The 80/20 rule…

 HR ideas from Jeffery Giesener – CEO –

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the sparsity-of-effects principle) states that, for many events, roughly 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. It is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, and is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your clients.” Mathematically, the 80–20 rule is roughly followed by a power law distribution (also known as a Pareto distribution) for a particular set of parameters, and many natural phenomena have been shown empirically to exhibit such a distribution (Source:Wikipedia).

But does the Pareto principle hold true for the HR/Talent Acquisition industry? It’s an interesting question that we will explore in this post. I think once you read up on Parento you learn that it has direct application to our industry. Why? Because I have not met a recruiter/sourcer/hiring manager who isn’t trying to find new candidates to fill their positions. Their daily work feels like an ever-ending circular run on the high hurdle track.

But what if you can reorient your thinking, work processes and apply the 80-20 rule to your recruiting work? Well, amazing things could happen. Once you put on your Pareto glasses, I believe you could actually have most, if not all, of the candidates you need to fill your positions and do it quickly.

But where are they? How do you speak to them?

They are simply locked in the internal recruiting databases that you are not touching. For instance, you will find them in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) database, candidate connections on all your social channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+) and let’s not forget about extending your employee social networks.

To clarify, think about this … when was the last time you went to your internal databases to find candidates who have previously applied for positions but were not chosen in the first round of hiring? Now what are you doing with these candidates?

Why do you need to open up a complete round of expensive recruiting to find new people, when frankly, they are hidden from you in your own internal recruiting systems? What makes matters even worse are archaic policies such as keeping candidates on file for just six months for EEOC compliance, and after six months dumping these key recruiting assets out of your systems.

Taking this a step further, when was the last time your recruiting department had a conversation with a candidate in your databases post-apply (after they no longer qualified for the job they were applying for because you made the hire)?

I sense you can see where we are going here. There is a diamond-load of recruiting opportunity if you follow the 80/20 rule of recruiting and focus on candidates who are engaging with you already in your databases, instead of constantly focusing on a new level of expensive recruiting.

Why not see how the recruiting power of social, community, employee social referrals and mobile recruiting will work for you, even in the toughest of job categories? To learn more simply reach out to me directly at or at 952-417-6955.

To check out our latest Webinar Education schedule go to and look for the Events link off the navigational bar

July 15st Webinar – 12 PM CDT:

Searching For More Candidates, But Not Sure Where to Look?


ABOUT SOURCEMOB: SourceMob integrates Internet, social, talent community and mobile recruiting solutions to help talent acquisition professionals recruit the very best candidates for tough-to-fill positions. SourceMob’s IT, Analytics and HR Media Services distributes job content and conversations providing a job posting springboard to over 3.5 million candidate profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and all of the major search engines. We help you engage with your candidates and capture niche Passive candidates. Our solutions also enable Mobile Quick Apply and candidate application management services to create efficiencies and lower recruiting costs.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Jeffery Giesener