Your next Super Hire may be unemployed

If you work in recruitment, you probably think if you don’t throw into conversation; “we’re all about the passive talent!” you might be perceived as unintelligent.

LinkedIn has done a fantastic job drilling the concept of passive talent into heads of recruiters globally.

Whilst I don’t doubt for a second that people already employed are a great source of hire, focussing on passive talent is a dangerous ideology for economic growth in Australia, and globally, as it encourages shuffling of skills rather than up skilling of workers, and does not attempt at all to move the dial on workforce participation.

Yes, but passive talent are better for my business right?

Well, in the McKinsey Global Institute report just released, it notes a recent study by Evolv measuring half a million performance data points for nearly 20,000 employees across the United States, and found that there was no statistical difference in performance of hires who had been among the long-term unemployed versus other employees.

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Think about that for a second…

So, why is the recruitment world being led to believe passive talent are the best?

Who wins in a war for talent?

This kind of data-driven insight and open view can give companies broader access to larger pools of highly productive talent, reduce discrimination, and even make a dent in unemployment.

We all know Australia has a skills gap as our economy accelerates forward, becomes more agile, and transforms in the face of increasing automation. We also have a labour participation rate of around 67%. That’s not great utilisation of the working age population.

Hire for attributes, train for skills.

I believe this is how we will stay agile and keep up with changing environments. But it takes a collective movement.

This does not mean posting ads and asking applicants to apply, it means opening up your business beyond specific roles, and inviting people to be a part of your Talent Community, welcoming people all shapes and sizes, and finding those that shine.

If you continue to hire passive talent, the only attribute you encourage is flippancy and your turnover rate may cost you more than it did to train someone with good attributes. Are you tracking that data?

So, as Talent and HR leaders, ask yourself; are you doing your part to support this? Or are you spending your time adding to the continual shuffling of the same talent around different businesses, pushing up your cost and time to hire all the while, for a perceived productivity gain that might not be real?

I think you’re more talented than that. Tweet This