The 90/10 rule of marketing a job

by Abhishek

via Seth's Blog by Seth Godin on 11/6/08


Most hiring managers don’t understand organizations that go to extraordinary lengths to find and retain amazing people. And from their point of view, they’re completely correct. Pay market wage, run a classified, process the resumes. Done.

It only takes 10% as much effort to hire someone in the bottom 90% of the class.

And it takes the other 90% to find and cajole and retain the top 10%.

Most hiring, especially in a down market, is handled as a mostly bureaucratic task. Find people who fit in, do a rudimentary background check to eliminate problems, try not to break any hiring laws…

If your organization can thrive with ordinary folks, then the marketing you’re doing right now to fill the ranks might even be overkill. You’ve got plenty of resumes. No need to pretend you’re doing anything much more than bottom fishing, though. That plaque for employee of the month? You can sell it on eBay.

On the other hand, organizations that work best with extraordinary talent are almost certainly not investing enough in finding and developing it. If marketing works so well that you spend a fortune on it, why aren’t you marketing your jobs? If talent is so important that you are betting the company on it, why aren’t you actually investing in finding and retaining that talent?