After attending ERE last week, I'm convinced that there will never be another "war for talent".

Having lived through the first war for talent of the mid to late 90's during the dot.com boom, I can tell you that we were hiring as fast and as furious as possible. Companies were offering 6 month leases on Ferrari's as signing bonuses and the "war" was on. As employers, we literally battled at offer time against one another - upping the ante' until one of us blinked and lost the candidate. The emphasis was on closing candidates and building companies.

Fast forward to the recovery of 2010-2011 and you'll see a very different recruitment scenario. One based, not on fast and furious recruitment but one based on engagement of talent.

We won't be building companies at warp speed. Most organizations will add strategically instead of rabidly. As recruiting departments we'll be measured on how well we know our candidates, how we treat them in the application/interview process and how well our employment offers match the unique needs of each person we hire.

Recruiting departments will no longer simply be measured on how many hires they made and how fast but on how many of these hires turn into game changers. Your scorecard will reflect how many of your hires were promoted this year vs. last year and how many of your hires have been here how long.

We are moving to "candidate engagement" teams - focused on developing relationships in advance of hiring needs, determining work preferences, styles and requirements and then hiring the right person into the right job. Recruiters will be compensated on retention and performance of those individuals they hire and the line between Recruiter and Hiring Manager (you know, that line that you toss candidates over and then say "your decision now" and wash your hands and move on?) will forever be blurred as accountability for a new employee's success will be shared between the two.

So to get a jump on the the new paradigm, you need to focus on engaging prospects and taking time to learn about them; hone your candidate experience for both interviewed and non-interviewed candidates and then create a "concierge experience" for anyone you interview - ensuring that, hired or not, they leave your process talking about how everyone they know should want to work for your company.

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Comment by Randy Levinson on September 23, 2009 at 11:47am
Great Article Phil, and great comments too. Karen, I am conviced that we will reach a breaking point in terns of # 3 combined with #4 above. many corporate leaders feel entitled to get work done at low costs and this will drive their push to engage in non-compliant ways. I've seen it first hand and there is no telling some people, "Your VP level authority does not trump the laws of this country."

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