Experts POol


By Rose Spano Iannelli and Jamie Pratt – Spano Pratt Executive Search

I have a client that is trying to build what he is calling a “pipeline” of future talent. I asked him how he planned to do this and he explained how he has instructed a recruiter to begin sourcing and creating “a list”. I admired his proactive approach, but later wondered about the return on these efforts and his likelihood of success against his intended outcome. Would he allocate the staff time and resources to truly cultivate this pipeline for instance?

Through the cyclical ups and downs in the economy resulting in talent gluts and shortages, it has become clear that recruitment at the leadership level is about relationships and is not about sourcing. Data is a commodity available to everyone and is not a competitive differentiator when it comes to securing talent. Despite the amazing success of databases such as LinkedIn with its ability to provide information and connectivity, relying on activity such as the accumulation of information as a recruitment strategy could leave you wounded in the battlefield on what is, as we have all come to know and is as unpleasant as it sounds; “the war on talent”.

Getting the attention of potential candidates that are “A” listed players requires genuine interest in their wellbeing and requires building their trust. Vetting a good fit and building a relationship that is authentic in nature takes time; a hard to come by asset in most organizations. Seth Godin, the popular marketing guru was quoted in Incmagazine as stating: ”The new era of modern marketing is about the connection economy, it's about trust, it's about awareness, it's about the fact that attention is worth way more than it used to be. Attention doesn't come in nice little bundles anymore.”

Return on the investment of time needed to get attention is not difficult to measure and something that most of us grasp. Allocating quality time in our personal lives to build relationships is not a new concept. Sales people aside, in our busy and often under resourced professional lives this same concept can elude us when it comes to recruitment.

CEO’s are looking closely at the investment of time in their organizations on those areas such as talent acquisition that are critical, particularly in hyper competitive sectors. Recruitment and talent acquisition like customer acquisition is a marketing function and requires the deployment of similar time and energy to grab the attention of your targets in this noisy and competitive environment. Building a list of potential candidates does not “save time” or increase the likelihood of recruiting high potential candidates, building a relationship with them just might.

Spano Pratt is an executive search firm based in Milwaukee and serving clients throughout the U.S. Executive search firms may differ than other recruiters which you may encounter throughout your career.

Rose IanelliJamie Pratt




Rose Spano Iannelli (left) and Jamie Pratt, co-founders at Spano Pratt Executive Search, can be reached at or


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