Let's Talk
Recruiting Sales Talent: "The If You Post It, They Will Come" Fallacy

Recruiting Sales Talent: "The If You Post It, They Will Come" Fallacy

Categories: Talent Management

The Frustrations with Job Postings

I am old. Fifty three to be exact. I was fortunate enough to get my start in recruitment before the internet, job boards or LinkedIn. Over the past twenty years, I have continued to experience the transactional nature of the way the world goes about attracting its most valuable asset, talent. Posting a job description that has a ton to be desired and hoping that the right person will come to us is fools gold. Can companies fill open roles with job postings? Of course they can, but a job posting is not recruiting. I highly doubt any professional sports teams are putting up a posting in hopes that their next franchise player will miraculously author the perfect resume to take them to the championship. Although being a lifelong NY Giants fan maybe that is the exact methodology they have implemented over the last ten years ...

Several years ago I gave a presentation on how the process of attracting "human capital" is done almost without any "human interaction" until the very end, when employers are relying on their overworked managers to trust their gut in a 30-minute interview. I am living proof that the 30-minute interview is flawed as even I can be charming for thirty minutes if I need a job badly enough. The, "If You Post It, They Will Come" mentality is flawed from the start. Here's why:

  1. An internal manager crafts a job description and sends it off to internal human resources electronically.
  2. The internal recruitment team takes that very job description and posts it out to the world wide web, electronically.
  3. Job seekers (to no fault of their own) will write a resume to match that job description and forward it off to the internal recruitment team electronically.
  4. The recruitment team is now faced with using their best guess to determine which of the 75 plus candidates to pass along—electronically—to the internal manager looking for the right person to join their team.

My recent research shows hiring managers are more disappointed with the quality of candidates they are receiving today, compared to previous years. In addition, it shows job seekers claim to hear back from employers on their job applications less than 10% of the time. So why do close to 100% of the companies that are in search of great talent rely heavily on the job postings? You can see why the system is broken. 

Revamp Your Recruiting Efforts

Recruiting is a human contact sport. It always has been and always will be.

Your next great hire is sitting right under your nose. The best project managers know other competent project managers that would be the "right" fit for their team. Your best, most competent employees are not going to recommend an underqualified person, as they know that it will reflect poorly on them, only create more work for them and not move the team forward. One of—if not the most important—first steps in identifying and recruiting the "right" people to your company is to ask people in your network and certainly inside of your company who you should "go out and get". Job postings will only get you so far. It's the human contact where you will find your next great hire. Please understand that it is not my intention to discourage anyone from posting job openings. It is however my advice to rely on them as only a small piece of your overall approach to hiring the right people for your teams.

Read Blog

About Mike McSally

Mike McSally is a keynote speaker and talent acquisition consultant. Mike is a recognized and accomplished business leader with deep expertise in aligning people, operations and technology. Mike has spent over 25 years with the largest recruitment/services firms in North America. He is known for his ability to understand customers' complex business challenges and simplifying solutions for the customer and the customer's customer.

Sales Pro Central