Talent Acquisition or Travel Agent?

RJ Morris Candidate Pool, Hiring Managers, Interviewing, Recruiting, RJ Morris, Sourcing, Uncategorized

My mother has become one of “them.” Later in her life and now single, she is one of those senior citizens riding around on a mongo coach bus, traipsing all across the country from tour site to tour site. She signs up to go to DC, for example, and the travel company takes care of everything: bus rides, meals, tour tickets, baggage, hotels, etc. From what I can tell, the seniors get herded around like cattle, moving from stop to stop, but they don’t have to plan or stress about details. She shows up, sees the sights, eats some meals, and goes home. For their part, the tour company plays matchmaker, shopping an audience to various organizations. They play the role of facilitator/organizer, selling to both sides of the street.

You know, pretty much just like a recruiting pro.

An article in Fortune about Hired.com playing travel agent with international engineers highlighted this. Many firms are afraid of the unknowns of recruiting internationally, so Hired is packaging them up like senior citizens going to Gettysburg. Instead of southern Pennsylvania, however, they are taking them to Silicon Valley. Check the article details.

Hired.com… aims to help software engineers from Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Eastern Europe land jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area. …. qualified job applicants with a university degree and experience with technologies such as Android, iOS, Ruby on Rails, or Python can apply on Hired.com by Feb. 10 for engineering jobs at one of 15 Bay Area-based partner companies including Square, Airbnb, Evernote, and Eventbrite. In March, between 150 and 200 candidates will be flown to the Bay Area by Sequoia Capital for in-person interviews. Candidates will also take a coding test while stateside with the Hired team to verify their knowledge. Employers will extend job offers by the end of March, and new hires should expect to relocate and start their new gig by October at latest.

I am still thinking this through, but I like it in certain situations. Hired does the legwork and facilitates the logistics of the event, including sourcing 150 engineers, but does not have to coordinate 150 events. The companies and the candidates get access to each other in a much more concentrated and efficient way than if they did it themselves.  Two main downsides:

  • The Cattle Call approach—candidates feel like they are rats in a maze going from interview to coding test to interview. What probably works here is that Hired is representing some top notch firms.
  • Active candidates only—you need motivated job seekers, like these international engineers or what Orion and Lucas Group do with folks transitioning out of the military.

Colleges have done this for years with their students, but that model is flawed. There’s no exclusivity—anyone with a checkbook can show up as an employer, and anyone with a student ID can walk the halls collecting branded water bottles. I can’t wait for some entrepreneur to put together a deal with top students coming out of an MBA or law program, and broker deals with the top employers. People will pay for that exclusivity, especially if you can package it in a low stress, super-efficient travel package. Get that deal done as an agent, and you’ll easily rival the firm that’s packing my mom and her blue-haired buddies off to Reno next month.