Active + Passive Candidates = Total Candidate Pool

1I know my equation in the title does not have the same power or significance as e=mc², but it could help change the mind set of internal Talent Acquisition teams in order to improve efficiencies and quality of hire. My colleague, Brent Shopp wrote a blog a few months ago on recruiting active vs. passive candidates for open positions within companies. Debating the value of Active vs. Passive candidates has been a hot topic in recent years due to the increased exposure of people through social media and access to the internet in general. This blog is not a debate on whether it is best to hire an active or a passive candidate, but rather explore the benefits of increased efficiencies when having the ability to identify the total talent pool.

Tight budgets impacting bandwidth capacity are the norm for corporations in today’s struggling global economy. At the same time, baby boomers globally are exiting the workforce, thereby leaving a knowledge based workforce gap that needs back-filled. The edict from the top to do “more with less” poses a dramatic challenge to Talent acquisition teams. And this issue is not just a 2013 problem; it has been an issue since 2009, which ultimately wears down energy levels for many Talent Acquisition professionals. So how are companies overcoming this challenge? Some like Google and Intel figured out that being proactive in building talent pools will build a connection for future talent. Others are starting to understand that the more talent market information they acquire, the better decisions they make on strategy and use of budgetary funds.

As a recent example, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical client provides insight into their challenge of sourcing and attracting talent for multiple roles across the United States. With the business screaming for results, all tactics geared towards ACTIVE candidates had failed, and they were looking for a cost effective solution to better understand the talent market plus identify the total talent pool of active and passive candidates. For each role, candidates had to meet 4-7 basic qualifiers in order to be a match. Avancos were engaged to provide an analysis of the talent market in order to better understand where talent resides, what would push or pull factors to attract them to the client, and what other competitors were trying to attract the same talent, thereby giving the client insight on a plan forward.

at the same time At the same time, we were tasked to identify up to 90% of the talent market in order for the client to develop targeted marketing campaigns. Weekly calibration and collaboration meetings ensured transparency and timelines would be met, which ultimately resulted in completing the project 25% ahead of schedule. As a result, talent market information was gathered to construct better messaging and marketing efforts, and most importantly, client’s candidate pool increased from 30% to 90% of the total talent pool, thereby adding an additional 927 candidates.

These numbersThese numbers reflect the difference in a thought process of labeling a candidate as a “active” or “passive” candidate and focusing purely on the basic qualifiers and compiling data through a structured process. In the end, Talent Acquisition Teams better understand it’s ALL ABOUT THE DATA. The more data collected and assimilated into useful insight, the easier it is to make better decisions towards talent acquisition tactical and strategic initiatives. Finding the entire talent pool and their movement trends through a data driven process helps solve the budget-bandwidth quagmire with increased efficiencies. If you have any comments or questions regarding Talent Intelligence, please contact me at

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