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Einstein, Compound Interest and Your Talent Network

There's actually a way to calculate the effectiveness of your talent network and how long it will take to grow it to optimal effectiveness.

Sean Rehder, Principal

Albert Einstein once called compound interest the 8th Wonder of the World and along with it he created the compound interest rule of 72. The rule tells you how to determine the number of years it will take for your investment (aka your talent network) amount to double in value. You simply divide the number 72 by the percentage rate you are earning on your investment.

For example:

You have a savings account with $500 deposited in it. It earns 4% interest from the bank. 72 divided by 4 is 18. It will take 18 years for your $500 to double to $1,000 if you don't make any deposits.

Keep in mind, the higher the rates are, the less accurate the formula is. But let's try applying this concept of compound interest to our network of contacts and our efforts to make the network grow. If you are serious about building a talent network or establishing a talent pipeline, I would suggest using the Jobster.com services or something similar. Their current version can do the job, but I know they are actively working to make it better in new and soon-to-come updates.

So, if Einstein was a recruiting manager, I would guess that his strategy might look something like this.

  1. Identify the number that your current network is at. This isn't the total number of candidates in your database but rather the number of people that have opted in to receive information/jobs from your company. For this purpose, let's say it's 5,000 contacts.

  2. Determine what your goal growth rate is. You will have to set realistic expectations in this matter. If your network is small now, then you can have a higher percentage of return. If your network is medium or large in size already, your percentage rate will be lower. For this purpose, let's say we want to see a 250% growth rate in one year.

  3. Take the number of contacts and multiply it by your growth rate:

    5,000 contacts x 2.50% = 12,500 contacts

    This would be your goal for the size of your new network within one year with a growth of 7,500 new contacts.

  4. Take the new contacts number (7,500) and divide this by the number of working days in a year (260). So

    7,500 contacts / 260 working days in a year = 29

    This means to meet your goal, you need to add 29 new contacts a day to your talent network.

  5. Divide the number of needed new contacts a day (29) by the number of people you have on your recruiting team. Let's say you have six members on your team. So,

    29 new contacts / 6 team members = 5

    This means that each team member is responsible for networking with five new people a day that your company has never had contact with.

Now, the tricky part. Most corporate recruiters are too busy to take on anything new like this. So the magic comes from finding a way to accomplish this without adding a lot of new work to a recruiter's desk.

Here is what I suggest. Have your system automatically designate the five new contacts for the recruiter based upon predetermined criteria. Like specialties that your company has needs for. Present these new contacts to the recruiters in the form of a task which can be managed by the recruiter either within your system or within the recruiter's Outlook email program. This task then allows for follow up and task management by the recruiter and also allows for reporting for leadership purposes.

Keep the manual task of adding people who opted into your talent network OFF the recruiters desk. Within your system, simply add a check box field to the main screen of your contact's record. The recruiter then just asks the new contact, "Can we add you to our talent network? We use the Jobster networking tool." If the contact says yes, the recruiter checks the box and that's it. At the end of the day, your System Administrator pulls an automatic report of all new contacts that opted into your talent network that day for all recruiters and does one upload to Jobster. They all get in email that adds them to your talent network. And so it grows.

The secret to building a strong network, a viable and targeted database, is to do it on a daily basis. If you can make it happen behind the scenes, more power to you.

About the Author:
Sean Rehder is a Contingent Workforce Developer who administers ContingentWorkforce.org and specializes in building online solutions for workforce issues. He also is a former Independent Contractor Compliance Manager and Program Developer for such companies as Oracle, Cisco, Seagate, Inktomi, Ariba, and CommerceOne.

To learn more about Sean and his service, visit ContingentWorkforce.org or its companion blog, TalentLogistics.com. Sean can be reached by email sent to sean_rehder@contingentworkforce.org.

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