The War for Talent (continued)

As I mention in Freaking Hired! this is a beauty.

Or rather the absurdity of its conceptual appropriation by mainstream recruitment bosses is a beauty.

I’m sure that the recruiter bigwigs neck back some double comfort from the mention of McKinsey and the War concept. And nothing like a heavy blast of reflected glory from a credible source.

But as ever, the bubonic plagiarists of Hiresville fall flat on their foie-gras-bolstered faces with the application of the theory.

You see, the charlatans always struggle with the application of concepts that they don’t understand.

Quite simply, the War for Talent isn’t their game. It applies only in industries where the top players and top organisations are mutually well acquainted.

It doesn’t apply to banks looking for the clerks with the most potential. Or to the search for contact centre advisors.

How can a volume recruiter start be harping on about talent, when operating a commercial model from advertisement to the final assessment centre that is based on volume reduction?

Everything is designed to ensure that high reactive volume (at low cost) is whittled down (again at low cost) to a manageable volume of good enough candidates at the final stages.

It’s about hoping that enough quality is captured through quantity. And then hoping that enough of the quality they do catch in the net does well enough to get through to the end of the process.

The fact that these processes often fail to attract the best people available and then kick out many of the better ones that they do catch, through their woefully narrow testing is deftly omitted from the great talent rhetoric of volume recruiters.

Well, after all, that blows it out of the water.

The game for the sockless, tanned-brogued morality contortionists is really a War for Volume.  Though, let’s face it, anybody can spray and pray, so there is hardly a war on, as such. The candidates in question just make multiple applications for the different companies concerned and can merrily progress through unconnected application processes, without anyone being the wiser that they have applied for more than one job.

The only competition will arise if one candidate gets two offers. Then the war is between HR teams and, almost always, won by whomever offers the best salary. Nothing to do with the recruitment organisations at all.

Nobody is attracting great talent here. They are just generating interest through their advertisements, in the same way that a merchandiser sells chocolates. And these shysters don’t even send in a wiry geezer in a black jumpsuit, unannounced, to deposit the goods.

The real difference between the two, though, is that the merchandiser won’t be making any grandiose claims about the intelligence or the moral probity of his customers. He has, after all, advertised chocolates and has attracted interest from those who want, erm, chocolates.

Job advertisements operate in the same way.

But that will not stop recruiters from blowing a whole lungful of smoke up each other’s rosebuds.

In fact, all they are in fact doing is generating enough volume as a starting point and then applying sufficient cost-effective stages to eliminate the obvious duffers.

At the final stages, it will not matter who gets hired, as long as they meet the standard for the job.

It’s all about adequate placement, not hiring great talent.

The real war is the War on Talent.

Candidates becoming alienated by dire people and even worse processes, that waste their time, effort and emotional strength.

unsplash-logoDrew Graham

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