Here’s a fun game! Let’s add up all the money you spend on talent acquisition. I won’t put the numbers here, because I know you know exactly how much you spend on each of the following. But this might prove illuminating:

  • ATS (gonna have one of these, right?)
  • Website (whether it’s to make the ATS more “web-able” or a completely separate web site)
  • Media, ads, banners, etc
  • LinkedIn recruiter seats
  • Job board distribution
  • Job board promotion
  • Social media (organic)
  • Social media (promotion)
  • Talent pool/community tools
  • ERP tools
  • SEM and AdWords ads
  • Content (everything from collecting employee quotes to that video project you asked the intern to take on)
  • Metrics
  • Recruiters (can’t forget them, can we?)

So what’s the number look like? I bet all the money in my pocket that it is at least 98% of your total operating budget.

Because all of those things are designed to get someone to apply. Every last one of them. The second someone applies, these tools are effectively worthless. Would you spend money to re-advertise a job to someone who already applied for it? Do you expect them to come back to your ATS because it’s an exciting site to be?

Recruiting funnelThat’s why when you think of your recruiting funnel, it looks a lot like this. You spend a lot of time thinking about how to get people who are unaware of your jobs to become aware, to think about working for you, to get them to decide to learn more and finally to take action and apply. Once they apply, this funnel… stops.

But your department and your role isn’t “talent spotting” or “application creation.” It’s “talent acquisition.” Your job is to find people and get them in the right job. The intention is not to create applications, but to fill roles with the best possible talent.

Hiring funnelThe real funnel you should be concerned with doesn’t end at the application. The application is only the first step in the entire process.

But as the above shows, you’re all-in on only one part of the game. You are spending all your money on the application with little left over for the rest. What are you spending to keep prospects warm? What tools do you have that put a great runner-up candidate in front of other hiring managers? Have you even trained your hiring managers on how to interview and what to look for?

There’s a gap in your talent acquisition strategy and it’s everything that happens after the application gets saved into the database.

recruiting and hiring funnels

If you want to make a real impact in the quality of talent, maybe stop spending all your resources at the top of the funnel attracting applications, and spend a little turning those applications into employees.