BPO Elite Blog Post #8 – Recruiting Top Talent

As preparations for our Philippines expansion continue to move ahead at warp speed, I’ve been spending a lot of time increasing my knowledge of the recruitment industry in the Philippines. I know from personal experience that recruiting top talent is a lot harder than it might seem. So many hiring decisions are based on things that have nothing to do with being a successful hire. For those of you have seen Moneyball (and if you haven’t do so asap… its an amazing movie), the scene where the scouts are looking at all the obsolete way to judge talent and driving Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) crazy comes to mind.
To be sure there are many recruiting firms and HR departments that have figured it out, I’ve come across some really innovative ones in the past few days. In fact the level of talent currently employed in sourcing and placing candidates for the BPO Industry in the Philippines is pretty impressive. However, from what I’ve learned so far it appears that in general, the way recruiting is approached in the Philippines is on par the way the old school scouts in Moneyball value players. Watch the trailer here (http://www.reelz.com/movie/269136/moneyball/clips/) and you’ll pick up on several key concepts that are true in the world of baseball, are true in most professions, and appear to be true in the recruiting industry in the Philippines.
Online job boards, mass CV screenings, and large group interviews of candidates right off the street are still the primary ways to source new talent. Looking for candidates with experience over fresh graduates and not looking for red flags in previous positions are deeply ingrained in the mind set of the industry. With the lessons of Moneyball in mind, I’ve indentified several keys for success that I plan on implementing with BPO Elite-Philippines to take things in a different direction. They include:
1. Mitigate job hopping by screening out likely quick quits and potential bad hires before placement. Encourage self-selected termination.
2. Groom those with the right personality, expectations and career mind-set to succeed. Model and promote top talent and skills for success.
3. Focus mainly on fresh graduates and those with no pervious experience. Weave in veterans when and where appropriate. Use internships and volunteer experiences as likely indicators of trainability.
4. Tie-up candidates with jobs that match personality, work style, lifestyle and career plans. Teach them the agent life cycle and demonstrate career benefits. Use job previews.
5. Use assessments to greatly increase chance of success. Assess basic competencies, personality type, career expectations, critical thinking skills and communication skills.

Our goal is not just to recruit and place talent, but to educate and empower both employers and employees. In the end, we want to be judged not on the number of placements, but on the engagement and satisfaction our students have with their employers.

One final note, I owe thanks to one of my recently added LinkedIn connections and recruiting gurus, David Filwood, whose insights have been one of the primary sources of my key points listed above.

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