ABR: A Key Acronym in the War for Talent


Managers should always be on the look out for good talent.
Managers should always be on the look out for good talent.

I don’t often write on recruitment or talent acquisition. I leave that to the bazillion other HR bloggers who specialize in that field. However, an article written by Brent Rasmussen, the president of CareerBuilder North America, caught my eye and made me think of this important acronym in the war for talent.
Four behaviors that cause problems
Rasmussen, in his article 4 Recruiting Behaviors That Limit the Quality of Who You Hire, talked about reasons employers don’t maximize the quality of the talent they seek. His four behaviors include:

  1. Screening candidates based on past job titles
  2. Filtering out the long-term unemployed
  3. Failing to raise wages for tough-to-fill positions
  4. Recruiting only when a vacancy arises

He makes a very valid point with each of these. I have written on the issue of the long-term unemployed here, here and here.
That, however, is the not the issue I wanted to talk about today. Issue four, only recruiting when a vacancy arises, is my target.
ABR= Always Be Recruiting
One of the prime roles every manager should have as part of their job description is to always be on the lookout for potential talent. Increasing or upgrading the “talent” should always be on their minds. As they encounter people at conferences, business meetings, networking, visits to the grocery store or having a cup of coffee at Starbucks they should be in constant evaluation mode and sizing people up as potential candidates for their company.
One of the best examples I ever came across was one provided by an auto quick service shop. The company provided training for any employee so experience in the job was not a requirement. However, they had as a core competency a strong customer attitude and approach. If a candidate did not have that it didn’t make any difference how much or what type experience they had, they did not get hired.
What did this manager do that allowed him to always be recruiting? He had printed on the back of his business card a statement something like this “I like your customer service attitude. We are always looking for good people like you. If you are ever interested in considering another position please give me a call.” The as he was out, during the day, during the evening, on the weekend or whenever, if he ran across someone who treated him the way he wanted his customers treated he would take out a card, compliment them and hand them the card. Naturally he did not get a taker every time, but it did work and it didn’t really take that much effort.
Think about how you might be able to use such an approach for your organization and if you ever go to a conference and are not in the “market” for a new hire you are a fool. Remember your managers serve the organization best by engaging in ABR.
Image courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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