers are attracted. Merchant should provide customers with the technology that enables easy browsing, product view from different perspectives, easy checkout and convenient payment options. The shopping experience should be as close to real as possible.

Personalization can also be implemented with personal customer accounts, answers to frequently asked questions, purchase history. For example, if the customer is visiting your site for the second time, a search result page can show several previously viewed items, which is personalized for each customer.

Tips: There is nothing revolutionary new, indeed. Provide your customers with easy navigation process, specific product recommendations and product reviews. It is also recommended to show your customers cross-sells and not up sells. That is more beneficial for the customer and will help you gain their loyalty.

Also be as available as possible. Provide contact details and different communication channels. Personalization means that you establish connection with customers and they see a person behind the online store. Nowadays, buyers are more responsive to receiving notifications on special offers or discounts. Provide relevant information via email newsletters or text messages to keep your customers up-to-date.

Trend 4: Curated Commerce

The modern eCommerce growth is so rapid that customers get confused in the amount of various stores, companies and brands. It is hard to compete and not be forced out, not to mention the challenge newcomers have to face. That is why eCommerce 2013 will be segmented around specific niches. It will help to streamline your efforts on specific target audience according to customer demographics, or profiles. Therefore, store owners can help customers filter unnecessary products, provide them with easier and more effective search. Learning the market and offering customers what they really need will save their time and convert them from random visitors to regular customers.

Tips: Find the niche in your online business. Offer unique service for specific customer community, or provide discounts for certain target audience. you are unlikely to succeed selling everything to everyone. Targeting narrow audience you will provide better user experience.

Trend 5: Hosted eCommerce solutions

Hosted shopping platforms has gained much popularity recently and continue to win a market. The reasons for that are numerous: provided web hosting and maintenance, constant updates, easy cart installation and management, available support and high security level. It is especially convenient for beginners and non-technical users who want to avoid development issues and deliver it to service providers. Hosted solutions make the store launch quick and easy. Moreover, the shopping carts don’t require much investment and allow free trial periods.

Tips: Hosted shopping carts like BigCommerce platform, Shopify cart, 3DCart and Volusion cart are in the top of modern eCommerce solutions. They developed rapidly in 2012 and continue to grow. Magento shopping platform also offers hosted version with same rich functionality, but for small scale businesses. Taking a closer look at this type of shopping carts, you may find a lot of benefits for your store development.

Trend 6: High Quality Content

The merchants have already realized the importance of unique content. First of all it prevents you from being penalized by search engines. Lot’s of online business owners have felt Google trends on their own back and will not risk to loose rankings again. Moreover, unique product descriptions will attract new customers and keep the returning ones.

Tips: Do not underestimate the importance of high quality content. Consumers will not lose interest in your site if you provide them with updated relevant information. Video content promises to be popular in 2013 and beneficial in terms of SEO.

Trend 7: Social Media

Social media is not an innovative trend in eCommerce with numerous merchants using social networks for specific purposes already in 2012. However, the use of social media promises to become more advanced in 2013 turning to legitimized marketing tool. The social media in such case may be used to provide specific marketing campaign, increase brand reputation, attract customers and shorten sales cycle.

Tips: Develop social media marketing strategy. You can gain more traffic by answering product specific questions. With SMM you can track orders, spread product information, get related complaints, comments and feedback. All this information should be addressed and processed by you or someone responsible for contacts with community. Talking to people worldwide and, what is more, hearing them will provide you with strong connections, reliable clients and fresh ideas on business improvement.

As the proverb goes, forewarned is forearmed. Knowing the predictions and trends for the upcoming year you can start building your online business strategy right now. Hopefully, eCommerce of 2013 will open new horizons for you.

In this growing age of globalization, online businesses are trying hard to please customers and generate profits. This article discusses what I consider to be the five key trends of e-commerce for 2013 and suggests ways in which you can benefit from them.

E-Commerce 2013 – Time To Upgrade Your Online Store

Constant innovation and customization of the web will continue to diversify trade. A recurrent trend, of which we will see more of in 2013 is that E-commerce will drive consumers heavily towards alternatives to the bricks-and-mortar retail. Online retailers will continue to offer a number of products and services with attractive buying schemes to attract online visitors. Customers, on the other hand, will enjoy increasing influence on brand decisions with more buying power than ever before.

The E-commerce sector will continue to evolve and with this, be prepared to witness experimentation of new e-commerce techniques like never before. Users will be encouraged to leave suggestions and feedback on anything from website design to discounts and deals. Online retailers will smartly incorporate these strategies to simplify and refine e-commerce platforms. These and many other trends will dominate web design in 2013.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 trends that will be shaping E-commerce for 2013, and let us see what actions web designers and developers can take to stay on the top of these trends.

1. Localization – Big Opportunities For Small Businesses

Word of advice – Go Local!

Online retailers no more shy away from creating indigenous e-commerce websites. Here we are not referring to merely offering your website in different languages. With going local, we are referring to a totally localized user experience. Thus, expect to see more websites based on traditional design aesthetics including the use of local color preferences, local language, local offers and essentially local products and services. For small businesses the move is indeed welcomed especially if they cater for niche markets. Ours is a curious generation which loves to explore. The local stuff which is marketed across as traditional and exotic easily attracts customers and generates revenue.

Localization will also pave the way for more personalization whereby users will continue to enjoy an even more one-to-one customer experience. Websites will automatically adapt to show user preferences and tastes. However, personalization will not be only based on past purchases or browsing habits (such as the recommendations offered by Amazon). Instead, we will see more intelligent algorithms that are able to predict which products or service may appeal to you based on advanced segmentation and user profiling.

