The war for talent is over: the talents won! The theory of the high street

Sometimes, understanding the world of recruitment and the various solutions available in the market becomes complex. The purpose of this post is to help you understand, easily and quickly, who does what. (this post has also been published in French and you’ll find it here )

To understand, I suggest we take an allegory:

 The theory of the high street.


Imagine a high street, busy and full of people. This people on the street represent all of the potential customers of the shops and among them, the talent the store needs. For simplicity, all the shops are looking for a single type of profile: sellers. War is declared to attract the best!

Each shop has a nice front – it is the marketing that does that.

Here are the various actions that the shops can take to recruit their sellers:

The “Post and Pray”: The shop displays an advertisement in the window “seller wanted” in the hopes that a qualified vendor passes by, sees it, is interested, and enters the shop to hand in his resume. This is the basic level of recruitment. Some are happy with this solution, others go further.

Jobboard: It’s just a shop window that is full of “seller wanted” ads, indicating which shops are seeking. Some are large global brands (Monster, Stepstone, Careerbuilder), other smaller or specialized or dedicated to a specific region.

Multiposting: This is simply the ability to put your advert in the window of many jobboards at once.

The “Employer Branding”: To attract good sellers, the stores have displayed screens showing the inside of the shop, the lives of employees, or their opinions. The aim is to be transparent and to attract the best sellers. They still must enter the shop though. Marketing, which is displayed in front, wants to know what appears on the screen for consistency, but it is important that the human resources manager of the store who takes care of it is able to showcase precisely the life of the store.

The employer branding platforms: Glassdoor number 1. It’s a window that displays the employer branding screens rather than the ads. There is much more information, more interaction, and a sense of “truth” for sellers looking for a new role.

The internal referrals: This means asking your current vendors if they are aware of good sellers who would come and work in the store with them.

The external referral platforms: This sends a message to lots of people on the street asking them if they know a good seller to come and work in your shop … and hope the message is delivered!

Campus Management : the human resources manager or the internal recruiter gives a tour of the schools training a young seller. They will canvass young graduates and train them internally.

 And now let’s look at the people who actually recruit for the shops:

Internal Recruiter: He displays the adverts in the window and adds the videos in the screen. He interviews the applicants and selects who could work in the shop. Sometimes, the internal recruiter leaves the shop and goes into the street to actively look for people.

RPO “recruitment process outsourcing”: it is the same as the internal recruiter but this person is not employed by the store. He is delegated by another company to take care of the recruitments on behalf of the shop.

The external recruiter: has its own shop, its own window where he displays all customer adverts. They rarely disclose the name of their clients on the adverts. Interested sellers have to enter the external recruiter shop. He revamps a little if necessary and then accompanies its best “finds” to the customer. Sometimes, he will look to bring the talents directly into his own shop.

The Headhunter: Often a small boutique, hidden in a corner. The headhunter has a lot of experience and knows a lot of sellers. He parties with sellers and gets introduced to their friends. He has a large address book. Often, the headhunter disguises into a random customer and enters the shops of your competitors; he pretends to be a customer and discusses good sellers to offer them to change shop.

The sourcer: Internal or external, the sourcer leaves the shop and looks in the street for sellers. In the street, there are those who go out all the time, go to the fashionable places (Twitter, etc.) and are very easy to find. On the other side, there are those who only go from work to home and only pass by on occasion. The more the sourcer is experienced, the more he is able to identify and contact not only the easy ones but also all the others. For everyone who has set a foot on the street, the sourcer tracks the footprints and finds the people. He is a specialist in “street casting” – he walks the streets all day and spontaneously addresses the people with the skills for the job he is sourcing for.

The sourcer fetches sellers and then shows them the shop, the display in the window, and even the door! He talks to a lot of people and openly talks about the shops he is sourcing for. Everything is transparent.


 Why is this allegory important?

Just because the size of the crowd is growing exponentially and the number of footprints left behind is increasing, the truth is that real good sellers do not spontaneously enter the shops. Most of the most attractive shops such as Google, Amazon, or L’Oréal have queues of applicants who want to enter (several million incoming CVs), and the skills they are looking for are so specific that they now have armies of sourcing specialists who roam the streets in search for talents.

There is a real dichotomy in the market between receiving CVs and receiving good CVs that match your search. The jobs are segmented and specialized skills and are not necessarily interchangeable.

Nowadays, even the largest shops don’t receive the right CVs, ie very specific talents, and end up having to spend resources to get them.


In an ideal future, each store will showcase its ads and gorgeous screens, and a team of sourcing specialists will be out on the street finding the talents and bringing them to the internal recruiter. The internal recruiter will focus on the assessment and alignment with the cultural fit for the company.


This is why Talent Sourcing by Gates Solutions has been launched. It’s made for companies who do not want to delegate entirely to an external recruitment but desire an experienced sourcer pounding the pavement for them to find their talents. He then gives all his search results to the internal recruiter, who is assured that the streets were meticulously searched according to its needs, leaving the internal recruiter to focus on evaluating the profiles, comparing those who applied directly with those who were recruited to find the best fit.

We also assist companies wishing to have an internal sourcing team review their internal processes and implement the right actions to get the best sourcing done internally.

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