The central thesis of the book is a dichotomy between two modes of human thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional (solving problems like “2+2” and processing simple sentences); “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, and more logical (searching through memories or running complex calculations).
These two systems of thought work in tandem – both serve different purposes but, together, they keep humans ticking over.
As an industry, recruiting bears little resemblance to Kahneman’s research. BUT, there are two streams of recruiting, one “fast” and one “slow”. If organizations can effectively combine these two workflows, then they’re likely to be much more successful.
“Fast” is the recruiting default.
You have a role to fill, you either post an ad or you source for candidates that fit a specific list of requirements.
The jobs you fill vary, but once you get going muscle memory usually kicks in and you run through the same tried and tested tactics on autopilot. (*Usually* – some roles require significantly more effort than this).
Speed is key. Every day these roles lie unfilled, potential revenue and productivity is lost and hiring manager time is wasted.Speed is key. Every day roles lie unfilled, revenue and productivity is lost and time is wasted Click To Tweet
“Fast” recruiting gets results, but ultimately fast is entirely reactive. If this governs a company’s talent outlook then it’s hard for recruiters to think strategically.
Fewer recruiting teams move “slowly”. Slow isn’t a measure of speed, it’s indicative of a different objective.
There isn’t an immediate role to fill. The goal is to find “quality” candidates to add to your pipeline. Job ads work fill roles, but they don’t work for this kind of recruiting. Here, proactive sourcing is the answer.
“Slow” recruiting is strategic, you’re searching for candidates that could make a “10x” impact in your organization. Outreach is almost always to passive candidates, and success relies on carefully building personas of the kinds of people that “fit” your company.
These candidates could end up being hires in the future, equally they might not. Either way though, they should be of sufficiently high quality that your company will benefit from building relationships with them.
Qualification criteria: what does good look like?
When you’re recruiting for an immediate need, qualification can be as simple as using the job requirements as a checklist. It is often more nuanced than this, and sometimes requires a recruiter to combine a candidate’s skills and experience with an estimation of their “fit” in the company.
Ultimately though, you’re looking for candidates that are “QIA”. Qualified, interested and available.
Qualifying candidates when there are no job requirements to refer to is a different proposition all together. This is where the idea of “fit” becomes even more important.
When you’re looking for candidates outside of the structure of a vacancy, you’re looking for people that match your company DNA. These are the people that it’s worth keeping tabs on and nurturing over time.The best passive candidates match your company DNA Click To Tweet
These candidates are likely to be passive, so don’t need to be available immediately. In fact, they don’t even need to be interested. If you think that they match your company DNA, they should be added to some kind of talent pool.
What happens next?
“Fast” recruiting will usually be a company’s bread and butter, most team’s are setup to run this system. Ideally though, your company should use a blended approach that includes some strategic pipeline building. This helps to future-proof your company, and ensures that you’re well stocked with talent for future roles.
When it comes to building talent pools and nurturing candidates, Beamery can help (we work with the best), but the impetus and desire to hire strategically needs to come from your company. Software can only ever be an enabler, it can’t fix a bad process.