Neil Tambe

Husband, Father, Citizen, Professional.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Reverse Recruiting

I imagine how much different life in our country would be if when people went to work, important, valuable, sustainably profitable work is what actually happened. I care about this a lot, because I deeply believe that wasting human potential is inefficient and immoral.

To be able to have these sorts of workplaces, I believe it’s essential to have the right people are in the right roles.

I believe that life is built in the off season. When applying that belief to talent management, it suggests that the best time to recruit is when you don’t need to fill a job in a hurry. Wouldn’t it be so much better - both for companies and candidates - if we already had a pool of interested candidates that were a skill-set and culture fit, before the job were ever posted?

If that intuition is correct, here’s how I think it could actually be put into practice. Imagine if there were a mechanism like the college common app, except for jobs and hiring. I’d love to hear what you think, especially if you’re an HR professional (or have ever been part of a frustrating hiring process).

Here’s how it would work:

  • First, the candidate takes everything that you would find on a LinkedIn profile and import it into a profile. This could be supplemented with a portfolio of work, confidential letters of referral, or instruments like StrengthsFinder.

  • Second, the candidate identifies companies they would be interested in working for, were an opportunity available. They’d also identify broadly defined functional areas they were interested in.

  • Next, the candidate records video answers to a mix of general interview questions - both prepared and extemporaneous. Some questions could be added that are specific to the companies they are interested in working for.

  • Then the companies take over. They could review and filter the profiles of interested parties and build a pool of candidates for different functional areas. For individuals they think are great fits, they could connect individually or hold invite-only recruitment events a few times a year.

  • Then, when a job comes up, the process is improved in two ways:

    • It moves faster for the company and for the candidate, because there are loads of people that are already through what would be covered in a first-round interview

    • There’s a better fit for both parties because the initial pool of candidates has been built over time, rather than in a hurry when a job is posted. Quantity drives quality.

Again, the whole goal is to have the right people in the right roles, 100% of the time. Do you think this idea actually solves that problem?

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