2. M-Commerce Is The New Buzzword

Word of advice – Go Mobile!

Online businesses have realized the need for deeper mobile integration. Witness to this is the increased use of responsive web design that dominated 2012. From a user interface perspective, online businesses will continue to adapt to and make the most use of the available screen real estate of the device from which they are being accessed. As such, there will not be one e-commerce site for the desktop and another for the mobile device. Instead, thanks to Responsive Web Design, there will just be one website which will adapt itself to be viewed in an ideal manner for any screen size, be it a large 55-inch TV screen, a 24-inch monitor, a tablet, mobile or any device that users use to access websites. This essentially means that the user experience will also be the same across all these devices.

Online retailers will continue to create better and customized mobile apps. E-commerce business will be more focused, thanks to personalized mobile campaigns that target specific customers. Online shoppers will share an equal voice in the brand’s decision making process and this will promote a more satisfying user experience.

3. Increased Online Security – Simpler Payment Processes

Word of advice – Go Cashless!

Continuing past trends, in 2013, more customers will switch to online payment mechanisms such as PayPal as well as debit and credit card transaction. E-commerce sites will lay more stress on online security with the likely introduction of new safer payment methods and increased enhancements on existing ones. The move will translate to an increase in the number of new online shoppers and the number of financial transactions that are conducted online. Online brands will garner more trust and reliability through the use of one-page payment methods. Online customers will feel more secure and less dependent on cash.

Apart from the traditional product e-commerce sites, it is also envisaged that in 2013 there will be an increase in the number of websites which offer coupons. In fact, it is likely that more online retailers will offer discount coupons to entice sales and as a means of online payment.

4. Interactive Products Display Will Replace Images

Word of advice – Get a Video, Share it Social Media!

Customers will become apprehensive with so many products and services at their disposal. Images are not a convincing tool as consumers cannot exactly judge product with them. Product demonstration videos will used more frequently to address the needs of even apprehensive customers. Online businesses and product demo videos will become more popular with the ever-improving internet speeds.

Retailers will turn to social media in a big way for better video sharing via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Marketers will view social media as part of the marketing mix in a way that it integrates with other marketing strategies rather than living on its own.

5. Content Continues To Rule

Word of advice – Get short, simple, original content

Exclusive content will be the ruling factor in all ecommerce sites. Highly readable yet concise content will appeal to the short-attention spans of the visitors. Ecommerce website owners will dedicate teams to develop high-quality, SEO-friendly content for enhanced user experience. Content which talks to the point and is highly engaging will be the norm for websites seeking higher Return on investment.

Depending on who you talk to, e-Commerce is either the greatest sunrise sector in India or a completely dead one. Opinions on an e-Commerce startup can range from “The Amazon of India” to “Going bust by the end of the quarter”. While there is no doubt that some players in the Indian e-Commerce scene are doing well, the perception of the future of these e-Commerce startups remains sharply divided.

So what’s really going on?

To understand what the future of e-Commerce in India can look like, lets peek into what’s happening in other emerging markets around the world that are presumably ahead of the curve from India.

e-Marketer estimates that there are 220 million online shoppers in China today (defined as having bought at least one thing online), estimated to grow to 420 million by 2016. That’s compared to roughly 150 million in the US. The comparable number in India is 10 million right now. So the Chinese market is 22 times bigger than in India, and consequently has several e-Commerce companies either already IPO’ed and acquired or in line to do so. Only a handful have gone public in India so far.

Or you can compare with Brazil (which is presumably more like India), where there are an estimated 40 million online shoppers. McKinsey estimates that almost a third of these e-shoppers bought their first item online last year!

India maybe behind the curve on the numbers, but they are growing fast, and when they reach the 200-300 million online shoppers, you can safely assume that there will at least be as many e-Commerce players in India as there are in China. That is to say, there will be at least 10-20 successful, large and growing e-Commerce companies in India over the next few years!

The India difference

When it comes to India, though, you can’t just go by numbers and comparisons. The thing we repeatedly hear is that India is a unique market with unique challenges, which also means it creates unique opportunities. Given all this, who are going to be these successful e-Commerce players of tomorrow?

I think the successful companies of tomorrow are going to look different from the ones that are on the top now. There’s going to be 100-200 million new e-Commerce customers that are going to be up for grabs in the next few years. Another way to look at it is that in 80% of the e-Commerce shoppers of 2016 still are available to be nabbed by e-Commerce sites. And they’re going to come from predominantly two categories. First, from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities as the logistics and connectivity there improve and second, young people that get jobs/pocket-money and start shopping online.

New Customers, New Strategies

So what can be done by e-Commerce startups here? I think it’s less about competing directly with the big players, but more about competing to acquire the new customers. I think there are 3 broad things that could work

1) New Experiences

In many ways, the e-Commerce sites of today are organized for the class of people that are already familiar with online shopping. If you have a rough idea what you want to buy, you go online and order it. But for the categories of people coming online, they’re probably looking for new experiences, experiences that don’t exist yet.

For example, Amazon has a window shopping experience here (called WindowShop) that could work well with some customization. Maybe a grocery shopping site organized by recipes, that lets you checkout everything needed to cook up a Paneer Tikka Masala?

2) New Product Selection

There’s evidence that people from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities aren’t sure what they’re looking for online, and consequently don’t know how to go about it. They may also be unhappy with or unable to figure out the selection of products available online.

e-Commerce sites should use data, analytics and the power of big data to figure out products could appeal to these new customers. A powerful recommendation engine that understands the “aspiration” dimension may be the need of the day.

