Prioritize Your Recruiting Based on Job Impact

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 18, 2018

LAS VEGAS—Expending the same energy and resources recruiting and hiring for all roles equally is one of the biggest mistakes employers make.

Instead, use those resources on hiring for the most critical jobs, and design a strategy to handle the rest, said Jeremy Eskenazi, SHRM-SCP, at the Society for Human Resource Management 2018 Talent Conference & Exposition. Eskenazi is managing principal of Riviera Advisors, a Long Beach, Calif.-based talent acquisition consulting and training company. The key is conducting a prioritization exercise based on the value of the jobs, how difficult those jobs are to fill, and the volume of the vacancies.

"It doesn't matter how big the company is, you will never have enough resources to hire every single person, every time, in every region," Eskenazi said. "Certain jobs are harder to fill; certain jobs are easier to fill. How we resource the recruiting effort could vary depending on the difficulty of filling those jobs. We have to determine which jobs we will insource and which we will outsource, and do it strategically. We have to prioritize our jobs."

The first thing to look at is job impact. A job is either low-impact or high-impact. "Let's be honest," Eskenazi said. "Not every job is equal. Compensation tells us so. But compensation doesn't determine which jobs are higher- or lower-impact."

He explained that it's usually the commercial or moneymaking jobs that are very valuable to an organization, compared to staff jobs like HR or accounting. "The business could continue to operate—though not as well—without staff jobs," he said.

The uniqueness of the skill set must also be considered. How hard or easy is it to fill the job in the marketplace?

A patent attorney is an example of a low-impact, highly unique role. "I may only hire one of those people every 10 years," Eskenazi said. "Whereas I hire several high-impact, less-unique research scientists, process engineers and salespeople every year."

Examples of less-impactful, less-unique roles include help desk and security guard jobs.  

"Once the jobs are prioritized, the low-impact jobs can be outsourced to a search firm or an agency better suited to do that work," he said. "We can then focus on what's really core to our company, building recruiting resources to fill jobs for high-impact roles."

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The Process

Eskenazi outlined a simple prioritization exercise that will help talent acquisition teams create strategies for recruiting for their most valuable roles. It's also a great way to show real strategic consultative skills, he added.

  1. Request a list of all the positions in the organization, with job titles, locations and business functions.
  2. Compile a list of all open positions.
  3. Combine both lists into an Excel spreadsheet.
  4. Set up a meeting with HR in which talent leaders review the jobs and assign each one to one of four quadrants: high-impact, unique skills; high-impact, less-unique skills; low-impact, unique skills; low-impact, less-unique skills. Another benefit of this meeting is that it allows discussion and debate among hiring stakeholders, Eskenazi said.

Once all jobs are mapped on the four-quadrant grid, recruiting strategies should be based on priority. "We want to prioritize high-value jobs based on how many people we recruit every year and the uniqueness of their skills," he concluded.

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