By: Deborah Mason, SVP of Talent, PageUp

Posted on 08 Mar 2017

Tick-tock… The world of recruitment is moving away from the waiting game, and so should you.


Can’t find the right talent?
Sick of waiting?
Time-to-fill is getting longer?

With 73% of CEOs citing skills shortages at crisis levels, recruiters can no longer expect talent to come to them.1 The days of simply posting job advertisements and waiting for the right candidates to find you are long gone…! We like to call it the “post and pray” strategy. For those who haven’t heard the term before, wraps it up quite nicely:

post and pray: v. to place a job advertisement on an online job board and hope that great candidates respond with the right qualifications.

So if you are waiting for top talent to come knocking on your front door, stop right there!

Recruitment has changed, and so too should your recruitment strategy. We are operating in a candidate-driven market where the best and brightest talent out there are more than likely already happily employed. So, in a world of skills shortages, how do we get ahead of the game?


Post and Pray is Dead. What Next?

Rest in peace post and pray. In today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, you need to go to where the talent is. Don’t settle for Mr. or Ms. OK Right Now, when Mr. or Ms. Spot-On is out there just waiting to be found!

The solution is quite simple: proactive sourcing.  This is the skill of identifying, pipelining, and engaging with potential candidates before a job is even available.  It requires you to predict current as well as future recruitment needs of your organization now, and invest in a broad range of strategies to actively identify and engage the right prospective passive candidates ahead of time. But what is a ‘passive candidate’ I hear you ask? A passive candidate is one that isn’t looking for work, but may be interested if the right job in the right organization comes along, now or in the future.2 This is where you step in!

There are many tactics that can be employed to nurture and engage passive candidates to build strong talent pools for the future. In fact, 68% of best-in-class companies proactively build candidate pipelines, regardless of current hiring needs.3 The benefits of adopting a proactive approach to recruiting include:

  • Improving quality of talent
    Without the traditional time constraints and pressure to fill a role immediately, proactive sourcing gives you the ability to ensure candidates have the right skills set and cultural fit. Additionally, once you have your talent pool developed, this will give you the time to build relationships with passive candidates which may be needed to ensure they are ready to apply when the right positions come up.
  • Reducing time to hire
    When a critical position that needs to be filled pops up from time to time, having talent pools in place as well as practicing proactive sourcing ensures that there’s talent ready and waiting to fill the role. This reduces the potential negative impact on your organization of having the role vacant for a protracted period of time.
  • Promoting diversity
    The luxury of time to strategically source candidates opens doors for recruiters to creatively attract a diverse set of candidates.
  • Driving competitive advantage
    With greater access to top talent and reduced time to fill positions – you can be sure your competitors will be wondering how you’ve managed to develop a superstar workforce so fast.

And here’s an additional tip: do not just look for candidates employed outside of your organization. They could be right under your nose! Be sure to consider all your options from; existing employees, to ex-employees (aka. Boomerang employees), to passive candidates, and previous runner-up candidates.

Don’t be fooled though! A journey to a comprehensive proactive recruitment strategy won’t happen overnight, but one way to kick start your strategy is to ensure you have the right technology in place to support your efforts. World-class, end-to-end recruitment and applicant tracking software with Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) functionality can significantly help your organization build talent pipelines for the future, search more efficiently through talent pools, and track the different stages of candidates’ processes to give the best possible candidate experience.


  • Price Waterhouse Coopers. (2015). People Strategy for the Digital Age: A New Take on Talent: 18th Annual Global CEO Survey. Available at: (Accessed 28 August 2016)
  • Talent Acquisition Trends 2016: Candidates Take Command. 2016. Accessed here:

About The Author

Deborah Mason
SVP of Talent, PageUp

Deborah Mason joined PageUp in 2003. In 2007, she was appointed General Manager Client Services, with responsibility for delivering global projects and services, and the strategic relationship management of the existing client base. In 2009, she held the position of Regional CEO with primary responsibility for the APAC region before being appointed to the position of Senior Vice President Global Talent in 2011. Deborah is currently responsible for PageUp’s global people strategy, including acquiring, developing, growing and retaining the company’s global team. With 13 years of experience at PageUp, Deborah has generated a strong knowledge of integrated talent management solutions, operational and people practices, and the formation of strong client relationships. Prior to joining PageUp, Deborah accumulated 15 years of experience across several industries, including five years in key strategic account management with Sirius Telecommunications, a telecommunications facilities management and outsourcing company. Deborah also held several operational positions with award winning architectural and design firms, and a position with a small Melbourne-based accountancy firm. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Business with a major in Business Administration from RMIT University and membership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is also certified with coaching accreditations from IECL, Gallup and the Wiseman group.

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