3) New Ways To Connect

Forrester estimates that localization is one of the top 3 factors that will drive e-Commerce in India. A simple and streamlined shopping experience on the mobile phone is another area that can create differentiated experiences, as many people’s first experience of the Internet will be from their phones – For both young people and for people from the tier-2,3 cities. A good mobile shopping experience is still missing.

So it comes down to this – e-Commerce sites able to create new and interesting shopping experiences have a chance with the new generation of e-Commerce shoppers that are about to come online. The e-Commerce game has not been won yet, and targeting the right market with the right experiences will create the next generation of winners.

And if this interests you, do join us for E-Sparks! Apply here to become an E-Spark.


If you live in the U.S. – have you noticed that Facebook now charges $1.00 for you to send a message to someone that you’re not “connected to” on Facebook?




Go ahead, give it a try.


You might encounter something like this:




Facebook charges 1 dollar for messages


If you’re in the U.S. and you don’t get a message like the one above when you try to send a message to someone you’re not connected to on Facebook – please let me know.


As you can see, Facebook tells me I am not connected to the person on Facebook, so my message would normally get filtered to their “Other” folder, unless I pay $1.00.


Perhaps it was only a matter of time, as Facebook essentially serves as the largest single repository of people in the world and they’ve been basically giving away the ability to send messages to over 1 Billion people for free.


For years, sourcers and recruiters have been finding names of people through various research methods, including LinkedIn, cross referencing the names on Facebook and using Facebook to send messages to those people for free, avoiding the need to find their email address or pay for LinkedIn InMails.


I know many recruiters who can attribute quite a few hires to this method of using Facebook for initial engagement.

Is it just me, or is it poor UX for your Inbox message filtering preferences to only be accessible through your “Other” folder? Right in the pop up window it says “Filter your Inbox” – but you can’t access your Inbox message filtering preferences from your Inbox – only from the “Other folder.”


What Counts as “Connected To” on Facebook?

You’re obviously “connected” to people you’re friends with, and from what I can tell, it seems that if you have friends in common with someone you’re not currently friends with, you probably won’t have to pay $1.o0 and your message *may* be delivered to their regular inbox and not be relegated to their “Other” folder.

Facebook will likely consider you as not connected to someone unless you have some friends in common.

However, even if you are friends with someone, there are certain situations in which you may not be able to get a message to the regular Inbox.

From some testing I have been able to determine that even if you are friends with someone, if you send them a message with a hyperlink, and you’ve never exchanged messages with them before, your message will likely end up in their “Other” inbox. If you’re sending messages with links to jobs and such, beware.

Facebook’s $1.00 “Inbox Delivery Test” is U.S. Only…For Now

You may have missed it (as I did), but on December 20th, 2012, Facebook published “Update to Messaging and a Test” to their Newsroom site. Among other things, they revealed their “Inbox Delivery Test:”

Facebook Messages is designed to get the most relevant messages into your Inbox and put less relevant messages into your Other folder. We rely on signals about the message to achieve this goal.

Some of these signals are social – we use social signals such as friend connections to determine whether a message is likely to be one you want to see in your Inbox.

Some of these signals are algorithmic – we use algorithms to identify spam and use broader signals from the social graph, such as friend of friend connections or people you may know, to help determine relevance.

Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.

Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.

This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.

This message routing feature is only for personal messages between individuals in the U.S. In this test, the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to their Inbox will be limited to a maximum of one per week.

We’ll continue to iterate and evolve Facebook Messages over the coming months.

As you can see, Facebook is thinking that “imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.”

Also of note is that Facebook’s Inbox Delivery Test is apparently limited to the U.S. at the moment – great news for non-U.S. sourcers and recruiters, inasmuch as there is no $1.00 on sending Facebook messages to people you’re not connected to.

However, keep in mind that your message may still be routed to the person’s “Other” folder, where it may never be seen.

Final Thoughts

Please let me know if you’ve tried to send a message to someone you weren’t connected to on Facebook and have encountered Facebook’s “Send to Inbox for $1.00″ option.

Also, please let me know if you were already aware of your “Other” folder, and if so, how often you actually check it.

As for the $1.00 charge for U.S. users to send messages to people they aren’t connected to – Facebook’s claiming this is only a test.

However, I can easily see Facebook rolling out the “pay to message” functionality globally at some point to compete with LinkedIn’s InMail revenue stream.

Can’t you?

Could you fault Facebook for capitalizing on the need for recruiters to easily message people they’re not connected with?

Mark Zuckerberg himself has already stated that one of his favorite uses for Graph Search is recruiting.

Who knows, maybe Facebook is actually working on developing a recruiting solution…I’ve literally wondered for years why they haven’t already.


Era of Bigdata..

Posted: February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Era of Bigdata..


With each passing day, an increasing amount of data is being generated and transmitted by and about more people than ever before.

At Google’s 2010 Atmosphere convention, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated that “There were 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days.”

In case you were wondering, an Exabyte is 1,000,000,000 gigabytes, or 10,000,000 terabytes. That’s a lot of information.

Interestingly, Google’s CEO may have actually underestimated the amount of data being generated at the time. From their research,RJMetrics believes that a more accurate figure would be approximately 6.6 exabytes every 2 days. One thing is for sure – the number is even bigger today.

What does any of this have to do with recruting? Why should HR, recruiting and sourcing professionals, as well as corporate executives care about big data?

Well, because a chunk of big data is human capital data, and as I have been ranting about for the better part of 3 years, human capital data can be leveraged to identify and hire more great people more quickly.

