72% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills

Jack Welch in building General Electric to become one of the most respected companies in the world, famously spent 50% of his time on talent issues. Why were talent issues such a focus of his? Because he believed despite a company’s technological innovation, intellectual property, or brand recognition, talent alone is the only true sustainable differentiator that really matters.

Larry Bossidy (Jack’s most well-known protégé, CEO of AlliedSignal, and incidentally one of my business heroes) famously said:

“Nothing our company does is more important than hiring and developing superior talent.”

To be a great leader, the quality of the team supporting should be your number one concern. But as a hiring manager who is judged by the quality of the team you can field, you’ll know that finding SAP talent is challenging, let alone hiring and retaining the top 10%.

The market has changed; candidates are in high demand and traditional hiring methods are becoming outdated. Ever more increasingly, the top SAP talent are no longer hanging out on job boards. It’s not that they’re not interested in opportunities, but it’s because of the constant white noise created by thousands of recruiters copy / pasting their clients job postings, and because of the negative candidate experience of submitting their resumes to a black-hole portal never to be heard from again.

They don’t respond to cold calls or InMails from recruiters they have no relationship with. They find this approach off-putting and damaging to the hiring company’s employment brand. One search on LinkedIn for the phrase “recruiters, do not contact” bears this out. It’s no wonder given that recruiters make up the largest job demographic on the platform

Almost 100% of recruiters still rely on job boards, LinkedIn, and their email lists as their main source of candidates. And with only 18% of the SAP talent pool actively seeking a job at any one time, 82% of the talent pool can remain untouched and unaware of your current or future hiring needs. Given that 86% of the most qualified candidates (the top-performers) are already employed and not actively seeking a new job, relying on these outdated recruitment methods leaves hiring managers with limited access to the top 10% of the candidate market.

It’s this lack of access, combined with a weak Employer Value Proposition to attract top-performers, a haphazard interview process that can’t screen the Rockstars from the wannabe’s, and no thought given to a retention program to keep the best people from being headhunted away…

...means that SAP Leaders' operations are severely impacted, their top-talent are going to their competitors, and they have to settle for hiring the best of the worst.