Adapt or Die: Most Talent Acquisition Failures are Self-Inflicted

…ideas from Jeffery Giesener – – CEO

What do the American Mastodon, Woolly Mammoth, and Arizona Jaguar all have in common?  Here’s a hint: they all suffered similar fates to Hostess Brands, Circuit City, and Blockbuster.  Yes, extinction. Organizations and Cultures can take away similar lessons because in an ever-changing world you need to be aware and responsive to environmental changes allowing your organization to continue to survive, sustain and grow.

A recent study by Forrester indicates that Milllenials (20 somethings) will make up 50% of the workforce by 2018.

According to a Bain Research study…

Successful companies have a strong, well-differentiated core.  In other words, these companies focus on their greatest strengths. Organizations can differentiate through superior cost (like Wal-Mart), through unique product features (like Apple), or through a differentiated distribution system (like Microsoft).  And having a strong, well-defined core should allow for sustained growth over time – either from offering new products that relate to the core, expanding current products into new market segments (still remaining true to the core) and/or acquiring other businesses related to the core.

Have you defined your Talent Acquisition Core Strengths?

Have you figured how to differentiate your brand to Passive Candidates?

How would your preferred Candidates define your core strengths?

Secondly, successful companies have clear non-negotiables.  In other words, they have the ability to “translate their strategy into a few simple values and prescriptions that people throughout the organization can understand and use to shape actions and decisions.” According to Bain’s data, it’s the unnecessary INTERNAL complexity, the inefficient or ineffective communication or the extra approval layers, that delays decision making. Also, it’s the preference to study things incessantly, but not take action ( what I call “analysis paralysis”), that turns companies into lumbering dinosaurs.

How many layers of decision making do you have in your HCM vertical?

Are you empowering your HCM Team to make decisions and move fast?

When was the last time you tried to fill fout your Candidate application through your Applicant Tracking System?

Third, successful companies have systems for closed loop learning. In the face of rapid changes  (marketplace, customer preferences, technology, competition, and so forth ), successful companies react faster than their competitors. They use data from various sources to understand what’s changing in their environment: they learn from customers, Candidates, workforce, partners and suppliers. They establish robust listening posts to understand how their industry is changing, which gives them the ability to adapt quickly. In some ways, these organizations can see around corners, which gives them the ability to anticipate changes before they occur.

What systems have you instituted that can provide you “listening posts” that monitor internal and external communication from your employees and potential Candidates?

In the words of Rupert Murdoch: “The world is changing very fast.  Big will not beat small any more.  It will be the fast beating the slow.”

So where am I leading with all of this? Quite simply, I would start to question the reasoning of continuing to bolt-on new tools to your Big Iron legacy HRIS solutions.  In doing so, the lack of true integration of the tools results in a confusing, disjointed path for Candidates trying to find jobs, let alone go all the way to Apply.” Be especially careful, when competing to speak to Millenials because Big Iron HRIS systems that do not provide a preferred Candidate experience will be heading for extinction.

In your 2013 plans how will you engage Millenials?

What plans are in place to lower your recruiting costs?

In summary, successful companies, those that grow and produce consistent HCM ROI’s (do you know yours?), seem to do at least four things very well: they focus on their strengths; they favor simplicity over complexity; they systematically gather data from a variety of listening posts to better anticipate how and when to change; and they are continually looking to become more agile and flexible with the HRIS systems they deploy in the future.

At SourceMob we call this looking around the corner and developing Second Generational Social and Mobile solutions that Candidates want to use.

For more tips and ideas give me a call at 612-349-2740 or email me at



Jeffery Giesener



Twitter: @sourcemob