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your logistics business needs a segmentation strategy, so does your talent pool

Posted by Yvette Rogier on Mar 8, 2016 4:00:00 AM

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Talk to any business leader in the Logistics sector and they will tell you that as today’s customers increasingly seek to differentiate themselves. The key to success increasingly lies in identifying groups of customers with similar needs for whom you can develop a tailored logistics response – or in other words, a logistics segmentation strategy. In my opinion, the same can be said about your talent pooling. Enabling you to develop a deeper understanding of all types of candidates in your talent pool, discover what makes each of them tick, and well-attune your pooling activities to their interests, candidate segmentation is a great way for companies looking to unlock the full potential of the talent pool. 

Depending on the factors you focus on, there are many approaches you can adopt when it comes to candidate segmentation. The combination of factors we look at here include employment status, willingness to seek new jobs, career goal and job search behavior. Using these factors, we’ve mapped out four major candidate segments to provide an overview of the talent pool most companies have.

These segments are:

Active candidates: they are actively seeking new employment. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unemployed. They’re looking for a new opportunity for a variety of reasons: a lack of career growth opportunities, insufficient compensation, or work-life balance issues. According to LinkedIn, about 30% of the global workforce falls into this segment.

Passive candidates: they have a job and in general are satisfied with it. Therefore they aren’t actively seeking new employment. But they’re interested in talking to the recruiter when the right opportunity occurs.  

University & college students: they represent the future workforce. Competition for the very top students is high, even before these talent enter the job market. 

Contingent workers: people in this segment include freelancers, contract workers, temporary staff and statement of work (SOW) consultants. They play an increasingly large role in today’s workforce: Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) reports contingent workers currently make up 18% of the total workforce, and that percentage is expected to rise to 40% by 2020. Once limited to covering absences for vacations and supplementing during seasonal peaks, the new generation of contingent workers are consciously choosing a contingent work style over full-time employment. As today’s talent landscape changes and gets more complex, how should companies change the way they engage their potential candidates in order to secure a strong talent pool?

Set out below are a few lessons every company should keep in mind when approaching those candidate segments:

Building relationships with passive candidates is a marathon, not a sprint. The biggest mistake I see when it comes to recruiting passive candidates is that recruiters only start to contact the candidates when the need to hire arises. As a consequence, they often achieve little or no meaningful results. It comes as no surprise: in general passive candidates are satisfied with their current role. To lure them away from the job that they feel comfortable with, not only do you need to differentiate your offers, but also you need to create relationships with them so that they’re emotionally engaged. And this effort should be all year around, not just during the peak hiring season. Remember, building relationships with talent is all about long-term gains. Don’t rush into selling the job. The best way to start a relationship with your prospective candidates is to engage them in conversation and listen to them. Not only your relationships with the talent need to be created, more importantly, they need to be carefully maintained before you can start to reap the benefits.  

Authenticity is key to win the trust of Millennial talent. What the B2C marketing community has learned is that Millennials don’t like traditional advertising. I believe the same can be said when it comes to recruitment marketing.

Much like how they purchase products, Millennial talent will undertake research about employers and check company reviews of those who have worked there even before talking to the recruiters. If they find the real experience isn’t aligned to the promise companies have made, they’ll see it as a serious deal-breaker and regard the company as untrustworthy. Authenticity is the new authority. Make sure your employer brand reflects in a realistic way how your employees and candidates experience your company. It’s all about making the right promises – and sticking to them. 

Track and trace the career progress of your contingent workers as they were your shipments. Most companies have processes in place for on-boarding their contingent workforce, but fall short when it comes to off-boarding procedures. Effective off-boarding is more than an employee check-out. When contingent workers complete their projects, a comprehensive exit interview should be properly conducted. Collecting feedback about the worker’s experience is only one of the purposes. What’s equally important about having exit interviews is to identify high-quality contingent workers, track and trace their career interest and progress in coming years, and retain them in your talent pool for future needs. Moreover, with an effective off-boarding program in place, contingent workers will be more likely to act as brand advocates for your company. So cearly define your off-boarding process and assign proper ownership.

Last but not least, companies that are able to reorient their talent acquisition efforts around candidate segments and behaviors will be one step closer to realizing the value of a diverse, high-quality talent pool. 

Topics: industry insights, Logistics