If you’re a dinosaur recruiter or sourcer, I don’t recommend you read the rest of this post, because:

  1. I will challenge they way you think and work, and that might make you uncomfortable

  2. You’ll probably think it’s a load of garbage

  3. It might make you aware of your pending extinction (the precise timing of which is debatable)

I have to warn you that this is not a short, quick-hit post – this may be the longest single post I have ever written, which explains why you didn’t see a post from me last week. I wrote this piece to introduce a human capital paradigm shift, to challenge the long-standing conventional wisdom in HR and recruiting, and to (hopefully!) provoke progressive thought from my peers. If that’s not your thing, turn back now.

If you want a glimpse into the future of talent identification and acquisition, you’re always interested in figuring out how your company can gain a competitive advantage, and you’re wondering what the heck my “Moneyball recruiting” reference could possibly be about, then read on.

What is Big Data?

Wikipedia claims that “Big data is a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target currently ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set.”

Other sources attempting to define big data include “the tools, processes and procedures allowing an organization to create, manipulate, and manage very large data sets…”

Regardless of definition, the big data concept centers around huge amounts of data that are not only increasing in volume, but also in velocity and variety.

The data velocity aspect is the speed at which new data is generated. One example of the increasing velocity of human capital data would be social media posts/updates. For example, Twitter crossed the 200M tweets/day mark in June – that’s 1 billion tweets every five days. How’s that for velocity?

The variety of data sources and types should be obvious, especially when it comes to human capital data – LinkedIn profiles (which can now be converted into resumes/CVs) and updates, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter profiles and updates, recommendations/awards/endorsements, blogs, blog comments, mobile updates, press releases, and much, much more.

The Big Deal about Dig Data

According to MGI and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office, “The amount of data in our world has been exploding and analyzing large data sets—so-called big data—will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus…Leaders in every sector will have to grapple with the implications of big data, not just a few data-oriented managers. The increasing volume and detail of information captured by enterprises, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the Internet of Things will fuel exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future.”

MGI’s research into big data offered several key insights, including:

  1. Data have swept into every industry and business function and are now an important factor of production, alongside labor and capital.”

  2. Big data “can unlock significant value by making information transparent and usable at much higher frequency.”

  3. As organizations create and store more transactional data in digital form, they can collect more accurate and detailed performance information on everything from product inventories to sick days, and therefore expose variability and boost performance. Leading companies are using data collection and analysis to conduct controlled experiments to make better management decisions; others are using data for basic low-frequency forecasting to high-frequency nowcasting to adjust their business levers just in time.”

  4. The use of big data will become a key basis of competition and growth for individual firms. From the standpoint of competitiveness and the potential capture of value, all companies need to take big data seriously. In most industries, established competitors and new entrants alike will leverage data-driven strategies to innovate, compete, and capture value from deep and up to real time information. Indeed, we found early examples of such use of data in every sector we examined.”

  5. There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

The dig deal about big data is that data can be used to make better decisions.

While McKinsey found that some companies are using data collection and analysis to make better management decisions, I think there is a huge opportunity to collect and analyze human capital data,specifically to make better hiring decisions – to gain a holistic advantage over competitors by finding, identifying, and enabling the recruitment of top talent.

Data Science and Talent Science

If you were really paying attention when you read point #5 above, you would not be surprised to learn that the hottest job you never heard of is based on data science. Yes, the highly skilled, nerdy-cool job that companies are scrambling to fill is that of the data scientist.

While there are many different ways of explaining what data science is, data scientists collect, extract and analyze information from large datasets and deliver actionable intelligence to non-data experts.

In a recent Fortune Magazine article, Michal Lev-Ram explains that “A data scientist helps companies make sense of the massive streams of digital information they collect every day, everything from internally generated sales reports to customer tweets. The gig which requires the specialist to capture, sort, and figure out what data are relevant is one part statistician, one part forensic scientist, and one part hacker.”

The article goes on to explain that while data scientists have been been playing key roles at companies like Google and Amazon for quite some time now, a variety of other companies such as Wal-Mart, Foursquare and Bitly are hiring data scientists to analyze their data and provide intelligence that can lead to better business decisions or new products. Furthermore, Deep Nishar, Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience at LinkedIn, was quoted as saying “Data engineers are already harder to find than search engineers, and that’s a sign of the times.”

According to this article, data scientists are already an integral part of competitive intelligence, a field encompassing a number of activities, such as data mining and analysis, that can help businesses gain a competitive edge. Ken Garrison, CEO of the industry group Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), explains, “The field involves collecting data, analyzing it and delivering the data as intelligence that is actionable.”

The question facing every company today, every startup, every non-profit, every project site that wants to attract a community, is how to use data effectively,” writes Mike Loukides, Vice President of Content Strategy for O’Reilly Media, on the O’Reilly radar website. He adds, “not just their own data, but all the data that’s available and relevant.”

There is already a significant shortage of people with the talent necessary for companies to take advantage of big data of any form, let alone human capital data.

When it comes to taking advantage of the vast and ever-increasing quantities of human capital data available, the sourcers of tomorrow will not be the average sourcers of today – a small subset of them will evolve into data scientists/engineers specializing in human capital data. Perhaps they will be known as Talent Engineers or Talent Scientists?

Regardless of title, data scientists in support of talent identification and acquisition efforts will collect, extract and analyze human capital information from large datasets and deliver actionable intelligence to hiring managers and teams.

In other words, these data scientists will find and identify top talent and enable better data/fact-based sourcing and hiring decisions, empowering their employer with the competitive advantage of consistently hiring the best people.

Moneyball Recruiting

If you’re unfamiliar with Moneyball, the term comes from Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, a book by Michael Lewis about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team’s modernized, analytical, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland’s disadvantaged revenue situation. Simply put, the Oakland A’s didn’t have the money to buy top players, so they had to find another way to be competitive.

