How To Fill The Talent Pipeline: Solutions To The HR Squeeze

 In Company Culture/People At Work, Michael's Corner

Michael Carrillo Co-Founder/President

Job One for human resources departments is recruiting the best people for their companies. But too many HR people are tied up doing paperwork instead of building the diverse talent networks their organizations need to compete, experts say.

“There are solutions,” says Michael Carrillo, president of CPGjobs.

“Increased authority and access can give recruiters better insights into current and future hiring needs. Increased pay can reduce HR turnover. Better tools and training can increase HR’s productivity. Outsourcing and technology can free HR departments from the burdens of bureaucracy. What HR managers need most are the resources to build candidate networks for the long haul.”

Recruiters should emphasize the human in human resources, says Jane Leader, a former senior recruiter for Georgia Pacific and a client partner at Staff Financial Group. “Take every call. Ask everyone you talk with, ‘Who do you know?’ That is the best way. And, don’t be afraid of intimacy in your conversations, within professional boundaries, of course. That’s where life is, and that’s what makes professional networking enjoyable.”

Suzanne Baugher, former recruiting manager for ACNielsen Spectra now working at Transdev, agrees. “HR has traditionally been measured by transactional metrics, and while the two eventually go hand-in-hand, [the job is] more than just filling requisitions. HR needs to get the bigger picture to come up with something creative and think outside the box. How do you spend that time unless you have [networking] built into your strategy?” she asks. “You need to get five or ten other referrals” from every lead, Baugher says.

Carrillo is also passionate about “the referral ripple effect.” He notes that “every application is the beginning of a network. They should never be thrown away. That’s why CPGjobs believes in full candidate ownership, which means companies can use any candidate referred by us as long as they want. This brings more candidates back to you in turn, filling your talent pipeline through the power of networking.”

The Long Term

Recruiters need time and resources to build long-term referral networks instead of darting from requisition to requisition. Old-fashioned job boards are little help, Carrillo says. “They produce unqualified applicants and more inside work.”

“People are still the best technology, especially when you are targeting those passive executives,” Baugher says. “I think there’s going to be an evolution in job boards — they’re going to relationship-based versus electronic-based.”

Carrillo says CPGjobs is already there. “We expand your networking by combining our own candidate networks with time-saving technology and personal support. We data mine submissions so you don’t have to. Bottom line, we offer strategic tools that allows hard-pressed HR departments to extend their candidate networking — and when it comes to recruiting, networking is the name of the game.” He notes that more than a hundred leading industry companies use CPGjobs to “fill immediate candidate requisitions and build their candidate networks Diversity in the talent pipeline is critical, according to Leader. “Train all employees on strategic diversity management and behavioral diversity. In doing so, companies will broaden the inventory of candidates and ensure retention of hard to find candidates. And, companies will be better prepared to address future candidate shortages as we move to attract and retain Gen X and Gen Y,” she advises.

Diversity is a top priority among CPGjobs clients, Carrillo says. “Diverse teams produce diverse thinking, and that makes them better adapted to reach today’s multicultural markets and lead your increasingly diverse workforce. We understand how important it is to the hiring process. Which is why we provide clients with a diverse pool of talent, reach out to traditionally under-represented communities, support diversity efforts in our industry, and offer direct diversity support to our clients.”

Diversity management has evolved beyond race and gender to include factors like ethnicity, age, religion, education, physical ability, sexual preference, work experience, income, geographical location and job specialty, he says. “CPGjobs helps you combine these variables and create diverse work teams that give your company a competitive edge.”

CPGjobs was the founding member of the California Diversity Council (part of the National Diversity Council), a corporate sponsor of the Network of Executive Women, and a member of the National Black MBA Association, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Using value-added networking tools is one way to ease the HR squeeze,” Carrillo says, “but other HR functions can be outsourced too.” In 2005, DuPont signed a $1.1 billion, 13-year HR outsourcing deal with Convergys, transferring all of the chemical firm’s transitional and administrative functions for 60,000 active and 102,000 retired employees. The deal freed DuPont’s HR managers to do the real work of finding and managing talent, according to In addition, don’t forget to give your HR people the pay and respect they deserve. “Pay your ‘people people’ what your money people make,” Carrillo says, “and make sure the head of HR is a vice president or above, reporting directly to the CEO. This will not only ensure that you recruit and retain the best human resource executives, but it will send a powerful signal to the entire company that your HR department is trusted and valued.”

Concludes Carrillo: “Strategic access and outside resources can transform human resources from transaction factories to networking machines, giving your organization the talent it needs to compete now and in the future.”

Michael Carrillo is president of CPGjobs, the CPG industry’s leading candidate recruiting service for HR professionals and employers. You may contact him at or call (626) 535-0143.

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