The Talent Hunt – Making it Efficient

It is universally agreed that employing The Right People is The Key to any successful business.  Hiring talented achievers to fill key positions is the most difficult task facing any manager.

Before investing time, energy, and money on this important aspect of your responsibility: GET PREPARED!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I completed a Position Analysis Worksheet?
  • Why is this position necessary?
  • Am I prepared to sell the advantages of working for me and my company to candidates who are working for my competitors or who have other opportunities they are considering?
  • How many people and total working hours am I prepared to use to hire the right person?
  • Do I personally have 10 to 30 working hours available to find the right person?
  • How much time does my company usually spend to fill a vacancy?
  • How many other people must be involved in the decision making process?
  • What efficient resources are available to surface qualified candidates?
  • What is my own track record in locating, qualifying, and hiring the achiever I need?
  • Does my HR department really know how to find key talent?
  • What time will be given to my requirement compared to other talent requirements the company has?
  • Are there security or proprietary issues prompting the need for confidentiality in the information about what the company is doing and why new talent is being sought?
  • Is it legal to directly recruit from competitors in my state or in my competitors’ states?
  • Are there non-compete issues my company has with other companies?
  • Do I know the laws on discrimination in hiring?

These are just some of the questions that need to be considered before you begin a search for new talent. Once you get to this level of discovery you then need to calculate the direct and indirect cost of having the position go unfilled and determine how long you can sustain the vacancy. This factor of URGENCY may play heavily on your hiring decision making status, especially when in a competitive talent acquisition status.


If a key individual resigned today, you could expect to spend at least 17 weeks to fill the positions.

  • 1 week to ensure the job description, challenges, and requirements are consistent with your views for the position, even if this is a replacement position.  Be prepared to give this more time if this is a newly created position.
  • 1 week to review and evaluate internal candidates.
  • 2 weeks to have the job posting reach the marketplace you target and get the exposure you will need to get a mix of qualified candidates.
  • 2-3 weeks to screen and analyze the hundreds of resume that will be sent from automatic web sites and those from individual job seekers.
  • 2 weeks to conduct preliminary telephone screening calls of the top 7 candidates screened from the resumes received.
  • 2 weeks to set arrangements and conclude the 1st in-person interview for the top 3 candidates.
  • 1-2 weeks between 1st in-person interview and decision to conduct the 2nd in-person interview.
  • 1 week to conduct preliminary references.
  • 2 weeks between 2nd interview and decision to hire.
  • 1 week between decision and offer.
  • 1 week between offer and acceptance.
  • 2-3 weeks notice needed by selected candidate after an offer is made and accepted.

And after you have done all this: just before the agreed upon state date, candidate decides to accept counter offer. Now you start the process over at the appropriate step adding several more weeks to successful conclusion.


Besides your time, you can expect to spend $7,000 to $10,000 on average, in direct cost alone to fill this vacancy – those expenses being:

Now when you meet each candidate, you and your interviewing team will have a complete background on each person and the exact position requirement providing a more consistent and professional evaluation method.

This process allows for more intense interviews, a better use of everyone's time, and we can tell you conclusively through our experiences have resulted in better hires.

  1. Advertisement in journals, websites, and other outlets.
  2. Direct cost of personnel department to do screening.
  3. Interviewing expenses.
  4. Your own salary / time in the process.
  5. Your boss’ salary / time in the process.
  6. Salary of your department employees involved in the candidate review process.

In addition to the above direct costs calculation, what about the loss of productivity or potential new business because while you are working at filling the position your individual time and the time of your staff will be directed away from specific priorities/projects. This time could represent a loss of business opportunities.


  • Can the projects now on my work agenda withstand the time away that filling this position will demand?
  • Have I calculated the impact of the time lost by myself and my department that these displaced priorities represent?
  • Have I evaluated the bottom line value of these displace priorities/projects?

The next consideration should be the method you use to find the best candidates for the position. 

  • Do you and others in your organization know the difference between finding candidates and acquiring talent?
  • Do you know what resources best suits the urgency, money, and energy you have available to fill this vacancy?
  • Is there a website that focuses on the specific quality, background, and size of the audience you want to attract?
  • Does your HR staff understand where to look and how to qualify candidates you want?
  • Does your HR staff know how to reach passive candidates who aren’t actively looking to change jobs?
  • Do you really believe that you can screen candidates simply with key word searches?
  • Are there methods that can increase your efficiency and success in acquiring the talent you want?
  • If you want talent from competitive or like companies do you need to ensure the confidentiality of what you are tying to do?
  • Are you aware of the advantages and shortcomings of personal and industry contacts in networking for the talent you want? 
    • These contacts while often quick to response with pre-qualified potential candidates can be self-limiting in exposure, create potential conflicts of interest, and exclude the advantage of meeting and considering new talent.
  • Will your company’s HR department give you the strength of defeating counter- offers, negotiating best salaries, and reaching the hidden agenda of candidates?
  • Have you consider the time and cost savings possible with an industry focused recruiter who is a professional specialist, sensitive and discreet, committed to ensuring your success? 
    • Finance departments concerned with the bottom line will see this option as a one-time tax deductable fixed expense, and if you consider that recruiters achieve success faster and more successfully than any other method you will be able to achieve the talent acquisition results you want in a more efficient and cost effective way.
    • Your company may prohibit you using a cost-saving professional recruiter for your key talent requirements.  If that is the case, be prepared for lots of individual time and frustration to get the results you want.

Working with an industry focused professional recruiter can actually minimize the time to hire, improve your success, open new avenue to consider, and save money.

When your cost benefit analysis shows that using an industry focused professional recruiter makes sense and you are ready to engage --  BEWARE –

Avoid recruiters who are unprincipled opportunists, who indiscriminately send resumes, who irrationally lobby for their candidates, who are self-serving, who divulge confidential information about your company, and who have a “hit-and-run” philosophy.

If you want to locate the professional industry specialist who will best meet your needs and have your professional interest at heart, contact Wireless Careers

 This article is one in a series aimed at improving management efficiency in selecting and acquiring achievers and was written by Jack Bourque, president of Wireless Careers.

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