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14 min read

Finding Talent For Your Enterprise is Hard But You're Making it Harder

We know that finding good talent is hard... but you're not making it any easier on yourself with your approach to filling your most challenging, mission-critical roles. By letting your corporate infrastructure continue to dictate your recruiting and hiring policies, you're allowing the disruptions of today (gig economy, work from home, retiring management to name a few) undermine your most critical company objectives.

We discovered a new, agile formula that meets the challenges of today head-on, filling your bucket with qualified leads that are engaged, excited, and ready to be hired.

The problem with the Status Quo

Things move slowly... almost excruciatingly so. And, in the past, it was easy to shrug off because you held all of the cards. You had the most coveted positions, benefits, and salary structures. Your name recognition made your company incredible resume material.

At the end of the day, there was always a talent pool and an abundance of recruiters supplying you with qualified applicants.

So, why is it so hard to fill your most important roles? And why do those investments continue to get more expensive?

The short answer is that you haven't changed while the world around you has... at lightning speeds.

Younger companies are shifting to more flexible work models (work from home for one), which opens the doors to jobs across the country, which means they're no longer forced between the jobs that are close in proximity. Benefits are more easily administered by companies like Gusto or Headcount Management. California-salaries are paid in rural areas. And, Millennials are finding themselves in hiring roles, which means that big names are less interesting than big skills.

It's time to go Agile

I know this is already on your mind, and to some extent, it's probably keeping you up at night.

How on earth can a massive enterprise be expected to adopt an Agile framework when even the most technologically advanced businesses that sell products made from Agile methodology can't seem to get it right (I'm looking at you Tim Cook--mr look-at-my-incredible-technology-that-brings-us-closer-together-but-I-can't-figure-out-wfh-culture-in-office-jobs)?

You grew to the size you are today because you've been anything but nimble. You created scalable processes that are only that way because they're repeatable. They're built off of templates that have been through the rigor of testing, vetting, legal-ezing, and staying the course.

That's a LOT of baggage in the face of imminent Agile change.

But being Agile in the way you recruit talent doesn't have to mean that you achieve total Agile transformation. As long as you have an appetite for change and a willingness to pave the way for a single program, it's possible that you can achieve it today in small pockets and use it to propagate Agile philosophy elsewhere.

More notably, being Agile does in fact mean that you're following rigid, repeatable processes.

All of the different Agile frameworks, such as SCRUM, are built on the foundation of repetition. But instead of repeating the same tactical playbook, you're repeating the process of tactical delivery.

Here's how you do it:

1. Marketing Experimentation

Toss the 12-month content calendar. It's not going to help you attract talent when you're so out of touch by the time your content lands.

Moreover, experimentation implies that there's a desired outcome for engaging in any kind of marketing action... even something as seemingly trivial as blogging. 

When you approach "routine" marketing tasks with a goal in mind, it's easier to measure success.

Correction, it's actually possible to measure success. 

For example, with blogging, the goals tend to be 1, Traffic, and 2, leads. It's not an either/or situation. Traffic is only valuable if it converts somehow. Yet, very few enterprise-level blogs publish articles that engage potential employees that lead to conversion mechanisms outside of your typical job application... most of you aren't even getting to the application in your blog posts. Most of your blog posts aren't even blog posts... they're advertisements.

If we're being really honest, most of your blogs aren't generating ideal applicants. 

However, if the goal is to generate leads (in this case, potential hires), then the blog should feed your North Star metric. If after publishing it and allowing a reasonable amount of time to pass to generate statistical significance (2 weeks to 3 months depending on organic traffic), it's time to revisit it.

There are several names for this approach - Growth hacking, growth marketing, growth engineering (learn more)... whatever the label, it's an extremely targeted approach to experimentation.

2. Reactivity

This is a big one--and possibly one of the greater areas of challenge for most enterprise businesses. You're simply not reactive enough.

You're not reactive to engaging behaviors--often, because you're unaware of them. How can you expect your recruiters to know when to react if they don't know what they're reacting to? You should be able to alert them of engaging behaviors as they're happening, not 3 months later.

You're not reactive to employment trends. Work from Home, gig-style opportunities, travel opportunities... all of the things that you're hoping will go away but aren't...hile you wait for the world to change to your standard, you're losing a lot of ground.

And your recruiting staff is operating off of hunches, not data. I can't tell you how many times I've had recruiters tell us our email templates weren't "flashy enough," and they run off and change the entire schematic without actually considering what the data said.

In reality, our templates are based off of deploying agile sales and recruiting programs for the last decade, and they always beat out the gut-based ideas others feel meet the "flashy factor."


3. Recruiting & Marketing Synergy

When people first approach us to help them solve their hiring woes they're often convinced that more leads will do it all on their own.

I have news for you.

They won't.

You need a plan that is strategic in nature, and that includes both marketing and recruiting.

Not all inbound leads are going to hit the "apply now" button. Many of them, especially those in the medical fields like doctors, nurses, and veterinarians, require much, much more. 

You should have a plan that addresses messaging and cadence for following up. Remember, these folks are being wooed by every one of your competitors already, so if you pitch the same playbook as everybody else, winning will be slow, painful, expensive, and likely non-existent.

I suggest a "how can I help" approach. Don't call and pitch. Instead, look at what brought them to your website and what prompted them to give you their contact information.

In other words, provide synergy that allows recruiting to properly REACT to actual human behaviors, interests, and challenges.

And, for the love of Pete, give recruiting a voice in the collaborations around what to deploy in marketing. You'll accomplish 2 things by doing so: 1, you'll get insight you didn't have before, and 2, you'll be able to identify people on your teams who will inhibit the success of your agile recruiting investments before they fall flat (and, conversely, your real champions of success).

4. Willingness to fail (forward)

You have a brand identity, shareholders with a say in everything you do, and a belief that you'll never recover if you say or do the wrong things today.

You have a chain of command that's designed to prevent any and all failures...

... which risks total failure due to inaction.

None of those things matter when you can't fill jobs that are paramount to your company achieving its vision of XYZ.

Thanks to the never-ending cycle of content and news, our attention spans are shorter than ever.

Your brand will change over time--this is inevitable. 

By taking an experimental approach to growth, you're inherently accepting that some of the things you do might fail. And you're okay with that because you often learn more from failing than succeeding (as long as you have a rigid process for learning and propagating knowledge).

In the enterprise space, you have so many advantages thanks to your scale. For one, you're hiring the same jobs over and over, which sets the stage for 

Perfection is a myth. And, set as your standard, it's a guarantee that you fail backward.

Take risks. Hedge your bets.

Fail forward.


By leaning into a philosophy of growth rooted in experimentation, reactivity, synergy, and a willingness to fail, you'll be empowered to overcome your biggest hiring woes.

You'll also benefit from seeing how Agile philosophy works in practice--paving the way for that total Agile transformation that you know you need to accomplish eventually but don't have the ability to capture today.

Click HERE for a free Recruiting as a Services (RaaS)consultation today

Lucas is the Founder and CEO of Growth Agency Orange Pegs, and the Co-Founder of HOP. He's the architect of Growth, and he LOVES helping businesses grow!