The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts, and the front office) over the past century with regard to player selection is subjective and often flawed.

Through the use of rigorous statistical analysis of baseball player performance and game records andSabermetrics, the Oakland Athletics picked players based on qualities that flew in the face of conventional baseball wisdom and the beliefs of many baseball scouts and executives. In 2002, with approximately $41 million in salary, the Oakland A’s were competitive with larger market teams such as the New York Yankees, who spent over $125 million in payroll that same season.

When Sabermetrics was introduced into baseball, it was immediately rejected by many simply because it was new, different, leveraged statistics over intuition and experience, and frequently questioned conventional wisdom with regard to traditional measures of baseball skill evaluation. For instance, Sabermetricians doubt that batting average is as useful as conventional wisdom says it is because team batting average provides a relatively poor fit for team runs scored.

While baseball traditionalists scoff at the sabermetric revolution and have disparaged Moneyball for emphasizing concepts of sabermetrics over more traditional methods of player evaluation, the impact of Moneyball upon major league front offices is undeniable.

For example, teams such as the New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, and the Toronto Blue Jays have hired full-time Sabermetric analysts.

Interesting, yes?

Oh, and the 2004 Boston Red Sox built their 2004 team with Moneyball in mind (the General Manager at the time was one of Billy Beane’s disciples). They also happened to win the World Series in 2004, ending the “Curse of the Bambino.”


If you’ve seen the Moneyball trailer (or movie), you will hear one of the quotes that struck a chord with me, which was ”You don’t put a team together with a computer.”

When I first heard that quote when I saw the Moneyball trailer, I immediately thought of all of the people who respond to my articles with “recruiting is about people and not about technology” (e.g., sourcing, information retrieval, databases, analytics, etc.). I also thought about all of the great people I’ve hired and the powerful teams I have put together with a computer.

When I recently wrote about using predictive analytics in recruiting, I received a response on Twitter from a well-known recruiting personality who was highly dubious of the ability to use text and data to predict who might be a good hire for any particular hiring need.

I expected that kind of response, primarily because leveraging predictive analytics in identifying and hiring people contradicts conventional recruiting wisdom (e.g., “recruiting is about people and not about technology”).

Much of what is accepted as sourcing, recruiting and hiring best practices today is largely based upon conventional wisdom – ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true.

However, the problem with any conventional wisdom is though the ideas or explanations are widely held, they are also largely unexamined and untested, and thus not necessarily true.

Conventional wisdom can be a significant obstacle to the acceptance of new information or the introduction of new ideas, theories and explanations, in many cases due to the fact that conventional wisdom is often made of ideas that are convenient, appealing and deeply assumed. At some point, however, these assumptions and beliefs can be be violently shaken when they no longer match reality at all.

Some people would call this violent shaking of conventional wisdom disruptive innovation, and I believe it is coming to talent acquisition in the form of Moneyball recruiting.

What Could Moneyball Recruiting Look Like?

Is there an equivalent to Moneyball in recruiting – in challenging conventional HR and recruiting wisdom and identifying and hiring top talent through the use of data, statistics, empirical evidence and objective facts?

I believe there definitely could be. Yes – it just hasn’t been developed yet.

Here are just a few ways we could apply the Moneyball concept/analogy to talent acquisition:

  1. Moving away from using largely subjective means of assessing talent and making hiring decisions to more objective, fact and empirical data-based means

  2. Identifying and acquiring top talent looking for traits, experience, accomplishments and information overlooked by traditional recruiting and assessment methods

  3. Challenging conventional wisdom as to what top talent looks like and where it comes from (e.g., Ivy league schools, high G.P.A., certifications, M.B.A’s, experience at certain companies, etc.)

  4. Developing objective performance measurements that are relevant across any role, responsibility, company, and industry and that stick with each person as they move through their career, similar to a credit score

  5. Individual companies developing “secret sauces” for sourcing, analyzing and evaluating potential hires based on their own data and factual statistical analysis of the makeup of their ideal hire and employee

  6. Breaking away from the idea that the only way to hire great people is to “buy” and poach them from competitors or specific companies (look at how incestuous Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo are with regard to their talent pool)

I think it would be fascinating to objectively examine the conventional wisdom that referrals are the best hires. I know that might sound like blasphemy to some, as many simply assume referrals are the best hires, but surveys based on people’s subjective opinions of who the best employees are aren’t objective, and they certainly aren’t based on empirical evidence. Besides, referrals may score highly on quality-of-hire metrics based more on a self-fulfilling prophecy than anything else.

It’s one thing to say, think and feel that referrals produce the highest quality of hire, and it’s entirely another to prove it with objective, factual data.

In reality, referrals may in fact simply be the least-worst source of hire. Contemplate that little gem for a bit – I’ll be writing a post on it in the near future.

What about our assumptions on where great people come from?

For example, we know there is a talent war going on, specifically between tech titans such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Apple and the usual suspects. We can easily guess as to why any one of those companies would like to hire someone from one of the others, but is the reasoning behind it and the practice of it based on conventional wisdom and assumption or based on proof that these people make great hires?

Unless someone performs a real study into the matter, I say it’s all based on assumption. If you think I am wrong, show me the unequivocal proof.

Here’s where some real Moneyball recruiting can be implemented – instead of paying top dollar for an already highly paid industry retread, develop and use a structured and proven data and fact-based methodology for identifying the next superstar from a non-obvious company out or straight out of school. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see where the real game-changer employees come from, and not just assume they come from the obvious short list of companies? Who’s really to say that the best Facebook engineer isn’t one that came from IBM, GE, or some obscure company?

