Outbound Hiring Capability Matrix for Recruiters

Introducing the Outbound Hiring Capability Matrix for Recruiters

As the talent landscape gets more and more competitive, Recruiting Leaders everywhere are realising that the only way to win the talent war is to get proactive and go outbound. But with so much noise and so many new technologies, how do you as a recruiter decipher what to focus on and what will get you the results?

Lets try and understand what are the biggest challenges that recruiters are facing today: 

  1. Discovering relevant candidates
    • 65% of recruiters cite a lack of skilled candidates in the market as the largest obstacle to hiring as per Jobvite’s Job Nation Survey
    • 72% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills as per PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey
  2. Standing out from other companies and getting candidate attention
    • 80% of people would take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process as per Mattersight’s research.
  3. Candidate Drop off / Taking up counter offers
    • Accepting another offer (47%) is the NUMBER 1 reason why offers get rejected according to MRI Network.
  4. Improving relationship with Hiring Managers
    • 77% of hiring managers say that recruiters’ candidate screening is ‘inadequate’.
    • 51% of recruiters said hiring managers ‘should do a better job communicating what they are looking for in a candidate’ and ‘provide relatable examples’.
  5. Access to market research, data and analytics
    • 72% of recruiters say data analytics is somewhat or very important in the hiring process as per Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Survey.
    • Only 4% of organisations surveyed believe they have the predictive talent analytics capabilities today. Only 14% of companies have any form of talent analytics program in place, yet more than 60% want to build a plan this year as per Deloitte’s Talent Analytics Practice.

Basis the above trends, it is evident that HR and business leaders will have to fundamentally re-evaluate their talent acquisition capabilities. The emergence of analytics, social, personalized marketing, and an increased recognition of talent as a CEO concern -- all enable an intelligent, business-aligned approach to strategic hiring called Outbound Hiring.

Outbound Hiring is a targeted, candidate-focused approach that coordinates personalized talent acquisition and business efforts to hire people who succeed in your company. To get started with Outbound Hiring, firms need to ensure they focus on two primary axis to make their recruiting teams successful. First and foremost, firms must prioritise and treat candidates just like they treat their customers - by embracing candidate experience best practices. Secondly, it is imperative that recruiting today should align itself with business lead from the front by making sure they understand the nuances of business.


To get a realistic sense of the kind of talent acquisition functions and teams that exist in the market today, we can broadly categorise them into the below quadrants:

Beginners: These are teams more often than not, that are just getting started on their talent acquisition journey. They’re new to the recruiting world and are busy putting the basic building blocks of recruiting in place for their organisation. This is mostly early stage startups and new companies who do not have specific recruiters / talent acquisition leaders but functional leaders who are looking to hire and build their teams. Since the functional leaders jobs often are about building products / driving revenue / pitching to customers / investors, they lack experience in recruiting and often try to multitask by taking additional responsibility of recruiting by themselves.

Delegaters: Delegaters are extremely business aligned and have a strong pulse and grasp on their strategy, customers, growth and business vectors. Because they’ve reached a certain scale and now have specific budgets open to drive business traction, most end up partnering with recruitment agencies / vendors / marketplaces where the focus is on an extremely high top of the funnel in the form of relevant candidates and payouts / success is mutually achieved when happen when positions are closed / candidates join these organisations.

High Potentials: High potentials give extremely high priority towards candidate experience and get the fact that there is no difference between candidates and customers today. They go out of their way to drive exceptional candidate experiences and create candidate delight. They’re called high potentials since most of them have the basic building blocks of recruiting in place and are on the top of their game when it comes to candidate experience. Recruiters here have one key missing ingredient to migrate to the next stage - which is the outbound hiring leaders. That key trait is business alignment. To explain alignment, lets try and understand a unique skill-set that most companies want to hire today: DevOps. DevOps is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops). DevOps aims at shorter development cycles, increased deployment frequency, and more dependable releases, in close alignment with business objectives. If a recruiter doesn’t understand what DevOps does, and how in particular his / her company is doing cutting edge work on DevOps, it becomes extremely hard for him / her to sell the role to the candidate / excite the candidate. It also becomes extremely difficult for him / her to find the right talent. To find talent for such nice roles in India, its imperative that the recruiters understand the candidate journey map for this particular role. Historically site reliability engineers are a great fit for devops positions. Such insight is often got when recruiters collaborate with hiring managers and truly understand the business problem they’re trying to solve for.

Outbound Hiring Leaders: Right on top of the quadrant are Outbound Hiring Leaders who like the matrix showcases focus on two core elements of the recruiting process and ensure they get it right: candidate delight and business alignment. Business alignment enables both functions [recruiting and hiring managers] to work closely together through mutually agreed criteria, processes & metrics. Candidate delight helps you deliver a consistent, fantastic experience across the candidate's journey resulting in higher predictability throughout the funnel and substantially better conversion ratios. By virtue of the above two focus areas, recruiters also end up taking a very analytics-driven understanding of the specific pools of talent that need to be engaged and deploy a "zero-waste" strategy that maximizes efficiency in recruiting by leveraging precision targeting and hyper personalization of content to attract, engage and onboard the desired talent.

This post authored by Aadil Bandukwala first appeared in the print edition of Hindustan Times on 13th November 2018 on Page 19. 

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