Tag Archives: talent pool

Quality in the Talent Pool or a Matter of Focus?

“Of course, we have a clue,” Ethan was getting defensive. “I know a good candidate, when I see one. I always get a good feeling in the first few minutes of the interview.”

“So, you make your decision about a candidate in the first few minutes of the interview?” I asked.

“Well, no, I don’t make my decision, but I can tell pretty quick.”

“What can you tell pretty quick, if you haven’t written the role description?” I pressed.

Ethan knew he was getting backed into a corner. “The ad we place, on Craig’s List, it’s pretty detailed. It’s really close to the job description. I really do have a good idea what I am looking for during the interview.”

“Okay, let’s say I buy your job posting as a role description, and where the posting is ambiguous, you plan to make that up in the interview. So, let me see your list of prepared questions, that you have going in to the interview?”

Ethan was getting edgy. “Look,” he started, “I don’t even have an interview scheduled, yet. I will make up some questions before I get in the room.”

“Ethan, we started this conversation when you said that it was hard to find good people these days. If you can’t find good people, it’s more about you, as a manager, than the quality of your talent pool. It’s a matter of focus.”

Who Creates the Talent Pool?

“In the midst of everything I have to do, with all of my management issues and motivation issues, you expect me to read resumes,” Byron was putting his foot down. “I am a Vice-President in this company. I have other people that read resumes for me.”

I did not respond, just raised an eyebrow. I could see the exasperation on Byron’s face.

“So, just exactly what do I do?” asked Byron. “I mean, I know what to do when I need to hire a manager on my team, but to hire a supervisor on one of my manager’s teams?”

“You won’t make the final selection, but I do hold you accountable for driving this process. Logistically, here is what it looks like. Your division has an opening two strata below you. As the manager-once-removed, it is your accountability to create the talent pool from which the hiring manager will select. Creating the talent pool means that you drive this process. Every morning, when you are fresh, I expect you to come in and spend a half hour to forty five minutes reviewing resumes. That’s every day, whether you have an opening in your division, or not. I expect that each day, you will find two or three resumes that you will find interesting. I expect you to make two or three screening phone calls every day. Once or twice a week, I expect you will actually run across a candidate. If you find only one per week, that is fifty people per year that you might bring in to interview for a supervisor level position.”

“But we have never had fifty people that qualified,” Byron continued to push back.

“Is that the truth, or is that something you believe to be true?”
Hiring Talent, the print version, will be available from Amazon within the week, so we have a new cover. This link is for the Kindle version, available now.
Hiring Talent