If we believe what is written and said about Google – Google prefers people who have high G.P.A.’s and targets people who have graduated from specific schools – two of which (so my sources tell me and LinkedIn verifies) are Stanford and Berkeley. Is this based on the perceived value of achieving a high grade point average and graduating from certain schools or it is based on factual, data-based proof?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Google went back through all of their hires – every single one of them – and found ways of objectively measuring their actual impact/value, and then crunched the data to find out what schools their fact-based top performers came from and what their G.P.A.’s were? Would the facts support the conventional wisdom and subjective preference for high grade point averages and certain schools? It certainly can’t be overlooked that some very smart, driven, and talented people never get the chance to go to a prestigious school based on a number of uncontrollable factors, not the least of which is socioeconomic status.

Regardless, it would be extremely valuable for Google (and any company!) to find out for a fact any patterns in the backgrounds and makeup of their top talent and then leverage them in their sourcing and recruiting efforts.

While we’re challenging assumptions, is a college degree really necessary to be a top performer?

Many companies make a college degree a prerequisite for hiring for specific roles or even at all, and manywell-respected companies have hiring managers that are degree and university snobs – rejecting resumes based on schools attended and degrees earned.

If you work for such a company, I have a few names for you: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, and Sean Parker. Do any of them ring a bell?

Outliers you say? Perhaps, but they are certainly proof you don’t need a college degree to be successful, and they just happen to be the most well-known successful college drop-outs – there are no doubt countless other successful people who never went to college or dropped out – they just aren’t in the public eye.

What if you could leverage data to identify the potential in people before they were 18, regardless if they were on a path to college or not? And no, we’re not talking about intrinsically flawed data like G.P.A. and SAT scores. How many brilliant, high-potential people could be given the right opportunity to fully realize their potential, regardless of whether or not they were born into the right family, in the right place, at the right time, and the stars aligned for them to be able to attend a prestigious university, let alone any college?

And if you think point #3 above is far fetched and an impossibility, (funded in part by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, by the way) has already tried to come up with a numerical score for individuals based on work history, education history, and social network. It has some serious flaws (the subject of another post), but it shows that there is already a movement to try and represent and rank people based on a single numerical score, and won’t be the only foray into that space. I believe that there is a significant opportunity for companies to develop their own data-based and statistically driven talent identification and acquisition models.

Final Thoughts

Is there already a way to leverage data and technology to increase the probability of finding and identifying people who are capable of being the next “A” player and significant contributor to your team?

Yes, I know there is. It already exists, albeit in a very crude form using tools and technologies in ways they were not intended nor designed for.

If only companies would start to focus their business intelligence and predictive analytics horsepower that many already currently use (and spend millions on) for marketing, product development, sentiment analysis, healthcare, etc., and focus it on human capital data to enable better hiring decisions (which always starts with talent identification, aka sourcing, by the way), we would begin to see Moneyball-like disruption develop in the HR and recruiting function.

There is no denying that we are well into the Information Age, which is characterized by the ability of individuals to find and transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously. The digital revolution has already begun and we are seeing a shift from traditional industry that the industrial revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on the manipulation of data and information, i.e., an information society.

As such, I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Loukides that “The future belongs to the companies who figure out how to collect and use data successfully.”

However, I’d add that the future belongs more accurately to the companies who figure out how to collect and use human capital data successfully.

That’s because the companies that can consistently hire great people, through identifying people and basing hiring decisions on data and not intuition and conventional wisdom, are more likely to develop the best teams.

And the best teams win.

Even if you aren’t a baseball fan (I’m not!), I highly recommend you read Moneyball or at least watch the movie – I am not alone in seeing that value and underlying message of Moneyball can be applied to HR and recruiting, and certainly almost anything that has to do with building teams and businesses.

The old guard in baseball thought that using statistics and unconventional measures of performance through the use of Sabermetrics defied everything they knew about baseball. They were right.

If you think the idea of leveraging data and statistics to find and hire top talent defies everything we know about human resources and recruiting, I say you’re right.

I also say it’s a good thing, and that we’re just getting started.

Sometimes the best hires aren’t the ones actively looking for a job. Better known as “passive” candidates, these gainfully employed professionals are reasonably happy, but might be willing to consider a more attractive offer.

Passive candidates are not really as passive as they say they are,” said Steve Guine (@IIT_Inc), National Director of Staffing at IIT. “Like active candidates, they are more than willing to listen. The big difference being, they are more selective.”

Finding these potential hires requires recruiters to be more active in their pursuit, but it’s definitely worth the effort – passive candidates comprise 84% of the potential workforce, according to the Department of Labor.

How do you find these passive candidates, approach them, get your company on their radar, and ultimately recruit them? We asked experts in the field who have successfully recruited passive candidates for their advice.

Tip 1: Mine your applicant tracking system (ATS)

You already have a great database of passive candidates, said Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Senior Manager, Online and Social Media Brand for Cornerstone OnDemand. Just go back a couple of years in your ATS. Do a deep dive and cross reference what those old candidates are doing now via social networks and people search engines like pipl.

Ignoring your own ATS has been quite an epidemic in recruiting. Jennifer Hasche (@JenniferINTUIT), Lead Sourcer at Intuit, noted in a Dice interview last year that Intuit had 230 submissions for one position in their ATS, but no one had looked at them. Chances are good those candidates would have been worth considering – Sixty percent of recruiter-submitted applicants are already in a company’s ATS, said Sarah White (@imsosarah), author of the HRTechBlog.

These candidates, even if they’re not looking, are almost always open to a conversation if they’ve previously applied,” said Charney. “Many times you’ll see that while they might not have been a right fit a couple years back, they are now as they’ve had the chance to gain the necessary skills and experience.”

