The Scientific Art of Searching Out Talent

By Jane Kennelly, Director, Frog Recruitment

Identifying an A+ individual who will make an impact on the bottom line takes planning. These people are not strolling around the corridors of business thinking about their next role.  They are focussed on making significant impacts in their current work environment and progressing professionally towards personally defined goals.  They may not actively be engaging with the marketplace as a jobseeker… “So how do we find them?” you may well ask.

The same way you might prefer to be found if you were in the same situation. With finesse, by a discerning and expert authority who proffers intriguing options that just can’t be ignored.

The first part of the art of talent identification lies in the research phase.  It starts with a full diagnosis of the organisational dynamic e.g. culture, marketplace, competition, strategies, for instance.  This organisational research is then augmented with your expectations for the new talent you wish to acquire.  The research phase results in a basis for substantive and informed discussion between you and your recruitment partner.  Armed with an extensive understanding of the dynamics of the talent being sought, the forensic searcher dives into big data, deep mining across a range of global data bases to discover and identify potential talent globally.

Then science meets art.  And the art takes the lead with engagement.  It is the art of knowing that there are people with exceptional talents who might not have considered roles or industries or ideas outside of their current experiences.  It is the art of defining an opportunity in a manner unique to the expert talent; it is the art of starting a dialogue about their advancement. For example, how did Frog find and lure a Senior HR Manager who needed to speak French to consider a role in Nigeria (yes, a real opportunity) for a Singaporean company?  It was the human touch that delivered this result.

Some organisations subcontract this vital work to teams of researchers offshore which explains why unique needs of New Zealand organisations are often not realised until a bad recruiting decision has been made – and a non-recoverable mammoth fee has disappeared into an offshore account.

Given the diversity of people in New Zealand, the era of the little black book and the ‘old boys’ networks’ are being replaced.

Distinctive talent is sourced from offshore and even more often, we are tempting some of New Zealand’s finest to come home for the role of their lives.  New-to-NZ talent who have substantiated their offshore expertise within New Zealand organisations provide unique talent opportunities also.  These people aren’t accessed easily through traditional recruitment processes and networks because we have moved into a more diversified marketplace for talent therefore must have more diversified talent acquisition practices.

Gone are the days of the big half page advertisement, and we hasten to add, the enormous recruitment fees.  In their place is a savvy CEO who is looking to partner with recruitment expertise to excel in the Art of Scientific Talent Acquisition.

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