moldy sandwich with salami tomatoes on a chopping boardThe relentless talent attraction (and now retention) war, has begun taking its toll with 63 percent of CEOs now concerned about availability of skills in their organization, according to the 17th CEO Survey by PwC. And only 34 percent feel that HR is ready for the talent management challenges ahead. This has led to tarnished HR team reputations and left the profession in a daze, soul searching, looking for purpose and a rapier-like route to effectiveness in talent management.

It seems that the tried and tested, meat and potatoes of hiring of just writing a nice ad and pasting it over the web-like wallpaper is becoming less and less effective each year, as many businesses continue to stubbornly adhere to this approach, crowding the space; so, the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

It’s no surprise that 93 percent of CEOS in the PwC survey believe that their talent management strategies need to change. And the more progressive HR organizations are heeding this call to arms and innovating their way out of this mire, (and some simply glide over it like Google), by being the first to adopt novel and exciting ways of hiring such as: progressive employer branding; near iconic or at least highly persuasive employee benefits programs; employee referral programs; and gamification-based hiring, to name a few.

This is why I think we should call time on the post your ad-wait-interview-offer-hire paradigm because it’s inadequate and contributes to an increasingly long and often more expensive time-to-hire. Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying it should be jettisoned, but it should be viewed as the skeleton around which innovative talent attraction strategies should be built.

It’s easy to dismiss intergalactic employer super-brands like Google as being superhuman, but that’s burying the proverbial head in the sand, as the truth is that innovative hiring is in reach of all companies and doesn’t always have to be on an epic, fourth-dimensional scale like at Google. It just needs to be innovative compared to the companies in your space (that might even be down the road). You don’t need an Indy 500 car to win a go-kart race.

For example, you might be a business in a sector where it’s pretty much accepted that flexible working, e.g. working from home, just doesn’t happen. Let’s say¬† you’re in call center where the cultural norm is that workers work in the center and not at home. Innovation in that sector might mean nothing more than investing in the technologies so that you can have home-based call center agents, which could massively increase your potential resource pool and give you a talent attraction edge over your tier one competition.

Innovation doesn’t have to always be about adopting the latest, most-expensive technologies and practices; it can just be about differentiating yourself from the competition by being bold enough to think differently and do something slightly differently. The point is that the current, prevailing one-too-many job board system is overcrowded, and most likely delivering diminishing returns each year. If you do rely exclusively on this approach to hiring, your hiring methods are stale, and the time is right for some innovation and differentiation.

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