Similarly, Dice has a Passive Candidates tab built into our TalentMatch search tool. When you search for tech candidates by tech skill, geographical area or any other criteria, you can isolate those coveted passives who have had their resume in the Dice database for 365+ days.

Tip 2: Start blogging

We’re not the first to advise “start a blog,” but there’s a reason you hear this repeatedly. People engage around content, and producing relevant content via a blog presents you as an authority in your field for others to follow.

Don’t write about your company,” said Becky Carroll (@bcarroll7), Principal of thePetra Consulting Group. “Write about topics that people in your industry should be considering, even if they aren’t looking for a job right now.”

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@blogging4jobs) started Blogging4Jobs in 2007 solely to reach passive candidates, answer their job search questions, provide value, and build a reputation as someone who cares.

[A blog] is the best method in which to build a reputation and recruit with the passive candidate in mind,” said Miller-Merrell.

If getting started seems intimidating, read “Blogging Advice for People Who Have ‘No Time to Blog.’”

Tip 3: Flatter passive candidates by simply recruiting them

It’s a compliment to be pursued by a recruiter,” said Sam Friedlander (@sfriedla1), Senior Manager Pharmacy Data Warehousing at Kaiser Permanente. “It’s assurance that one is valuable to the marketplace, and it’s a boost to one’s ego. The pursuit could ignite a thought in the passive candidate to consider an opportunity that might be better.”

Recruiters can take advantage of making a great first impression, but remember to be genuine and honest, not spammy.

Tip 4: Be good to your employees and they’ll spread the word

Treat employees as if you are recruiting them,” said Justin Sherratt (@justinsherratt), CEO of Sortbox.

If you want employees to speak positively about your company, they need to actually like working there. Although it’s often out of the recruiter’s hands, a good work environment and employee brand are critical to attracting passive candidates.

It’s also important that current employees know when and for what the company is hiring. As Sherratt said, “The company’s network is far greater than the recruiter’s network.”

In addition, a great venue to get your employees engaged with prospective hires is within a talent community.

Let employees act as brand advocates – touting your company culture, and even referring their social connections into the community for your hiring consideration,” said Lauren Smith (@Laurn_Smth), Marketing Director for Ascendify Social Recruiting.

Tip 5: Inquire about specific talents, not job seekers

After hearing lots of advice on getting referrals from people you know, we realized that successfully connecting with those referrals depends on how you approach the referral request.

Instead of asking, ‘Who do you know that is looking?’,” said Shana Farnsworth (@ShanaRandstad), Delivery Manager forRandstad Technologies, “Ask, ‘Who do you know with the same skill set or XYZ skill set?’”

Tip 6: Approach recruiting like dating

You have to think of recruiting long-term, and approach the conversation in a softer way,” said Paul McDonald (@BuildASignHires), Talent Acquisition Manager for “Think of it like dating. Let them know you like them and you enjoy connecting with them, and then you have to make sure you’re giving them a reason to be interested in you.”

One way to “get them to like you” that we heard from McDonald and many others is to simply be a resource of information (see: “Tip 2: Start blogging”).

Helping or being helped are great ways to have relationships be sticky,” said Lorne Epstein (@LorneEpstein), author of “You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job.”

Tip 7: Build relationships with the best people you know

When you meet someone and think, ‘Wow, I would hire this person,’ you need to make a note and add the individual to your pipeline,” said Kaitlin King, Communications Manager at WorkTraits.

You can start that list right now by asking yourself, “Who are the best people I’ve ever worked with?”

If they’re flipping awesome you’re going to want to hire them at some point,” said Dan Arkind, CEO of the applicant tracking system

Tip 8: Study and listen to candidates’ real motivators

As we’ve reported before, money is oftennot the top motivator for job seekers, whether passive or active. Reasons for changing jobs can be rather varied.

The reason a passive candidate may be interested in your position could be something as simple as training or being closer to home in order to pick up their children after school,” said IIT’s Guine.

Passive candidates are passive not because they love their jobs, but because they have a set work/life balance that is comfortable and easy,” said Evan Lesser (@ClearanceJobs), Managing Director of ClearanceJobs.

The only way to discover those core motivating factors is to study candidates’ backgrounds and listen to them. Why did they move from one job to another? Asking questions about a gap in work or a change in industry helps builds rapport, said Guine, and gives you insight into what makes a person tick.

Tip 9: Keep presenting opportunities and let the response guide you

It would be great if candidates knew exactly what they wanted when you interviewed them, but often that’s only part of the story.

Keep presenting them with opportunities and let their reaction and response guide you in understanding what they’re looking for,” said Casey Kott, Recruiter for Signature Consultants.

Even though you’re constantly pitching job opportunities, make it clear that you’re not making a hard sell.

Let them know that you’re trying to understand their situation, and if you present a job that they are not thrilled about, to please tell you to pass on sending them,” said Randstad Technologies’ Farnsworth.

Be patient,” said Joey V. Price (@JVPsaid), CEO of Jumpstart:HR. “Passive candidates have the ball in their court and won’t make the leap unless you can compel them to do so. Often times you will need to communicate a unique value proposition that scratches an itch that is not being met at the current employer.”

Tip 10: Invite people to events

The best way to build rapport is in person, but meeting for coffee requires the candidates to dedicate their time to the recruiter. Better to meet or invite them to events that are mutually beneficial, said Rosie Pongracz (@rosiepongracz), Founder of Pongracz Strategic Marketing.

For example, give them a heads-up on professional education and networking events within their background. Those opportunities present a low pressure yet valuable environment for conversation and relationship building.

Tip 11: Present yourself as a subject matter expert, not a recruiter

In my experience, very few individuals who’d be considered top, truly passive talent are willing to engage or build relationships with recruiters,” said Cornerstone OnDemand’s Charney whose advice for recruiting passive candidates is to not treat them as passive candidates.

Top candidates want to maintain relationships with subject matter experts, not recruiters. That’s why aforementioned advice such as blogging and attending industry events to build presence and thought leadership are strong assets.

Once that relationship is established,” said Charney, “It’s important to not be overly aggressive in trying to transform them into an applicant.”

Tip 12: Build a candidate referral network with other recruiters

An unforeseen benefit of Miller-Merrell’s popular blog, Blogging4Jobs, is that it’s become a hub for her to build a candidate referral network with other recruiters.

She forwards candidate inquiries to recruiters she has relationships with, and they return the favor, which further establishes her candidate referral network. Miller-Merrell claims that single emails to her network result in positions filled quickly, keeping active and passive candidates, along with her network of recruiters, working in harmony.

Tip 13: Build your employment brand with top industry talent

Ask the people in your office who the best people they know are,” said’s Arkind. “You want to turn them into an advocate for your company whether they work for you not.”

The goal of this effort is to build an employment brand with the best in the industry.

Hiring decisions are not made in a vacuum,” said Arkind. “People ask their friends about jobs. You want to make sure their friends think you’re awesome.”

Tip 14: Follow online social engagements with in-person meetings

Multiple people told us how important it is to meet in person, whether it’s coffee, lunch or a networking event.

Pongracz has been on both sides of the recruiting equation and the “follow up” has been the divisive factor in her decision to work with someone.

I can’t tell you how many peeps have lost opportunities with me by not following up. And conversely – others that did, we’ve worked together since,” said Pongracz.

Tip 15: Earn your social street cred

Do whatever you can to connect, retweet and interact with top talent via Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant social spaces.

Drive attention to them and let them know you’re both their promoter and part of their audience,” said RJ Owen (@rjowen), Customer Insight and Design Research Lead for EffectiveUI. “After you’ve gotten a few replies to prove they’ve paid attention, then you can easily approach them with an opportunity that they’ll take seriously.”

The more engagement you have with a potential candidate, the more likely you are to get their attention when you want it,” concurred Tiffany Jennings (@writingthesurf), Digital Zookeeper forVitamin T.

In one such situation, Jennings developed an online then in-person relationship with a UX designer. Even though she knew he wasn’t on the market, she asked if she could send positions that were opening up around town. Thanks to the trust she had built with him, he sent several referrals her way, and ultimately she placed him in a position.

Tip 16: Embed recruiting messages in your marketing and sales efforts

Marc Hoppers (@hops), CEO of Cogent Company, doesn’t distinguish between business marketing and recruiting channels.

We make sure our clients and prospects know that we are not only looking for business referrals, but we are looking for personnel referrals as well,” said Hoppers.

Tip 17: Emphasize an ongoing relationship with a recruitment agency

The passive candidate has a big interest in keeping a great relationship with a recruitment agency,” said Adina Balauru, author of “Help Me Find a Job,” who argues that recruiters need to sell their value proposition over the long haul.

While passives may not be seeking a job today, they may be seeking one tomorrow, for themselves or for their company. Having a trusting relationship with a recruiting agency will be an ongoing benefit, said Balauru.

Tip 18: Engage passives in a non-public talent community

One of the many reasons candidates may remain passive is they don’t want their employer to know they’re looking.

Passive candidates can join [a talent community] without broadcasting to their entire social network,” said Smith whose company, Ascendify, offers such a closed social network. “Candidates don’t run the risk of their current employer finding out that they’re ‘keeping their options open.’ Only the members of that community can see them.”

Similarly, Dice has TechTalk, a network of talent communities that welcome like-minded techs to meet and talk with other professionals and employers around specific skill sets such as mobile development, security, and cloud computing.

Tip 19: Monitor online discussions for industry relevant conversations

If you want to know who is hot in a specific industry, just listen.

There are millions of passive candidates who participate in hundreds of thousands of groups online. These groups are ripe for recruiting,” said John Vlastelica (@vlastelica), Managing Director ofRecruiting Toolbox.

That doesn’t mean you should just start soliciting leads, warned Vlastelica. Instead, monitor the group for a while, identify key contributors, see how other recruiters are being treated, and most importantly figure out how you can contribute to the conversation.

Perhaps you can offer yourself up as an advisor on career decisions or share an interesting article or presentation given by one of your company’s leaders,” said Vlastelica. “The key is to give something of yourself before you expect to get anything.”

Tip 20: Apply Pareto’s 80/20 principle to recruiting

Pareto’s principle states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort.

Pat Sharp (@patsharptalent), Founder ofThe Talent Architect, in a blog post entitled“Recruiting with Pareto’s Principle” on SmartRecruiting, advised that you should focus your hiring process similarly.

Focusing on 80% of a disinterested labor pool is a waste of resources. It slows down the hiring process,” said Sharp. “I think smart companies will focus on finding the 20% of the talent that can make a difference to their organizations. They will invest in their visibility as an employer (a marketing activity) so that appropriate talent will think of them first when they feel dissatisfied at work.”

While Sharp spends 80% of her time working with existing employees to get referrals, her key 20% effort is calling the person who isn’t looking to sell them on making a move.

Conclusion: Pursuing passive candidates is hard work that pays off

All of this advice seems like a lot of work, and it is. But it’s key to realize that the work is cumulative. With a little effort and the right timing, the energy you put into recruiting passives today will likely pay off in the future.